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on January 3, 2000
This book presents the stories of Hans Christian Andersen in their original form (translated). These original stories contain undertones that are lost with Disney-like euphemisms and euphemistic adaptations. This also means there are some ghastly contents to children, so be attentive. As well, it is unillustrated, and may be more difficult to relay to children, but any effort will be well worth it, in my opinion. At any rate, it could be good reading for adults who wish to discover the original version of some of the fairy tales they might have heard as a child.
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on August 2, 2001
It is a pity that most people only know Hans Christian Andersen for a few of his "easiest" fairy tales. What springs to mind for almost everyone is stories like "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Ugly Duckling" and perhaps "The Snowqueen". But Hans Christian Andersen has written a vast array of profoundly touching tales. In Odense, Denmark the Danish actor Troels Møller said (two years ago in a lecture on "H.C.A. & God"),
"We are all going to die. H.C.Andersen knew this, he worked with it and he used it to show us all the beauty of life - the beauty of all life."
His stories are not only for children they are for everyone. The likes of H.C.Andersen can be found nowhere. If you want to discover the full grandeur of his genius you MUST read more than just his popular works. I would even urge you to go to Odense to learn Danish - Much is lost in translation. But although the English translation doesn't reach the heights of the original Danish text I still give it one of my 5 star sets. And don't think that it's a case of petty nationalism - you will find no other Danish writer that I'll grant 5 great ones. It is entertainment, philosphy and religion.
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on July 25, 2010
(This review compares Haugaard's translation to the Jean Hersholt version, available at Barnes and Noble in a one-volume, leather bound, gift edition)
Reliability or readability -- what is more important in a translation? Most versions aim at a balance between the two, but whether one is translating the Bible or H.C.A., translations invariably tend more towards one than the other!
The Haugaard version reads extremely well. It runs very smoothly and is made to be read out loud. But experts have pointed out that at times, it tends to sacrifice accuracy to readability. Andersen's original Danish prose does not always run smoothly, and is sometimes choppy and deliberately awkward.
Andersen's original style is reflected better in the Jean Hersholt version, which does not read as well out loud, but tends to be more faithful to the original Danish. It is better suited for silent reading or study, often sacrificing readability for accuracy. (Also available on-line at the Hans Christian Andersen Centre Website, set up by the University of Southern Denmark)
In short, storytellers will prefer Haugaard for storytelling and reading out loud, while scholars will give prority to Hersholt for study purposes. But why not buy both?
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on October 21, 2001
The Ugly Duckling. The Little Mermaid. The Tinderbox. The Emperor's New Clothes. The Princess and the Pea. It's all here!
C. S. Lewis, in his preface to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," observed that as children we grow out of hearing fairy tales, but as an adult we can come back to them with fresh eyes and be enchanted in a different way. HCA stories have that amphibian quality of living above and below the supposed age limits.
I find it surprising that HCA writing in a minor language would be so popular, but he is a genius at writing fairy tales. The Grimm Boys just collected and edited the German fairy tales, but HCA was generating new and original fairy tales. I hope we don't sluff off this unique talent he had solely on the ground that he was writing to children. After all, how many naked Emperors have we seen? The comic Dilbert gets it's life blood from the fact that so many emperors can be smooth-talked by so many charlatans, and be sustained in their delusion by smarmy sycophants, and only brought to light by a child.
If children can understand this, why can't we adults?
On the printing-side of the book, I would like to see this in a hardbound, with durable paper, and not the thin and fragile newsprint. I am almost afraid to read this book since the opaper is so delicate!
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on October 25, 2011
Arrived quickly, in perfect condition. This Book is stunning in leather bound. Gift for my wife and daughter, they both were Wowed over the look and feel of the book.
Great stories from a legend.

Only small complaint is the entire book is text only, we would have liked to see some illustrations or wonderful drawing to help with the imagination but book is very good still and we highly recommend for the family collection.
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on February 27, 2010
This book provides a comprehensive collection of Hans Christian Andersen's works. There is no rhyme or reason to their arrangement in the book and it can be a little hard to find a particular tale in the table of contents. My book is also missing pages 467-470 which is the end of "The Piggy Bank" and the beginning of "Ib & Little Christina". If you need all of the tales this is pretty much it!
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on March 21, 2009
Awesome book - very beautiful decoration, easy to read letters. Very thick, which you can't tell from the photo.
I was a little disappointed, however, by the lack of illustrations, even some small ones in the beginning of each story...
Overall, I am quite satisfied with it.
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on February 8, 2013
Arguments and discussions abound about the several translations of Andersen's works. Personally I find this one eminently readable and capturing the humor, irony, and emotion intended by the author. Some have been put off by the re-translation of some of the traditional titles - "Thumbelina" becomes "Inchelina" because of an intentional pun in the Danish language concerning the two words - but if you can get past that, the works are readable and enjoyable both aloud to children and for adult amusement at the same time (much like the prose in Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland"). I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading these all in a new light. I recommend it to anyone with a literary bent.
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on December 19, 2015
I enjoy getting a more complete picture of the famous Fairy Tale author. When you only read the famous stories, you get a one-dimensional picture. Many of the tales are dark, some of the heroes are immoral and any non-principal character has a pretty short life-span, sort of like the red-shirt guys in Star Trek. I wouldn't read these indiscriminately to a young child and would be prepared to discuss the ethics of the characters - is it really OK to chop an old woman's head off because you think she is withholding information? What about lying to an abusive person? What about tricking someone into killing themselves? If you don't want to tackle these issues, just stick to the famous stories.
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on August 26, 2014
This is a terrific collection and at a great price, too. There are over 200 stories in this book alone, all written by Hans Christian Anderson, and it contains many of his classic works, such as the Emperor's New Clothes, the Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Ducking, The Nightengale, the Tinderbox, the Steadfast Tin Soldier, and many more. It also contains many, many of his lesser known works, which many people do not know exist, such as the Pen and the Inkwell, Muse of the Twentieth Century, Psyche, The Thorny Road, Mother Elderberry, and the list literally goes on and on. And these are not bowdlerized in any way, shape, or form, and they are not your Disney cartoons in the least. If you enjoy Hans Christian Anderson or just love faerie tales, this is definitely the book to have. If anyone has any questions or wants more details about the stories themselves, I shall be happy to answer them. One of my favorites is the Wild Swans, in which a girl must be silent while spinning clothes from nettle into flax to make shirts for her brothers, and she marries a king, but a false priest brings up charges against her (which the king believes after seeing her the graveyard getting the nettle with lamias, although I have read another version that says ghouls), and I could tell you more, but why spoil it? Let me know if you have any questions! I cannot recommend this enough.
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