Friday, 20 June 2014

Grimm Tales: For Young and Old by Philip Pullman

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.

Who doesn't right up until they read this book love Philip Pullman? His Dark Materials were amazingly imaginative and made me fall head over heels for the world he created. When he took on the Grimm Tales I believed that it would be interesting to view his take on them. My thoughts were along the Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber route therefore recognizable as which Grimm tales they were but only just. 

It was however very very similar to the Grimm Tales themselves, all the gore and horror that I presume he thought would shock his reader was already tame as opposed to the original stories. The strong morals seemed weakened and the imagery less vivid so packing less of a visual punch it was altogether reminiscent of a limp handshake. 

What disappointed me most I suppose is the expectations I had of this book. When he seemed to be such a heavyweight in the literary world with his imaginative skills and good characterization I thought the Grimm Tales would be something he'd grab by the balls. It seemed that he copied a lot of the original tales and put his "voice" into it. His voice seemed to make no big deal out of anything and made every tale sound exactly. Halfway through the book I thought I may have to stop just due to the monotony.

If you haven't read the original Grimm Tales I suggest you do, they're great but wouldn't recommend this. It's the bad sequel to the original great. 

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