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Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version
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Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  16,461 ratings  ·  560 reviews
Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment—witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White”—Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the imm...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published November 8th 2012 by Viking Adult (first published September 27th 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Maciek
The mountain and the valley never meet, but the children of men, both good and bad, met one another all the time.

-The Two Travelling Companions

I grew up with fairy tales: first my mom read them to me when I was still too little to do so myself, and then I took the big volumes in my own little hands and laboriously pored over each page, living among the princes and princesses, in worls where there were still giants and everybody paid attention to not mess up with witches, death itself walked the...more
Audrey
I grew up loving fairy tales, especially those by the Brothers Grimm. I had them narrated on records, and I’d sit or lay on the carpet and just listen and let my imagination take me away. I took the stories at face value, and never questioned how odd they are, or why things happen in them the way they do. It was just how it was.

Now, as an adult, it’s wonderful to be able to get reacquainted with the stories, and to read some I’d never heard of before. In this new translation and version, Philip...more
Lee
Started so strong I thought I'd burn through these but things fell off a bit a third into it, or maybe I just got too used to the transparent language, the patient anonymous tone, the ever-present series of threes, the same ol' motifs. Courage, bravery, goodness, cleverness are rewarded with gold, princesses, and living happily ever after. Greed and evil are often punished by decapitation! Loved it when ultraviolent and weird, or when birds and fish talked, but sometimes the words blended and ke...more
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
Not Just So

I have my favourites just as I am sure you have yours, those tales, told in childhood, which have a lifelong resonance. My grandfather was a particularly good story-teller, both in fact and in fiction, meaning that he could tell true stories and tall stories with equal verve and conviction!

Those I liked best he told me time and time again. I loved them, so much so that I would not tolerate any deviation. Like Josephine, Rudyard Kipling’s lost daughter, for me the tales of a grandfat...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

So here was a quick read I couldn't pass up when randomly coming across it at my neighborhood library the other day -- a new compilation of around 50 classic Grimm Brothers fairytales (some famous but most obscure), done for the 200th anniversary of these tales' first publications, edited and sometimes sl...more
Mei-Lu
This review is for the audiobook version of Grimm Tales for Young and Old written by Philip Pullman and narrated by Samuel West.

I have a history of insomnia and lately I've been doing this thing where I turn off the lights at bedtime and listen to an audiobook. It's very relaxing and if I don't fall asleep "on time", I don't have as much anxiety about it. (You know that whole insomniac game of, "if I fall asleep right now, I'll get 7 hours of sleep...") Also, apparently it's good sleep hygiene b...more
Matthew Rhodes
This is an odd one.

I love Philip Pullman yet I'm not a fan of any Grimm Tale I have read prior to this book. I give this a low rating mainly because it was painfully hard work to read this book at any great pace. Grimm tales are so formulaic, they sometimes don't feel like real stories. Every woman in every story is either so astonishingly beautiful that it could bring a statue to tears or is a witch/evil on epic proportions/monstrously ugly. There's a forest. There's always a fucking forest. Ki...more
Liviania
I am a fairytale geek. I am crazy about them and have been since I was a wee child. I keep various anthologies on my shelf, including the complete Grimm, some Russian tales, and Jack Zipes' fantastic French fairy tale translations. When I heard Philip Pullman was coming out with a collection, I knew I needed it.

FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM: A New English Version lives up to my expectations. The selected tales cover both the extremely popular ("Cinderella") and the obscure ("The Stolen Pen...more
Lisa
Fairy tales remind me of that game telephone. The one where a person starts off saying something and as that phrase gets passed from person to person it changes until when the final person says it out loud it is nothing like the original. I feel that this happens quite often with fairy tales. There are so many variations for each tale with every author or storyteller throwing in their own twist.


Philip Pullman takes a slightly different approach. He has researched many of these tales from differ...more
Leah
Fine, but who is this book for?

Pullman's versions of some of the Grimms’ folk stories are well enough written and his little summaries at the end of each tale gives a bit of background to where each story originated and the different versions that have been told in the past. But from the moment I received the book and discovered that, to my amazement, there are no illustrations, I couldn't help but wonder - who exactly is this book for?

Pullman has updated the language but not the stories so we...more
Nikki
I was hoping for Pullman to be a bit more audacious with this, I think. Instead, most of the stories are simply and directly retold from the Grimms' versions: some of them are slightly tweaked and clarified, but Pullman seems to actively pull back from putting his own fingerprints on the stories.

That, combined with the repetitive nature of such stories and the fact that I have read them all elsewhere in similar collections, made this a less than impressive read.
Vickie Ramage
I literally grew up with fairy tales old and new, from the Grimm Brothers themselves to Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter. I haven't read Grimm's Tales for many years now, and this book really brought me back to when I'd happily sit reading them over and over. This is an updated version of the tales but it's still the same tales we know and love, from the classics like Rapunzel to unusual ones like Thousandfurs.

It's not the prettiest edition, although I love the cover. There's no illustrations. The...more
Arielle Walker
Pullman strips the traditional fairytales right back to their core. This was a lovely read, and the little pieces at the end of each tale, where the author gives a little information about the original tale and any changes he may or may not have made, gives real context to the stories, making them even more interesting.
sj
Review originally posted here.

I requested this book from NetGalley early in October. I knew thought I didn't have a chance at being accepted (because the bigger publishers usually reject me [this isn't me looking for sympathy, it's just that I get denied all the time]), but figured I'd try anyway for a few reasons.

1. It's Philip Effing Pullman.
2. It's faerie tales.
3. I am EXACTLY this book's target demographic.

Several weeks went by and I heard nothing, so I assumed that meant I was going to be r...more
Judy
Apr 06, 2013 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of elegant writing and fairy tales
Shelves: adult-or-child
I really enjoyed it. I thought it would take less time to read, but there are quite a few tales in there!

Pullman explains how he sought to keep the tales true to their spare, traditional form; the characters flat and without individuality of character, and the scenery free of extraneous descriptive detail or romanticism. He also says the teller of a fairy tale should feel free to alter the tale within those parameters and that each telling is probably imprinted with the teller's own 'personal s...more
Jon
Seen at Scott Reads It!
Everyone knows at least one Brothers Grimm fairy tale Whether it be Cinderella, Snow White, Red Riding Hood or the Frog Prince, most people are familiar with these stories. It's a common misconception that the Brothers Grimm wrote fairy tales. The Brothers Grimm traveled all around trying to collect folk lore that had been transmitted for generations orally. The Brothers Grimm had no part in creating these tales, they merely collected them and published them in Children's...more
Paige
3 1/2 stars.

I was so excited when I saw this. I love fairy tales (especially fairy tale retellings!!), and I am a fan of Philip Pullman's work, so I thought that this would be totally awesome.

As it is, these are not retellings of Grimms' fairy tales, they're just...tellings. He basically copy & pasted 50 Grimm tales and then added a couple paragraphs' commentary at the end of each. Occasionally he says something interesting, but mostly you could do without it. I recently recovered my edition...more
Cassie-la
REVIEW ALSO ON: http://bibliomantics.com/2012/11/23/b...

When I heard there was a new collection of fairy tales being rewritten by Philip Pullman I practically wet myself in excitement (I seem to do that a lot for the sake of these reviews). This collection combines two of my favorite things: classic fairy tales- particularly of the Grimm variety- and incredibly well-written fantasy, which is where Pullman comes in. If you have yet to do so, I highly recommend checking out the His Dark Materials...more
Heather Boustead
Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm:
A New English Version
By Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman retells fifty of the beloved Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm.

There is no way I am going to write a review on each of the fifty stories, as a whole the retellings are amazing. There are many stories people will recognize from Rapunzel to Rumpelstiltskin, and even my favorite The Twelve Dancing Princess, there are even some that may be new for people such as One Eye Two Eyes Three Eyes. What I loved about...more
Bonnie
A copy of Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version was provided to me by Viking Adult/Netgalley for review purposes.

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version are 50 of Philip Pullman's favorite tales from the original Brothers Grimm. These are 'retold' but still mostly maintains the original version of the stories. Being fully aware of the well-told stories of 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Cinderella' and 'Snow White' I found the lesser-known stories to be the mos...more
Katy Noyes
4.5 stars. I audio read this, with the wonderful Samuel West reading. Recommended version.

Very enjoyable retelling of 50 of the Grimms' tales, most familiar but a few lesser known ones.

For the most part, it seems Pullman has just gently adapted some of the language but occasionally there's a moment that would require a parent to quickly think on their feet or skip ahead (or brave the discussion): Rapunzel getting pregnant for instance, or a poor couple living in a 'pisspot'.

Maybe one to read WIT...more
Maxine
I have always loved fairy tales. Even before I could read, they caught my imagination in a way that other stories didn’t and, even as a child, I preferred the pre-Disney stories, the ones in which evil stepsisters were danced to death or locked cupboard contained Bluebeard’s murdered wives. As I grew older, I read them less but they never were far from my heart as I developed the same love for fantasy. And that, of course, led me to Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials. And now with this, his Fairy T...more
T. Edmund
Always enjoyable fairy-tale compendiums are a usual sure hit with fans. Pullman's collection is no exception and I enjoyed eating up his many tales ranging from classic to more obscure. Probably the strongest point of Pullman's telling is skillful pacing and length, I was never bored of an individual tale, nor did I ever get stuck in a particularly boring or long piece.

This work is has a few flaws however - some of Pullman's word choices are jarring, he throws in dialogue and the occasion word t...more
Rosario (http://rosario.blogspot.com/)
I love fairy tale retellings. I love it when authors take the very thin characters in the traditional fairy tale and give them proper motivations, so that their actions become more understandable. I also love it when an author takes the fundamentals of the story and uses them in original ways.

This is not what this book is, however, and Pullman makes it clear in his very interesting introduction. He talks about why fairy tale characters are so lacking in depth and why so are the settings. He does...more
Hayley
I just saw an ad for this book on goodreads and my eyes did that weird ayooga thing that cartoon characters' eyes do. I need this book. The discovery of this book's existence is the best thing that's happened to me all week.
Shinn
I've always loved the idea of stories. I love how the need to tell - and hear - stories is such a very human thing; I think it's one of our most redeeming features.

There were some old classics in here, and some intriguing new ones. I particularly liked The Nixie in the Millpond and The Juniper Tree. The latter was eerily beautiful and the former was a surprisingly layered love story in a genre where romance is, like the stories themselves, a basic, paper cut-out version of reality. Although, it'...more
Joseph
After the last thing I read (a long, drawn-out fantasy series that was happy to take its time getting to the point about anything), it was a tremendous relief to read stories where the gap between dilemma and resolution was often little more than a few words. Pullman makes a good point in his introduction that there is a tremendous difference between what a reader should expect from a novel and a fairy tale. Fairy tales substitute caricatures for characters and follow a logic that is uniquely th...more
Debbie Lester
Fairy tales are stories most of us grew up with and loved. We've passed them down to our children and grandchildren. Returned to them time and again as bedtime stories and to relive childhood memories. Most of us have seemingly always knew that these stories were originally compiled and published by the German brothers Grimm over 200 years ago. Now prolific author of The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman takes the Grimm tales and retells them for a modern audience on the anniversary of the original...more
Maureen
I find it difficult to assign a rating to a collection such as this. Is it perfect or groundbreaking? No. Yet I know it is a collection I will return to again and again, even though it is not my first collection of Grimm Fairy Tales, and it will not be my last.

The book begins with a a worthwhile introduction by Pullman outlining his take on the tales and the telling of them. It then launches into a selection of 50 Grimm's Tales that include both the usual suspects and some tales that will be new...more
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards...more
More about Philip Pullman...
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3) His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3) The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart, #1)

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“Finally, I’d say to anyone who wants to tell these tales, don’t be afraid to be superstitious. If you have a lucky pen, use it. If you speak with more force and wit when wearing one red sock and one blue one, dress like that. When I’m at work I’m highly superstitious. My own superstition has to do with the voice in which the story comes out. I believe that every story is attended by its own sprite, whose voice we embody when we tell the tale, and that we tell it more successfully if we approach the sprite with a certain degree of respect and courtesy. These sprites are both old and young, male and female, sentimental and cynical, sceptical and credulous, and so on, and what’s more, they’re completely amoral: like the air-spirits who helped Strong Hans escape from the cave, the story-sprites are willing to serve whoever has the ring, whoever is telling the tale. To the accusation that this is nonsense, that all you need to tell a story is a human imagination, I reply, ‘Of course, and this is the way my imagination works.” 12 likes
“The fairy tale is in a perpetual state of becoming and alteration. To keep to one version or one translation alone is to put robin redbreast in a cage.” 8 likes
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