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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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Fresh and Fast

Samuel West reads brilliantly these marvellously-written tales. Action and more action is the order of the day with modern twists that retain the original plot. I was surprised at just how much pleasure I derived from listening and re-listening to this performance. Thinking I was just buying a book of predictable yarns, I was thrilled to find that there was a delicious novelty in each beloved story. Talk about fairy tales for adults! Some of the tales were rather gory but I was transported into a childlike trance and took all the grimness with a grain of salt and just relished the action. Really good book that is not patronizing or coy in any way. Brilliant.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • T Drake
  • South Dakota -United States
  • 08-08-16

Excellent

I was very much surprised on how much the Grimm tales are so much of our lives without knowing it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Molly
  • Idaho Falls, ID
  • 01-14-16

Experience delight.

Pullman's light hand lets the original tellings carry the tales, but his words come like a breath of fresh air through a summer window. West's readings recall the childhood delight of bedtime stories. These brought me joy, and I will continue visiting this classic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not what I thought

The Old Grimm's Tales were scary and bad but these are cleaned up versions for adults. Def not my cup of tea

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So cool!

Well, to be honest I loved the book,and would recommend it to everyone I know

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Awesome

This is just awesome . I like the excitement. It is well narrated. It is gruesome but very lesson learning

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Fun retelling of fairy tales

Ok, the prose is simple, the endings ( "happily ever after" ) predictable, but listening to the wonderful narration by Samuel West made these mostly familiar stories a pleasure. For anyone who loved fairy tales as a child. These would be OK to play for children, too.

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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.

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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 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Margy Otter
  • 10-06-12

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

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 10-02-12

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!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-04-12

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • sharon
  • 08-03-13

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..

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mercutio
  • 09-02-13

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian Kimbell
  • 04-07-13

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Knucklebones
  • 02-08-14

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy
  • 12-14-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Johanna
  • 12-23-12

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 09-02-13

Scary Tales

I must have had a pretty hardcore fairly tale book when I was wee, as I recognise the more macabre elements to these tales that are usually left out of more PC editions.

I'm not sure what Philip Pullman has therefore done to these tales apart from adding an informative foreword, describing the history behind such stories. They were good though, and the narrator in particular was great at capturing all the different accents the British Isles produces.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful