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Are All the Giants Dead? [Paperback]

Mary Norton , Brian Froud
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1997
A powerful and intellectually stimulating teenage love story.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Magic Carpet Books; Reprint edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015201523X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152015237
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.7 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,734,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A powerful and intellectually stimulating teenage love story. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mary Norton spent much of her childhood in a late Georgian house which later became the model for Firbank Hall in 'The Borrowers'. For a year she acted at the Old Vic before getting married and going to live in Portugal. During the Second World War she was evacuated to New York and struggled to support herself and her four children while her husband was in the Navy. It was then that she began to write, and in 1945 her first children's books, 'The Magic Bedknob' and 'Bonfires and Broomsticks' later combined in a single volume, 'Bedknob and Broomstick' was published. These were followed in 1952 by 'The Borrowers', which was awarded the Carnegie Medal, and three other titles 'The Borrowers Afield', 'The Borrowers Afloat' and 'The Borrowers Aloft'. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant, minor fantasy. 10 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"Are All the Giants Dead?" is a very fun story peppered with clever in-jokes for those who love fairy tales.
Young James, who is more interested in science fiction than fairy tales, is wisked away in his sleep by Mildred, an ethereal storyteller who takes him on a short visit to a magical kingdom. This place turns out to be the land of "happily ever after" where all the legendary heroes and heroines of the past live in leisure and contentment long after their stories have ended. James, though, finds one or two stories left unresolved, and so his adventure begins.
Mary Norton's prose is crisp and well paced, and her characters are very well drawn. The story, however, may have turned out more memorable had the plot become a bit more involved. The villian of the story, for instance, is glimpsed only briefly at the tale's end.
Brian Froud's 8-10 black and white illustrations, as always, are fantastic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 8 May 2003
Format:Paperback
This wonderful book was written in 1975 by Mary Norton (1903-92), the author of the incomparable Borrowers stories. It tells the story of James, whose dream takes him to a distant land, where he meets many of the characters of old folktales, such as Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jack-the-Giant-Slayer and Jack-of-the-Beanstalk. But, they are all old now, and past adventures. But, when the daughter of Beauty and the Beast (Boofy and Beau to their friends) needs help, James rises to the occasion. Although he's usually a fan of Science fiction, James must maneuver himself and the girl through this magical wonderland, in search of a magical frog, and answering the question, "Are all the giants dead?"
This is a very nice, gently entertaining story. It is gentle enough for quite young readers, and sure to please. I must say that what I liked most about this book is the illustrations created by the great Brian Froud. My children and I loved this book, and we highly recommend it to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting 6 Feb 2006
Format:Paperback
I found this to be a quirky little story of an otherworld adventure wrapped up in fairytales. its fun and easy to read with a heart of magic. i would recomend it to adults and children alike, or simply for anyone who has ever dreamed of visiting a fantasy world while you sleep.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant, minor fantasy. 26 Jan 2000
By A. C. Walter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Are All the Giants Dead?" is a very fun story peppered with clever in-jokes for those who love fairy tales.
Young James, who is more interested in science fiction than fairy tales, is wisked away in his sleep by Mildred, an ethereal storyteller who takes him off to a magical kingdom. This place turns out to be the land of "happily ever after" where all the legendary heroes and heroines of the past live in leisure and contentment long after their stories have ended. James, though, finds one or two stories left unresolved, and so his adventure begins.
Mary Norton's prose is crisp and well paced, and her characters are very well drawn. The story, however, may have turned out more memorable had the plot become a bit more involved. The villian of the story, for instance, is glimpsed only briefly at the tale's end.
And of course Brian Froud's 8-10 black and white illustrations are fantastic.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old fairy tale characters are brought to life in a new form. 13 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Are All the Giants Dead takes a somewhat casual attitude to introducing common fairy tale characters in their old age. James, a young boy, is lead on an adventure from normal, everyday life, to the world of the heroes he hears about in his bedtime stories. They've all grown older (though perhaps not wiser); James becomes acquainted with the two giant killing Jacks, who now run a pub together. While his guide to the fantasy world takes care of business elsewhere, James learns the stories of how all the giants are indeed dead... or are they? According to Jack the Giant Killer, he has slain them all, but Jack of the Beanstalk admits his friends secret: there is no proof that the last giant is indeed deceased. James, of course, is excited by the prospect of adventure, and wishes to investigate the situation himself. The book is full of the wishes of the young (and, to risk a cliche, the young at heart), and an adventure anyone who has ever wanted an adventure can enjoy.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever Fairy Tale for Adults 11 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a neat little dream-narrative but I would describe it as more for adults than children. It's a gentle dream fantasy which plays with the 'rules' of the classic fairy-tale genre. You really have to be a serious fairy-tale fan to get the jokes. Brian Froud's illustrations are a treat, as always.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Primer 29 July 2013
By Psyche - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I was looking for Bed-knob and Broomstick to purchase, I came across this title by Mary Norton. The title grabbed my attention, but the illustrator, Brian Froud, made me want to buy the book. Visions of Labyrinth danced through my head -- hello, Goblin King!

So, of course, I bought the book. And read it. And loved it. Are All the Giants Dead? serves a healthy dose of fantasy to the imaginative and brings to life (and ages) many favorite fairy tale characters. For example, Beauty of Beauty and the Beast, left behind her svelte figure and took on middle-aged proportions not very different from mine. I had to love that. The book is a great romp as a read. It also was surprisingly educational. I thought Jack-of-the-Beanstalk was Jack-the-Giant-Killer. Not so! They originally were two separate people. Clearly, I am not the only one who mixed them up, because a movie came out last year entitled Jack the Giant Killer, but is about Jack of the Beanstalk.

The illustrations are perfect -- as can be expected from tone of the best illustrators of goblins, hobgoblins and fairies of our age. Visions of Labyrinth will dance through your head.
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