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Max and Moritz: A Story of Two Bad Boys in Seven Tricks. Bilingual Edition: English and German Hardcover – 1 Jun 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Edition Tintenfaß (1 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English, German
  • ISBN-10: 3937467947
  • ISBN-13: 978-3937467948
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.3 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 411,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By birgit bateson on 24 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is a brilliant book, I didnt expect the translation to be that good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A German Classic 24 Jan. 2005
By Boris Bangemann - Published on
Format: Paperback
Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908) is known as the author of "Max and Moritz," but the scope of his works is much broader. He is not an author of children's books in the first place. He wrote many stories of satire and slapstick humor not primarily aimed at children, illustrated by his own drawings - for which he is justly famous. Some people even regard him as the father of the modern comic strip. Had he worked in our time, his equals would be the likes of F. K. Waechter, Tomi Ungerer, Jean-Jacques Sempé, and Ronald Searle.

Although the two cannot be compared, Busch's "Max and Moritz" ranks in Germany on the same level as Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" in the English speaking world. Wherever an Englishman would quote Lewis Carroll's "Alice", a German is likely to quote Busch.

Children won't catch Busch's gentle satire in "Max and Moritz." The whole concept of satire is not familiar to them, of course. But while the little ones breathlessly follow the naughty pranks, Dad smiles at the fun Busch makes of the adults in "Max and Moritz." Widow Tibbets is a good example. While professing tender feelings for her chicks, she is in reality rather practical minded. So when Max and Moritz manage to kill her chickens - and the rooster, for that matter - she grieves, but not too deeply:

When the worthy Widow Tibbets

(Whom the cut below exhibits)

Had recovered, on the morrow,

From the dreadful shock of sorrow,

She (as soon as grief would let her

Think) began to think 'twere better

Just to take the dead, the dear ones

(Who in life were walking here once),

And in a still noonday hour

Them, well roasted, to devour.

In fact, Walter Arndt's translation in this edition is very good and captures precisely Busch's style.

Let me add a word of warning to trusting parents. Busch shares the mischievous streak in Max and Moritz, and while his two young protagonists play rather violent tricks on the townspeople - a taylor almost drowns and a teacher gets his face burned from an exploding pipe - Busch himself plays the most violent trick on Max and Moritz. In their last prank they cut open the grain sacks of a farmer who finds the two boys in their hiding place, drags them to a mill and has them ground to pieces, which - Gary Larson would have loved that part - are being eaten by two of the Miller's ducks:

"In with 'em!" Each wretched flopper

Headlong goes into the hopper.

As the farmer turns his back, he

Hears the mill go "creaky! cracky!"

Here you see the bits post mortem,

Just as Fate was pleased to sort 'em.

Master Miller's ducks with speed

Gobbled up the coarse-grained feed.

The good and upright people of the village are so relieved. Good riddance to Max and Moritz, they think. But of course they put that more politically correct:

Through the place in short there went

One wide murmur of content:

"God be praised! the town is free

From this great rascality!"

In short: this is great stuff for the kids if you manage to explain the fine points. As a starting point I recommend to brand the pranks of Max and Moritz as "very naughty" and take it from there. Once the kids begin to understand that the grinder is an even worse (adult) version of the two boys' malicious pranks you have won half the battle.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
My dad's favorite book as a child 29 Aug. 2008
By B. Weaves - Published on
Format: Paperback
This was my dad's favorite book as a child. (To Dan, who made the comment about the Germans, my dad was a little Jewish boy in Nazi Germany and he spent 4 years in Nazi concentration camp, and this was still his favorite book that he always talked about as an adult.)

Kids love horror stories. Kids love to watch gory movies. This book is the mid 19th century version of comic book horror. It's very mild in comparison to the slasher flicks most kids have seen by the age of 8. It's just very politically incorrect compared with modern PC kiddie books. Still, the original Brother's Grimm stories were much gorier.

This particular version appears to have the English translation along with the original German.
Max and Moritz 2 Jan. 2013
By Robin L. Mcdaniel - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered this for my elderly dad's birthday. I waited until the last minute but it came quickly, in great shape, and was a hit. Great little illustrations.
EXCELLENT 27 Dec. 2012
By Martin J. Svoboda - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gave our grandids a lot to think about. Morality stories throughout, yet fanciful and funny too. Highly recommend for all children.
No illustrations! 20 Oct. 2014
By DeanaBo - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a waste! The illustrations are an important part of this children's tale. I want my money back! Don't buy this book.
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