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The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm Audiobook

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition

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Publisher's Summary

When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel", "Hansel and Gretel", and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm makes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, are newly translated and brought together in one beautiful audiobook. From "The Frog King" to "The Golden Key", wondrous worlds unfold - heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique - they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms' later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes' introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms' prefaces and notes. A delight to read, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm presents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.

©2014 Princeton University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Jacobus
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    4/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Once upon a time when a stepmom was only a mom..."

    ... and other well-known fairy-tale motifs were not yet invented, the Grimm brothers wrote down and published their first edition of household tales. Some of the stories were crueler and much less "politically correct" for its age than later editions of this well-known book.

    Therefore, start listening if you dare to a sligthly different, though must interesting version of the stories we all came to love. Meet the real Cinderella, without a fairy godmother, very much like the new Dutch ballet with the same name. DIscover the material that has inspired many a Neil Gaiman story and uncover literary topoi and stock figures that gives you a better understanding of literature today.

    Should you not care for any of the above and only want to hear some good stories, this remains a book not to be skipped. While some of the repetition of themes might seem boring at first, the fun starts when you compare and come to appreciate how the same story wondered in the world of people, but so often with a different cloak on. I think of the Swan Princess or was she actually a Crow Princess. Did Cinderella get her dresses from a nut or were they made by the birds? What does a story about Hansel and Gretel's own mothers' rejection of them tell us?

    The book is read by Joel Richards and Cassandra Campbell. Their performance is quite good and easy to follow.

    I strongly recommend the first edition of the classic tales of the brothers Grimm, translated for the first time in English. A must... if you want to live happily ever after!

    33 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • IF Books
    27/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exactly What I Wanted"

    I wanted a bunch of fairy tales to listen to before bed, and that's what I got. I like the creepy and gory versions, so all the better.
    It's an odd translation. Things that I'm used to hearing as rhymes don't rhyme, which is a little jarring. Also, there's a ridiculously long intro - 1:20hours - that you should just skip if all you want is to listen to fairy tales.
    Aside from that, I find the original stories fascinating. Mixed in among the blood and horror I expected, there are also Christian fairy tales. They're not biblical, are written in the same style as the other stories in this collection, but with Mary, The Devil, etc.
    Cassandra Campbell remains one of my favorite narrators. She does different voices, but they're not obnoxious like so many, and her narration style makes me picture a slightly wicked smile, which is perfect for this. Joel Richards is ok, though a little monotonous/robotic in this reading, and some of his diction is so sharp that it's a little distracting.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Thucydides
    Canada
    4/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The brutal Germanic 1812 sources, not for children"

    Exceptionally well performed scholarly edition of the rare original 1812 (volume 1) and 1814 (volume 2) Grimm tales. includes a fascinating and thorough introduction that gives the history and rationale for these terse and authentic translations of uncut and un-sterlized folk tales. Subsequent Grimm editions that were edited, cut, revised, and Christianized all the way up until 1857 do not allow us to see so baldly and boldly the pagan brutality and simple morality and lack thereof in the folk traditions. Subsequent editions, for example, do not include the tale about the Children who Played at Slaughter: one boy slits the neck of his brother while the little sister catches the blood in a basin, just as they've seen done with pigs. The murderous boy goes free because he chose an apple rather than a gold coin at the "trial." If folk history and "morality" interests you, I highly recommend this edition. If you are looking for edifying moral tales for your children, after listening to the raw sources in this collection, you may lose your taste for exposing them to Grimm fairy tales at all, but certainly not to this edition. This edition is not for children, in my opinion.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    11/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Switching narrators for stories"

    One of the best things about the narration is that they switch chapter by chapter which, for this book, helps to mark the beginning and endings of the tales especially those with odd endings. This collection of stories is most definitely not the Disney versions of the tales but is the raw translation. Some of the stories are almost familiar but take a different path or end unexpectedly. It's more like the origins of the stories. Some of the tales feel very unfinished, others feel like they would only be truly understood in their own place and time. Enjoyable from a historical perspective.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dr. Phyllis Bell Miller
    Mississippi State, MS (Starkville, MS) United States
    22/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very entertaining and filled with human bravado"

    It's interesting to hear the original fairy tales and to see how they have been modified for later audiences. These are much bloodier than the versions that my mother read to me at bedtime. How man saw himself in relation to supernatural forces is interesting, as well. Even the simplest man could outsmart magical beings.

    And even the poorest, most destitute man could outsmart a princess! It is most disturbing to see how daughters were given so freely as gifts to men who performed tasks for her father. Women had the role of bargaining chips. What's love got to do with it? Apparently, nothing!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Belleville, IL, United States
    30/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where Would We Be If Kings Didn’t Go Hunting?"

    Or nice fathers stopped marrying wicked stepmothers? Or princes were never turned into flounders? Or gnomes didn’t have the inside story on who you can and cannot trust?

    I can tell you where we’d be: nice girls would never become queens, fishermen would never get palaces, heroes would perish at the hands of their own brothers and we wouldn’t have this collection. Having just listened to The Tale of Tales, Giambattista Basile’s rollicking collection of 50 folk and fairy tales strung together, Decameron-like, into a loose sort of uber-story, a comparison is hard to avoid. So here goes.

    Unlike Basile, the Brothers give us no “frame narrative”; these stories seem to be grouped according to theme and subject (I’m only guessing; I skipped the hour-long intro after a snide reference to “naive morality”). Because folk tales use and reuse the same patterns, plots and archetypes, these 156 stories seem to merge into one story. So far from being a bad thing, it gives a powerful sense of common cultural unity, especially when the lineaments of a German tale remind you on one of Basile’s Italian products.

    As evidenced from the catty remark about morality mentioned above, there are academics who make their living theorizing over folk tales, finding the sources for cultural dysfunction and inherent injustice. I just enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) these stories immensely. It is a treat to get the original (or at least closer to the original) versions of favorites like Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel, just to see what subsequent telling retained, cut out or added on. I always thought the collection of folk sources was a 20th Century phenomenon; those WPA-funded researchers who collected blues tunes from the deep South and dialects from Appalachia. Obviously, the Brothers were doing the same thing in Germany even as Napoleon was marching the Grande Armee to its doom in Russia and meeting his own at Waterloo. And, judging from the introductions they supplied for each volume, they cared deeply for the oral culture they were preserving.

    As a consequence, we are much nearer the original sources than Disney ever dared to bring us. Expurgated in later editions, here, as with Basile, we confront the grimmer (no pun) details of life. “How Some Children Played at Slaughtering” is a blunt, straightforward little chiller (told in two versions). At the end of another tale, a malefactor is shut up in a barrel of boiling oil and poisonous snakes so, we are told, her death would be particularly awful. How that wasn’t particularly awful for the snakes we are not told. But you get the idea.

    However, published almost 200 years after Basile, and in Germany, for all its lurid details the Brothers’ effort is essentially tamer in tone. The Neapolitan dialect, at least in Basile’s hands, was a vigorous, florid medium, chock full of hyperbole and insult, always seeming on the verge of slipping beyond the author’s control. Being German, the Brothers are far more staid. They don’t indulge in Basile’s thousand different, ingenious, charming ways of saying the moon rose. Or birds sang. Or people ate dinner. Here the moon simply rises, birds sing and people eat. I missed the clever circumlocutions and rapid-fire verbal invention of the Italian tales. Nor is there Basile’s emphasis on body parts and functions.

    Like the style of the stories, the reading is less adventuresome as well. Tales are traded off between Joel Richards and Cassandra Campbell. Ms. Campbell tries harder, putting more animation into her readings, but overall the delivery is workmanlike rather than inspired.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Donna
    25/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Stories"

    I Loved it , the stories were very interesting and the
    story teller kept my attention.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan Kelley
    Plano, TX
    19/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not as exciting as you might think."

    I thought this was going to be a great book! The narrators sound bored half the time. Some of the tales repeat, since they stem from common stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David A. Heckman
    18/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but repetitive"

    I like the readers and enjoyed the stories but after a while they were the same story with different characters or slightly different scenarios.

    11 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Jefferson
    Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan
    12/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Treasury of Raw, Brutal, Bizarre & Funny Fantasy"

    In Jack Zipes' substantial introduction to The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition (2014), which he translates and edits, he asserts that although the six later editions are better known, the first edition is of interest for being closer to the source tales, retaining more of their raw oral flavor and diverse voices, and receiving less of the Grimms' polishing and literary standardizing. The 156 first-edition tales (published in 1812 and 1815) are a trove that prove Zipes' case.

    I expected to find the classic tales like "The Frog King," "The Wolf and the Seven Kids," "The Fisherman and His Wife," "Cinderella," "Little Red Cap," "The Juniper Tree," "Rumplestiltskin," and "Bluebeard." But, yes, the older versions are often rawer or more brutal than the later ones: The envious and murderous step-mother of the later "Little Snow White" and the callous and cruel step-mother of the later "Hansel and Gretel" were originally biological mothers; Rapunzel in the original tale becomes pregnant after the secret visits of her prince; the lopped off, be-ringed finger of an unknown girl in the later "The Robber Bridegroom" belongs to the bride's butchered grandmother in the original version; and so on.

    I enjoyed encountering many stories new to me, like "The Animals of the Lord and the Devil," "How Some Children Played at Slaughtering," "The Devil's Sooty Brother," "The Carnation," and "The Stolen Pennies." Many neat, unexpected touches appear throughout. A male giant suckles a thumb-sized boy at his breast for years until the boy becomes a giant. The dirt of hell becomes the gold of earth (a reversal of fairy gold). A man stops boys from tormenting a mouse by buying it and freeing it. A woman says to her lover, "Now I'll louse you and you'll feel better." A frog makes a gnat pie for a lion. And the classic tales often have unexpected virtues, as when even the flies and the fire fall asleep after Briar Rose pricks her finger, and when the right prince shows up "Everything was so quiet he could hear himself breathe."

    The variety of tale types is impressive. There are origin stories, ghost stories, plucky underdog stories, lazy or stupid people stories, cannibalism stories, Beauty and the Beast stories, wish stories, quest stories, break the enchantment stories, unhappy ending stories, tall tales, nonsense stories, repeating accumulating list stories, murder will out stories, gruesome comedy stories, miss-matched animal stories, animal-human love stories, story fragments, and even an Ali Baba story and a King Lear story.

    Many stories are funny, like the one in which a king will leave his kingdom to the laziest of his three sons. And there are disturbing stories, like the one in which a king wants to marry his daughter because she looks like her recently deceased mother, and bizarre stories like the one in which a blood sausage invites a liver sausage to a dinner in order to eat it, or the one in which the single louse on an ultra-clean princess is fed on milk till it grows large as a calf, or the one in which noses grow 20 miles long when the right apples are eaten.

    The tales feature plenty of princes and princesses, poor youngest sons and daughters, unreasonable kings, wicked mothers and step-mothers, canny "simple" people, impossible tasks, detailed instructions, reversals of fortune, awful punishments, comedic or horrific violence, doomed or fulfilled love, and moral lessons promoting kindness, generosity, humility, and cleverness. And everywhere fantastic elements: fairies, dwarves, giants, witches talking animals; invisibility cloaks, wish granting fish, gold making cloths, magical swords, ever replenishing food tables and ever refilling money pouches; and many, many metamorphoses, from people becoming animals to animals becoming people.

    Many of the tales do feel "oral" because of narrator comments like, "And whoever doesn't believe me, must give me a gold coin," and "When the wedding took place, I was wearing a pair of glass shoes and stumbled over a stone. The stone said 'clink' and my shoes broke in two." Contributing to that oral feel are the many little rhymes inserted into the stories (e.g., "Shake and wobble, little tree!/Let beautiful clothes fall down to me"), and Zipes' demotic and contemporary translation (e.g., "though she was young and beautiful, he couldn't look at her without getting the creeps and secretly shuddering").

    An odd part of the audiobook experience is that although the physical book seems designed for adults interested in the history of folk tales (hence its Princeton UP publisher), the alternating readers, Joel Richards and Cassandra Campbell, seem to be reading the tales for children, Campbell, for instance, trying too hard to make bad characters sound sinister by elongating certain vowels and consonants. Moreover, the audiobook lacks all of Zipes’ detailed notes, which include information on the Grimm brothers’ sources for their tales, whole alternate versions of them, and other interesting information, like the fact that the brothers’ sources for the anti-Semitic “The Jew in the Thornbush” all feature Catholic monks instead of Jews as the “justly” punished villain of the story. Yet it's hard to imagine a child having the patience or constitution to listen to all 156 tales straight through. (The great number of tales and shared elements overwhelmed me at times.) With the physical book, a child could read a tale here and a tale there and enjoy the illustrations, and adults could select tales to read to their kids. The audiobook has a different chapter for each story, but the tales are so short that the feature often misses the title and first words of a story when you try to jump forward or backward tale by tale.

    Therefore, if you’re a serious student of folk and fairy tales, you’d better get the original Princeton UP book, while if you just enjoy such tales, the audiobook should be fine. Either way it is a rich storehouse of story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Customer797
    10/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Grimm's grim stories"
    What did you like most about The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm?

    Some stories were nice and innocent as fairy tales should be. However, some stories were quite shocking and very grim. I thought this was for children? I would not let my child listen to them all for sure. Some seemed to have no morals at all i.e. you do bad things and get away with it. Hmm, not a great example.
    Having said that, overall it was a good entertainment and the first part was interesting.


    Have you listened to any of Joel Richards and Cassandra Campbell ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, the actors were both good. Not great like some other books I have listened but far better than some others.


    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • nima samson sitta
    31/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's not bad."
    What disappointed you about The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm?

    the first parts where too long, i almost gave up.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    i'm not sure.


    What three words best describe Joel Richards and Cassandra Campbell ’s performance?

    they are ok.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    nothing


    Any additional comments?

    if you want to listen to this just skip the first two parts so you will get to the main stories.

    6 of 20 people found this review helpful

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