Caitlin's Reviews > The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen

The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen by Hans Christian Andersen
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's review
Jul 15, 11

Recommended for: anyone except young children (ironically)
Read from July 06 to 15, 2011, read count: 1

I am a life long reader and lover of Hans Christian Andersen. This annotated version does justice to the magic and power and despair of his stories. Maria Tatar's insights and bibliographical information adds a nice intellectual context to the stories. Andersen wrote 157 fairy tales so the 24 stories is just a smattering of his work, but it has all the classic ones: "The Little Mermaid," (my personal favorite) "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Wild Swans," "Thumbelina," "The Princess and the Pea," "The Snow Queen," "The Ugly Duckling," etc. There is a wide range of his works. He has his charming fairy tales with the happy endings, he has the absurdly violent punishment stories, and the existential crises stories. I recommend this to anyone who loves Andersen, or is just gettting to know him. My one complaint is that Maria Tatar confesses in her introduction to not always liking Andersen. It doesn't show in the annotations, but it comes back in the biography of him at the end of the book. I felt like she wrote negatively of him. As is she reveled in calling him "narcissitic" and "childlike." It is acceptable to me to like the art without liking the artist, but I felt in a book that is dedicated to the man as much as to his work, the biography could have been written in a different tone. A neat part at the end of the book are excerpts from famous people who were moved by Andersen's tales. I enjoyed reading them. Especially the one about Frank Lloyd Wright.

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