Book review: Grimm Tales for Young and Old, By Philip Pullman
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books, 2013, and is currently a judge of the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and the Independent Scholastic New Children's Prize 2014.
Friday 30 August 2013
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".
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