Grimm Tales for Young and Old – Philip Pullman

Grimm Tales for Young and Old

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (27 Sep 2012)
  • My Rating – 3 stars – okay
  • Source – Amazon Vine

It’s impossible to please all of the people all of the time but somehow, I feel Pullman has probably displeased most of the people most of the time with this version of Grimm Tales for Young and Old.

I would imagine that if you were purchasing this, you are probably nostalgic for a past when you heard or read fairy tales before they were transformed by the sickly sweet Disney machine. In that case, you will get some satisfaction from having a complete volume of Grimm Tales narrated in a more up to date language and the bonus of some little snippets of additional information about the background to the tales and similar tales around the world. Would this be suitable for young children to read… probably not as there is a quasi-academic tone and the lack of illustrations makes for a drab reading experience…even we “sophisticated” adults would appreciate a few visuals to complement the rather fetching cover.

If you are already a Pullman fan, you will probably want/need this to complete your collection but if not, it might not be what you’re looking for. I enjoyed reading the re-worked tales but would need something different for sharing with the children, preferably a version with lavish illustrations.

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  1. Charlie says:

    Interesting, I’d thought the re-tellings here would be further from the originals. The book sounds good by itself but yes, not for children, it doesn’t sound fun enough. The cover is fantastic though.

  2. admin says:

    Charlie, they are slightly different as he uses a more modern idiom which won’t be to everyone’s taste. I think they missed the opportunity to create a real collector’s item by omitting illustrations inside on a par with that beautiful cover. We adults need/appreciate illustrations too!

  3. I’ll probably pass on this one. Many more scholars/writers have explored fairy tales in much more scholarly/interesting ways, it seems.

  4. admin says:

    It’s not bad but it’s not great either, Andi. I think it’s a book which lots of folk will buy as a gift (especially with Christmas coming up!)

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