Grimm Tales for Young and Old by @PhilipPullman

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.

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[In the olden days, when wishing still worked, there lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful; but the youngest daughter was so lovely that even the sun, who has seen many things, was struck with wonder every time he shone on her face]

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(Audible Studios, 27 September 2012, 10 hours 24 minutes, audiobook, copy from @audibleuk, narrated by Samuel West)

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I love Grimm’s Fairy Tales and I’m a huge fan of Phillip Pullman, so both of these things made this a must listen audiobook. I recently studied he complete fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm as part of an Open University course so I was familiar with a version of all the stories offered here. It was a treat to listen to them. I would have preferred Pullman read the audiobook but we can’t always get everything we want. Many stories and many of the elements used to retell them are familiar but they are also unique as well. I enjoyed the familiar tales such as Snow White and Cinderella. I preferred, however, the lesser known tales such as The Three Snake Leaves or Godfather Death which allowed Pullman more wriggle room to make the stories his own. This was a treat to listen to.  

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