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Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version Hardcover – November 8, 2012
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“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
“A fresh, sparkling collection of the finest stories from the Brothers Grimm, hand-picked by an author perfectly suited to the task. This volume is a must-have for any lover of fairy tales. . . . In the hands of a master storyteller such as Pullman, the Grimms’s tales take on a whole new life.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“A wonderfully rich reading experience . . . Stylish in its simplicity [and with] a salutary clarity and directness . . . In addition to his elegant introduction, [Pullman] concludes each tale with his own always interesting commentary. . . . There are, of course, any number of English-language versions and editions of Grimm, but few are as felicitous in their telling as Pullman’s. His book surely belongs on the same shelf as the very best of those that appeal to general readers of all ages.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Readers will enjoy not only returning to European fantasy’s roots but seeing how the tree still blooms. . . . Smooth narration makes every tale accessible while keeping the mystical and lyrical qualities that make fairy tales so beloved.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“You didn’t know you needed to reread Grimm. You do. This is a grand and a great book. With confidence and modesty alike, Pullman adds just enough Pullman to remind us that the oldest stories are always best told by someone who knows how to do the job of storytelling. No grandstanding here, no posturing or poesy-making. Pullman selects familiars and exotics, and gives us the goods anew—the ashes never grittier, the golden shoes never more lively, and the teller’s notes concise, witty, scholarly even. Older Grimms—put them on the top of the bookcase. This one needs to be closer to hand. I read it ravenously, rapturously.”—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation
“I could not imagine a better emissary for the Brothers Grimm than Philip Pullman. His translations have the timeless quality of a voice speaking in a quiet room, at once ancient and immediate to the senses. What a pleasure it is to be reacquainted with these stories in all their swiftness, wonder, horror, and charm.” —Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
“Philip Pullman’s Grimm is quite eloquent, and his commentary is witty and historically accurate. There is no doubt in my mind that the Grimms would have been delighted with what he has accomplished.” —Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota
“In this pitch-perfect retelling of the Grimms’ fairy tales, Philip Pullman reminds us that the stories have lost none of their relevance or racing energy, even two hundred years after they were written down. As storyteller and sage, he preserves the flavors and aromas of fine, old wines from times past and delivers them to us in sparkling new bottles.” —Maria Tatar, Harvard University; author of The Classic Fairy Tales
“I’ve admired Philip Pullman since his early fantasy Galatea on through the splendid trilogy His Dark Materials. All of his gifts, including his prose eloquence, and his endless high Romantic imagination, are manifested in this marvelous retelling of Grimm.” —Harold Bloom
- Publisher : Viking; 1st Edition (November 8, 2012)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 067002497X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0670024971
- Item Weight : 1.47 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.31 x 1.38 x 9.31 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #799,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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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.