Published in: 1812
For almost two centuries, the stories of magic and myth gathered by the Brothers Grimm have been part of the way children—and adults—learn about the vagaries of the real world. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow-White, Hänsel and Gretel, Little Red-Cap (a.k.a. Little Red Riding Hood), and Briar-Rose (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) are only a few of more than 200 enchanting characters included here. The tales are presented just as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm originally set them down: bold, primal, just frightening enough, and endlessly engaging
This was a project and a half to finish. I love fairytales and folktales, I truly do. But 90% of these stories were weird, hard-to-follow/reason, and just not that interesting. They were also rather short, so in the space of 10 minutes you would have read 5 different stories, by which point you just got sick of reading them.
Some stories were brilliant, some were familiar classics, some were new to me and rather bizarre but kinda cool (and I would love to see transformed into a Disney movie), but a lot of them left me scratching my head. I know the purpose of tales like this, back in the day, were as cautionary tales- they taught a lesson. So naturally, I tried to find the lesson in each story. Like, don’t judge a book by its cover, be nice to all people, be wary of strangers offering free food, don’t wander into the woods by yourself, etc. But some… no clue. One I can recall, this guy was an absolute asshole douchebag extraordinaire, and somehow he ends up king of the realm for his douchebaginess.
Plus the stories about talking animals living together were just boring. Even more boring were the stories about inatimate objects- like the thimble and the stick and the flame who were all friends (Okay, maybe that wasn’t it exactly, but there were a lot of stories and it’s been a while since I read the first ones). You get my drift.
If you can sit through the crappy little whatever stories and the head-scratching stories with no point whatsoever, then you will find the gems. They also weren’t as gruesome as I had expected, though there were some in there that would definitely give kids nightmares.
Grimms fairy tales rating: This is a tough rating. For the stories I liked, they deserve 7&8/10. For the ones I hated, they deserve 1/10. So really, it’s a story-by-story basis that you rate them on, not an overall book or collection. No rating, but a strong urge to read these classics, as bad as some of them are, as the good stories are really good. Classics that you recall from your childhood, ones that are as well known for a reason.
Would I re-read it? I’d love to read this to my own kids one day (if that day ever happens…) but I’d probably take out all the stories I hated!
Who would I recommend it to? fans of this genre of stories- the classic folk tales and whatnot. Also parents with young kids- but I recommend reading through yourself first, as there are some gruesome ones that are not appropriate!
Given the age of this collection of stories, you can download it for free at numerous online sites (And it’s totally legal).
National Geographic site: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/index2.html
Project Gutenburg: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2591/2591-h/2591-h.htm