Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformations
Following on from Chandler's earlier collection of Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida, this book focuses on the Russian Magic (or Wonder, or Folk) tale. As with the previous collection, this book provides a wealth of information about each author in succinct but hugely interesting biographical and bibliographical introductions and, as with the previous...
Published on 20 Dec. 2012 by T. R. Cowdret

versus
3 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking!
This book does not contain the russian 'Magic' folk tales it is a book of foul lies, shocking twisted ideas and swear words. this book cannot be read to children, nor does it represent russian culture or folklore. Being russian I have read many of these tales in their original form and what is printed in this book is far from the real thing. It is extremely offensive to...
Published on 12 Jan. 2013 by Miss K Shekel


Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformations, 20 Dec. 2012
By 
T. R. Cowdret "Tommy C" (Nottingham England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Following on from Chandler's earlier collection of Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida, this book focuses on the Russian Magic (or Wonder, or Folk) tale. As with the previous collection, this book provides a wealth of information about each author in succinct but hugely interesting biographical and bibliographical introductions and, as with the previous collection, it is meticulously well researched and a joy to read. The edition was edited and translated by Chandler and several other contributors, who provide translations of some of the stories and extra material on the background to key ideas in appendices.
We are taken through an incredibly diverse (yet also clearly defined) range of literature from the oral tradition. The stories are often funny, sometimes obscene, generally violent and, in at least one notable example, hilariously scatalogical. As we read through the various collections, we notice weird similarities between the stories. The same lines keep cropping up in tales which were written or transcribed hundreds of years apart. Themes are copied, developed, abandoned and resurrected with an astonishing creativity.
Highly recommended, hugely enjoyable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, well-chosen and erudite, 1 Jun. 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a beautiful collection of tales, covering a great range of styles from the very traditional to more contemporary works that draw heavily on traditional themes. Chandler clearly loves this field and has provided wonderfully comprehensive notes as well as useful short biographies of the authors included. The translations are (as far as a non-reader of Russian can judge!) faithful, pithy and unflinching; occasionally some of the imagery is crude, to be sure, but that is what the originals were like, and it must be stressed that many of these tales were never intended for children's ears - the introduction makes this quite clear.
Thoroughly recommended - many of the tales are extremely moving, and those that aren't are generally very funny!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History illuminated by magic, 25 July 2013
By 
L. Guillaume (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This book is comprised of a number of folk tales reported or invented by a number of authors through Russian and Soviet history. They are usefully introduced and contextualised by their translators, who are just present enough to provide a guide through the forest of stories, without becoming intrusive. The tales themselves are hugely varied and at the same time evoke recurring themes, but they are always alive with incantatory power. This is a rich collection which throws much light on Russian cultural history, while also being very entertaining.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic!, 24 Oct. 2013
By 
Lost John (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This volume serves at several levels, and all are richly rewarding. The Magic Tales can be read simply for their stories, but with Robert Chandler's expert guidance they also become an introduction to Russian folk tales, their collection from the early nineteenth century onwards and their assimilation and adaptation by classic writers. Then again, for those already seriously engaged in the study of folk tales, oral storytelling, or the sources used by writers ranging 'from Pushkin to Platonov', there is much here to augment and advance their studies.

Most of us have been familiar since childhood with stories involving princes, princesses, kings, queens, witches, wicked stepmothers, simple peasants and creatures that speak and/or help out in various ways. Here, for prince we read tsarevich; for princess, tsarevna; for king, tsar; for queen, tsaritsa; and for witches, baba yagas. But, having done that, we will still be surprised by the originality of most of these stories. Some have features in common, but they are not simply Hansel and Gretel, Puss in Boots, Jack and the Beanstalk and their ilk all over again.

For those unfamiliar with Baba Yaga, she is likely to be most interesting of all. Mostly she is an unattractive, elderly woman, who lives alone (with a cat) in a strange house on the edge of a forest. She likes to eat human flesh, and has a fence made of human bones, topped with skulls, with an obvious space for one more skull....!! When she travels, she sits or stands in a mortar, propelling and steering it with a pestle, sweeping away her tracks with a broom. But then we come to 'The Tsar Maiden' and find a succession of three baba yagas, each living separately and at some distance from her sisters. Furthermore, they are intentionally helpful to the hero of the story. By the time we finish the book - and have read Sibelan Forrester's Appendix - we have formed a definite picture of the conventions within which baba yagas operate and are aware that there are quite as many differences as there are similarities to Western witches.

Some of the stories are suitable for children, but many are not. They deal with adult concerns, hopes and difficulties. Yet they are not filled-out with the realistic detail that we normally expect of even the shortest of stories. This would seem to be because of their origin as stories related and passed-on by word of mouth - generally to unsophisticated audiences. As we read the oral tales collected by Aleksandr Afanasyev (1826-71), the magic of this form of communication comes across just as powerfully as the magic in the stories.

Afanasyev came a little later than the Brothers Grimm (and Charles Perrault's Tales of Mother Goose), but can be seen as their Russian equivalent. Many of the stories in this collection that come after Afanasyev owe something to him, some a great deal. Pushkin, however, surprises yet again with his genius for originality. The two tales in verse with which the book opens pre-date Afanasyev and were collected by Pushkin himself from his childhood nurse - who was and remained a serf.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight into Russian folk tales, 5 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
A selection of tales difficult to find in the original language in this country, therefore a good translation with notes for anyone interested in Russian culture.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking!, 12 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
This book does not contain the russian 'Magic' folk tales it is a book of foul lies, shocking twisted ideas and swear words. this book cannot be read to children, nor does it represent russian culture or folklore. Being russian I have read many of these tales in their original form and what is printed in this book is far from the real thing. It is extremely offensive to russian culture and I sincerely hope that those who choose to read it do not believe that this is a true interpretation of russian folk tales.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics)
Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics) by Robert Chandler (Paperback - 6 Dec. 2012)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews