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Grimm Tales for Young and Old | [Philip Pullman]

Grimm Tales for Young and Old

In this enchanting selection of fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman presents his 50 favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm in a 'clear as water' retelling, making them feel fresh and unfamiliar with his dark, distinctive voice.
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Publisher's Summary

In this enchanting selection of fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman presents his 50 favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm in a 'clear as water' retelling, making them feel fresh and unfamiliar with his dark, distinctive voice. From the otherworldly romance of classics such as 'Rapunzel', 'Snow White', and 'Cinderella' to the black wit and strangeness of such lesser-known tales as 'The Three Snake Leaves', 'Hans-my-Hedgehog', and 'Godfather Death', Pullman captures the appeal that has held the imagination of children and adults alike for centuries. In his introduction, he discusses why these stories have lasted so long and become part of our collective storytelling imagination. Pullman's Grimm tales of wicked wives, brave children, and villainous kings will have you listening again and again for many years to come.

©2012 Philip Pullman (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Margy Otter England 06/10/2012
    Margy Otter England 06/10/2012

    helaok

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    "Spellbinding"

    I got this a my trial book as it appeared to be the best of a bad bunch. Well I think I chose wisely as this is so gripping. I have listened to it for the past week to and from work and it each time my interpretation is different- I think the prologue really helps you to see Grimm's fairy tales in a different light. I am thinking of getting the hard back for my kids for Christmas. A great purchase

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Bath, United Kingdom 02/10/2012
    James Bath, United Kingdom 02/10/2012 Member Since 2012

    Audio Addict - Love to listen when going to work or working out, waking up or passing out.

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    "Dark and Moving"



    Pullman pulls it out of the bag again. These stories are classic (though most not so well known) and resonate with our human condition.



    I particularly enjoyed listening to the introduction read by Philip Pullman, which was really informative.



    It's nice to have such a range of stories that go from being 8mins to 30mins long, so if you don't have hours to spare to sit down in one go you can still get loads out of it. A great book, get it!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Manchester, United Kingdom 04/10/2012
    Amazon Customer Manchester, United Kingdom 04/10/2012 Member Since 2012
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    "Brilliant"

    I have not read these since I was a child, and Pullman's introduction is very informative and makes you see the tales in a totally different way than just jumping in and hearing them.



    But for me the best bit about these tales is the narration by Samuel West it's just fantastic, he breathes life into the characters in the tales and makes them so much more enjoyable and sometimes very funny.



    certainly worth purchasing no matter what age you are.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sharon Falmouth, United Kingdom 03/08/2013
    sharon Falmouth, United Kingdom 03/08/2013 Listener Since 2010

    I listen to my books while working, and I work alot!, love Detective, Dystopian, Science fiction, Fantasy, U/F, PNR and Steam Punk.

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    "Nostalgic.."

    I am a sucker for fairy tales, I listened to these on audio with the family and we lapped them up.
    There's not many books where hands can grow back or the baddies are tricked into deciding their own grisly death (the spikes inside a barrel and being rolled down the hill is my favourite). It was fun to relive the main entertainment of over 200 years ago, that of telling fantastical tales around the hearth or camp-fire.

    Here the stupid can be heroes and anyone with a little determination can get over any trial even death, with evil doers having their comeuppance in a wonderful macabre manner.

    The stories are basically the same but put put across in Phillip Pullman's story tale style... There is a reason why these tales have endured, though beware not very PC so if you have any major sensibilities to gratuitous violence or instantly falling in love, don't buy..but if you are feeling nostalgic over tales like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood go for it..

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Traci HIGH WYCOMBE, United Kingdom 08/04/2013
    Traci HIGH WYCOMBE, United Kingdom 08/04/2013 Member Since 2010
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    "Walking..."

    I listen to audio books while I walk and so finding a compelling book means I get more exercise, this is a good thing to me. This book is wonderful for this. The stories are all short which means that I can listen to 'just one more' before I head home. One more tends to lead to just the one more again and so on. I highly recommend this title, not all of the stories were very familiar to me but they did all seem like old friends in very short order.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Kimbell Heidelberg, Germany 07/04/2013
    Ian Kimbell Heidelberg, Germany 07/04/2013 Member Since 2006

    Always looking for that little bit different book. Something that makes you think - but not too far from reality...

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    "Familiar, yet no so familiar"

    These are the original Grimm tales not the Disney-fied version. Some are dark, some have interesting morals.. all describe the human condition, as relevant today as they were when they were written.



    Many of the stories are well known, but there were many I had heard for the first time, which were really enjoyable.



    The books is really enhanced by Samuel West's brilliant reading - he has the perfect intonation for such a collection of tales. Thoroughly recommend.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chappers 08/02/2014
    Chappers 08/02/2014

    chappers

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    "My 'Desert Island' favourite"

    I appreciate how Pullman has preserved the essence of each tale - good begets good, evil begets evil - and hasn't tried to update them for the 21st century. To start with I was aggravated that every princess is kind and beautiful, and every prince handsome and brave, but after a while I realised that this 'black-and-white' storytelling is part of its innate charm. Add to that the superb narration and wonderful characterisation by Samuel West which enhances the comedy and sorrow in each story. Listen to his telling of 'The Frog Prince' (the audio sample) to hear what I mean: his whining nasal frog is a delight.

    All in all a wonderful compendium of classic fairytales which I'd happily pack as my Desert Island favourite. The only flaw is that I'd like to be able to label each story with its title so I could find my favourites again quickly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy United Kingdom 14/12/2013
    Amy United Kingdom 14/12/2013 Member Since 2010
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    "very entertaining"
    Would you listen to Grimm Tales for Young and Old again? Why?

    Written in an updated style of Pullman while keeping the essence of the stories from their original form. They have the darkness the folk stories captured before the sanitized versions that were written for children. No unnecessary modernisation or unfamiliar contexts. Very entertaining and capture the adult imagination in a long forgotten manner.


    What other book might you compare Grimm Tales for Young and Old to, and why?

    Can only really be compared to the originals. They feel familiar but with the beautiful Pullman style.


    Have you listened to any of Samuel West’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Have not heard West read before so can't comment. Very enjoyable though.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Listened in many sittings. A couple of stories at a time.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barnaby Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom 02/09/2013
    Barnaby Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom 02/09/2013 Member Since 2010
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    "A splendid retelling of Grimm"
    If you could sum up Grimm Tales for Young and Old in three words, what would they be?

    Dark and delicious


    What other book might you compare Grimm Tales for Young and Old to, and why?

    Italo Calvino's Italian Fairytales.


    What does Samuel West bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    His readings are immaculate. I actively seek out his audiobooks as I know they'll be beautifully read.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johanna United Kingdom 23/12/2012
    Johanna United Kingdom 23/12/2012 Member Since 2011

    Lover of nice voices :)

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    "Interesting"

    I got this audio book with high hopes. Thinking that a great author like Philip Pullman would add something to Grimm's original tales, I started listening right away.



    Let it be said at this point that Samuel West does a marvellous job at narrating the stories. His voice is lovely to listen to and he breathes life into the story.



    It was also very interesting to listen to stories that you thought you knew, only to figure out that you were completely mistaken. Take the Princess and The Frog for example. The original tale doesn't have a romantic kiss that transforms the frog into a prince, no, the girl smashes him against the wall and that cures him.



    That being said, I found it a little disappointing that these really are simply re-tellings of the originals. I would have hoped for something slightly more original. That is my only criticism however, and if you want to listen to fairy tales and maybe be surprised by some of their oddness, then this is a lovely recording.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 16 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • C. Bolliger
    Boise, ID
    11/09/13
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    "A fun listen between big books"

    I enjoyed listening to these between breaks listing to other bigger books. I thought the narration was fun and enjoyed the way the stories were read very much. I do not like all of the Grimm Tales and most of them I think I've heard one place or another, but the narration and the new twist on an old classic has made this a recommend.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Sydney, Australia
    03/06/14
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    "They confused me as a child and they confuse now"

    These stories lack the morals of Aesop's Fables. They lack any twist or surprise. They are simple stories that leave you with "Is that it!" Samuel West does an excellent job narrating the stories but even his skills leave the brothers Grimm with half-baked stories. Walt Disney did these stories a favour adding his magic and story telling abilities to them. The present day of Hollywood movies using these stories I guess are adding to the mix but 'Grimm Tales for Young and Old' lack completeness. As a child I would ask 'why' and get a 'just is' answer. These readings don't help.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Barnum
    Athens, GA, United States
    21/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hans my Hero"
    What made the experience of listening to Grimm Tales for Young and Old the most enjoyable?

    Written in a voice that distils each story to it's essence, Pullman's words twine with Grimm's tales and West's performance like strands of fine yarn. With some of the richest examples from our shared lore, Grimm Tales for Young and Old is essential listening for fairy tale aficionados.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hans my Hedgehog--need I say more?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I wanted to savor each story for fullest enjoyment.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • carl.berner
    Enebyberg, Sweden
    16/11/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good performance"
    If you could sum up Grimm Tales for Young and Old in three words, what would they be?

    A nice intro by Pullman. Well performed but perhaps this type of story is not my first cup of tea.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The introduction.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mary-Liz
    Fox Point, WI, United States
    28/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Girls cry. Boys fight. Same old roles."

    Philip Pullman reinterprets classic tales, some not as well known as others, with interesting results. The main problem here is the portrayal of males and females in condemning traditional roles. Girls are too often weak victims unable to think for themselves or they are conniving, evil witches; boys are rambunctious, impetuous and too quick to fight. These faults lie with the origin of the tales and not with Pullman, but you have to question his desire to retell such outmoded ideas in the first place. This is not to say that children shouldn't hear these stories. But it might be best to offer them in context and perhaps with gentle discussion about how we see people differently today.
    Sam West does an amazing job, as always. He's a top-notch narrator. I love his voice.

    3 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • A
    Blackburn, United Kingdom
    11/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too gory for young children"

    Grimm by name - grim by nature. Definitely give it a miss if you have children with an innocent disposition.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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