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The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales
This topic is about The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales
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Side Reads > Children's Classic: Grimm's Fairy Tales

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Jenn | 408 comments Mod
Discuss Grimm's fairy tales here. As there are many tales to discuss, I recommend starting your comments with a preface letting us know which story you will be talking about, unless you are talking about all the stories as a whole. Be aware of spoilers!


Catharine | 23 comments I am actually reading this right now. I must admit that, with many of the stories, I don't quite get what lesson is supposed to be learned. In some of them, I find that the story ends completely differently than it starts, in that makes any sense.

I am greatly enjoying it, though. Despite how long it is, I am getting through the book extremely quickly. I like that I can read a few stories every night, and not feel like I have to read it all in one sitting because I am so excited to see how the story ends. That is a rare treat in a book!


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Liz (shadoedove) | 24 comments I am listening to a couple of these stories on audiobooks each night. I have a copy of the book that has beautiful color pictures but it's. nice to be read to. I wondered whether the audio version would be complete and found it seems to be as it has followed the stories in the exact order as the book so far. I am enjoying it immensely.

by the way, I noticed audiobooks also has The Blue Fairy Book for free while I was skimming through their titles.


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Alana (alanasbooks) | 713 comments I just checked this out from the library and wow, I did not realize how many stories there are! Most of them are fairly short, but I still had no idea. The ones I'm familiar with are only a small portion of the collection. I'm really curious to see what I think of the stories. I think I'll see if there's a spark note or something else that has some background on the stories and the audience they originally spoke to that might shed some light on the "moral" of the stories. Might help to understand the overall collection better.


message 5: by Liz (last edited Jul 16, 2012 10:34AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz (shadoedove) | 24 comments Catharine wrote: "I am actually reading this right now. I must admit that, with many of the stories, I don't quite get what lesson is supposed to be learned. In some of them, I find that the story ends completely ..."

Fairy tales are different from tales like Aesop's Fables, which had lessons to learn. Fairy tales were folklore that involved fantasy of some type: fairies, trolls, giants, witches, or sometimes it was simply a tale of enchantment. Some were scarey and some were romantic and some were just plain silly. They were the family entertainment on a long cold winter night and many changed over the years as they were handed down from generation to generation which is why there are so many different versions of Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast and others.


Virginia | 29 comments Liz wrote: "Catharine wrote: "I am actually reading this right now. I must admit that, with many of the stories, I don't quite get what lesson is supposed to be learned. In some of them, I find that the stor..."

You explained perfectly, Liz. They were not supposed to teach any lesson originally. On the contrary, they could be quite unethical.


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Kelsi | 69 comments Thank you for the distinction, Liz. I was wondering where the lesson was in the cat and the mouse. Cat eats their supplies, lies, gets confronted by the mouse for being a bad friend, and then the cat eats the mouse. I love how the stories end abruptly, and seem to be the opposite of a lesson. I find them amusing!


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Rozzer | 14 comments For me, the strange individuality of each traditional tale offers an entrance into an infinity of possibilities unavailable with authored stories, though they too may and do have great appeal.


Catharine | 23 comments Liz wrote: "Catharine wrote: "I am actually reading this right now. I must admit that, with many of the stories, I don't quite get what lesson is supposed to be learned. In some of them, I find that the stor..."

Ah, I see. I was confusing fairy tales with fables. Thank you for clearing up my confusion!


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Alana (alanasbooks) | 713 comments I love fables. Aesop is one of my favorites!

Also, I realized how much of a nerd I was yesterday at the library when I checked out Grimm's (over 800 pages) and thought how much fun it would be to do a massive comparison of Grimm, Aesop, Anderson and other story writers. There are some really neat stories out there.


message 11: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (Dizzydee39) | 342 comments Mod
Alana wrote: "I just checked this out from the library and wow, I did not realize how many stories there are! Most of them are fairly short, but I still had no idea. The ones I'm familiar with are only a small p..."

I didn't realize how many there were either until I first read them. I also found out how few I actually knew. I liked that they are short so it makes for an easier quick read.


message 12: by Trisha (new)

Trisha Hmmm....it appears that my complete collection is about a billion pages long. This may take awhile! :-)


Nicole (Nicolemae) I didn't know what to expect with this one, I realized how many stories are in this one. I read the complete brothers grimm fairy tales on my computer for free.I didn't feel like it was 800 pages because they werent numbered at all. To me this book went fast and was refresthing after finishing an awful book.


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Melinda (the3jsmom) | 6 comments I can't wait to read


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Trisha | 3 comments These are great. I'm reading at the moment but I definitely have some WTF! moments after reading them..like in Faithful John. Sometimes the 'good' person does so many bad things I wonder why they are not considered the antagonist?


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Alana (alanasbooks) | 713 comments Yeah, Faithful John threw me off a little bit. Several of them are very odd, like the little girl who wouldn't admit she lied (I forget the name of it). I wonder how much is lost in translation and to culture.


message 17: by Trisha (new)

Trisha | 3 comments I read a quote by mark twain recently along the lines of truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense. It makes me think that these tales are more like real life...sometimes life just is weird!


message 18: by Kelsi (new)

Kelsi | 69 comments The little girl who wouldn't admit she lied made me realize I should look up some background on Grimms Fairy Tales. I was so confused. I finished the story, and then could not figure out the point! As often as I feel like this, I just keep chugging along. I love it!


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Alana (alanasbooks) | 713 comments I think I'm almost more enjoying the fact that I truly do not know what the ending is going to be than actually feeling any kind of moral or message of the stories. The "good" character can be vindicated and live "happily ever after" or a "bad" character can win for all their folly and seem to leave a wake of destruction behind them with virtually no consequences. I do not have any expectations for the end of any of these stories and I find it rather refreshing.


message 20: by Phil (new)

Phil (Lanark) The Grimms were different from the likes of Anderson in that they collected their tales, so they aren't all moral fables, they often don't have a point, they sometimes change takc in the middle of the tale and they sometimes have a very cruel streak of schadenfreude. A later generation of Germans would approach Der Struwwelpeter in a similar way (including stories such as the one about a boy who wouldn't stop sucking his thumbs who goes out and a passing errant tailor cuts them off with a pair of scissors). Anderson made all his tales up, so they're much nicer and pleasant and suited to their time - the Grimm's tales are part of folk history and as earthy as the ground they grew from.


message 21: by Denise (new)

Denise (Dulcinea3) | 132 comments I've managed to fit in a few of these stories. I started with the first few in my edition, and then I read the stories that some of you have mentioned in this thread.

In 'Cat and Mouse in Partnership', that was a very sly cat! The names he came up with for his imaginary godchildren were very amusing, and I liked it when the mouse said how good the fat would taste, and he said, yes, as good as if he stuck his tongue out of the window. Although the poor innocent mouse gets eaten, and the naughty cat gets to eat all of the fat, and the mouse into the bargain, I think there may be a little lesson in the last sentence in the story: "And that is the way of the world." This could either be taken as that life is just not fair, or that cats naturally eat mice.

'Faithful John' seems to be about the rewards of being faithful. What gets me in some of these stories, though, is how easily these princesses fall in love with any prince or king who comes along! In this one, the young king has the princess lured to his ship, and kidnaps her. Of course, she is very upset, but then he just tells her that he is a king, and she immediately falls in love with him and agrees to go to his country and marry him! And in 'The Frog Prince', the princess is so rude to the frog, first when she runs off without him after he returns her ball, and forgets about her promise to him. Then, when her father finds out and makes her fulfill her promise (good for him!), she complies with very ill grace. She just hates that frog, and finally throws him against the wall. Then he turns into a prince, and of course she immediately falls in love with him and they get married!

The 'moral' of many of these stories seems to be that princesses are very shallow, indeed! LOL!


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Alana (alanasbooks) | 713 comments I just started Cinderella (got interrupted in the middle, I will go finish it tonight). I was actually surprised that the story features animals helping her out. I thought that was purely a Disney invention! I wonder now if it's the same with Snow White?


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Alana (alanasbooks) | 713 comments I was really surprised by how different the Cinderella story was from the American version that we always hear. I've heard the argument of what type of slipper it was and such, and didn't know animals were actually supposed to be involved, but definitely didn't know about the sisters trying to cut off parts of their feet to make the shoe fit! Then there's a story later on that seems like it was integrated into our modern version as well. Interesting how stories change with time and culture!


message 24: by Dolores, co-moderator (new)

Dolores (Dizzydee39) | 342 comments Mod
Alana wrote: "I was really surprised by how different the Cinderella story was from the American version that we always hear. I've heard the argument of what type of slipper it was and such, and didn't know anim..."

I think that Disney probably didn't put that part about the sisters trying to cut off parts of their feet to make the shoe fit because of the fact that it wouldn't be too appropriate for children to watch. Some of these Grimm's Fairy Tales are pretty gruesome to read in the original.


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Alana (alanasbooks) | 713 comments So are Hans Christen Anderson stories, for that matter. The Little Mermaid, for one, has a very different ending than our lovely Disney version. (By the way, I adore Disney films, even as an adult, don't get me wrong! I can just appreciate how stories have been adapted and changed for film and audience, as well).


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Denise (Dulcinea3) | 132 comments Marelis wrote: "I have several editions of this and I have to say that my favorite so far is the Barnes and Noble leather bound edition. It is gorgeous! My favorite fairy tale so far is the "The Six Swans"."

Is that the one where the girl's brothers are turned to swans, and she can't talk until they are released? That's a good one!


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Alana (alanasbooks) | 713 comments I enjoyed that one, too. I had to take my copy back to the library because I had too much else to read, but I intend to finish it eventually.


Catharine | 23 comments That is one of my favorites, too! I am finally almost done with it. I must say, it is fulfilling to know that I have taken the time to read every story. They were all worth it!


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