The Coachman Rat

The Coachman Rat by: David Henry Wilson     description:

The fate of a young rat magically transformed for one brief night into a coachman takes on the air of heroic tragedy in this retelling (from a different point of view) of one of childhood’s most famous fairytales. Set in a Europe on the verge of enlightenment, Wilson’s somber portrayal of a creature trapped halfway between his animal origins and his new “human” awareness explores the shadowy aftermath of the phrase “and they lived happily ever after.”


The Coachman Rat       5 STARS

There are no happily ever afters here… this is what happens when the credits are normally rolling… although it’s about the rat that got turned into a coachman for Cinderella… it really isn’t about Cinderella at all… it’s more afterwards and to be honest it’s extremely dark… it delves into the difference between man and animal and the balance of the world… and as sad as this story was I’m glad I read it because it really is thought provoking but i will never be able to view this fairy tale the same again…

It is actually a combination of stories in this one, with Cinderella, the Pied Piper, and honestly maybe a little of Willard… After the rat, Robert, got turned into a coachman for Cinderella as far as we know at the stroke of midnight he went back to just being a rat… I mean none of the other tellings really seem to care what happened to those animals… well they should have… Robert was then in many ways a human in a rats body and trying to cope with this world he longed to be apart of but was once more kicked out of… it’s his fight to gain a human soul and then his fight to save those that he loves…

I don’t like telling too much of a story but it’s so hard to really explain this one without doing so… What I really do think is that this isn’t so much a fairy tale at all… sure it has the trappings of a retelling of Cinderella but it really isn’t about that at all… it’s really about the darkness that lurks within us all and how anger and need for revenge can turn even the most honorable of motives into the most terrible of deeds… and because of that the lack of Happily Ever After is most fitting…


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