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Grimm Tales for Young and Old

Narrated by: Samuel West
Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

Non-member price: $29.51

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2012 Philip Pullman (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Grimm Tales for Young and Old

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  • Virginia Waldron
  • 10-04-2015

Fresh and Fast

Samuel West reads brilliantly these marvellously-written tales. Action and more action is the order of the day with modern twists that retain the original plot. I was surprised at just how much pleasure I derived from listening and re-listening to this performance. Thinking I was just buying a book of predictable yarns, I was thrilled to find that there was a delicious novelty in each beloved story. Talk about fairy tales for adults! Some of the tales were rather gory but I was transported into a childlike trance and took all the grimness with a grain of salt and just relished the action. Really good book that is not patronizing or coy in any way. Brilliant.

6 people found this helpful

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  • C. Bolliger
  • 11-09-2013

A fun listen between big books

I enjoyed listening to these between breaks listing to other bigger books. I thought the narration was fun and enjoyed the way the stories were read very much. I do not like all of the Grimm Tales and most of them I think I've heard one place or another, but the narration and the new twist on an old classic has made this a recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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  • H Potter
  • 08-08-2016

Excellent

I was very much surprised on how much the Grimm tales are so much of our lives without knowing it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Steve and/or Jodene
  • 06-08-2018

Good bedtime stories for adults

So, I've discovered that you're never too old to enjoy a good bedtime story (or at least I'm not), and that these work very well for listening to right before falling asleep (at least, if you enjoy folk and fairy tales). They're short, simple, and satisfying; well-told and well-narrated. (The title says that these Grimm tales are "for young and old." Are they really suitable for children? Probably, though it depends on the children, and if you want something specifically for children there are other, more kid-friendly options out there. Both on the simple vs. sophisticated scale, and on the light-hearted vs. dark-and-grim scale, I'd put these somewhere in the middle. I'll just say that, as an adult, the kid in me enjoyed them.)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Delaney Faulk
  • 10-11-2017

Not what I thought

The Old Grimm's Tales were scary and bad but these are cleaned up versions for adults. Def not my cup of tea

1 person found this helpful

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  • Molly
  • 14-01-2016

Experience delight.

Pullman's light hand lets the original tellings carry the tales, but his words come like a breath of fresh air through a summer window. West's readings recall the childhood delight of bedtime stories. These brought me joy, and I will continue visiting this classic.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 11-07-2019

A good piece of work but hard going

The author has done a really good job of updating the language of these stories for modern day. However, ultimately it is 13 hours of fairytales and whilst it was refreshing to hear the source stories for the more famous ones, it did become repetitive and a bit boring.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-2016

So cool!

Well, to be honest I loved the book,and would recommend it to everyone I know

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  • Rebecca
  • 08-10-2016

Awesome

This is just awesome . I like the excitement. It is well narrated. It is gruesome but very lesson learning

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  • RueRue
  • 08-04-2015

Fun retelling of fairy tales

Ok, the prose is simple, the endings ( "happily ever after" ) predictable, but listening to the wonderful narration by Samuel West made these mostly familiar stories a pleasure. For anyone who loved fairy tales as a child. These would be OK to play for children, too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mercutio
  • 02-09-2013

A splendid retelling of Grimm

If you could sum up Grimm Tales for Young and Old in three words, what would they be?

Dark and delicious

What other book might you compare Grimm Tales for Young and Old to, and why?

Italo Calvino's Italian Fairytales.

What does Samuel West bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His readings are immaculate. I actively seek out his audiobooks as I know they'll be beautifully read.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 03-08-2013

Nostalgic..

I am a sucker for fairy tales, I listened to these on audio with the family and we lapped them up.
There's not many books where hands can grow back or the baddies are tricked into deciding their own grisly death (the spikes inside a barrel and being rolled down the hill is my favourite). It was fun to relive the main entertainment of over 200 years ago, that of telling fantastical tales around the hearth or camp-fire.

Here the stupid can be heroes and anyone with a little determination can get over any trial even death, with evil doers having their comeuppance in a wonderful macabre manner.

The stories are basically the same but put put across in Phillip Pullman's story tale style... There is a reason why these tales have endured, though beware not very PC so if you have any major sensibilities to gratuitous violence or instantly falling in love, don't buy..but if you are feeling nostalgic over tales like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood go for it..

13 people found this helpful

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  • Knucklebones
  • 08-02-2014

My 'Desert Island' favourite

I appreciate how Pullman has preserved the essence of each tale - good begets good, evil begets evil - and hasn't tried to update them for the 21st century. To start with I was aggravated that every princess is kind and beautiful, and every prince handsome and brave, but after a while I realised that this 'black-and-white' storytelling is part of its innate charm. Add to that the superb narration and wonderful characterisation by Samuel West which enhances the comedy and sorrow in each story. Listen to his telling of 'The Frog Prince' (the audio sample) to hear what I mean: his whining nasal frog is a delight.

All in all a wonderful compendium of classic fairytales which I'd happily pack as my Desert Island favourite. The only flaw is that I'd like to be able to label each story with its title so I could find my favourites again quickly.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 07-04-2013

Familiar, yet no so familiar

These are the original Grimm tales not the Disney-fied version. Some are dark, some have interesting morals.. all describe the human condition, as relevant today as they were when they were written.



Many of the stories are well known, but there were many I had heard for the first time, which were really enjoyable.



The books is really enhanced by Samuel West's brilliant reading - he has the perfect intonation for such a collection of tales. Thoroughly recommend.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Margy Otter
  • 06-10-2012

Spellbinding

I got this a my trial book as it appeared to be the best of a bad bunch. Well I think I chose wisely as this is so gripping. I have listened to it for the past week to and from work and it each time my interpretation is different- I think the prologue really helps you to see Grimm's fairy tales in a different light. I am thinking of getting the hard back for my kids for Christmas. A great purchase

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 02-10-2012

Dark and Moving



Pullman pulls it out of the bag again. These stories are classic (though most not so well known) and resonate with our human condition.



I particularly enjoyed listening to the introduction read by Philip Pullman, which was really informative.



It's nice to have such a range of stories that go from being 8mins to 30mins long, so if you don't have hours to spare to sit down in one go you can still get loads out of it. A great book, get it!

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-10-2012

Brilliant

I have not read these since I was a child, and Pullman's introduction is very informative and makes you see the tales in a totally different way than just jumping in and hearing them.



But for me the best bit about these tales is the narration by Samuel West it's just fantastic, he breathes life into the characters in the tales and makes them so much more enjoyable and sometimes very funny.



certainly worth purchasing no matter what age you are.

19 people found this helpful

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 02-09-2013

Scary Tales

I must have had a pretty hardcore fairly tale book when I was wee, as I recognise the more macabre elements to these tales that are usually left out of more PC editions.

I'm not sure what Philip Pullman has therefore done to these tales apart from adding an informative foreword, describing the history behind such stories. They were good though, and the narrator in particular was great at capturing all the different accents the British Isles produces.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Drew
  • 23-12-2012

Great fun

This is an excellent audiobook to dip into. I've been listening to 2 or 3 stories in a session. Samuel West is a great choice to narrate the selection - easily able to adapt his voice to play different characters. The introduction by Pullman is included and sets the tone.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pogodragon
  • 08-04-2013

Walking...

I listen to audio books while I walk and so finding a compelling book means I get more exercise, this is a good thing to me. This book is wonderful for this. The stories are all short which means that I can listen to 'just one more' before I head home. One more tends to lead to just the one more again and so on. I highly recommend this title, not all of the stories were very familiar to me but they did all seem like old friends in very short order.

4 people found this helpful