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Gregory Maguire's novels have been called "bewitching", "remarkable", "extraordinary", "engrossing", "amazing", and "delicious". Having brought his legions of devoted listeners to Oz in Wicked, Wonderland in After Alice, and Dickensian London in Lost, Maguire now takes us to the Black Forest of Bavaria and Munich of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffman.
Hiddensee recreates the backstory of the Nutcracker, reimaging how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how it magically guided an ailing little girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a snowy Christmas Eve. It also brings to life the mysterious godfather Drosselmeier - the ominous, canny, one-eyed toymaker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's ballet - who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.
But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism a migrating strain of a Hellenic mystery-cult and ponders a profound question: how a person who is abused by life, short-changed, and challenged can access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless. Ultimately, Hiddensee offers a message of hope. If the compromised godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized on the eve of a winter holiday, has something precious to share.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Veronica on 12-26-17
I wanted to love this and I tried
I first read Maguire when Wicked was published and have read every book he’s published. I’ve loved almost all of them. I was excited to see this but the reviews had me puzzled. Still I downloaded it because I’m a big fan of his storytelling.
That’s why I’m sad to say this book just wasn’t good. The narration was excellent and that may be the only reason I pushed through. The story has potential but just goes nowhere at all. I’m not even sure what, besides the location, this has to do with The Nutcracker. I kept waiting for explanations or connections that just NEVER happened. It’s like the publisher had some leftover stuff and threw this together and called it a novel. When it ended I actually had to go backwards a chapter or two because I couldn’t believe it was done. I thought I missed something but nope, just....not good. And I’m the last person that wants to write this about Maguire.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Nicolette on 01-25-18
I struggled to finish. I don't like Gregory Maguire as a story teller. The characters are not likeable and the storyline doesn't flow. He somehow made Germany and the story of the nutcracker boring. I was disappointed I listened to this book. The narrator is articulate and does a good job reading.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful