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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic tales, touching the child in each of us, 17 Jan. 2000
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A marvellous collection of stories in the fairy tale idiom. These are fairy stories and tales of wonder and magic for adults; witty, serious, very funny and often deeply touching. There are special gems from Kenneth Grahame (The Reluctant Dragon), H.G. Wells (The Magic Shop), T.H.White (The Troll) and Jeanne Desy (The Princess Who Stood on Her Own Two Feet). I go back to this collection again and again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars worthwhile collection, 17 Aug. 2013
Alison Lurie seems to have a drearily literal attitude to fairy tales: Hansel and Gretel 'dramatizes' the fact that some parents are neglectful while others are over-possessive? Really?

Anyway, whether she or her team of researchers deserves the credit, this compilation certainly features some quality writers and some good stories which, one way or another, take traditional folk and fairy tales as their starting point. If there's a prevalent fault, it's that - although only a few are the subversive 'with a twist' variety which I am so heartily sick of - many are too knowing. They take the conventions so much for granted that there isn't the sense of wonder and peril of the old stories.

I get the impression that there was no definite decision about who the book should be aimed at. The majority of the tales, probably, were originally intended for intelligent children, though they are sophisticated enough to be enjoyed by adults too. Others though, particularly the more recent, include themes or content - bawdry, eroticism, horror or existential angst(!) - which would prevent you putting the book into the hands of younger kids.
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The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales
The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales by Alison Lurie (Hardcover - 1 July 1993)
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