GRIMM TALES: FOR YOUNG AND OLD by Philip Pullman | Review

To be honest, my only real interaction with fairy tales prior to reading Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales: For Young and Old was from watching Disney movies and reading a plethora of retellings over the years. For some reason I never actually made a point to read the Grimms’ tales themselves, or even anything remotely similar. It wasn’t until I happened upon this book in a store in the Edinburgh airport that I decided it was maybe finally time to read them–and in what better form than a book by Philip Pullman, writer of The Golden Compass? 

What I really appreciate about this collection of stories is that they are told with that classic fairy tale charm that Pullman does so well. They’re not retold in a modern setting or given a creative twist; rather, they’re simply retold based on a conglomeration of Pullman’s research on the origins of each tale. While I immensely enjoyed reading the stories, my favorite aspect of this collection was actually the section after each story where Pullman explains a bit of its history. He also shares his thought process behind any editorial decisions he may have made. Did he favor one storyteller’s version of the ending over another’s? Was there a character that he gave a greater or lesser role to? What does he see as being the main function of the story? I loved gaining these little insights into how Pullman retold these stories. His authorial voice acts as the common thread tying this amalgamation of stories together.

I read this book in various airports and flights, which ended up being the perfect setting. I would highly recommend Grimm Tales as a great book to take traveling because a) the stories are captivating and entertaining, b) they’re concise, which is ideal for reading in short bursts in distracting places, and c) the stories don’t relate to each other, so you can easily put this book down and pick it up again later without having to worry about remembering where you left off. There’s also something really comforting about reading these familiar stories, which is a bonus if you’re like me and get nervous or stressed while traveling.

It was also really interesting to read fairy tales I thought I was familiar with from Disney movies or other retellings. How different the actual versions are from what we’re shown as kids! I loved the dark, rather sinister, clever twists incorporated in the earlier versions. Among my favorites were Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Rumpelstiltskin. I wish someone would make movies based on the original versions of the stories rather than the romanticized ones we’re shown when we’re young. They would be so interesting to watch!

Overall, I’m so glad that I randomly stumbled upon this book in the Edinburgh airport. Not only was it the perfect book to take traveling, but it also reminded me how much I enjoy reading short story collections and Philip Pullman’s writing in general. If you’re looking for a book to take with you on your summer adventures, then look no further than Grimm Tales! 

What are your thoughts on Grimm Tales? Do you have a favorite fairy tale? What do you like to read when you’re traveling? Let me know in the comments section below!




15 responses to “GRIMM TALES: FOR YOUNG AND OLD by Philip Pullman | Review”

  1. I love fairytales and Philip Pullman’s writing is something I can read for hours. 🙂 I can not wait to read this book, thanks for bringing it to my attention. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review ❤📖 😛❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d heard about this when it came out, and then I forgot about it! I’ll bave to put it on my ever-growing TBR…

    Also, in the title of this post, the author is listed as Phillip Roth and not Phillip Pullman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thanks for letting me know! I’ll change it. (I’m doing my upcoming senior seminar on Philip Roth lol) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! Good luck with the seminar!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently got a Grimm Tales book as well and now I can’t wait to read it!!!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh let me know your thoughts on it!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliant review! This sounds right up my alley!
    *Throws on TBR mountain*
    *A faint rumble can be heard*
    *A few smaller books skitter down the mountain*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha so true!! My TBR is a teetering tower, too 🙂


  6. I agree Grim Tales are for young and old alike, I remember ‘The Golden Bird’ blew me away at age 40!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “The Golden Bird” is such a great story! One of my favorites for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. […] GRIMM TALES FOR YOUNG AND OLD by Philip Pullman | Review […]


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