Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fairy Tales” as Want to Read:
Fairy Tales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fairy Tales

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,598 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales are like exquisite jewels, drawing from us gasps of recognition and delight. Writing in the midst of a Europe-wide rebirth of national literature, Anderson broke new ground with his fairy tales in two important ways. First, he composed them in the vernacular, mimicking the language he used in telling them to children aloud. Second, he ...more
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published March 24th 2005 by Viking Adult (first published 1835)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fairy Tales, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fairy Tales

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,598 ratings  ·  165 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Fairy Tales
Good gravy but something was wrong with Hans Christian Anderson. If household objects aren't chatting about their social status, then people are dying in the streets of Copenhagen! I mean, seriously. I knew the original story of The Little Mermaid, but my kids didn't. The horror on their faces was priceless. I also knew the basic story of The Snow Queen, mostly from the Faerie Tale Theatre version. I'd never read the whole thing. I think the best part was when Gerda asks the flowers if they've s ...more
Kimberley doruyter
this is a beautiful barnes & noble edition has some of my favorite fairy tales in it.
also some i've never read before.
with wonderful illustrations some in colour and full page.
Feb 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, faves
Fairytales are the only place I find validation.

I'm not going to lie- this was a bit of a slog. Some of the stories are very good (typically the famous ones, like the Little Mermaid, or the Emperor's New Clothes). Many others dragged on, and were too moral for me (eg. a little girl loves wearing red shoes, so she is punished for her vanity).

Would not recommend- especially not this 1000+ page anthology. I'd never have gotten through it without some back to back flights.
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
Xiomara Canizales
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-read
I finally finished this book!!! My reading was improved since the first half took me about 4 moths while the second half took me less than 15 days!!!

Most of the stories deal with Death and Sorrow, is also a very religious book.
I’m so use to ‘happy endings’ with fairy tales that was, for my surprise, not the case with most of the stories. The fact that is more realistic with the idea of death and how to deal with it made me get more engaged than I expected.
It has a lot of fantasy elements but not
Jun 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fairy-tales
I could never imagine that there comes a day in my life when I read H.C.Andersen in his own language! I would say Andersen has more dimensions than I imagined him in Persian.
Wow, the original fairy tales are weird. These are so different from the sanitized versions that we encounter in children's books. Some are sad, some are weird, and all are written in an almost (but not quite) unreadable language. Pro tip: don't read at bedtime. I did not find these stories relaxing.

This collection contains 100 of Andersen's tales, some of them very famous, and some less well known. Like with the Barnes & Noble edition of the Grimms' tales I read a couple of years ago, these can get quite repetitive.

There are tales here about inanimate objects thinking better of themselves than they are. There are tales about humble plants or people or objects making the best of their situation and the best of their lives. There are tales of friendship and love. There are tales of stea
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two frequent observations made about fairy tales, and these two supposed truisms contradict one another. The first is that fairy tales are actually more shocking than we realised, and the second is that children can take this more than we think they can, and they enjoy the darkness of the original tales.

Clearly if the second comment was true, then adults would not be so shocked to learn what is really in fairy tales. In reality, we only learn about the dark side of fairy tales when we
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.
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.
May 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Very different from the sanitized versions most of us grew up with.
Dec 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
'The Ice Maiden' is totally amazing.
Jan 20, 2008 added it
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.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fairy Tale Lovers
Recommended to Jason by: Nobody
I can't bring myself to review every story in here, but this version is broken into sections, and I'll be glad to review those as I go along.

Usual disclaimer: Short stories aren't my favorite thing (unless they have a common character); I typically prefer novels. But it's good to get out of my comfort zone, and I enjoy some anyway. If you like short stories, you'll probably like these more than I am apt to.

The Artist and Society, 2/21/18-2/28/18: ★★✰✰✰
"The Nightingale"
"The Gardner and t
In a nutshell:

This is a collection of thirty fairy tales written by the famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and translated into English by Tiina Nunnally. The collection includes famous tales such as “The Little Mermaid”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Little Match Girl” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” as well as lesser known tales. The tales are ordered chronologically from when they were published.


I loved this book. I was familiar with Andersen’s stories, but they were usually the s
Classic Fairy Tales is a collection of the Danish author Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales, which were all written in the 19th century. This collection includes some well known stories such as “The Little Mermaid”, “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Snow Queen” as well as many stories that are not quite as well known. There is a good mix in this collection of stories with a fairy tale bent and others that seem more realistic. There is also a good mix of stories that seem to have been written
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful collection of fairy tales. I have to say right at the beginning that "only" giving 4 stars might seem a bit harsh but considering I just liked a handful of Hans Christian Andersen's tales as much as those I know from the Brothers Grimm justifies it for me. The others weren't bad but they also weren't dazzling.

I guess, many of you know the most popular of his tales, such as

The Ugly Duckling

The Little Mermaid

The Princess on the Pea


and, of course, The Snow Queen

Again, as with
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
I read this when I was tiny and just found it today and had a flick through. I remember these as being well told, simple, absorbing. I remember absolutely loving "The Snow Queen". I think I actually had a separate book with that in, as well, with absolutely beautiful illustrations.

[April 09:]

Just reread this book. It's surprising how rich these fairy tales are considering that they're given to children. Some of them are ridiculous and pointless, really, except that they're charming little storie
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
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My grandparents have a copy of this book. Years ago, I adopted it and put it in the room I always sleep in when I go to their house.
I have such fond memories of poring over the tales of The Little Mermaid, The Little Red Shoes, and Hans Clodhopper (my favourite!).
I remember sharing my superior knowledge of how The Little Mermaid was supposed to end with anyone who happened to mention the Disney version. I infinitely preferred the sadder, original version.
I'm not sure if I would call these child
Johan Haneveld
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 stars. Fascinating collection of stories. There were some in here that were very powerful. Well written, showing a vivid imagination and knowledge of our human nature. I liked reading the stories that I knew in a more sanitized version, e.g. the little mermaid. I think the original versions are more powerful, and it's clear to see why they survived up till today. There were also a lot of (often shorter) stories that were more parables than fairy tales, intended to convey a message, but didn' ...more
Angie Schmidt
Lessons and Observations from 47 Fairy Tales...

1. Bad things happen and people die.
2. Always be shrewd and occasionally cunning, it will keep you alive and might make you rich.
3. Stay humble or you will be humbled.
4. Names are rarely worth mentioning.
5. Do not try to overthrow or outwit the Lord God. It will end badly for you.
6. The knick-knacks, tools and decorations around your house have vivid personal lives and are likely engaged to each other.
7. It's best to have a trusted friend, partner,
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Has all of my favorite stories in it: The Nightingale, The Snow Queen, The Flying Trunk, Aunt Toothache, The Emperor Has No Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Pixie and the Gardener's Wife just to name a few.

I love that Andersen always has a little moral to his tales - a Christian one too! I never did pick up on those Christian values when I was a kid.

Reading these tales brought my mom back to life, sitting on my twin, and reading me these stories before I fell asleep!
Really a fantastic collection of stories overall. I love a good fairytale, even it it doesn't end happily ever after, which many of these do not. A few of them were less interesting to me, hence the 4 stars, but overall I really enjoyed picking up this book now and then and reading a tale or two at a time in the evening to end the day. Anderson writes beautifully and weaves some really lovely tales together in this collection.
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Hans Christian Andersen 1 12 Jul 20, 2019 01:13PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5)
  • Romeo i Julia
  • Pirate: The Buccaneer's (Unofficial) Manual
  • Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends
  • The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5)
  • Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: Two of the Greatest Stories Ever Told
  • Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #0.7)
  • Bonjour tristesse
  • Wolfsbruder & Torak-Wanderer zwischen den Welten (Chronik der dunklen Wälder, #1 - #2)
  • The Problem of Pain
  • Trans-Atlantyk
  • Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)
  • The Fairy Rebel
  • Just So Stories
  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
  • The Time of Contempt (The Witcher, #2)
See similar books…
Hans Christian Andersen (often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen) 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 nationality.

Andersen's fairy tales, wh

News & Interviews

Karen M. McManus, the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next, doesn’t shy away from secrets and...
60 likes · 1 comments
“But shouldn't all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power?” 54 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.” 39 likes
More quotes…