208 of 216 people found the following review helpful
Born in the late 1700s in Hanau, Germany, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were noted scholars celebrated for the documentation of German folklore--and most particularly for the documentation of folk tales that had been previously passed from generation to generation by oral tradition.
The Brothers Grimm began to publish these tales 1812 under the title Children's and Household Tales, a collection which went a then unheard of six editions during their lifetimes and a posthumous edition shortly after their deaths. In its final form, the collection contained two hundred folk tales and ten "Children's Legends," and they would have a tremendous impact on both European and American popular culture.
It is here that we find such figures as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretle, Tom Thumb, Rapunzel, and the Bremen Town Musicians--to name but a few. But be forewarned: these are not the tales as presented in such venues as The Little Golden Book series or on the big screen by Walt Disney. True enough, there is magic, wonder, and a world in which good triumphs... but there is also savage retribution, revenge, brutality, torture, and the occasional flourish of anti-semetism as well.
"Cinderella" offers a good example of the violence one often finds in these stories. Modern versions typically punish the wicked step-sisters with comic humiliation, but in the original tale their eyes are picked out by birds--and this is actually one of the less extreme retributions offered. The evil queen in the classic "Snow White" is forced to dance at Snow White's wedding... in red-hot iron shoes until she dies. Perhaps most disconcerting is the fate of the wicked servant in "The Goose Girl," who is thrown naked into a barrel driven through with spikes that is dragged by horses through the town!
Although children typically adore such gruesome details, modern parents will likely be less enthusiastic--and I myself wouldn't recommend The Brothers Grimm as bedtime story material for the very young and impressionable. They are perhaps best left to older children, especially if their taste leans to the Gothic. That said, however, the Pantheon edition is quite good, for it offers both the original German texts and English translations; it would make an excellent gift for a young language student. And the stories themselves, so often dark and brooding, deserve to be read for the long shadow they have cast re literary tradition.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
189 of 196 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2012
Originally I was between two leather bound editions, this edition and the Calla Edition. There were so many positive reviews for the Calla Edition that I began feeling swayed but ultimately I went ahead with purchasing this edition because it is the complete works of Grimms Fairy Tales whereas the Calla Edition is not the complete works. I'm not aware of how many tales are in the Calla Edition but this one contains over 200 tales.
For $16 I wasn't expecting it to be beautiful, I was mistaken. Between the thick leather cover, the owl gracing the inside cover, the gold pages and ribbon book mark, I was mesmerized. It is just so stunning and simple plus it will look marvelous on any book shelve.
Very much recommended: beautiful and stunning.
108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2000
Even if your not a scholar, this tremendous read-aloud reaches all the way back to the voices of the oral tradition, whose rich language and images will transport you to a magical state of being. The Frog King begins "In olden times when wishing still helped one, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so beautiful that the sun itself, which has seen so much, was astonished whenever it shone in her face." Try that at dusk or by candle light, and see if an awed hush doesn't fall over your listener(s)!
For those with a more serious bent, this is perhaps the most accurate English translation of the Grimm's recordings of the oral tales. The complete collection lets you compare the patterns and rhythms of language and story line. The introduction by Padraic Colum and end commentary by Joseph Campbell (some 30 pages) are an added treasure. This version is frequently used by Waldorf teachers, and is "must have" for all primary teachers and families with children.
73 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
For whatever reason, fairy tales have become sanitized beyond recognition. The name for this kind of censorship is bowdlerization. Named for Bowdler, who purged "questionable" passages from Shakespeare for a tame "parlor" version, the tales of the Brothers Grimm have experienced the same fate -- in recent memory most noticeably at the hands of The Walt Disney Company.
Fortunately, none of these stories have borne that fate here. You have a prose worthy of the original earthy German. And the stories are notable macabre. Brutal, cruel mothers, stepmothers and grandmothers. Perverse and less-than-human creatures bearing odd names like Rumplestiltskin. And endings that aren't always sweet.
The volume itself is beautiful -- heavily bound in leather, with outstanding illustrations.
Highly recommended for the beautiful and faithful translation, and for the visual and tactile beauty. Most importantly, for stories faithful to the often-sinister spirit of the endlessly-told originals. Rediscover these stories in their strange beauty.
Equally desirable for fans of THE Book of Word Games and Through the Looking-Glass. If these are your interests, buy this book.
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
I'm a collector of beautifully-bound books and have been collecting the titles from Calla Editions over the last couple of years. I already have several copies of Grimm's Fairy Tales in different editions, and I could not resist Taschen's edition when I saw it here. Taschen's art books are really beautiful and of good quality, and when I received my copy of The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this edition.
Some reviewers have complained about the quality of binding. I have no such complaints as the edition I received was well-bound with no loosening of the binding. The book itself is bound in a purple cloth cover, contains two ribbon markers(one in pink and one in green),and the title of the book is embossed in gold-letters with a beautiful embossed illustration of Sleeping Beauty (on the front) and the castle (on the back).
This edition contains all-new translations of 27 fairy tales with reproduced artwork by the original illustrators of the various tales, dating from the 1820s to the 1950s. The book also contains an introduction by editor Noel Daniel titled "More Than Words Can Say: The Grimms' Enduring Legacy and the Art It Inspired." In his introduction, Daniel discusses several aspects of fairy tales, and there's lots of illustrations from older editions of fairy tales, as well as a gorgeous full-page illustration depicting Kay Nielsen's watercolor of "The Goose Girl".
This is followed by the actual fairy tales (with names of illustrators whose illustrations are depicted alongside the stories):
The Frog Prince (Walter Crane)
The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats (Heinrich Leutemann)
Little Brother and Little Sister (Fedor Flinzer)
Rapunzel (Otto Speckter)
Hansel and Gretel (Heinrich Merté)
The Fisherman and His Wife (Wanda Gág)
The Brave Little Tailor (Franz Wacik)
Cinderella (Hanns Anker)
Mother Holle (Herbert Leupin)
Little Red Riding Hood (Divica Landrová)
The Bremen Town Musicians (Rudolf Geifsler)
The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs (Gustaf Tenggren)
The Shoemaker and the Elves (George Cruikshank)
Tom Thumb's Travels (Oswald Sickert)
Sleeping Beauty (Herbert Leupin)
Snow White (Wanda Zeigner-Ebel)
Rumpelstiltskin (Kay Nielsen)
The Three Feathers (Kay Nielsen)
The Golden Goose (L. Leslie Brooke)
Jorinda and Joringel (Arthur Rackham)
The Goose Girl (Jessie Willcox Smith)
The Twelve Dancing Princesses (Kay Nielsen)
The Star Coins (Viktor P. Mohn)
Snow White and Rose Red (Gustaf Tenggren)
The Hare and the Hedgehog (Gustav Süs)
Puss in Boots (Herbert Leupin)
The Golden Key
The tales are followed by:
Artists' Biographies by the editor
Translator's Note & Note on the Original Tales
These are timeless tales that will stand the test of time, and this beautiful Taschen edition is sure to enhance any collector's library.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2009
Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), and to a lesser degree his brother Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859), were perhaps the greatest chroniclers of Germanic folklore since the time of Snorri Sturluson. The sheer volume of their works are unmatched by any other single source, (with the possible exception of a few decidedly biased ecclesiastical chronicles).
The first thing that must be remembered about, "Grimm's Fairy Tales", is that the Brothers did not write them, they researched, collected and chronicled them. These are the stories that had been told around camp fires and villages for a thousand years. These stories have evolved as time went on, as all oral traditions do. Many, if not most of these stories are teaching tools for children. Now, having said this, it must be remembered that these works were originally written down in the early 1800`s and have an oral history that stretches back into the mists of ,"AGO", as in," Once upon on a time, a long, long time ago". This was a time when children were not sheltered from the realities of life, sickness and death. A time when being politically correct met that you had fought for the winning side because most of the losers were dead. At time when cholera, pox and plague ran rampant through the population every few years and up to 40% of the children born didn't live to see their 18th birthday. Children, (and adults for that matter), were quite a bit tougher back then. So, if you have a wimpy sheltered child that needs a trophy for placing 12th in a race so their self-esteem wont be shattered and the rest of their lives ruined, you may want to find another venue for story time. Something mindless and milk toast like the Disney Channel perhaps?
Secondly, these are not the watered down edited versions of the original stories. These are the original stories as recorded by the Grimm's. There is not a happy ending at the end of every story. Many of these stories, as I mentioned earlier, were used as teaching tools for children. These lessons were not limited to what happens to little boys & girls who are good, (everything turns out for the better, you get the treasure, marry your respective prince or princess, etc.), but also the consequences of a child's actions and what happens to bad children if they don't listen to their parents, elders, Gods, etc., (several involve being eaten by various nasty things).
Several of the tales are rather abbreviated and end abruptly with no apparent conclusion. Again, these folk tales were not written by the Brothers, just recorded by them. If you are looking for a much more extensive look in to Germanic Folk literature I suggest Jacob Grimm's, 4 volume set, "Teutonic Mythology". Not an easy read but very in-depth.
The down side. This rendition of the Brother's Grimm Tales, while complete, contains no introduction, foot notes, explanations and no references to anything what so ever, it just starts and ends. I personally would have liked some sort of introduction to the work at the very least. Additionally, other than the title, "Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales", Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm are never mentioned by name or acknowledged anywhere in the book. I think that was a bit rude. Other than that, a fairly good translation of the works, beautifully bound edition and well recommended.
Spence The Elder
"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc"
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2012
After reading the Frog Prince, I was quite surprised and checked other translations which were very different. These translations are not at all faithful to the letter and spirit of the originals--I checked with a German friend. They are rewritings of the story, in the spirit of the editors. More appropriate for children but not the Grimm thing.
88 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2001
Not all the stories in this book are winners, and you can take a LONG time reading all of them. For the longest time I'd been hearing that Disney's version of these Grimm classics are much cleaner. No kidding. But being a hardcore fantasy reader, I like all the violence and dark senses of humor that the Grimm brothers have. Generally, for every 10 stories you read, you might find two that you like and one that you REALLY like. As for the actual book, the pages are apparently NOT acid-free, which means that it was cheaply made. It is still hardback, though. I'm not a HUGE Grimm fan, but there were enough illustrations for my taste. Along the same lines, I don't care if the works are out of order--what matters is that they're translated decently. I still hold that there is--somewhere--a better Grimm's book to be found--hence the 3 stars. Apart from all that, this is a good bargain bin book--which is where I found it. My favorite stories--so far--are The Frog Prince, Cinderella, The Three White Snakes, and The Youth Who Could Not Shiver and Shake.
65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2005
These are the classic fairy tales that we heard as children, but they are not the original grim fairy tales written by the Grimm brothers. If you are looking to have a copy of the grim Grimm brothers then keep looking.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2003
IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER: The stories presented by the Brothers Grimm were the results of a scholarly investigation into Germanic folklore. Readers must understand the scholars never intended their research to serve solely as bedtime stories for children ... obviously many have missed that point. Also, it must be made clear, the Brothers did not invent these stories, rather they documented pre-existing folktales. Their efforts to put to paper what had previously been a mostly oral tradition was, despite initial and continuing popularity, panned by many critics. Such criticism is not entirely unjustified: the reader may be frustrated by the inexplicable actions of the characters, the endless plot-holes, and the underdeveloped, if not banal narrative. Or the reader may simply take them at face value.
CAUTION: COLLECTORS BEWARE. This edition can only be described as 'cheaply' made. The pages are thin, as is the spine, which gives easily. Due to the thickness of the book in relation to the flimsy spine, there is bound to be trouble with this inferior assembly. You could just as easily find them for free at Project Gutenburg.