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Fairy Tales

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  4,695 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales are like exquisite jewels, drawing from us gasps of recognition and delight. Writing in the midst of a Europe-wide rebirth of national literature, Anderson broke new ground with his fairy tales in two important ways. First, he composed them in the vernacular, mimicking the language he used in telling them to children aloud. Second, he ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published March 24th 2005 by Viking Adult (first published 1835)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jean
Hans Christian Andersen once said, "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale." And his life certainly was an extraordinary rags to riches story.

In all Hans Christian Andersen wrote 156 fairy tales, of which forty are in this luxury, large format edition, to represent the cream of the crop. It is a beautiful, sumptuous book, the semi-matt purple cover slightly textured and embossed, giving almost a "padded" feel. It has a feature reminiscent of medallions in old books; in this case an inset
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Margot Blankier
Andersen is probably best known today for “The Little Mermaid,” usually in the sense that children who have seen the Disney film often hear, from their friends, something to the effect of, “Did you know that she actually dies in the end.” Andersen stories, more than any other traditional fairy tales, are filled with pathos and sadness, and end badly for their protagonists.

But to dismiss Andersen’s tales as “dark” fairy tales or, as seems to often be the case, a way to totally scar children forev
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Aubrey
Dec 31, 2009 Aubrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently chose this book for my book cub. I love HCA fairy tales. They are so compelling and read as though you are sitting at the man's feet and he is telling them straight to you and guestering with his overly large hands. What was so great about reading them this time is this particular edition that is translated by Tiina Nunnally. It is incredible with it's bio of him in the front- a MUST read and the notes about each story in the back to conect it to a time and place in the authors life. ...more
Helen
Feb 02, 2010 Helen rated it it was amazing
These stories make me cry. Grimm's fairy tales are cautionary fables. These are tiny little slices of tragic reality, dressed up in doll's clothing or hidden behind animal masks. Check out "The Steadfast Tin Soldier,""The Ugly Duckling,"and "The Little Match Girl." Devastating.
Rebecca
Apr 08, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, faves
Fairytales are the only place I find validation.

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Joel
Jun 18, 2016 Joel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
* 3.5
A good compilation full of children's classics fairy tales.
My favs:
* The steadfast tin soldier
* The emperor's new clothes
* The Nightingale


"Every once in a while a man is born who is able to see the magic, the mystery, the poetry beneath the surface of familiar things. This ability we call imagination—the power to picture vividly the unseen." -The prologue.
Rebecca
Jun 17, 2011 Rebecca is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book has well-known and virtually unknown fairy tales. I thought Hans Christian Andersen just transcribed oral tradition, but many of these he wrote himself. The book also prints images of paper cut-outs that Hans Christian Andersen made. He often found himself, as a celebrity author, among people whose language he could not speak, so the paper cut-outs were a way of communicating, as well as a way of bridging the gap of his social awkwardness.
The Ice Maiden has had the biggest impact on me
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AfraA523 AlMajed
Sep 24, 2012 AfraA523 AlMajed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is intresting. although its a fairy tale book and you would say these story are pretty obvious and i know most of them since i was a kid, but no they are very different from the stories we have read when younger it has much of grown ups content. Really intresting and you wont get bored of. Its just amazing how you recall a story from childhood and expect a certain ending but you see something that is totally different from what you know.
Tessa
Apr 13, 2017 Tessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the tales were fun, others were just too dated in their morals and worldviews to be able to enjoy them :)
Walt
Aug 25, 2015 Walt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Andersen's fairy tales are not so much fairy tales for children as they are fantasy short stories for teens or adults. Some of the stories are bloody. Many of the stories contain true villains. Many stories involve shady activities by both the heroes and the villains including lying, cheating, murder, kidnapping, imprisonment, slavery, etc. Many of these tales have little in the way of moral lessons.

That is not to say that the tales are not enjoyable. Many of them are clever and original. It is
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Juan Pablo Luppi
¡Oh Hans, cuán ñoño eres! ¡Cuán simplísticamente moralino! ¡Cuán capaz de ahogar el más simple argumento con exclamativas!
Leí este libro hasta el final, porque me gusta conocer historias nuevas, y porque alguna de las viejas no las conozco en su formato habitual. Por ejemplo, La sirenita, que languidece como su protagonista hasta un final "redentor" que elimina cualquier fuerza dramática inicial.

Si hay un héroe en la comunidad escéptica, es el niño que grita "el rey está desnudo": la representac
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Hector
Nov 14, 2015 Hector rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anomal-a-trades
¡Cómo me encantan los cuentos clásicos! Creo que es el encanto de cuento de hadas del que tienen fama los parajes nórdicos, pero hay algo sobre la gente de estas regiones que los hace maravillosos cuentacuentos. No me he dado a la tarea de investigarlo, pero sé que HC Andersen tiene en su haber como escritor una miríada de cuentos que dan fe de su prodigiosa imaginación y de sus dotes para escribir relatos mágicos, atemporales, llenos de moraleja, relatos que despiertan y deleitan al niño que vi ...more
Joy
Apr 03, 2010 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-lit
After reading this collection of classic fairy tales, I learned/realized some new things. First, it is not for children. Second, it doesn't always have a happy ending.

Most of them were entertaining, some were boring, but there are morals in the stories. Hans Christian Andersen uses symbols to represent good and evil, we can't always have what we want, but somewhere along the way we get something better that's essential for us.

My favorite Disney story is "The Little Mermaid", and after reading th
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Grace
Jun 16, 2011 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was somewhat amazed by the large number of fairy tales that Hans Christian Andersen wrote. Apparently he wrote more than 200 in all, of which over sixty are included in this volume. In this book these tales are grouped into different sections according to the type of tales that they are. For example there are some which are grouped under the title 'Original Fairy Tales' which include The Little Mermaid and Thumbelina which are two of my favorites. Others are grouped under the title 'Evangelica ...more
Rachel
Nov 06, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far I've only read these tales:
The Emperor's New Clothes, The Happy Family, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Princess and the Pea, The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep, The Snow Queen (awefull!), The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling , The Goblin at the Grocer’s, The Shadow (good), It's perfectly true, grief, the snowman,the sandman, the jumpers, the tinderbox, the rose tree regiment, the naughty boy (funny), the swineherd, the little match girl, the wild swans(goo
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Faye
Some of these are excellent (The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes), some are entertaining (The Ugly Duckling, Shadow), some are downright heartbreaking (The Little Match Girl, Snowman), but then there are some that are tedious and boring (The Ice Maiden, Traveling Companion). All in all, I enjoyed it, but I've come to the opinion that Andersen was at his best when he was at his briefest.
Leah
Apr 25, 2008 Leah rated it it was amazing
I've never realized just how amazing Hans Christian Andersen was until I read all of his fairy tales. He has become one of my author-heroes, not only for his amazing stories, but for the amazing story of his life, and the connections I made with him on so many different levels.

Simply beautiful stories, and a simply beautiful storyteller.
Neri.
Jan 02, 2016 Neri. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Amazing fairytales that stand the test of time and are enjoyable no matter how old are you.
Diana
Mar 01, 2008 Diana rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own-the-book
Who knew what a character he was himself!
Ely (Tea & Titles)
There are some of these that I really, really liked - The Little Mermaid and The Wood Nymph, for example. There were others that just fell flat for me.
Risa
May 21, 2007 Risa rated it really liked it
Very different from the sanitized versions most of us grew up with.
Joelle
Jan 20, 2008 Joelle added it
this is my current "read in bed" book. So far my favorite story has been THE SNOW QUEEN, it made me stay up so late! Also- I really love Hans' paper cut-out illustrations.
Guguk
Oct 12, 2015 Guguk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kukis-gula-merah
Some stories I like, some not so~
What I like most is how Mr. Andersen made all things, like toys, alive (^,^)
Allison Rockwell
Jan 26, 2008 Allison Rockwell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
My favorite stories as a child, I read and reread "The Little Match Girl," "The Shadow," "The Traveling Companion," and many others over and over again.
Katie
Dec 03, 2007 Katie rated it really liked it
'The Ice Maiden' is totally amazing.
Josué
May 02, 2014 Josué rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recordar los cuentos de la infancia, pero contados diferentes de las versiones de Disney que conocía, muy bueno
Diogo Silva
May 18, 2014 Diogo Silva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fiction
É sempre bom voltarmos a ler contos da nossa infância e, neste caso, aproveitei para ler outros contos que nunca tinha ouvido falar!
Christy
In a nutshell:

This is a collection of thirty fairy tales written by the famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and translated into English by Tiina Nunnally. The collection includes famous tales such as “The Little Mermaid”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Little Match Girl” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” as well as lesser known tales. The tales are ordered chronologically from when they were published.

Review:

I loved this book. I was familiar with Andersen’s stories, but they were usually the s
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Jesika
There are some fairytales in this collection - both well known and not - that are a literary delight. There are others that bored me half to death and had me skim reading to get them to end. All in all, it just isn't my favourite corpus of fairytales - it isn't quite as mesmerising, gruesome or fantastical as it could be.
Jenna
Jun 06, 2010 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Hans Christian Andersen. My favorite of favorites. I love this man. Since I was a little girl, I must have read "The Little Mermaid" a few dozen times. I was also familiar with (and loved) his "The Princess and the Pea," "The Little Match Girl," "Thumbelina," "The Ugly Duckling," and "The Red Shoes." Later it was "The Snow Queen" and "The Nightingale" and "The Steadfast Tin Soldier." Somewhere along the way I realized that Andersen was responsible for all of my favorite childhood stories.

I'
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Hans Christian Andersen (often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen; April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children; his stories—called eventyr, or "fairy-tales"—express themes that transcend age and nationalit ...more
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“But shouldn't all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power?” 44 likes
“There was a proud Teapot, proud of being made of porcelain, proud of its long spout and its broad handle. It had something in front of it and behind it; the spout was in front, and the handle behind, and that was what it talked about. But it didn't mention its lid, for it was cracked and it was riveted and full of defects, and we don't talk about our defects - other people do that. The cups, the cream pitcher, the sugar bowl - in fact, the whole tea service - thought much more about the defects in the lid and talked more about it than about the sound handle and the distinguished spout. The Teapot knew this.” 33 likes
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