Photographing Fairies

Does this count as a Once Upon a Time read? There are hints of other-worldiness, with ‘evidence’ of fairies when policeman Walsmear brings photographer Charles Castle photographs of fairies. Castle becomes completely convinced that those smears around the photographs are indeed fairies and heads to the garden to photograph the fairies for himself. Arthur Conan Doyle makes an appearance.

And based on that alone, it sounds like a fantastic read, doesn’t it? I was all ooh, Doyle and fairies!

But bah. It wasn’t. It started out fine enough but once Castle heads to the little village of Burkinwell to find the fairies, things just get too bizarre. Not in the otherworld-ly sense, which would have made for at least an interesting sort of bizarre. But in the human sense, where Castle meets the vicar’s wife and falls in with some gypsies and just drinks far too much. I’m kind of surprised I stuck with it, but I guess since the book opens with Castle telling his tale from prison, I wanted to find out what he was incarcerated for. So Steve Szilagui got me there. And I wasn’t the only one, as Photographing Fairies was shortlisted for the 1993 World Fantasy Awards and was even turned into a film starring Ben Kingsley.

So my third and first ‘eh’ read for Once Upon a Time VI. 

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8 thoughts on “Photographing Fairies

  1. Sounds like it’s based on the Cottingley Fairies; which might be a more interesting story than the book. Cousins Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths (Age 16 and 10, respectively) took photos of themselves with cutouts of fairies in 1917. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a respected mind at the time due to his Sherlock Holmes stories was taken in by the hoax. Because of this, the girls were afraid to admit the truth about their photos until 1893 when they finally confessed; however, Frances still maintained that the fifth and final photo was, in fact, genuine.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!
      I have heard (rather vaguely) about the Cottingley Fairies and it is quite a fascinating story, isn’t it! I do wish the book had been as interesting as that…

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  2. I was reading your review and thinking ‘mmm, wasn’t this a film I watched a few years back’…… pity the book wasn’t as good as the real story itself.
    Lynn 😀

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      1. I think I had a sort of so-so feeling for the film! It was okay, I would watch it if it was on tv but i wouldn’t go out of my way to do so. I was intrigued by the actual real story though and I suppose the film made me do a little bit more digging to find out some more information which was interesting.
        Lynn 😀

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