The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

  • by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Jack Zipes (translator and editor)
  • Narrated by Joel Richards, Cassandra Campbell
  • 19 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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!
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- Jacobus

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.
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- T.S. White

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios