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Grimm's Last Fairytale: A Novel

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In September 1863, Jacob Grimm travels through rural western Germany with his devoted niece, Auguste, who longs to learn at last the truth about her family. They are accompanied by Kummel, their new and enigmatic manservant. As relations between the three reach a crisis point, vivid flashbacks tell of Jacob's traumas and heartbreaks. Old now, Jacob resists Auguste's attemp
Paperback, 249 pages
Published 1999 by Abacus
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Feb 10, 2015 J.ME rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of melo-dramatic soap-operas, history nerds and German immigrants
Shelves: reviewed
FYI: This book is NOT for kids. It’s rather dark and I was a little traumatized after reading the implied narcolepsy/rape that the rose prince committed on the rose princess. Later, I read online that the original Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty does tell that the princess was impregnated and gave birth while still sleeping under the curse…Who thought it was a good idea to publish these as kid stories?
The characters are well-portrayed. I could feel the hopelessness and resignation of the rose
Samuel Valentino
It's an engaging booK, that's really three stories in one. The frame story is somewhat slow, but that's in the nature of the story that's being told. The other two stories are more interesting, one being parts of the life of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, and the other a retelling of a fairy tale.

Once things really got started, I enjoyed reading it. However, I gave it only three stars for two reasons.


My first is basically the structure of the modern novel vs. that of a fairy tale (or even
Only marginally interesting. None of the three parts really resolved to my satisfaction and I'm not sure what the whole point of the book was. Style of the writing was fairly readable but the content was too puzzling for my tiny brain. Doubt I would recommend this to anyone as a "good read"
Althea Ann
Three interwoven stories.
The main plot deals with the folklorist Jacob Grimm, nearing the end of his life and in failing health. He is cared for by his niece, Auguste, and a servingman, Kummel. The relationships between all three are fraught with tension and secrets.
In flashback-style, we also learn about the young Jacob and his (rather unhealthy, interdependent) relationship with his younger brother, Willi.
Interspersed with these two segments is a retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, mixe
*****SPOILERS****** I was disappointed by this book. A weave of three different stories, there is some confusion as to how they do, or even should, relate to one another. The main plot revolves around an elderly Jacob Grimm and his niece Auguste travelling to the place of his birth where she hopes to learn the answer to a question that has consumed her.

The second plot describes the early lives of Jacob and his younger brother Wilhelm, their relationship, and Jacob's sense of duty to his family.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was disappointed with it. It was confusing and a little slow because two stories were being told at the same time. The first was one about one of the Grimm Brothers on vacation with his neice visiting his birthplace. The other was a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story which was kinda interesting and like a typical grimm fairytale (not the disney version)kinda gruesome. There were also a few scenes I had to skip over. It did give you a sense of the Grimm Brothers and I would actually like to ...more
It was difficult to become interested in the story, as it really consisted of three stories intertwined, a tale of Jacob Grimm's past, his present and a bizarre and at times gruesome fairy tale. I assume the fairy tale was supposed to somehow add meaning to the other two parts of the novel, but if it was, I have no real idea what it was supposed to mean. And the main story was quite unusual, with the female character bent on discovering the answer to a particular question with an obsessive focus ...more
Jessa Allen
I picked this book up because it looked interesting and different. I had a hard time switching between the three main stories, and honeslty I was really only interested in one. I get the connection between the three stories, but it just wasn't enough to keep my interest.

In the end, 'I couldn't put it down' only to be able to move on to my next book!
An interesting weave of three interlocking stories. Much like a twisting three pronged tree root in Grimms beloved Bavaria forests. Wide apart and then ultimately intertwined. Lovely language and visuals..."comically waving his arms for her like a spoof shaman , words the thunder, consonants the bones and vowels the very blood of the language".
I have to be honest--I didn't finish this book. I just couldn't. It went from being boring in some sections and overtly sexual in others. The section with Sleeping Beauty (still asleep) and the prince were just too disturbing for me that I had to put the book down, then decided to never pick it back up.
Jan 31, 2008 Janelle rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bianca
A cross between fictionized bio and fairy tale. I enjoyed the book but wished the dark tone set at the top remained consistently throughout the book. I enjoyed the switching between present Grimm, past Grimm, and fairy tale - which highlighted the dark nature of folk tales and less with the happy endings.
Not a bad book, but not very engrossing. As soon as I settled into the writing style, I started getting distracted rather easily. Obviously distraction is an indication that the book isn't holding my interest. I probably won't ever finish it, because I was indifferent to the characters.
I really liked the book. It gave me a glimpse into German history. I also loved the fairy tale that was woven through the story. I've always loved Grimm's fairy tales. I just never thought about how and why they came to be.
I loved this. The words were beautiful, the story compelling and deep, with heavy symbolism at the end that really made you think.
The Fairy Godmother
Based on the lives of the Grimm brothers, and the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty.
Cathie marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2015
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Haydn Middleton was born in Reading and studied History at Oxford, where he now lives. He has worked in advertising and publishing, lectured in British myth and legend, and written a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction.
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