11/7/12

Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm, retold by Philip Pullman (plus giveaway)

Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm: a New English Version, by Philip Pullman (Viking Adult, November 12, 2012).

This is the first time I've ever written in a happy spirit about a book I haven't finished, and I feel absolutely no shame at all about not having read to the end!  I'm in no rush to hurry up and read it cover to cover--instead, I'm enjoying revisiting all my old friends, reading my favorite stories out loud to my children, and relishing Pullman's fresh and friendly story-telling.

He is an author who isn't afraid to translate "pisspot" (Pißput) as "pisspot," one who isn't afraid to let the players in the stories speak with contractions (though he plays it fairly straight--he doesn't use a specifically local speech, or the repetitive formulae of oral storytelling, as Alan Garner, for instance, does in his retellings).  And my children are enjoying the experience very much as well, much more so than the stiffer versions in my own childhood Grimm.

I didn't have enough enough books as a child living overseas, so I was forced to re-read those (relatively) few books I had  and that included Grimm.  Though I would periodically force myself to read straight through, I had my favorites, of course--The Golden Bird, Jorinda and Joringel, The Goose Girl...stories I knew pretty much by heart. 

Reading Pullman's retellings was like coming home to find the walls of my house repainted--fresh and bright and like new again, with the added bonus of some new rooms that I'd never been in before.

 This isn't a book specifically for children--there are no illustrations, no sanitization--though many children will enjoy reading it; instead there is lots of fascinating commentary on the stories.  This isn't one to put on the kids' bookshelf, in their room upstairs, but it's one that I'd shelve happily in the living room library, and not be at all ashamed of adult visitors seeing it there!

Giveaway:  To win your own copy of this one, leave a comment (with a way to get a hold of you if you don't have contact info. on your own blog) by next Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 11:59pm.  (US and Canada)

And the winner is...ILuvReadingTooMuch

(disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher)

22 comments:

  1. Aaaah! I would love to win a copy of this one--if I do, I promise to buy another copy (I would have anyway) and give it to a friend. "Lots of fascinating commentary on the stories," my favorite.

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  2. Fun! I loved reading fairy tales as a kid and as an adult. Pullman is definitely a storyteller who is not afraid of criticism and I look forward to reading his work!

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  3. I've always loved fairy tales. I grew up reading Grimm's Fairy Tales. I'm so glad they're getting a new lease on life. I'm at lwashin301(at)comcast(dot)net

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  4. I so want to read this one! It sounds fantastic, and there's no doubting Pullman's talent. Great review.

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  5. Oh, yay. I really want to read this, so I am glad you liked it! I will throw my name into the hat, but regardless I need to have this. :)

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  6. I'm reading this one right now and enjoying it!

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  7. There are so many bad retellings of Grimm's tales, I'm happy to hear of a good version. Definitely on my to-own list.

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  8. Exciting to have Philip Pullman retelling Grimm! Thanks for the heads-up.

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  9. I love Philip Pullman and you're making me want to read this. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  10. I am intrigued. erwtaylor at yahoo dot com.

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  11. I'm a huge fan of Pullman and fairy tales. This one can't be beat. It's totally going on my wish list.

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  12. ooooh, I'm glad I saw this. Will have to buy it if I don't win it here! Sandy (sdunavan@frontier.com)

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  13. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Pullman has done with Grimm. larksc[at]gmail[dot]com

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  14. Thanks for the amazing giveaway! I loved Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series and totally can't wait to read this one :D

    iliveforreading AT hotmail DOT com

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  15. Oh! Oh! Oh! I would love to read this now that I've read Adam Gidwitz's takes on Grim. And did you see the NPR interview with Pullman:

    http://www.npr.org/2012/11/11/164432853/philip-pullman-rewriting-the-brothers-grimm

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  16. Wow! I love Pullman's writing so this sounds like a great read. I'm really interested in the commentary; in addition to the retellings I think that would be really fascinating. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  17. He's one of my favorite writers!

    C.

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  18. This is definitely one that I've had my eye on for a while and the cover is so gorgeous, isn't it?! It probably wouldn't be a good bedtime story book though ... maybe after school stories?

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  19. i've been meaning to check out this book. i love grimm's tales and i am interested to see pullman's interpretation. thanks for the giveaway.

    twee66 at gmail dot com

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  20. Ooh, I just finished a book of the original Grimm's tales, reading some retellings would be fabulous.

    aircdrewood(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. So very very interested in this one!!!!

    themgowl at gmail dot com

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  22. thanks for sharing.

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