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Uncle Remus Stories
 
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Joel Chandler Harris
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Uncle Remus Stories

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  535 ratings  ·  59 reviews
"Bearing a striking resemblance to Aesop of Aesop's Fables fame, American author Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus is also a former slave who loves to tell simple and pithy stories. Uncle Remus or to give it its original title, Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings was published in late 1880 and received instant acclaim. The book was reviewed in hundreds of journals and ...more
Hardcover, 60 pages
Published December 1st 1960 by Putnam Publishing Group (first published 1881)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  535 ratings  ·  59 reviews


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Shelley
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay I know, before I even start this that there are already a TON of people who are morally opposed to this book on the grounds that it is racially derrogatory. I happen to disagree. As a child of the south, I grew up hearing all the Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox stories and they have not damaged me or caused me to be an evil racially hateful woman. I consider when they were written and realize that the stories are wonderfully imaginative and teach a moral lesson at the heart of each one. I remember ...more
Robin
I loved this book and although I've seen portions of the movie here in the states I don't think I've ever seen the whole thing and last I heard never will. Its sad if you ask me because it depends on what you choose to focus on and if you focus on the fact it places slavery in a good light which I've heard some say it does then yeah that's not good. But if you decide to focus on the relationship that children who happen to be white have with Uncle Remus who happens to be black (sort of a ...more
Garrett Cash
As Uncle Remus says about his brand of syrup, "Dis sho' am good."
Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings is a fascinating read that splits opinions like no other. On the one hand you have people saying things like:

As the racial stereotypes of the nineteenth century are inappropriate today and may be offensive to many contemporary readers, we have eliminated [...] Uncle Remus.

Then you have the other side saying Uncle Remus [...] is revealed as a secret hero of [Joel Chandler]
...more
Maria
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was curious to read this, particularly in light of Alice Walker's assertion that these stories made her ashamed to be black. I get it, but the stories, songs & sayings are interesting from the perspective of a certain time & place & viewpoint; I think the author meant well.
Thomas Umstattd Jr.
If you can get past the politically incorrect language, there is a lot of wisdom in these simple stories.
Helen
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of any age.
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
This is a charming collection of stories of talking animals especially Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox that get into various scrapes, similar to Aesop's Fables, told by old Uncle Remus to a little boy long ago - in the "mythical" South. The illustrations are great! This is the book for anyone who's ever wondered about the clever Brer Rabbit (similar to Roadrunner or the Rascally Rabbit cartoon characters in evading capture). Readers of any age will enjoy it!

A few words about each story (hopefully
...more
Lani
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, kids
I had read a few of the Brer Rabbit stories as a kid; this collection included not just the Brer Animal stories, but also all of the (even more) terribly offensive Uncle Tom stories of Uncle Remus. I have an affection for the Brer stories, and also see some value in their place as American 'Aesop's Fables'. Morality tales couched in animal form that are fun, silly, and still a little creepy.

That said, the collection is difficult to read due to the dialect, and once you've made it through the
...more
Jen Julian
I read this for my grad-level folklore class, so my approach to the book was predominantly critical. However, I was surprised by the intricacy of the tales and genuinely enjoyed many of them. Brer Rabbit is an authentic Afro-American figure, evolved from the the trickster hare character of African folktales. Slaves found revolutionary recourse embodied in this ever-cunning underdog. Brer Rabbit is no goody-goody; he is possibly one of the first real bad-asses to grace the American folklore ...more
Claire
I really wanted to give this book a higher rating than just three stars. The folk-tales themselves are wonderful and culturally significant classic trickster tales that, to quote the introduction by Robert Hemenway, "symbolically inverted the slave - master relationship and satisfied the deep human needs of a captive people". Brer Rabbit is a survivor, the Fabled Hare, a symbol of endurance and the triumph of the underdog over his big brutish oppressors. In other words, NOT RACIST.

However, Joel
...more
Maxine
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, no doubt in a different edition, was read to my class throughout the school year by our beloved second grade teacher, Miss Speer.

The stories were read to us with love, and we loved hearing them. I doubt that there is a sixty-something from that class today, who doesn't remember fondly those Uncle Remus stories, read to us with such enthusiasm (and in dialect) by our dear teacher; and the life lessons that we learned from the delightful tales of Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox and the rest.

...more
Jon Mills
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Takes a bit of work to read since it is written in a Southern dialect, but I found reading it out loud helped. Wonderful stories that are a part of the American tapestry and tend to transport the reader back to that thine and place.
Tracy
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books
I had heard of the Brer Rabbit story but I had no idea there is a whole bunch of these stories. These animals were either easily tricked or super cunning in every tale. You have to be on the lookout for tricksters if you live here:)
J.E.
Mar 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this edition. Robert Hemenway's 1981 introduction not only sets the problematic racist element in context, but shows how accurately Harris captured the black folk tales, some with their origins in Africa. Still an important contribution to American literature.
Jordan
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...But do please, Brer Fox, dont fling me in dat brier-patch... -Joel Chandler Harris

After learning about Disneys lost classic Song of the South I decided to do some research into the origins of the film, and it led me to this book. Id already been familiar with the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby, since my grandfather had read it to me growing up, but I never really knew where it came from. For this reason I found Uncle Remus to be a very enlightening read. With this book, Joel Chandler
...more
Brenda
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ive had a beautiful 1921 copy of this book on my shelf for years, so I finally decided I should read it. I actually opted to listen to the audiobook while I followed along. I do recommend the audiobook! The heavy written dialect is difficult to follow, so the audio helps with that. I felt like I was sitting at Uncle Remuss feet, listening to his tales. And, I loved the warm laughter in the readers voice!

I understand that there are many people who are opposed to this book. I get it, and there
...more
Ronald
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm somewhat ambivalent about Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings, with the bulk of my feelings weighing toward the negative side of the spectrum. In the 21st century, this book can be tough to get through, for (at least) two reasons: (1) the dialect; and, more significantly, (2) the racism. Perhaps the figure of Uncle Remus served a laudable goal (such as humanizing blacks in the eyes of whites in the years immediately following the Civil War). I don't know. Today, ...more
Hannah Goodwin
Uncle Remus contains thirty five legends a, songs and stories about life on the plantation and the war. The stories throughout the book discuss a variety of topics using animals and more. The strengths of the novel is the precise and well written language. Throughout the stories the vocabulary is child friendly and simplistic enough for children to use. This allows children to become intrigued with the stories. The language is also not proper english therefore young children may find them ...more
Beverley
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
As a child I loved Uncle Remus. When I decided to reread the stories I quickly learned that they need to be read aloud. The language is almost impossible to read silently because of the way words are misspelled to represent the southern drawl.
Brian B.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terribly written, racist, and worst of all, useless for my thesis :/
Janelle
Dnf. Not a fan.
Holly Koenig
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked that the author included what region each story originated.
Jamie
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book for its manner of recreating the slang of African-Americans during the time of slavery. I can't say though I liked the antics of Breer Rabbit; he is one vindictive, cruel, and morally corrupt character. I hoped for more meaning, thought and complexity behind the stories. Who am I to judge however? The spirit of the African-Americans is self-evident in the stories and songs, which allowed the salves to persevere through so much injustice. The human spirit is truly indomitable and ...more
Christina Leone
Harris, Joel Chandler (1880). This is a collection of African-American Folklore from the 1800's. Here Chandler has created Uncle Remus, who tells his stories of Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox including the famous story of Tar Baby. Written is small font, with little illustrations of pen and ink, it appears this would be appropriate for high school grades 9-11. Additionally it could serve as an appropriate enrichment for reading about the South during times of slavery. It would be best as a ...more
Vanessa
As a kid, I watched the Song of the South and never really understood that Uncle Remis was a slave. I saw him as more of a grandfather figure. In the movie you identify with poor Brer Rabbit who all the other characters are trying to eat. But Brer Rabbit is a vicious, conniving dick in these stories. The first half of the book is fables told by Uncle Remis, and I really liked those. The second half is stories from Uncle Remis' life as an old timer. He reminds me of the character played by Samuel ...more
Paul Pellicci
May 25, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: race
I do not think I can read any more of this. Attempting to get through the tortured English is too much for me. I have better books to read.

I can't help think that this book is racist. Written by a white southerner to make Blacks look silly. Does anyone notice the vocabulary, how large it is and yet talks like he don't know what a word is...?

With Uncle Remus speaking on education of the blacks, "Hit's de ruinashun er dis country. Look at my gal. De ole 'oman sont 'er ter school las' year, an' now
...more
Gretchen Ingram
When reading this book it is important to remember that the objective here was to preserve both legends of a sub-culture and the dialect of the same which was vanishing. If the same book was written today, the dialect would be vastly different and many words and attitudes which simply were products of the time are now terribly offensive. It has to be read in the context of the time.

Having said that, I found to stories just as pithy and funny as I did when I was small... although I am seeing
...more
Ms. Kelly
ugh... the story frame is completely unnecessary, even using the standards of the day and time in which it was written. forget the glaring racism that we see through 21st century eyes.

the forced and farcical dialect completely distracts from and detracts from the stories.

completely unreadable today. His only saving grace is that he at least wrote them down. That leaves them for the rest of us to pick and and write down better. Although, I do believe these stories would have survived without him
...more
Letitia
As a child, I delighted in a Dorling Kindersley encyclopaedia of world mythologies and folklore and must've first encountered Brer Rabbit's stories in that tome. Over a decade later I'm revisiting the source of those tales, partly prompted by having read Toni Morrison's Tar Baby novel.

Tip: It goes a lot quicker if you start off by getting a feel of Uncle Remus's "voice" with this public domain audiobook narrated superbly by Mark Smith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqVji...
Robu-sensei
Mar 14, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, 2009
A must-read for anyone intrigued by Disney's Song of the South who would like to read the original source material. Like the Brothers Grimm, the tales of Br'er Rabbit and the victims of his scheming nature are far more ruthless and bloodthirsty than modern adaptations would have you believe. Whereas it is not clear in Song of the South whether the plantation workers are slaves or hired hands, in this compilation of stories Miss Sally is said to be Uncle Remus's owner.
Sandy
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I remember my dad reading some of these stories to us when we were little. So hearing them read brought it all back. But Brer Fox, he lay low. 😁
Interesting to think of the situation Uncle Remus was in from the point of view of the 21st century. My dad also used to sing Old Black Joe. He was surprised that it made me cry. Slavery still does.
...more
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Joel Chandler Harris was an American journalist born in Eatonton, Georgia who wrote the Uncle Remus stories, including Uncle Remus; His Songs and His Sayings, The Folk-Lore of the Old Plantation, (1880), Nights with Uncle Remus (1881 & 1882), Uncle Remus and His Friends (1892), and Uncle Remus and the Little Boy (1905).

The stories, based on the African-American oral storytelling tradition,
...more

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