Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm
by Philip Pullman
NewAdult Nonfiction – 398.2 PUL
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Grimm brothers’ first published book of fairy tales, Philip Pullman has released this newly translated collection of their work.
It’s well known that modern tellings of the classic fairy tales, such as Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty have been changed and subdued to fit better as a children’s tale. Disney’s retellings have had a lot to do with that (something Pullman mentions briefly). While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s refreshing to know that the original stories shared over 200 years ago are still available for today’s readers.
Pullman stays true to the original, at times quite gory, tales and follows each story with additional information. He cites who told the story to the Grimm brothers, gives examples of similar stories and offers a brief analysis of the tale. In his analysis, Pullman considers archetypes of fairy tales, more modern variations, and his rational for writing the tale as he did. As an English major, I found it interesting to read his thoughts of the stories, but I’ll admit this may not be of interest to all readers. The stories, however, can stand on their own to attract a broad audience to this work.
Pullman shares 50 of his favorite stories including common known tales such as Rapunzel, Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel to some lesser known tales such as The Three Little Men in the Woods and The Devil with Three Golden Hairs. The writing of each tale is simpler than what might be expected for Pullman, but is solid and perfect for these tales that were often shared by word of mouth. Pullman has been receiving glowing reviews for this work, which I have to agree is well deserved.