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Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Deckle Edge, October 29, 2013
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The acclaimed retelling of the world’s best-loved fairy tales by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Golden Compass and The Book of Dust—now in paperback, and with 3 new tales!
Two centuries ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their first volume of fairy tales. Since then, such stories as “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “Rapunzel,” and “Hansel and Gretel” have become deeply woven into the Western imagination. Now Philip Pullman, the New York Times bestselling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.
Here are Pullman’s fifty favorites—a wide-ranging selection that includes the most popular stories as well as lesser-known treasures like “The Three Snake Leaves,” “Godfather Death,” and “The Girl with No Hands”—alongside his personal commentaries on each story’s sources, variations, and everlasting appeal. Suffused with romance and villainy, danger and wit, Pullman’s beguiling retellings will cast a spell on readers of all ages.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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“You didn’t know you needed to reread Grimm. You do. This is a grand and great book. . . . I read it ravenously, rapturously.” —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation
“Zippy! . . . These tales are about plot and economy and speed [and] make great bedtime read-alouds for children who can handle a little gore. . . . The original tales weren’t for children, of course; they were for everyone. So is this book. . . . Pullman is both erudite and funny. . . . He has fun with dialogue, and is particularly snappy with dwarfs. . . . You know what? He crushes it, as the youth of today are wont to say. . . . His translations are perfection.” —The New York Times Book Review
“It is such a pleasure to read these tales again, to experience their strangeness and richness, their violence and beauty, their sheer nonsense. . . . Reading Pullman’s version it is impossible not to hear Pullman’s own gentle voice; he is present on every page. . . . [His] interventions work brilliantly.” —The Boston Globe
“These wonder tales . . . compel belief as powerfully as any adventure or thriller.” —Marina Warner, The Times Literary Supplement
“Excellent . . . His beginnings are like invitations that cannot be refused. . . . Pullman shows how completely he understands the Grimms. . . . [He] pays homage to the Brothers’ pioneer work and simultaneously breathes new life into a great, venerable tradition of magical storytelling.” —Jack Zipes, Los Angeles Review of Books
“A real pleasure to read . . . This is the kind of writing that stands up to years of bedtime repetition. . . . The author’s best appearances are in the notes, which are often as entertaining as the stories themselves. . . . Swiftness and clarity, he says, were his guiding principles; to which he has added wit and invention. . . . Beautiful or grotesque, the mad poetry of these tales is often delightfully funny too.” —The Economist
About the Author
- Publisher : Penguin Classics; Deluxe, Reprint edition (October 29, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0143107291
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143107293
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.64 x 1.12 x 8.37 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #154,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Here, Pullman has 50 stories adopted from Grimm's Fairy Tales: Complete and Illustrated (Over 200 Fairy Tales, with Illustrations, and Bonus Features) , some clarified, all with a brief annotation on their origins and variations. What pleased and suprised me most were the variety and number of stories I had never heard before: "The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers" (also known as 'The Man Who Did Not Know Fear' or 'The Dead Man's Arm'), "Godfather Death" ('The Land Where No One Ever Dies') and "Iron Hans" ('Three-For-A-Pot', 'Prince Ivan and Princess Martha') were among my favorites. Aside from the tales themselves - which were like revisiting an old friend - the annotation was particularly interesting, Pullman often discussing the morality tales they represent (as with "Little Red Riding Hood") and the variations between strories.
As an intellecutal exercise, the book would have benefitted from greater attention to these variations in storytelling and longer exposition on the morality tales within them. (If this is of interest, I strongly recommend Maria Tartar's Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood .) As a collection of children's stories, I would have expected some illustrations to accompany the tales, the better to hold and keep the interest of a child to whom the stories are being read to or read by. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful collection of fairytales, with a suprising number of stories that readers may be unfamiliar with and which are a lot of fun to read.
He's retold, reconstructed, 53 tales, as neatly and simply as he can. He keeps the original pacing, the characters. The spare plot details.
Four new (to me) tales are my favorites:"The Riddle," echoed by TURANDOT, "The Juniper Tree," in PUllman's words: "For beauty, for horror, for perfection of fomr, this story has no equal. "The Two Travelling Companions" gives us a picture of good and evil in a new way. "The Goose Girl at the Spring" with flashes of KING LEAR.
Pullman's respect for the tales brings this whole thing to life. Loved reading old favorite and new favorites
In this excellent collection, fifty tales are presented to you. You'll find the usual - princesses in distress, wicked witches, and handsome princes. But you'll also encounter enchanted fishes that grant you wishes, bewitched frogs, a mouse, bird and sausage who set up house, trees that grant wishes, demons who makes deals, evil kings, beautiful queens, dancing shoes, evil mermaids who kidnap men, and worlds of enchantment. At the end of each tale is a little bit of analysis by Pullman as well as a comparison of how the story fits into the world it was created and how it compares to other fairy tales.
I'm a fan of fairy tales. Both on the merits of the story and on what they can reveal about the society they describe. And Pullman does a great job of retelling the classics we think we know and introducing us to a number of stories that should be classics; I'm looking at you The Fisherman and His Wife. So yes, do read this if you're interested in the subject.