Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version

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by Philip Pullman, Brothers Grimm
     
 

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#1 New York Times bestseller Philip Pullman retells the world’s best-loved fairy tales on their 200th anniversary

Two centuries ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now Philip Pullman, one of the most accomplished authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with

Overview

#1 New York Times bestseller Philip Pullman retells the world’s best-loved fairy tales on their 200th anniversary

Two centuries ago, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published the first volume of Children’s and Household Tales. Now Philip Pullman, one of the most accomplished authors of our time, makes us fall in love all over again with the immortal tales of the Brothers Grimm.

Pullman retells his fifty favorites, from much-loved stories like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Rapunzel” and “Hansel and Gretel” to lesser-known treasures like “The Three Snake Leaves," "Godfather Death" and "The Girl with No Hands." At  the end of each tale he offers a brief personal commentary, opening a window on the sources of the tales, the various forms they've taken over the centuries and their everlasting appeal.

Suffused with romance and villainy, danger and wit, the Grimms' fairy tales have inspired Pullman's unique creative vision—and his beguiling retellings will draw you back into a world that has long cast a spell on the Western imagination.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
It's strange to think that Pullman, whose novels often feature ambiguous or flawed characters and a narrative pace that might be described as deliberate or protracted…was drawn to this kind of bat-out-of-hell storytelling. But you know what? He crushes it, as the youth of today are wont to say. Pullman tells each tale in a straightforward manner, hewing closely to the Grimm originals. His translations are perfection…These stories make great bedtime read-alouds for children who can handle a little gore…[Pullman] makes 200-year-old stories feel as fluid and weird and gross and dreamlike as anyone could wish.
—Marjorie Ingall
The New York Times
There is no shortage of Grimm on the market…But Mr. Pullman's Fairy Tales offers something unique: the chance to watch a master storyteller think through these most foundational of tales…Mr. Pullman keeps his touch light, lending the stories a plain-spoken, casual voice and respecting the strange transformations, reversals of fortune and patterns of three that give them their power. He concludes each tale with a brief analytical note—praising or criticizing the story, pulling out a piquant detail, sometimes suggesting improvements. This is shoptalk, essentially—an expert narrator pointing out the storytelling triumphs or missteps of his forebears—and it is fascinating.
—Amanda Katz
Publishers Weekly
Pullman (The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ) celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Grimm brothers’ first fairy tale collection in this collection of 50 tales, which draws from all seven original Grimm editions as well as other versions and Pullman’s own imagination. (He opens with a Tuscan proverb by way of Calvino that “the tale is not beautiful if nothing is added to it.”) Favorites like “Cinderella” and “Rumpelstiltskin” become just slightly bloodier, but all retain their old-fashioned feel. Pullman also resurrects tales of the Devil’s odd bargain with a soldier (“Bearskin”) and a girl who faces an enchanted lion (“The Singing, Springing Lark”). Smooth narration makes every tale accessible while keeping the mystical and lyrical qualities that make fairy tales so beloved. Afterwords provide bibliographic and scholarly information. Readers will enjoy not only returning to European fantasy’s roots but seeing how the tree still blooms. Agent: Jamie Byng, Canongate. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“Pullman’s Fairy Tales offers something unique: the chance to watch a master storyteller think through these most foundational of tales. . . . It is fascinating.” —The New York Times
  
“Zippy! . . . These tales are about plot and economy and speed [and] make great bedtime read-alouds for children who can handle a little gore. . . . The original tales weren’t for children, of course; they were for everyone. So is this book. . . . Pullman is both erudite and funny. . . . He has fun with dialogue, and is particularly snappy with dwarfs. . . . You know what? He crushes it, as the youth of today are wont to say. . . . His translations are perfection.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“It is such a pleasure to read these tales again, to experience their strangeness and richness, their violence and beauty, their sheer nonsense. . . . Reading Pullman’s version it is impossible not to hear Pullman’s own gentle voice; he is present on every page. . . . [His] interventions work brilliantly.” —The Boston Globe
 
“These wonder tales . . . compel belief as powerfully as any adventure or thriller.” —Marina Warner, The Times Literary Supplement
 
“Excellent . . . His beginnings are like invitations that cannot be refused. . . . Pullman shows how completely he understands the Grimms. . . . [He] pays homage to the Brothers’ pioneer work and simultaneously breathes new life into a great, venerable tradition of magical storytelling.” —Jack Zipes, Los Angeles Review of Books
 
“A real pleasure to read . . . This is the kind of writing that stands up to years of bedtime repetition. . . . The author’s best appearances are in the notes, which are often as entertaining as the stories themselves. . . . Swiftness and clarity, he says, were his guiding principles; to which he has added wit and invention. . . . Beautiful or grotesque, the mad poetry of these tales is often delightfully funny too.” —The Economist

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(starred review)
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(starred review)
“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(starred review)
“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

Library Journal
Don't take apples from strange old ladies. Beware of witches and wolves in the woods. Courage and goodness will always be rewarded. These lessons, and more, are well known to anyone familiar with the collected folktales of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. But familiarity is hardly a drawback here, for in the hands of a master storyteller such as Pullman ("His Dark Materials" trilogy), the Grimms's tales take on a whole new life. At the end of each of the 50 stories included in this edition, released to mark the 200th anniversary of the first publication of the tales, Pullman appends informative notes and commentary and points the reader to comparable tales from other cultures. VERDICT 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. [See Prepub Alert, 5/3/12.]—Leigh Wright, Bridgewater, NJ
School Library Journal
Fifty tales are retold in this witty, fast-paced, and entertaining collection. In fairy-tale tradition, Pullman adds his own modern phraseology and an occasional event to the "originals" when he believes it will be an improvement. The conceits of the genre are respected and adhered to but the subtle changes make the stories compelling. It is charming to think of the Brave Little Tailor as "a weapon of mass destruction." This and a few other modernisms enliven the narratives. Pullman effectively makes use of other sources to tell the stories: an Uncle Remus conclusion for the ending of "The Cat and the Mouse Set Up House" and the epigram in "The Robber Bridegroom" from "Mr. Fox," which is similar to Much Ado About Nothing. He attributes and incorporates the original tellers and writers as collected by the Grimms as well as authors of other variants and other folktales. Each selection is referenced by type, source, and similar tale. Mention of the psychologist Bruno Bettelheim and scholars such as Maria Tatar, Jack Zipes, and Marina Warner point to varying interpretations of the stories. The introduction conveys his purpose and presents some history of the Grimms and information about the fairy-tale conventions found in their tales. Others have presented the complete tales (Zipes) and annotated tales (Tatar) and there are countless picture-book adaptations. Pullman's collection is noteworthy for the energetic pace of the stories and the subtle adaptations that make it accessible to modern readers. This is a collection for librarians and teachers to read aloud and to encourage listeners to imagine and retell in their own words.—Jackie Gropman, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670024971
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/08/2012
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
975,244
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Pullman’s Fairy Tales offers something unique: the chance to watch a master storyteller think through these most foundational of tales. . . . It is fascinating.” —The New York Times
  
“Zippy! . . . These tales are about plot and economy and speed [and] make great bedtime read-alouds for children who can handle a little gore. . . . The original tales weren’t for children, of course; they were for everyone. So is this book. . . . Pullman is both erudite and funny. . . . He has fun with dialogue, and is particularly snappy with dwarfs. . . . You know what? He crushes it, as the youth of today are wont to say. . . . His translations are perfection.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“It is such a pleasure to read these tales again, to experience their strangeness and richness, their violence and beauty, their sheer nonsense. . . . Reading Pullman’s version it is impossible not to hear Pullman’s own gentle voice; he is present on every page. . . . [His] interventions work brilliantly.” —The Boston Globe
 
“These wonder tales . . . compel belief as powerfully as any adventure or thriller.” —Marina Warner, The Times Literary Supplement
 
“Excellent . . . His beginnings are like invitations that cannot be refused. . . . Pullman shows how completely he understands the Grimms. . . . [He] pays homage to the Brothers’ pioneer work and simultaneously breathes new life into a great, venerable tradition of magical storytelling.” —Jack Zipes, Los Angeles Review of Books
 
“A real pleasure to read . . . This is the kind of writing that stands up to years of bedtime repetition. . . . The author’s best appearances are in the notes, which are often as entertaining as the stories themselves. . . . Swiftness and clarity, he says, were his guiding principles; to which he has added wit and invention. . . . Beautiful or grotesque, the mad poetry of these tales is often delightfully funny too.” —The Economist

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(starred review)

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(starred review)

“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(starred review)

“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

Meet the Author

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) has sold more than fifteen million copies and been has published in more than forty countries. The first volume, The Golden Compass, was made into a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Pullman is at work on a companion His Dark Materials novel, The Book of Dust. He lives in Oxford, England.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Oxford, England
Date of Birth:
October 19, 1946
Place of Birth:
Norwich, England
Education:
Exeter College, Oxford University
Website:
http://www.philip-pullman.com/

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Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Dia_Pelaez More than 1 year ago
The stories are the same, but the storyteller is different – this is what Philip Pullman’s Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm is all about. It’s a collection of fifty fairy tales that were extensively researched and put together in one book that’s meant to celebrate over two hundred years of existence of well-loved fairy tales from the brothers Grimm. Growing up as an avid reader, I remember having several fairy tale books which I read with much gusto when I was very young. Reading the fairy tales in this book was like getting re-acquainted with a long-lost friend. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic because all the fairy tales that I’ve enjoyed in my childhood were in it. I loved reading about the stories I grew up with and compare it with the versions I’ve read in the past. It was also interesting to read other fairy tales that I haven’t had a chance to read when I was young. This book is definitely enchanting and fascinating! It brings out the inner kid in me.  The fairy tales themselves were written in simple words that were enough to describe what was happening without being overly descriptive of the whole setting like a novel. This makes it a perfect reading material for children. And since the stories are fairy tales, this book is tailor-made to be the perfect bed-time story book. I also appreciate the notes after each fairy tale because it listed the other versions of the tale, and explained some changes and points. Also, what I really liked about this book is that aside from the collection of fairy tales within its pages, the author took time to point out the many differences between a novel and a fairy tale. I think that this was largely for the benefit of the adult readers who might be expecting something different.  The author also took time to narrate the story of the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, and how they collected each story within the pages of the book. It was interesting to know what led to today’s infamous Grimm collection of tales. Would I read this book again? Definitely! It’s like a reminder of my childhood. And I highly recommend it to people who would like a book of bedtime stories for children.
BookwormReflects More than 1 year ago
Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version By Philip Pullman Philip Pullman retells fifty of the beloved Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm. There is no way I am going to write a review on each of the fifty stories, as a whole the retellings are amazing. There are many stories people will recognize from Rapunzel to Rumpelstiltskin, and even my favorite The Twelve Dancing Princess, there are even some that may be new for people such as One Eye Two Eyes Three Eyes. What I loved about how the author pulled these all together was he references each story with notes of the differences between some of the retellings as well as notes on his own. This is definitely a timeless classic, some with sinister endings and some with the happily ever afters that we have all come to expect from fairy tales. The compilation is well researched and so well written that you cannot help but fall in love with these stories all over again. I was sent a free copy of this book for an honest review.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Fairy tales are stories most of us grew up with and loved. We've passed them down to our children and grandchildren. Returned to them time and again as bedtime stories and to relive childhood memories. Most of us have seemingly always knew that these stories were originally compiled and published by the German brothers Grimm over 200 years ago. Now prolific author of The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman takes the Grimm tales and retells them for a modern audience on the anniversary of the original publication.  This is a book that can be read a story at a time on cold winter night or in it's entirety curled up with a cup of coffee and a few hours to kill. Pullman garners fifty of the most beloved Grimm tales from the old favorites like "Cinderella" and "Rapunzel" to the most obscure and little know tales like "The Little Shroud." Fans of the original will love the concise and simpler pattern with less archaic language and easier prose. It is easier to read and understand but Pullman does not skimp on the details. His retellings do not take away or add to the story overall but brings together the text in a more enjoyable fashion, opening it up to broader literary audience.  There are a few things that really set this collection of tales apart from the many other editions that have followed the original Grimm tales. First, is the author himself. Pullman is a well known British author who has astounded audiences with His Dark Materiels series and his quiet and unassuming style is present on every page of this book. From his lengthy introduction which is an enjoyable read in itself, to his commentary on each and every tale he chose to include in his collection. Those tidbits of information after each tale were especially interesting in that Pullman lets the reader in why he chose each story, how he changed it and it's origins. I loved each one and felt like I had a better understanding of each tale after having read them. This is just a beautiful collection that any fairy tale fan would love to have. It has a richness and beauty to it that is hard to describe. With the great influx of books and television shows based on fairy tales of late, this is refreshing look of how these tales were meant to be told. I think Pullman has done a wonderful job of reminding readers that magic still exists if you look for it!
Anonymous 4 months ago
It has goodcharate ithe booand stuff ilitsmukn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was intrested in this book but wanted to look at sample first. The first 25pages are index and intro. What a wast of time.