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Book review: Grimm Tales for Young and Old, By Philip Pullman


The Kinder- und Hausmärchen have been, Pullman reminds us, a staple for Western readers for the past two centuries.

So he impresses all the more by turning these classics into short, taut tales which seethe with dark energy and offer a new punch with their stripped down telling, their curtly delivered savagery and their mix of the comic and the macabre.

Particulary gratifying is the anti-Disney version of "Snow White" (with no cuddly dwarf naming) and the Grimms' revised, more brutal end for "Rumpelstiltskin".