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Nutcracker and Mouse King and the Tale of the Nutcracker

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  8,138 Ratings  ·  350 Reviews
The original stories behind everyone's favorite Christmas ballet

It wasn't until the 1950s that seeing The Nutcracker at Christmastime became an American tradition. But the story itself is much older and its original intent more complex. This eye-opening new volume presents two of the tale's earliest versions, both in new translations: E.T.A. Hoffmann's Nutcracker and Mou
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Penguin Classics (first published 1815)
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Book #4 in #CramaThon2015.

(Read a book under 200 pages.)
Caroline Gurgel
Para quem gosta de histórias de natal, imperdível

Meu primeiro contato com O Quebra-Nozes foi por volta dos 9 anos de idade, através do filme estrelado por Macaulay Culkin (1993), que nada mais era do que uma perfomance do New York City Ballet adaptada para a tv. De lá pra cá, tive a oportunidade e o prazer inenarrável de assistir a The Nutcracker com o NYC Ballet ao vivo, em pleno natal, no Lincoln Center, e sigo completamente apaixonada, tanto pelo ballet quanto por seu compositor, Tchaikovsky.
vicky ✨
Such a simple, yet charming tale filled with dreams, the endless possibilities of childhood imagination and towns made of sugar and icing. I was familiar with the story because of the Barbie movie I watched countless times when I was a little girl like Marie (yes, I know). I read the German version and was slightly anxious because German classics are not really my cup of tea, but I ended up enjoying this one a lot. I'm definitely looking forward to picking up Hoffmann's „Das Fräulein von Scuderi ...more
Heather *live on coffee & flowers*
The Nutcracker Prince, with Keifer Sutherland as the voice of Nutcracker, was one of my favorite childhood movies, and is still a favorite to this day. When I realized it was based on a short story that also inspired the ballet, obviously I had to read it.

I'm not a fan of Where the Wild Things Are, and I wasn't too impressed with Sendak's weird Labyrinth-like tale, Outside Over There (because there was no Jareth in it, obviously). But I wanted to read this version because Auntie J said it was th
I love my edition with its wonderful introduction and Maurice Sendak illustrations. I love the music and the dancing that is the ballet. But there is something about this story that always creeps me out. It is not the many headed mouse king. No, its the whole ending bit. The story is about girl growing up, to a degree, except that it is rather strange because when she travel with her dream prince she dreams of a place any child would want. Than all of a sudden she is getting married to a little ...more
Jo Woolfardis
Translations are, as a rule, pretty bad. I feel like this translation did not do the original story justice at all and a lot of the magic had seeped through the cracks as a result.

The story itself has dark layers to it that the ballet does not possess. It has a rather disjointed flow to it and altogether it is a fairly obvious story of a time long ago (when attractiveness was the most important quality in any thing). However, the most important thing about this story is that it was the inspirat
Za Krcka Oraščića obično se kaže da je to prva moderna priča za decu (1816, šije Alisu za pedeset godina) i... pa stvarno je moderna. I moderno jeziva. I, prirodno, krajnje hofmanovska sa sve dvojnicima, pomalo zlim humorom, neodređenim prelazima između stvarnog i fantastičnog i ludom maštovitošću. Ali kad se sve sabere, baš sam se podsetila koliko je na momente strašna, a u ovom izdanju ne pomažu hororične ilustracije Branislava Mojsilovića (nesrazmerno mnogo sedmoglavih pacova!), mada sam sigu ...more
Nov 22, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book to read and to look at. There is more to the story than the ballet. A classic that I have never read before -- highly recommended, especially at Christmas.
Dec 30, 2016 Suvi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's return to Christmas time for a moment with the last book I read in 2016 (while my dad was suffering from influenza, and I myself had a cold and was in bed throughout Christmas with chocolate pralines, so perfect time for something light), and the last book from that year I'm going to review. The story of the Nutcracker is best known as the Tchaikovsky ballet, which in turn is based on Alexandre Dumas père's adaptation of Hoffmann's story. The ballet's gorgeous music and the beautiful sets ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Malene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
"Who knows, dear Godfather, if you were spruced up like my dear Nutcracker, and if you had on such lovely, shiny ankle boots, who knows if you wouldn't be as beautiful as he?"

Egentligt kender jeg bedst dette eventyr fra filmen 'Barbie og Nøddeknækkeren' - det er til gengæld også den Barbie film jeg har set flest gange og en film jeg har holdt meget af. VHS'en (jep) så jeg og spolede jeg i, til båndet ikke længere kunne spole og historien blev til en hakkende massakre (videobånd var virkeligt sk
Feb 19, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mom and I used to see this ballet nearly every winter, but I'd never read the original story. I loved seeing Sendak's illustrations accompanying it, and if I see the ballet again I'll have a thorough understanding of the backstory!
Dec 16, 2014 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What little girl hasn’t been spellbound after seeing the magical wonders of the Nutcracker ballet and feeling the crescendo enthralling music of Tchaikovsky’s Op. 71 pulsing through the air? I certainly was. December 1967, my parents took me to see my first Nutcracker performance at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City. Continuing the tradition, I in turn took my daughters during the winter of their kindergarten years. And though I haven’t experienced a live performance since 1993, every ...more
Nov 23, 2016 Mahdie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
یادم هست که این کتاب رو وقتی خریدم نمیتونستم بخونم و خواهرم برام میخوندش.اما عاشق نقاشی های کتاب بودم.بارها و بارها نقاشی ها رو حلاجی کرده بودم.هنوزم چهره ی عروسک فندق شکن با دهان پر از فندق و دندون شکسته و دامن پر از چین دخترک و کفش براقش تو ذهنمه.باید از نشر فندق ممنون باشم به خاطر کتاب های پر از نقاشی های پر رنگ دوران کودکی
I love the ballet and now I love the book too.

Oh lovely, lovely! I had no idea that the famous Tchaikovsky ballet was actually based on an adaption of Alexandre Dumas' (!) adaption of this fairytale by Hoffmann, neither did I have the slightest clue that Hoffmann wrote a fairytale like this; since so far I had only read his 'Nachtstücke' including The Sandman, as well as some other weird tales.

The story follows seven-year-old Marie, who is given a wooden (though not very pretty looking) nutcracker from her Godfather Drosselmeyer for Christ
Nostalgia Reader
4.5 stars.

A very lovely story. I loved the settings, the characters, and the surrealiness of it all--subtle enough to not be overly creepy, but certainly enough to warrant the term. I had never seen any adaptation of this before reading it, so I had no preconceived imagery in my head; and for that reason, I don't think I would ever want to see any adaptation of it (especially since it seems like that has been toned down from this version). The emphasis on having an imaginary world that you can e
Coral Davies
Dec 07, 2015 Coral Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Possibly one of the more insane children's stories I have ever read. A very enjoyable, sweet tale of a little girl and a nutcracker and how she helped him to defeat a 7-headed mouse king tyrant.

In parts the translation was confusing - the author kept altering who he was speaking to, wavering from "my dear audience" to "attentive Fritz" and "young dear Marie" etc and often the exchanges between characters would be illogical i.e. Marie watches princesses make sweets and wants to join in. But the n
If the name "Nutcracker" only conjures up visions of graceful ballerinas and an ethereal Sugar Plum Fairy, then Hoffman's original tale can be rather shocking in its violence (mostly psychological, but physical as well) and undercurrents of sadism. And while the narrative is quite different than the now-familiar story paired with Tchaikovsky's immortal score, certain elements continue to linger, creating an unheimlich quality that endlessly complicates the story's reputation as "only" a sacchari ...more
Miss Bookiverse
Aus meiner Grundschulzeit kenne ich den Trickfilm und die Vertonung von Tschaikowski. Beides hab ich geliebt, von daher war es mal Zeit sich an den Originalstoff zu wagen. Das Buch liest sich trotz des gestelzten Erzählstils aus der Romantik total schnell. Ich fand alle Erwachsenen relativ unsympathisch, weil sie Marie natürlich nie glaube und der alte Drosselmeyer war teilweise schwer zu deuten. Mal schien er auf Maries Seite zu sein, dann hat er mir wieder eher Angst gemacht.
Mein Lieblingsteil
Dec 15, 2015 Brooke rated it liked it
A charming tale that I was only familiar with because of seeing the ballet a few years back. I'm glad I finally read the book even though the second half was odd and random. Lol
A Christmas classic that's certainly cute.
Rosemarie Short
This is the eighth in my #12DaysofChristmas read-a-thon! Each day I will post a review of a Christmas / Winter related book. Hopefully this will give you some Xmas-Inspo and give your holiday reading a boost!

I think it's fair to say that The Nutcracker, though a relatively short read, isn't always an easy one. However it is incredibly full of Christmas magic, if you care to look. There's plenty of ambiguity with characters like Godfather Drosselmeyer - keeping you guessing as to the old man's mo
Dec 27, 2016 imbirowa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Wyjątkowa opowieść dla najmłodszych. Dziecko przeniesie się bowiem do świata snu, do niezwykłego świata w którym zabawki ożyją i zaproszą go do wspólnej zabawy. Klara, która jest główną bohaterką ma siedem lat i odkrywa, że jej lalki potrafią zachowywać się jak ludzie. Co z tego wyniknie? Jak zakończy się ta niezapomniana Wigilia?
Dec 25, 2016 Μ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Έχοντας παρακολουθήσει παράσταση του πασίγνωστου μπαλέτου του Τσαϊκόφσκι και όντας πλήρως μαγεμένη από την ιδέα του παραμυθιού, ανυπομονούσα να διαβάσω και την πρωτότυπη ιστορία του Ε.Τ.Α. Χόφμαν. Και πρέπει να πω ότι διαλέγοντας τη συγκεκριμένη εκδοχή από τις εκδόσεις Ποταμός αντί άλλων, έκανα μια πολύ σοφή επιλογή.

Και αυτό γιατί σε τούτη εδώ, παρουσιάζεται η ιστορία του Καρυοθραύστη όπως την έγραψε ο Χόφμαν αντί άλλων εκδόσεων που παρουσιάζουν την εκδοχή του μπαλέτου. Και η ιστορία που ακολου
Dec 16, 2016 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've seen BalletMet's The Nutcracker at the Ohio Theatre multiple times, but I'd never read the 1816 story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by ETA Hoffman. The edition I was lucky enough to read, Nutcracker, featured illustrations by Maurice Sendak which I loved. The story itself was creepy. Caught up in the beauty of the ballet, I'd never thought about how much that whole scenario would scare the bejeezus outta me! A talking nutcracker, a seven-headed mouse, the creepy old dude...shivers galor ...more
Candice Chaloupka
Nov 08, 2013 Candice Chaloupka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1984, Maurice Sendak was asked to illustrate the Nutcracker, written in 1816 by E .T. A. Hoffman. Sendak, the famous illustrator/writer of Where the Wild Things Are, later enhanced his original set drawings for the book version of the story. Out of print for many years, Sendak's Nutcracker has been re-issued, sadly, the same year, Sendak passed away (May 2012).

The illustrations are delightful and reminiscent of other works by Sendak, yet, retaining their own character. On one of the center pa


There are many versions of Hoffman's classic Christmas story, but I enjoyed this one immensely due to the dreamlike drawings of Scott Gustafson. It's like being in a little shop off a crooked alleyway, where a clockmaker's sign hangs over the entrance. Old world mixed with enchantment.

 photo Astrologer_zps7ec8ae18.png

Looking at the Astrologer or armed mice dressed as 17th century musketeers or gingerbread cookies come to life was a true delight. The colors are vibrant and if you happen to be p
***Disclaimer: I have noticed that my review is displaying not only with the book I reviewed, but also with completely different "Nutcracker" books (which has yet to be corrected by Goodreads, although I have made the request). So, I want to make it clear that my review is of the version of the Nutcracker that is illustrated by Maurice Sendak, and is quite different in text also to other versions of the story.

My review should not be considered a review of any other version of the "Nutcracker" st
Dec 05, 2016 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this story!!! It's wonderful and sweet. A beautiful Christmas fairytale. Will read it every Christmas!
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Into the Forest: The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - NO spoilers 54 43 Jan 08, 2017 01:09AM  
Goodreads Librari...: editions issues 2 19 Sep 28, 2016 10:55AM  
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Goodreads Librari...: "The Nutcracker" adaptation confusion 2 11 May 18, 2014 12:01PM  
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Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann, better known by his pen name E. T. A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. His stories form the basis of Jacques Offenbach's famous opera The Tales of Hoffmann, in which Hoffman appears (heavily fictionalized) as the hero. He is also the author of ...more
More about E.T.A. Hoffmann...

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“In all probability, the man who found the horoscope would also catch Nut and Nutcracker. They had to believe all the more strongly in the astrologer’s new forecast since none of his predictions had ever come true. Sooner or later, his prognoses had to be right, given that the king, who could never be wrong, had made him his Grand Augur.” 2 likes
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