I'm not quite sure what to rate this one; it will most likely end up in the 3 - 3.5 region, i.e. good but could have been better. I liked it, sure, but here wasn't a whole lot to any of these twenty-three short, sometimes almost verse stories. While this is both an interesting and often quite strange collection of retellings of classic fairy tales/myths/legends, I found that the short style hampered my overall enjoyment of the tales. I did very much enjoy the varied differences and updates that Koertge implanted within these well-known stories (Red Riding Hood's very modern-teenage use of "..and then, like, we went to, like..." both reminded me of Clueless and my neighbor - both a good and bad thing ha). While this was read in less than an hour, Ron Koertge's collection of stories provided an excellent escape for a short period. This is a blunt read: each story is a quick and often dirty look told in Koertge's blunt but easily readable style. Don't look for any easy Happily Ever Afters here in this realm of twisted faery tales. I liked the new perspectives and modern spins placed on old fairy tales, instead of rehashing just the same old story. I thought it provided a fresh look at beloved and memorized stories and added a dark humor all the authors own, like with story of Thumbelina: seeing it through the Mole's eyes instead of just the title character, or the five-POV tale of Rapunzel showing a multi-faceted situaion or reading Cinderella but in the stepsisters voice and eyes. Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses is a quick but vastly, often quite darkly, entertaining read. I think a little length padded on to each of these stories would've yielded a more finely tuned and outstanding work, but as it is, this is a macabre and creatively fun read.