Shannon Hill did not just retell Aesop's fables. He has reincarnated them. This review is for his adult collection, Aesop's Twist, but I feel I must comment on both volumes as a whole before I talk about Aesop's Twist specifically.
His collection of fables would make Aesop himself proud. Hill has punctuated each fable with his own humor, while staying true to the methodology and language of Aesop's original work: preserving and respecting a historical work, while at the same time making it his own.
As an author I cannot imagine how hard a task like that must be. I am very comfortable with creating my own worlds for my characters to frolic in, but I don't think I could ever have the skill or the audacity to retell such appreciated tales.
Well, Shannon Hill does have the skill required for such a daunting task.
Aesop's Twist is written perfectly for an audience of 18+. Hill's prose is rich with well-placed elevated vocabulary. Every image he illustrates is thus rendered a little bit sharper in the mind's eye. It's how reading becomes preferable to watching a movie. While I do love movies, nothing is as visceral or cinematic as prose projected by an author who has mastered his craft. Every tale retold in this collection is evidence that Shannon Hill exudes that kind of excellence. As I did with Aesop's Ghost, I gave Aseop's Twist 5/5 stars.