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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,270 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Robert Browning's famous verse retelling of the medieval legend of the Pied Piper is renowned for its humor and vivid wordplay. When the selfish townspeople of Hamelin refuse to pay the piper for spiriting away the hordes of rats that had plagued them, he exacts his revenge by luring away their greatest treasure, the children of the town.

Excerpt from The Pied Piper of Hame
Hardcover, 105 pages
Published November 2nd 1993 by Everyman's Library (first published 1842)
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3.91  · 
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 ·  2,270 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Wow, this has a harsh ending. Maybe I don't remember the story, but I thought the kids came back. Not in this one. If you have kids who are terrified of losing their parents, I would suggest skipping this story. I hope the townsfolk fire the mayor after his greed lost the town their kids.

At least the kids went to a heaven like place. The Pied Piper is pretty cold. This is a dark story. The nephew did like this story anyway. He gave it 4 stars. He thought the rats following the piper was cool.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This is one of those stories I sort of remembered, having heard it many years ago. But reading it now in Robert Brownings prose not only brought its all vividly back to life but also brought added depth that I didn't remember.

The story is a retelling of the medieval tale of how the Pied Piper rid the city of rats only to be double crossed and how he took his revenge (now normally I would voraciously refrain from spoilers but I think with this story there is little danger of ruining the experienc
Albeit that I indeed and definitely have much enjoyed Robert Browning's presented verses, I do wonder if the at times rather heavy satiric and social criticism of The Pied Piper of Hamelin might in fact be a bit of a potential comprehension block for younger children. As an adult, they sure do tickle my proverbial fancy, but as a child, I am not sure I would have even understood the majority of Browning’s diverse allusions, and might also have found the rhyme scheme itself a bit distracting and ...more
Purvi Petal
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-copy
Excellent, vivid, brilliant! One of the earliest works I read, first as Grimms tales and then as this poem, I was something in class V or VI, I guess, it left the strongest impression on me. While the Grimms tales version inspired me to write my very first work of fiction at age 7 yrs, a poem about a princess with 7 pet rats or some such thing, can't recall much of it now but I was in love with my own very first work for a long time, just because these kinda horror fairy tales had made me fall i ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I looked around on the FreeBooks app I bought and wandered across Browning's shorter poems. The rhyme schemes entertain with exquisite grace. I want more of this classic poet!
3.5 stars

The poem, on its own, is an interesting and rhythmic piece of folklore. As a children’s book, however, I don’t really think it works. It certainly isn’t a fun poem and I believe there are many other wonderful ways to introduce children to the world of poetry. I feel that the language in the poem would be incredibly difficult for a child to keep up with and although the story within it offers an important lesson, it is also rather dark. I think it could be terrifying for a child.

I did
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
There are a few versions of Browning's THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN available, so if you like the text you might want to pick and choose your edition based on the illustrations.

I think traditionally this text gets taught at secondary school, however, I can't see any reason why a year five or six class shouldn't be introduced to it.

The plot of the poem is of a stranger who comes to the town of Hamelin in Germany to rid the place of rats. He completes his mission by luring them out of town and into
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Interested in 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin' Story and/or Browning's Poem
The legend of the lost children of Hamelin (Hameln) has been retold many times, from Goethe's 1803 poem ( Der Rattenfänger ), to the legend of Die Kinder zu Hameln, to be found in the collection of the Brothers Grimm. English speakers however, are probably most familiar with Robert Browning's poem, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, which was first published in 1842, and which has given its name to most subsequent retellings of the tale, whether in prose or poetry.

In this edition, Browning's work is pre
Lisa Vegan
I recently finished a prose version of this tale that was by Sara and Stephen Corrin and was illustrated by Errol Le Cain, and I really loved it. I’m about to read another prose edition that’s by Robert Holden and illustrated by Drahos Zak.

This book is the famous poem by Robert Browning and it’s illustrated by Kate Greenaway. I’d thought I’d grown up with the poem but now I know that I was mistaken. I did grow up with a song (that record is in a box that’s not readily accessible) and the lyrics
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I first read this as a story book when I couldn't tell pinkies from thumbs but I reread it again back in high school in a literature textbook. I now own that literature textbook in my personal library. And I don't mean some app on my phone, I mean a physical library (only thing that deserves to be called a library). It is my favourite poem ever!!!
I have re-read it countless times, out loud. There's just something amazing about the clever rhymes. The Pied Piper is the coolest anti hero I have eve
Oliur Rahman
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Robert Browning's tale of a man who saved the little town of Hamelin from the gruesome deaths of the plague caused by rats is a story I still remember today as one of my favourites. The Pied piper was promised money in return for his heroic act but was later denied by the people he saves. He promised to return with revenge and when he died he played his flute which drove all the children of Hamelin away to never return. A story I feel more suited for KS2 due to the fact that the children never r ...more
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The message is obviously 'Don't mess with the Pied Piper'.

The burghers offer a large sum of money for him to rid the town of rats. When he does so, they renege on the deal and offer him far less.

They think there is nothing that he can do about it. How wrong they were as he got out his flute and enticed the children of the village away. One managed to miss being led into the cavern in the mountain as he was lame and he was later to lament, 'It's dull in our town since my playmates left!'

This larg
(view spoiler)
Ryan Rainey
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eced-221
This was a very good book. The story took place in a little town far far away. There were the towns people, the Mayor of the town, and the Pied Piper as characters in this poem. The town was having a rodent problem. The Piper got rid of all the rodents for the town. Thats about all I can say with out giving away the whole entire book. This book rhymes very well. The rhymes are direct and the author doesnt try to use words that are close to rhyming. There are exact rhymes. This poem has images on ...more
David Edmonds
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Pied Piper of Hamelin is "the first in a series of miniature books that focus on original folklore classics" and the latest edition from Lorin Morgan-Richards' A Raven Above Press. The wonderful thing about Morgan-Richards' books is that they are all handmade originals. He creates each book individually, so each is unique in its own way. Quite frankly, as far as I'm concerned, his books are miniature works of art.

Lorin Morgan-Richards art reminds me of a modern day Charles Addams or Edward
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Pied Piper..... What a wonderful poem. I close my eyes and am back snuggled up in bed with mum reciting this poem from memory in a way that kept me hanging on her every word. I have no idea how many evenings I begged for this poem but I know it was a lot. Yet sadly I do not have my mum's memory and cannot revise for than a few stanzas and odd lines. This is what makes Illustrated versions such a pleasure such as this glorious Kate Greenaway version.

The tragedy of the story did not matter at
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-1001
It's a cautionary tale. There are rats in the city, everywhere, and the city officials don't know what to do. Who appears but the Pied Piper, offering to rid the town of rats for a pretty price? And when he plays his pipe and leads them all to their death (except one rat to share the story with others) and returns to collect his reward, how is he repaid? The town offers only a meager amount. In retribution, the Piper plays his pipe again, and this time leads all the children of the town into a m ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the original version of the classic "children's" story. I saw a reference to it in another book I was reading and realized I had never actually read it. I did. It was a horrifying tale of unspeakable revenge...I would never read this to a child. Magnificently written, the plot left me speechless. I think before making casual reference to the Pied Piper or to "paying the Piper" in casual conversation, as is often done, one should read the book. My guess is it will change your mind about m ...more
Apr 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, 19th-century
This review refers specifically to the book with Greenaway's illustrations.

The poem itself is great, of course, and Kate Greenaway's pictures are, as always, charming. They were not, however, originally published with the text, and they change the dynamic of the story slightly (particularly in the final image). She presents an unusual take on Browning's poem. Overall, this book is worth reading, and the illustrations are beautiful, but I'd definitely recommend reading a version without pictures
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin may be a little dark, it may have a slightest tinge of mafia due to a strict behavioral code but there's a valuable lesson to learn while enjoying beautiful illustrations and Browning's magnificent verses.
And, whether they pipe us free, from rats or from mice,
If we’ve promised them ought, let us keep our promise.

Feb 23, 19
* Maybe later on my blog.
Apr 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger-kids
Fairly child friendly version of this famous tale.
Luisa Knight
I'd never read the poem before. It was written in 1888, so older English in word and prose. It's pretty long so would not recommend for younger children unless they have some stamina and can understand the writing of this era.

The illustrations are quite whimsical.

Ages: 9+

Cleanliness: Eludes to the children which were lead away being aliens in Transylvania, and "having risen out of some subterraneous prison into which they were trepanned."

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed repor
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: open-library
Beautiful illustrations (as you would expect from Kate Greenaway), but the story told in verse was too wordy and old-fashioned for my four-year-old to understand very well. Too long for a single-session read-aloud.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001-childrens
Man, this got dark.
Josh Butler
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this story. As one of the first scary stories I've ever read, it sticks the best. And that it is written in the form of a poem only adds to the mysterious nature of the story. You feel like you're reading the poem of a historical event (and, in fact, the poem itself is based on real events; yet again, more and more mysterious culminates in your mind before you even have a chance to read the first line).

Brief: (view spoiler)
Michael J. Sceptre
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the word play and humour in the poem. For a very long time I thought the Pied Piper a hero only to learn the uncomfortable truth about him taking innocent children away.

I could not reconcile the two notions of having a good character who came to rescue a town in trouble and also the same person taking their children away because of none payment.

Talk about teaching an entire town a painful lesson about keeping promises!

My gut told me this folktale wasn't finished - What happened to the ch
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
If this had simply been Browning's version of the story, I probably would have gone with a 3-star review, not because it's faulty in any way but the vocabulary and rhyme patterns haven't aged particularly well. On the other hand, Greenaway's illustrations are absolutely wonderful and pretty much belong in the dictionary next to the word "charming," so it balances out. The piper is promised 1000 gold coins here and they try to pay him only 50, so he steals the kids. There is some seriously messed ...more
Samantha Meyer
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: eced-221
The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning is a rhyming version of the classic tale of a man who rids a town of rats just to be cheated out of the money they promised to pay him. He get's his revenge when he lures all of the children in the town away in the same way he got rid of the rats.
Many people know the story of The Pied Piper, but this version is a poem and quite a large one at that. The Rhyming is very good and flows well, however it is hard to understand some of the l
May 07, 2012 added it
This wonderful book is set back in the Victorian era and describes a world very different in appearance to the world today. Nevertheless it raises issues on human nature that are as important today as back then. Some of the themes explored require some considered thought therefore placing this book in the Key Stage 2 bracket despite its limited text. I believe this book to be targeted at children in Year 3. The supporting illustrations are essential for the children to grasp a thorough appreciat ...more
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
The Pied Piper captured my heart as a kid. I read it without images first, and after that I came across the Faerie Tale Theatre episode which was filmed with Eric Idle as the piper (and narrator reading the poem). That particular visual portrayal of The Pied Piper is incredibly haunting. In my young mind, the imagery from it sealed itself to Browning's words forever after.

It was for this specific reason that I felt disappointed with the Kate Greenaway illustrations used in this version. The pict
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Robert Browning was a British poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.

Browning began writing poetry at age 13. These poems were eventually collected, but were later destroyed by Browning himself. In 1833, Browning's "Pauline" was published and received a cool reception. Harold Bloom believes that John Stuart
They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles.
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.”
“Our business was done at the river's brink;” 2 likes
More quotes…