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Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  20,554 ratings  ·  993 reviews
Two hundred years ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now, at a veritable fairy-tale moment—witness the popular television shows Grimm and Once Upon a Time and this year’s two movie adaptations of “Snow White”—Philip Pullman, one of the most popular authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the imm ...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published November 8th 2012 by Viking Adult (first published September 27th 2012)
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Michael Harvey I would also reccomend the Zipes translation. Especially because it is a translation of the first edition which escaped the moralising of later editio…moreI would also reccomend the Zipes translation. Especially because it is a translation of the first edition which escaped the moralising of later editions. If you are looking for a simple and direct retelling then Philip Pullman's versions are just the thing. I have a review of the book on goodreads if you want to get more of a feel of it before buying.(less)
Nike Sulway You may be referring to two of the so-called coloured fairy books edited by Andrew Lang. The books were first published between 1889 and 1910, and inc…moreYou may be referring to two of the so-called coloured fairy books edited by Andrew Lang. The books were first published between 1889 and 1910, and include a green book (first published in 1892) and a red book (first published in 1890). There are excellent reproductions available, from the rather expensive hardback editions, to ebook versions.

Goodreads has a complete list here: https://www.goodreads.com/series/5528...(less)

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C.G. Drews
Fairytales are so weird ok. I mean, imagine the Grimm brothers getting the most violent and odd collection of tales together in a book, and then sometime later DISNEY gets a hold of them and says, "These would be perfect soft lovely children's story." Like sure, mate. Also how did you come to that conclusion, but you go.

Anyway! I enjoyed reading these in their (slightly edited) original form! I hoped the Pullman commentary would be a bit more...longer or involved? It wasn't. So that was disappoi
...more
Maciek
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
The mountain and the valley never meet, but the children of men, both good and bad, met one another all the time.

-The Two Travelling Companions

I grew up with fairy tales: first my mom read them to me when I was still too little to do so myself, and then I took the big volumes in my own little hands and laboriously pored over each page, living among the princes and princesses, in worls where there were still giants and everybody paid attention to not mess up with witches, death itself walked the
...more
Trish
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

These two brothers are solely responsible for most of the world knowing a number of fairy tales. Their names: Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, two Germans. They were neither the first nor the last to collect stories, slightly adapt and publish them as a collection. However, for some reason, their changes managed to enchant people and before long, theirs were THE Hausmärchen to have and know.


Philip Pullman is himself an accomplished author who has apparently been heavily influenced by classic fairy tales
...more
Trudie
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, fantasy, childrens, ya
I came to this edition of Grimm purely as an accompaniment to Shaun Tan's The Singing Bones a wonderful book of sculptures that illustrate these tales. I must admit to initially being more inspired by the illustrated history of Grimm fairy tales than the fairy tales themselves. However, Philip Pullman has done a nice job collating and "sprucing up" 50 of these stories.

I guess your position on his stylistic choices may depend on how much of a Grimm scholar you are. A brief comparison of several
...more
Matthew Rhodes
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is an odd one.

I love Philip Pullman yet I'm not a fan of any Grimm Tale I have read prior to this book. I give this a low rating mainly because it was painfully hard work to read this book at any great pace. Grimm tales are so formulaic, they sometimes don't feel like real stories. Every woman in every story is either so astonishingly beautiful that it could bring a statue to tears or is a witch/evil on epic proportions/monstrously ugly. There's a forest. There's always a fucking forest. Ki
...more
Audrey
I grew up loving fairy tales, especially those by the Brothers Grimm. I had them narrated on records, and I’d sit or lay on the carpet and just listen and let my imagination take me away. I took the stories at face value, and never questioned how odd they are, or why things happen in them the way they do. It was just how it was.

Now, as an adult, it’s wonderful to be able to get reacquainted with the stories, and to read some I’d never heard of before. In this new translation and version, Philip
...more
Lee Klein
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Started so strong I thought I'd burn through these but things fell off a bit a third into it, or maybe I just got too used to the transparent language, the patient anonymous tone, the ever-present series of threes, the same ol' motifs. Courage, bravery, goodness, cleverness are rewarded with gold, princesses, and living happily ever after. Greed and evil are often punished by decapitation! Loved it when ultraviolent and weird, or when birds and fish talked, but sometimes the words blended and ke ...more
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
Not Just So

I have my favourites just as I am sure you have yours, those tales, told in childhood, which have a lifelong resonance. My grandfather was a particularly good story-teller, both in fact and in fiction, meaning that he could tell true stories and tall stories with equal verve and conviction!

Those I liked best he told me time and time again. I loved them, so much so that I would not tolerate any deviation. Like Josephine, Rudyard Kipling’s lost daughter, for me the tales of a grandf
...more
Arielle Walker
Pullman strips the traditional fairytales right back to their core. This was a lovely read, and the little pieces at the end of each tale, where the author gives a little information about the original tale and any changes he may or may not have made, gives real context to the stories, making them even more interesting.
Mikaela Garcia
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can recommend reading this every winter. It has the perfect feeling for the night and it's always great to read classic fairy tales. Philip Pullman did a great job to research Brothers Grimms tales and I like that I also write so grown-up can read it to.
Jason Pettus
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

So here was a quick read I couldn't pass up when randomly coming across it at my neighborhood library the other day -- a new compilation of around 50 classic Grimm Brothers fairytales (some famous but most obscure), done for the 200th anniversary of these tales' first publications, edited and sometimes sl
...more
Liviania
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am a fairytale geek. I am crazy about them and have been since I was a wee child. I keep various anthologies on my shelf, including the complete Grimm, some Russian tales, and Jack Zipes' fantastic French fairy tale translations. When I heard Philip Pullman was coming out with a collection, I knew I needed it.

FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM: A New English Version lives up to my expectations. The selected tales cover both the extremely popular ("Cinderella") and the obscure ("The Stolen Pen
...more
Justine
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely collection of Grimm fairy tales in their original and murdery glory. Not a huge amount to say about this book except that I enjoyed revisiting familiar tales and reading some new ones! An excellent collection.
Leah
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Fine, but who is this book for?

Pullman's versions of some of the Grimms’ folk stories are well enough written and his little summaries at the end of each tale gives a bit of background to where each story originated and the different versions that have been told in the past. But from the moment I received the book and discovered that, to my amazement, there are no illustrations, I couldn't help but wonder - who exactly is this book for?

Pullman has updated the language but not the stories so
...more
Paige
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars.

I was so excited when I saw this. I love fairy tales (especially fairy tale retellings!!), and I am a fan of Philip Pullman's work, so I thought that this would be totally awesome.

As it is, these are not retellings of Grimms' fairy tales, they're just...tellings. He basically copy & pasted 50 Grimm tales and then added a couple paragraphs' commentary at the end of each. Occasionally he says something interesting, but mostly you could do without it. I recently recovered my edition of
...more
Lisa
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Fairy tales remind me of that game telephone. The one where a person starts off saying something and as that phrase gets passed from person to person it changes until when the final person says it out loud it is nothing like the original. I feel that this happens quite often with fairy tales. There are so many variations for each tale with every author or storyteller throwing in their own twist.


Philip Pullman takes a slightly different approach. He has researched many of these tales from differ
...more
iska
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
RETO 2016; 1
Janean
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable set of tales that Pullman had not only selected, but researched similar story versions from other European countries, particularly from their own folklore. This book is over 400 pages but extremely manageable due to the short nature of the stories. It is very infrequent that a single story will span more than 10-12 pages. This makes it a book that you can easily put down and pick back up again without having to worry about missing or forgetting any bits.

I don’t generally r
...more
Hafsa Sabira
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Everyone likes fairytales but in my case it was almost an obsession while growing up. I liked to search for books that had fairytales from different parts of the world and as a part of this scavange I was familiar with Grimm's fairytales from long ago. This book was more like a review of my previous knowledge with the inclusion of additional info.

What I liked about the book was that it has a separate section after each story (with a total of 50 stories) where the writer mentions the source of t
...more
sj
Review originally posted here.

I requested this book from NetGalley early in October.  I knew thought I didn't have a chance at being accepted (because the bigger publishers usually reject me [this isn't me looking for sympathy, it's just that I get denied all the time]), but figured I'd try anyway for a few reasons.

1.  It's Philip Effing Pullman.
2.  It's faerie tales.
3.  I am EXACTLY this book's target demographic.

Several weeks went by and I heard nothing, so I assumed that meant I was going to
...more
N.J. Ramsden
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The tales themselves are fine, I've always like the Grimms' gatherings. The problem here is Pullman.

It's unclear exactly what Pullman has done. He pretends to some level of academic credibility, but fails to provide it. I get the feeling he's read a few versions of each story and cobbled together his favourite bits into something he finds personally satisfying, but his notes are rather smug and self-serving. He claims that these stories are not "texts" in the way a modern novel is a text, implyi
...more
Jessie Drew
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
L O V E D I T . This collection of fairy tales was fun and satisfying. Please go out and get it asap.
Nikki
I was hoping for Pullman to be a bit more audacious with this, I think. Instead, most of the stories are simply and directly retold from the Grimms' versions: some of them are slightly tweaked and clarified, but Pullman seems to actively pull back from putting his own fingerprints on the stories.

That, combined with the repetitive nature of such stories and the fact that I have read them all elsewhere in similar collections, made this a less than impressive read.
Jim
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not 5 stars cause some of the stories are a little bit meh, but if we gonna ignore those few its a great read.

I knew that the Grimms tales were a lot darker than the ones that we have been told as a little kids and im really glad that i had the chance to read them. There are stories in this book that i cant believe that they've been told to kids. If you are not familiar with the Grimm brothers tales, i think this book its a very good way to start.
Amina
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The notes at the bottom of the pages were hilarious!
magdalena dyjas
i think i wanted this book to be more pullman and less grimm...
Maxine
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have always loved fairy tales. Even before I could read, they caught my imagination in a way that other stories didn’t and, even as a child, I preferred the pre-Disney stories, the ones in which evil stepsisters were danced to death or locked cupboard contained Bluebeard’s murdered wives. As I grew older, I read them less but they never were far from my heart as I developed the same love for fantasy. And that, of course, led me to Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials. And now with this, his Fairy T ...more
Cassie-la
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
REVIEW ALSO ON: http://bibliomantics.com/2012/11/23/b...

When I heard there was a new collection of fairy tales being rewritten by Philip Pullman I practically wet myself in excitement (I seem to do that a lot for the sake of these reviews). This collection combines two of my favorite things: classic fairy tales- particularly of the Grimm variety- and incredibly well-written fantasy, which is where Pullman comes in. If you have yet to do so, I highly recommend checking out the His Dark Materials
...more
Laurie
What is the difference between Philip Pullman's edition of Family Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version and the many other versions now available? Philip Pullman. Philip Pullman knows how to write a story. I specifically chose the phrase 'write a story' instead of 'tell as story' because what Pullman does is to very subtly trim the language and fill in small gaps in a tale's logic here and there all for the purpose of making the tales an absolute pleasure to read.
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards ...more

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“Finally, I’d say to anyone who wants to tell these tales, don’t be afraid to be superstitious. If you have a lucky pen, use it. If you speak with more force and wit when wearing one red sock and one blue one, dress like that. When I’m at work I’m highly superstitious. My own superstition has to do with the voice in which the story comes out. I believe that every story is attended by its own sprite, whose voice we embody when we tell the tale, and that we tell it more successfully if we approach the sprite with a certain degree of respect and courtesy. These sprites are both old and young, male and female, sentimental and cynical, sceptical and credulous, and so on, and what’s more, they’re completely amoral: like the air-spirits who helped Strong Hans escape from the cave, the story-sprites are willing to serve whoever has the ring, whoever is telling the tale. To the accusation that this is nonsense, that all you need to tell a story is a human imagination, I reply, ‘Of course, and this is the way my imagination works.” 21 likes
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