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Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,529 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
In Hans Andersen's world you will encounter the dog with eyes as big as towers, tiny Thumbelina who sleeps in a walnut shell, the terrifying Snow Queen and the sad little Mermaid, the steadfast tin soldier, the ugly duckling, and a throng of other characters, all touched by the special charm of their creator.
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by Turtleback Books (first published 1837)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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M 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
...more
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Saw this on the shelf at my library yesterday when I was browsing the audiobook selection, and used my Goodreads barcode app to scan it in from when I listened to it several months ago. I mostly enjoyed this, although I didn't love all the stories and I kept falling asleep on others as I listened (a hazard associated with listening to audiobooks at bedtime). Listening to 'The Little Mermaid' brought back that sense of sadness and poignancy of reading this much-loved story as a child. There are o ...more
Rebecca
Jun 06, 2009 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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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
...more
AfraA523 AlMajed
Oct 08, 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.
Steven
May 19, 2015 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No offense, but Hans was pretty much out of his mind....in a good way, a creative way, that is. His stories are kaleidoscopic; sometimes elegant and simple, sometimes deep and thought-provoking, sometimes hilarious, and other times dark and twisted. I sailed through this collection because it was so entertaining. The book's Introduction (succinct, which is rare for introductions of classics!) tells the reader just enough about Andersen to give a clear picture as to his physical looks (he did, af ...more
Joy
Apr 24, 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
...more
Eden
Aug 11, 2014 Eden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves fairy tales
5 stars

Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales have been a part of my childhood so I was surprised that I was not familiar with the tales on this book (with the exception of The Wild Swans, which is one of my favourites).

I suppose the reason for this is the tales I read as a child all had happy endings, while most of the tales on this book do not, which makes them more appropriate for adult readers.

The beauty of this book is that there are happy and sad stories, about people, animals and flowers,
...more
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.
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 15, 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
...more
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 (^,^)
Neri.
Jan 02, 2016 Neri. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing fairytales that stand the test of time and are enjoyable no matter how old are you.
Dimitra
Oct 23, 2014 Dimitra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Well this was interesting...

Reading these stories was a great experience because Andersen is a classic storyteller.
I really wanted to read the original stories of "little mermaid", "snow queen" etc and it was amazing! (and really different than expected...)

All stories in general are good and fun to read, but some of them were a bit confusing and pointless...

I really loved the story "little Claus and big Claus", though!!! So creepy...

If you decide to read this don't expect the classin fairy tales
...more
Dr.J.G.
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the two authentic places to find the fairy tales that are at roots of European culture, much undervalued. It was not until we lived in Germany and were told about a certain region that "that is where the fairy tales took place", and saw the whole three month winter proliferation of all sorts of figures beginning with end of October and culminating in February in celebration of Fasching, and took in the whole atmosphere and so forth, that it occurred to us how deeply ingrained these tales ...more
Barry
Apr 02, 2015 Barry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Part way through this book it dawned on me that most of the stories feature either foolish people doing foolish things or despicable people doing despicable things. By then I had finished most of the stories worth repeating, and the last half of the book was a slog to get through. Perhaps much was lost in translation or in the generations and culture that separate me from Mr. Andersen, but far too many of the stories in the second half either made no sense or felt unfinished. In fact, more than ...more
Eleanor Toland
This selection is a great introduction to Hans Andersen's fantastically twisted fairy stories. Traditional favourites like "The Little Mermaid" and "The Red Shoes" sit alongside less well-known, but equally good stories such as the amazingly creepy "The Travelling Companion" and the aptly named "The Most incredible Thing". Anders Nilsen's cover is magnificent, and Jackie Wullschläger's notes on the text informative and pithy. It was interesting to find out, for instance, that Anderson adapted hi ...more
Leah
May 08, 2008 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ronan Mcdonnell
Obviously these stories are classics, so what can I say otherwise?
I was just a bit disappointed. I read the book as an investigation into the original adult versions. I had a suspicion that like Grimms, the full-blown stories might be more powerful, nuanced, sinister et al. I expected magical leaps of imagination, the abandoning of common-sense and earthly rules. While I got some of that, I also got morality in spades, both fully-fledged and half-baked, and God (he features a lot).
But I also go
...more
Alex Milledge
Jan 23, 2015 Alex Milledge rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first i was caught off guard when I read this book, because I shared to read each story as a moral story, but I only found that some are read that way, while others are more comedic or just stories about how some chicks lived happily ever after.

Personally, I think the most sublime and profound story in this book was that of the ugly duckling. The moral of the story is that you shouldn't be deceived by appearances early on, because those who have rough early may have it better later on. It tea
...more
Joelle
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.
Allison Rockwell
Jan 26, 2008 Allison Rockwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
...more
Risa
May 21, 2007 Risa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very different from the sanitized versions most of us grew up with.
Alexandre
I cannot give this book a rating. It's not in terms of quality, but in terms of the number of stories. Some stories are bland, boring, just thoughts of this author that, while being good tales on their own, do not have that magic that I believe that fairy tales are supposed to have. If this book consisted only of such stories, I'd give it a 2, as it would be just an "ok" book, as the rating suggests.

However, when it comes to stories such as "The Snow Queen" and "The Little Mermaid" this book des
...more
Diana
Mar 01, 2008 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-the-book
Who knew what a character he was himself!
Katie
'The Ice Maiden' is totally amazing.
Marisa
I really liked reading the origional fairy tales! It made me understand the truth of what really happened to some of my favorites like the tin soldier and the little mermaid. I love how it doesn't hold back and it tells me the truth of all of it. I grew up on fairy tales and I still do now. Although, as a warning, it can be hard to finish this book, your mind tends to get "frazzled" when you read it!

I recommend this book to any fairy tale lover as a little child! You'll finally know the truth!
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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?” 40 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.” 28 likes
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