Author: Philip Pullman, 2012.
Genre: Classic. Fairy Tales.
Other Details: Hardback. 432 pages/Unabridged Audio (10 hrs, 23 mins). Read by Samuel West.
In this beautiful book of classic fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman has chosen his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and presents them in a 'clear as water' retelling, in his unique and brilliant voice. From the quests and romance of classics such as 'Rapunzel', 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella' to the danger and wit of such lesser-known tales as 'The Three Snake Leaves', 'Hans-my- Hedgehog' and 'Godfather Death', Pullman brings the heart of each timeless tale to the fore, following with a brief but fascinating commentary on the story's background and history. In his introduction, he discusses how these stories have lasted so long, and become part of our collective storytelling imagination. - synopsis from UK publisher's website.
It was clear from the start that Philip Pullman was not planning to tamper with the original Grimm tales but rather tidy them up where needed to provide what he terms as 'clear as water' re-tellings. I certainly felt that he succeeded in this as this was a delightful collection with each tale followed by notes from Pullman on the origin of each tale and other observations. There were plenty of familiar tales but also ones that I had not encountered or did not recall from my childhood readings of the Grimm tales.
I decided to approach the tales quite slowly by combining listening to the stories via the Audible edition and then reading them and the notes a day or so later in the print edition. While I loved Samuel West's narration I was a little disappointed that Pullman's notes at the end of each of the 50 tales were not part of the audio experience. Still this situation was dealt with by my dual approach.
Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales: an immersive fairy-tale - details about a 2014 London stage performance of a few of the tales.