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Fairy Tales

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  4,881 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
A new selection of 30 tales to mark the 200 year anniversary of Andersen's birth in 2005.

Tiina Nunnally's sparkling translation captures the rawness and immediacy of Andersen's style, for the first time enabling English readers to be as startled and amazed as his original readers were, and revealing the unique inventiveness of Andersen's genius.

At a time when children's st
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Hardcover, 437 pages
Published 2004 by Penguin Classics (first published 1835)
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Jean
Hans Christian Andersen once said, "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale." And his life certainly was an extraordinary rags to riches story.

In all Hans Christian Andersen wrote 156 fairy tales, of which forty are in this luxury, large format edition, to represent the cream of the crop. It is a beautiful, sumptuous book, the semi-matt purple cover slightly textured and embossed, giving almost a "padded" feel. It has a feature reminiscent of medallions in old books; in this case an inset
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Margot 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
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Aubrey
Dec 31, 2009 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 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.
Rebecca
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, classics
Fairytales are the only place I find validation.

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Shira
What's left after finishing this collection is a memory of beautifully described nature, of quircky characters all struggling with being in whatever form they are being, and the joy of reading these fairy tales aloud to someone else, commenting on these weird tales as we went on and on and on.

I noticed that reading them with someone else really upped my enjoyment, because as I was left to finish the last ones on my own I kind of didn't care anymore. Maybe that's due to the fairy tales becoming
...more
Joel
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
* 3.5
A good compilation full of children's classics fairy tales.
My favs:
* The steadfast tin soldier
* The emperor's new clothes
* The Nightingale


"Every once in a while a man is born who is able to see the magic, the mystery, the poetry beneath the surface of familiar things. This ability we call imagination—the power to picture vividly the unseen." -The prologue.
Completely Melanie
I listened to the audio book of this. I enjoyed it. It was interesting hearing the differences between the original fairy tales and what we have all grown up knowing. They are pretty twisted and depressing compared to the upbeat lighthearted ones that we know today.
Rebecca
Jun 17, 2011 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
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AfraA523 AlMajed
Sep 24, 2012 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.
Natalia
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“All right! Now let’s begin. When we reach the end of the story, we’ll know more than we know now...”

This book is just so lovely and traditional. I don’t want to write them a long review because nearly everyone heard about it before. BUT for me there were many of them I heard about for the first time ever! My favorite ones were: The Princess on the Pea, The Little Mermaid, The Wild Swans, The Ugly Duckling and The Little Match Girl.

I decided for 4.4 stars, because some of those fairytales I lik
...more
Valia
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the majority of the fairy tales but there were quite a few that I didn't get at all
Tessa
Apr 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the tales were fun, others were just too dated in their morals and worldviews to be able to enjoy them :)
Walt
Aug 25, 2015 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
Juan Pablo
Aug 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
¡Oh Hans, cuán ñoño eres! ¡Cuán simplísticamente moralino! ¡Cuán capaz de ahogar el más simple argumento con exclamativas!
Leí este libro hasta el final, porque me gusta conocer historias nuevas, y porque alguna de las viejas no las conozco en su formato habitual. Por ejemplo, La sirenita, que languidece como su protagonista hasta un final "redentor" que elimina cualquier fuerza dramática inicial.

Si hay un héroe en la comunidad escéptica, es el niño que grita "el rey está desnudo": la representac
...more
Hector
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anomal-a-trades
¡Cómo me encantan los cuentos clásicos! Creo que es el encanto de cuento de hadas del que tienen fama los parajes nórdicos, pero hay algo sobre la gente de estas regiones que los hace maravillosos cuentacuentos. No me he dado a la tarea de investigarlo, pero sé que HC Andersen tiene en su haber como escritor una miríada de cuentos que dan fe de su prodigiosa imaginación y de sus dotes para escribir relatos mágicos, atemporales, llenos de moraleja, relatos que despiertan y deleitan al niño que vi ...more
Leah Rachel
Han Christian Andersen's tales in their original form are classics, ingrained in our culture. He wrote many, imbued with Christian and moralistic themes. He struggled with a lot in his life, including belonging and unrequited love. The introduction does a good job of outlining Andersen's life, and I got this edition not only for the gorgeous cover and the incredible woodcuts by Jackie Wullschlager, but also because it's one of the few collections I've read that doesn't shy away from the fact tha ...more
C Joy
Apr 03, 2010 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
Grace
Jun 16, 2011 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 06, 2009 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
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.
Leah
Apr 25, 2008 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.
Neri.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Amazing fairytales that stand the test of time and are enjoyable no matter how old are you.
Diana
Mar 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-the-book
Who knew what a character he was himself!
Ely
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
There are some of these that I really, really liked - The Little Mermaid and The Wood Nymph, for example. There were others that just fell flat for me.
Risa
May 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very different from the sanitized versions most of us grew up with.
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.
Guguk
Oct 12, 2015 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 (^,^)
Allison Rockwell
Jan 26, 2008 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.
Katie
'The Ice Maiden' is totally amazing.
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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
More about Hans Christian Andersen

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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?” 47 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.” 35 likes
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