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Grimm Tales: For Young and Old (Penguin Hardback Classics) Hardcover – 27 Sep 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1st Edition edition (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846140269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846140266
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A supreme storyteller (Sally Vickers (praise for THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST) Telegraph)

Pullman has a gift for creating scenes that make the reader want to put down the book and say "wow" ((praise for THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST) Times Educational Supplement)

Never putting a foot wrong, the result is a magical complexity-in-simplicity that is sure to become a classic in its own right (Adam Lively Sunday Times)

A fresh, sparkling collection of the finest stories from the Brothers Grimm, hand-picked by an author perfectly suited to the task. This volume is a must-have for any lover of fairy tales. . . . In the hands of a master storyteller such as Pullman, the Grimms's tales take on a whole new life (Library Journal)

A wonderfully rich reading experience . . . Stylish in its simplicity [and with] a salutary clarity and directness . . . In addition to his elegant introduction, [Pullman] concludes each tale with his own always interesting commentary. . . . There are, of course, any number of English-language versions and editions of Grimm, but few are as felicitous in their telling as Pullman's. His book surely belongs on the same shelf as the very best of those that appeal to general readers of all ages (Booklist)

Readers will enjoy not only returning to European fantasy's roots but seeing how the tree still blooms. . . . Smooth narration makes every tale accessible while keeping the mystical and lyrical qualities that make fairy tales so beloved (Publishers Weekly)

You didn't know you needed to reread Grimm. You do. This is a grand and a great book. With confidence and modesty alike, Pullman adds just enough Pullman to remind us that the oldest stories are always best told by someone who knows how to do the job of storytelling. No grandstanding here, no posturing or poesy-making. Pullman selects familiars and exotics, and gives us the goods anew-the ashes never grittier, the golden shoes never more lively, and the teller's notes concise, witty, scholarly even. Older Grimms-put them on the top of the bookcase. This one needs to be closer to hand. I read it ravenously, rapturously (Gregory Maguire, author of 'Wicked and Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation')

I could not imagine a better emissary for the Brothers Grimm than Philip Pullman. His translations have the timeless quality of a voice speaking in a quiet room, at once ancient and immediate to the senses. What a pleasure it is to be reacquainted with these stories in all their swiftness, wonder, horror, and charm (Kevin Brockmeier, author of 'The Brief History of the Dead')

Philip Pullman's Grimm is quite eloquent, and his commentary is witty and historically accurate. There is no doubt in my mind that the Grimms would have been delighted with what he has accomplished (Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota)

In this pitch-perfect retelling of the Grimms' fairy tales, Philip Pullman reminds us that the stories have lost none of their relevance or racing energy, even two hundred years after they were written down. As storyteller and sage, he preserves the flavors and aromas of fine, old wines from times past and delivers them to us in sparkling new bottles (Maria Tatar, Harvard University; author of 'The Classic Fairy Tales')

I've admired Philip Pullman since his early fantasy Galatea on through the splendid trilogy His Dark Materials. All of his gifts, including his prose eloquence, and his endless high Romantic imagination, are manifested in this marvelous retelling of Grimm (Harold Bloom)

Philip Pullman has radically reworked the Grimm tales for all ages (Nicolette Jones Telegraph)

One of Pullman's most useful additions is the vastly improved poems and jingles...his freer versions are catchy and authentic (Guardian)

About the Author

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. He is the acclaimed author of the His Dark Materials trilogy: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. His other books for children and young adults include Count Karlstein and a trilogy of Victorian thrillers featuring Sally Lockhart. Northern Lights, the first of Pullman's His Dark Materials triology, won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Fiction Prize.



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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Pullman's versions of some of the Grimms' folk stories are well enough written and his little summaries at the end of each tale give a bit of background to where each story originated and the different versions that have been told in the past. But from the moment I received the book and discovered that, to my amazement, there are no illustrations, I couldn't help but wonder - who exactly is this book for?

Pullman has updated the language but not the stories so we have dreadful clashes like princesses in castles talking about weapons of mass destruction or giants saying 'Respect!'. This kind of pantomime humour made me think the books must be aimed at a young audience but then where are those missing illustrations? I also couldn't help feeling that with language like this Pullman's versions will date much more quickly than those I read in my childhood. On the other hand Pullman has deliberately gone back to the unbowdlerised versions of many of the stories and I'm not sure that I'd be happy to be reading some of these to my (mythical) young children. Rapunzel getting pregnant without really understanding what was happening to her? Houses described as being as filthy as 'pisspots'? Must be for a teenage or adult audience then? But if so, what do these versions add to the ones we all read when we were young? For me, the answer to that question was nothing much, I'm afraid.

In the end I came to the conclusion that the book is in fact aimed at a very specific target audience - Pullman fans. I doubt this will gain him many new ones, nor is it intriguing or different enough to draw in many fans of folk tales. Not a bad book, but I suspect many people who are delighted to see this in their Christmas stocking will be feeling a little deflated by Boxing Day.
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By Sam Woodward TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
No matter what your age, dear reader, I can confidently say that we have all grown up reading the timeless tales recorded by the Brothers Grimm. The youngest generations will at the very least have seen the Disney versions! From the Grimm's 200 or so stories, Pullman has selected & rewritten his favourite 50. These range from the famous (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood & well, you know the ones) to the obscure (anyone come across 'The Donkey Cabbage' before?). Prior to reading, I was concerned that Pullman would attempt to rework these tales for the modern audience - Cinderella pouring frappucinos for her 'facially challenged' sisters, perhaps. Thankfully, this is not the case & they remain stylistically & spiritually faithful to the originals. In the introduction, Pullman says that these stories will inevitably be told in different ways over different generations - a point which comparing Disney's 1937 Snow White to the bleaker Snow White and the Huntsman released in 2012 clearly illustrates. But for him, the Grimm's versions are already delightfully perfect in both structure & content, as their clutter-free simplicity is at the heart of their charm. It is because the prince is brave with no further explanation & the witch wicked without any complex analysis of her presumably dysfunctional childhood, that there is plenty of scope for the narrator to add their own spin, whether that narrator is Disney trying to add visual magic or a parent wanting to make the story more humourous or more scary for their children.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pullman has collected and rewritten fairy tales which many of us will have known since childhood. However, he has rendered them in modern day language that makes them very appropriate for our time and we can empathise with the protagonists however magical they are. We can recognise the stereotypies and this allows one to reflect on the human passions which create the situations in which they find themselves. Each tale is above all gripping as a good legend should be and Pullman is himself a born story teller. Each has a moral element but it is not intrusive.
He also includes interesting notes on the origins of each tale.

If you enjoy reading it is for you and even if you don't read much each tale is short enough to be worth the effort.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Grimm brothers produced their 'Children's and Household Tales' with the first edition in 1812, their last edition appearing in 1857. The stories that they gave us have then been enjoyed by us all, when we were children and again as adults, whether reading them ourselves, or to our children. Inspiring not just books but other types of media, such as films these tales will be with us for countless more centuries. But let us not forget, although in places the Grimm's may have made slight alterations, these tales go back much further than their first published book.

Through countless English versions Philip Pullman has now set his eyes on them and out of the two hundred plus tales has selected fifty of them. Giving us his versions in clear and precise English these are a pleasure to read. I already have The Complete Fairy Tales (Vintage Classics) and so I was in two minds about getting this. As a child my sister and I had a lovely edition of the better known tales with illustrations, whereas alas this has no illustrations at all, so I wouldn't think little children would be too interested in this, although they should like listening to the stories themselves.

What is good about this book though is Pullman's introduction, the bibliography, and the fact that at the end of every tale is a section with what classification the particular tale comes under, tales that are similar, who told the Grimm's the particular tales, and a brief piece about the text.

Admittedly with so many editions on the market this will just be another one vying for a place in the top ranks of them, but for me the notes, etc.
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