Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm – Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm


Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm – Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm


This is a beautiful treasury of some of the most famous stories of the Brothers Grimm, reproduced in their original form. Among many others, the stories include: “The Travelling Musicians,” “The Golden Bird,” “Tom Thumb,” “Snow-Drop,” “The Frog-Prince,” and “Ashputtel.”


Review: I was familiar with the modern adaptations of these classic fairytales, but I’d never read the originals in all their gory glory. I loved the majority of these stories. They’re weird and morally ambiguous. A lot of them end with “They all lived happily ever after, until they died.” The Brothers Grimm are like the 1800s version of Internet trolls. “You like these characters? Well, they’re all dead or miserable now. LOL. U mad?”

Fairytales are interesting because you get to see the values of the societies that created them. Many of the tales in this collection have similar themes. The stories teach kindness, hard work, patience, charity, and quick thinking. They do their teaching in disturbing ways, though. Bad guys tend to suffer horrific deaths.

I assume that most people are familiar with the fairytales in this collection (such as “The Frog-Prince,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” “Snow White,” and “Ashputtel”/Cinderella), so I won’t bother summarizing them. Disney already did that for me. Instead, I’ll tell you what I learned from The Brothers Grimm.

  • Selling your children is almost always a bad idea. Murdering your children also tends to create more problems than it solves.
  • Being a beautiful princess sucks. Your parents devise a bunch of crazy tests for your suiters and then force you to marry whichever suiter doesn’t die. You get no say in this murder/marriage process.
  • Be nice to frogs.
  • Don’t trust crows, but be sure to eavesdrop on their conversations. Ditto ravens.
  • It’s great to be the youngest child. Your older siblings are selfish and stupid, so you just have to wait for them to get themselves killed. Then you’ll get all the inheritance. And maybe one of those beautiful princesses.
  • Avoid ugly old women. They’re all witches. Or cannibalistic witches.
  • Men can’t always tell the difference between beautiful princesses and cannibalistic witches.
  • For the love of God, remember to invite all the fairies to your birthday party. If you don’t, there will be hell to pay.


 “He who helped you when you were in trouble ought not afterwards be despised by you.” - Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm

“He who is too well off is always longing for something new.” - Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm


My favorite stories are “The Fisherman and His Wife” and “The Mouse, The Bird and The Sausage.” In “The Fisherman and His Wife,” a man finds a magic fish, and his wife takes advantage of the fish’s kindness. In “The Mouse, The Bird and The Sausage,” one of the main characters is a sausage. A sausage who likes to cook. What’s not to love about that?

If you haven’t read these stories, I’d recommend them. They’re short and entertaining. They may also deepen your understanding of modern literature. It’s amazing how often authors allude to fairytales.






19 comments:

  1. I've never read these but always wanted to since I knew they were all kind of dark - especially compared to any of the Disney versions. Glad you enjoyed them!

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    1. Thanks! They are dark. There’s no Disney here. :)

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. The way things are going around here, I might need to get that first bullet point printed out and post it on my fridge as a daily reminder. Thanks for the laugh!

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    1. LOL. Please don’t kill or sell your children. It’s not worth it!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. I love your take-aways from Grimm!

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  4. I love your lessons from the Brothers Grimm. I've read some of these stories in other collections but this book looks beautiful, I love the cover.

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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    1. Thanks! I was so happy to find a cheap scratch-and-dent copy of this edition. It’s banged up, but it’s still one of the prettier books I own.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. I`m in the same boat as you were. I`m familiar with the stories, but have not read the original fairytales. I do plan on reading them, as they are darker than their Disney adaptations. Love the lessons you got from them!:))

    http://www.carmensreadingcorner.co.uk

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    1. Thanks! When you read them, I hope you like them!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. Your lessons learned made me laugh out loud. I like the idea that these stories were created to keep the kiddie in line, but some of them are seriously scary. I still have my copy from the college class I took back when (it's in German, does that make it more scary?)
    Sam @ WLABB

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    1. I wonder why I never had to read these in college. I took a lot of children’s lit classes. Maybe they assumed we already knew the stories?

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. Oh I have to know more about the “The Mouse, The Bird and The Sausage" -- most especially the sausage who like to cook. I have not heard of that before at all!

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    1. Maybe the sausage story is online somewhere? I’d never heard of it, either. I guess it’s not one of the better-known tales.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. I haven't even thought about reading this and I don't know why. I probably should try to do just that. Great review!

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  9. Awesome review! I need to reread my Brothers Grimm collection!

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  10. I liked what you learned from the Brothers Grimm! I used to call my neighbour years back Mrs Grimm as she told the most bizarre lies you ever heard! That used to be my main entertainment, waiting for her latest fairy story...

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  11. I love how you've summarised your thoughts on this set of tales.

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  12. Ahahaha, I love this review! I also really love Brother's Grimm fairytales. I haven't read them all, and I should get a collection at some point. I also love those kind of endings :D Seems like you learn a lot, but that they are lingering with a twisting darkness to them too...

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