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1. Selected Tales (Oxford World's
2. The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy
3. The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted
4. The Brothers Grimm: Two Lives,
5. Inventors and Creators - The Brothers
6. The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century
7. The Brothers Grimm & Their
8. Terrors of Childhood in Grimms'
9. One Fairy Story Too Many: The
10. The Portrayal of the Maturation
11. Grimm Brothers and the Germanic
12. Cinderella's Gold Slipper: Spiritual
13. The Hard Facts of the Grimms'
14. Grimm's Last Fairytale: A Novel
15. Once upon Time
16. Darkest Desire: The Wolf's Own
17. The Wrestler's Cruel Study: A

1. Selected Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Paperback: 404 Pages (2005-08-18)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$3.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192804790
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
'Once upon a time in mid-winter, when the snowflakes were falling from the sky like down, a queen was sitting and sewing at a window ...'The tales gathered by the Grimm brothers are at once familiar, fantastic, homely, and frightening.They seem to belong to no time, or to some distant feudal age of fairytale imagining.Grand palaces, humble cottages, and the forest full of menace are their settings; and they are peopled by kings and princesses, witches and robbers, millers and golden birds, stepmothers and talking frogs.Regarded from their inception both as uncosy nursery stories and as raw material for the folklorist the tales were in fact compositions, collected from literate tellers and shaped into a distinctive kind of literature.This new translation mirrors the apparent artlessness of the Grimms, and fully represents the range of less well-known fables, morality tales, and comic stories as well as the classic tales.It takes the stories back to their roots in German Romanticism and includes variant stories and tales that were deemed unsuitable for children.In her fascinating introduction, Joyce Crick explores their origins, and their literary evolution at the hands of the Grimms. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A decent collection of these famous stories
This book does not contain all of the Grimms' stories, but it does include a wide selection (sixtyish) of the most famous and most interesting tales.There were many more stories, of course, but the editor of this edition has chosen some of the most well-known and representative ones.In addition, there are many tales included that aren't necessarily famous but are just as good as the familiar ones.

The book opens with an interesting introduction, which shows how the Grimms were the first to seriously record folk wonder tales in a literary form, putting them in good prose but still maintaining respect for the original stories.(The earlier French writers drew on folktales, but altered them into tales of courtly intrigue, and sometimes told them in a snickering, sarcastic style.)Then, of course, come the tales themselves, well-written and yet hauntingly simple.

Note:This is an edition for the grown-ups. No illustrations.Visually, it looks like a textbook rather than a book of fairy tales.I do need to buy a pretty edition someday, to pass on to my hypothetical kids.:) ... Read more

2. The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, Deluxe Edition (Literary Classics (Gramercy Books))
by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Hardcover: 704 Pages (2006-10-03)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$12.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517229250
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
This illustrated volume contains every published story by the Brothers Grimm, from well-known classics like "Cinderella" to lesser-known tales such as "The Bright Sun Brings on the Day". Other enchanting fairy tales include:

• "The Frog Prince"

• "Hansel and Gretel"

• "Snow-White and Red-Rose"

• "Rapunzel"

• "Little Red Riding Hood"

• "Rumpelstiltskin" ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection
I bought this book for my niece because I grew up on the Brothers Grimm so I thought she should have access to it as well. This is one of the most complete collections of these fairy tales that I have ever seen. Very good if you have kids & want them to experience all of the real German folk tales as well as the Disney versions. I would highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT!!
I was very pleased with the book purchase.My book was shipped quickly during the holiday season.Thanks

4-0 out of 5 stars Font size
The Grimm fairytales are great but I would have wanted to know the size of the font prior to purchasing. I feel that the print size should have been larger. It makes it hard to keep focus when reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars grimm
this book was just as good as i thought it would be very pleased with it and so is my young son who i purchased it for

4-0 out of 5 stars i likey da booky
although the book is pretty long, there were a lot of stories that kept me interested. i always wanted to find out the true version of all my childhood fairy tales like cinderella, the frog prince, rapunzel, and so much more. my favorite of them all had to be "The Youth Who Could Not Shiver and Shake," that story was scary, funny, as well as amusing. overall the book, The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, was and old time classic that could never be forgotten. ... Read more

3. The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World
by Jack Zipes
Paperback: 384 Pages (2002-12-18)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312293801
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Most of the fairy tales that we grew up with we know thanks to the Brothers Grimm. Jack Zipes, one of the more astute critics of fairy tales, explores the romantic myth of the brothers as wandering scholars, who gathered "authentic" tales from the peasantry. Bringing to bear his own critical expertise as well and new biographical information, Zipes examines the interaction between the Grimms' lives and their work. He reveals the Grimms' personal struggle to overcome social prejudice and poverty, as well as their political efforts--as scholars and civil servants--toward unifying the German states. By deftly interweaving the social, political, and personal elements of the lives of the Brothers Grimm, Zipes rescues them from sentimental obscurity. No longer figures in a fairy tale, the Brothers Grimm emerge as powerful creators, real men who established the fairy tale as one of our great literary institutions. Part biography, part critical assessment, and part social history, The Brothers Grimm provides a complex and very real story about fairy tales and the modern world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars A mishmash of everything
This book tries to cover a lot of ground, but in the end you get a sense that it has gotten you anywhere.The first impression I got was that this book was actually a bunch of journal articles thrown together because there isn't much sense of continuity to this book.It doesn't have an overall theme and the topics covered don't seem to connect well.It starts off with a short biography of the Grimms, so far so good.After that, it covers the orgins of the tales, a little dry, but not bad.After that, there's a chapter about how the Grimm tales indoctrinate children into the bourgeoisie.The Marxism seems a little dated.After that, out of the blue, you get a chapter on Henri Pourrault, an obscure writer of fairy tales.It's never explained why this writer is in this book, but I guess the author really liked this journal article and couldn't resist throwing it in.

After this, it gets really weird.You get a chapter about how fairy tales are all about childhood sexual abuse.If that doesn't kill your mood to read fairy tales, then the following chapter in which the author attacks the Grimm tales as outdated and obsolete and advocates the rewriting of the tales for more modern perspectives will.One gem that the author singles out for praise is a rewriting of Cinderella.In this version, Cinderella is a labor organizer who organizes all the workers in her kingdom.The prince, impressed by her accomplishments, falls in lover with her and proposes.However, Cinderella refuses to betray the worker and rejects the prince.In the end, Cinderella moves to America and the prince commits suicide over the heartbreak.Wow, the kids will love that one.It's not even entertaining or enlightening for adults and borders on masochistic.That's some of the nonsense that you'll run into in this book.I really recommend that you pass on this.

5-0 out of 5 stars For serious students of European fantasy literature
The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests To The Modern World by Jack Zipes (Professor of German, University of Minnesota) is an informed and informative examination of the lives of the famous fairy tale gatherers, writers, and preservers, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. From their humble origins amidst poverty and prejudice to their ultimate contribution to literature as a whole, The Brothers Grimm is a truly fascinating account and a "must-read" for serious students of European fantasy literature and folklore. ... Read more

4. The Brothers Grimm: Two Lives, One Legacy
by Donald R. Hettinga
Hardcover: 192 Pages (2001-10-15)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$7.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618055991
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Children everywhere are familiar with the fairy-tale world of the Brothers Grimm, who made "once upon a time" a part of our universal vocabulary—but few people know much about the brothers themselves. Inspired by their desire to document their national literary heritage, the two devoted brothers spent most of their adult years collecting and publishing German Märchen and Sagen, fairy tales and legends. This thorough and compelling biography addresses the social, political, and historical influences that shaped the lives and stories of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Two Lives, One Legacy
It's a great title for this book, "Two Lives One Legacy." And this is a beautiful story on the lives of the two brothers. It was not easy for me to find a book on their lives...and when I learned of this book, it was not easy to get a hold of it...

Most remember Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm for the stories they published, and sometimes myth intrudes even with this. But they lived great and wonderful lives, and this book tells all.

From childhood, this book covers their lives in an easy read. It offers a whole new light on the lives and times of, 'The Brother's Grimm."

There is not a movie on the, "true" story of the two brother's, I hope one will be made soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine biographical coverage
Donald Hettinga's Brothers Grimm presents a fine biographical coverage of the era and lives of the Brothers Grimm and the stories they recorded. Photos, archival illustrations, and plenty of details on the brothers' relationship pack a 179-page, engrossing account. ... Read more

5. Inventors and Creators - The Brothers Grimm (Inventors and Creators)
by Raymond H. Miller
Hardcover: 48 Pages (2005-09-02)
list price: US$23.70 -- used & new: US$23.64
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Asin: 0737731575
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Editorial Review

Book Description
"Cinderella," "Hansel and Gretel," "Rapunzel," and "Snow White" are just a sampling of the dozens of fairytales presented to the world by the German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. This book details the social and political influences that shaped the lives of the Brothers Grimm and the wonderful tales they shared. ... Read more

6. The Poets' Grimm: 20th Century Poems from Grimm Fairy Tales
Paperback: 304 Pages (2003-06)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 1586540270
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description

Writers and readers have long been inspired by the haunting wisdom and sheer imaginative power to be found in the fairy tales of the immortal Brothers Grimm. The editors have collected more than a hundred poems inspired by Grimm tales and written by our finest living poets. A brilliant and informative anthology, a teachable text.

Jeanne Marie Beaumont first book of poetry, Placebo Effects, was selected by William Matthews for the National Poetry Series in 1997. She teaches at Rutgers University. Claudia Carlson works at Oxford University Press in New York. Her poems have appeared in Heliotrope, Coracle, Space and Time, Fantastic Stories and NYCBigCityLit.comm

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Go Into the Woods Without It
THE POETS GRIMM is an essential addition to the collection of anyone who grew up with fairy tales - that is, everyone in America who ever opened a storybook that began "Once upon a time. . ." or watched a Disney movie that opened with a princess tortured by her evil stepmother. Here are the stories from the Grimm brothers collections that terrified and delighted us as children, now revisited with adult distance, wisdom, and humor.Ably edited by Jeanne Marie Beaumont and Claudia Carlson, THE POETS GRIMM embraces the breadth of poetry in English in the 20th century, from our most recent poet laureate, Louise Glück, to writers like Terri Windling and Jane Yolen, best known for their work in contemporary fantasy and science fiction.Anne Sexton's important poem, "Twelve Dancing Princesses," from her groundbreaking collection TRANSFORMATIONS, is included, as is an intensely moving poem by Amy Lowell from 1912, which strikes a surprisingly contemporary note.

A deep sympathy for the much maligned usual suspects, wolves and witches, underlies the entire volume, and frankly, if I were Prince Charming, I'd have a call in to my lawyer about a possible libel suit.Perhaps most American of all the Grimm interpretations found here is Tim Siebles' "What Bugs Bunny said to Red Riding Hood," which alone is worth the price of the entire collection.

Reading the poems in this collection bathes the old tales in a new and revelatory light;most telling of all perhaps are the poems which offer new versions of the detailed and mysterious marching orders given to every fairy tale hero or heroine who set off, willingly or not, on a quest. Neil Gaiman's "Instructions," in this vein, makes wonderful new sense of these ever-puzzling rules. Through these poems we see our own childhoods recast, and the clamor of impossibly conflicting childhood directives we all received invoked and examined.

The Poets Grimm offers a wonderful snapshot of poetry of the last half of the last century, taken through an enchanted lens, and I highly recommend it to anyone who ever felt a little cheated by the words, "And they lived happily ever after."

5-0 out of 5 stars Grimms in Verse
While this collection might appear gimmicky to some, a quick persusal of the table of contents will show that many respected poets have used fairy tale motifs in their work.Beaumont and Carlson have gathered numerous poems from a wide range of poets that reflect the enduring themes and characters we inherited through the work of the Brothers Grimm.The usual suspects, such as Anne Sexton, are here but so are some lesser known poets.The anthology is strong and represents many well-known fairy tales along with a few that are lesser known by the general public.The book is recommended for libraries and classrooms in which poetry and/or fairy tales are taught. It also makes great armchair reading for anyone interested in new interpretations of familiar stories. ... Read more

7. The Brothers Grimm & Their Critics: Folktales and the Quest for Meaning
by Christa Kamenetsky
 Hardcover: 400 Pages (1992-07)
list price: US$45.00
Isbn: 0821410202
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8. Terrors of Childhood in Grimms' Fairy Tales (Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics)
by Winfried G. Kudszus
 Paperback: 149 Pages (2005-09)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0820456551
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Questioning culturally predetermined consolidations of childhood experience, this study focuses on memory and affect on the verge of linguistic formulation. Fairy tale plots frequently function as cover-ups of a deeply rooted violence that expresses itself through sensibilities of the skin and in presymbolically charged cataclysms. In a narrative border zone, early linguistic and psychic events re-emerge with primordial force. Split into seemingly irreconcilable opposites, good and evil engage in warfare with each other; cannibalism and infanticide take hold of family life. In close readings of four newly translated, intricately interpersonal fairy tales related by the Brothers Grimm, this inquiry explores an utter frightfulness ... Read more

9. One Fairy Story Too Many: The Brothers Grimm and Their Tales
by John M. Ellis
 Paperback: 224 Pages (1985-03)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$12.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226205479
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10. The Portrayal of the Maturation Process of Girl Figures in Selected Tales of the Brothers Grimm (Europaische Hochschulschriften Reihe I, Deutsche Sprache Und Literatur)
by Diann Rusch-Feja
 Paperback: 288 Pages (1995-06)
list price: US$57.95 -- used & new: US$57.95
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Asin: 0820429546
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11. Grimm Brothers and the Germanic Past (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and History of Linguistic Science Series III: Studies in the History of the Language Sciences)
by Elmer H. Antonsen, James W. Marchand
 Hardcover: 172 Pages (1990-09)
list price: US$142.00 -- used & new: US$142.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9027245398
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12. Cinderella's Gold Slipper: Spiritual Symbolism in the Grimm's Tales
by Samuel Denis Fohr
 Paperback: 223 Pages (1991-01-25)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$2.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0835606724
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Editorial Review

Book Description
Spiritual symbolism as it relates to the Grimm fairy tales. ... Read more

13. The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales
by Maria Tatar
Paperback: 360 Pages (2003-05-06)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$21.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691114692
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description

Murder, mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide, and incest: the darker side of classic fairy tales figures as the subject matter for this intriguing study of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's Nursery and Household Tales. This updated and expanded second edition includes a new preface and an appendix containing new translations of six tales, along with commentary by Maria Tatar. Throughout the book, Tatar skillfully employs the tools not only of a psychoanalyst but also of a folklorist, literary critic, and historian to examine the harsher aspects of these stories. She presents new interpretations of the powerful stories in this worldwide best-selling book. Few studies have been written in English on these tales, and none has probed their allegedly happy endings so thoroughly.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Profoundly Disappointing
It would be an understatement to say that I greatly anticipated the reading of this book. I am terribly fond of fairy tales (who among us isn't?) and looked forward to an engaging, informative handling of the content of the Grimms' tales, with a focus on the unchildlike elements so common in the stories due to their original intent to reach mature audiences.

Unfortunately, I was profoundly disappointed in this book. The book lacks clarity and organization; the entire 'feel' of the writing is that of a dissertation that was haphazardly expanded to 'book size'. The writing pulls in various different directions, often seemingly at random, with no clear view of why a certain topic was handled when it was, nor how it led into the next discussed topic. "Herding cats" is a phrase that comes to mind; "whiny and tired children" would also apply here.

For example, in the first chapter ""SEX AND VIOLENCE: The Hard Core of Fairy Tales", Tatar deals only briefly with the puzzlement of sex and violence in popular children's literature before moving on to spend the bulk of the chapter on the Grimms' financial difficulties, publishing woes, irritation over displeased critics, as well other such varied and broad themes as the differences in vernacular between various editions, the misfortunes of modern compilers who have not had the older, less heavily edited versions available, and authors who failed to realize that the "Grimms" author were two people, not one. Most of these topics, as the shrewd reader will note, have little or nothing to do with sex/violence in Grimms' fairy tales or any others.

Another flaw in this book leading to a "dissertation" feel is Tatar's obsession with diagrams. Multiple diagrams are devoted to detailing the difference between "fairy" tales and "folk" tales. This is NOT a topic that interested me whatsoever, and the multitude of pages devoted to it was deeply annoying. What does the difference between a fairy/folk tale have to do with the "hard facts" of the Grimms' tales? Nothing, as we later find out. It's just something Tatar is interested in. Slightly more pertinent is the number of diagrams devoted to detailing the relationships between various story archetypes, but once again, I did not buy this book to learn about the archetypes of fairy tales, but rather to deal with the "hard facts" of the Grimms' tales - sex, violence, abandonment, the fact that a number of endings were NOT "happily ever after" - and the lack of serious treatment of these grim topics makes me feel that this book was misnamed in an attempt to drum up sales.

I seriously considered giving the book 2 stars for my disappointment with the lack of title-related subject matter, but I finally settled on 3 stars, simply because I still found the result to be mildly interesting. If you want a book on deconstructing fairy tales in general, this is a decent resource, if somewhat dry and boring. If you want a book on the grim realities of the Grimms' tales, look elsewhere.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
The book is quite interesting but rather academic.I had the feeling I was reading someone's PhD thesis, albeit an interesting one.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Riddles Of Classic Fairy Tales
I have read several of Maria Tatar's books for critical fairy tales analysis.
The book is lush with beautiful drawings and the writing style is acutely very good, and very easy to read, and understand.
However, I just really wasn't impressed because I had known most of the information that was presented in thisvolume.
I acutely would recommend her novel The Annotated Classic Fairy Talesand her up coming book The Annotated Brothers Grimm ( this also looks very interesting. )
The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales( to me at least. ) Would be a good starter point for someone who really wants to know the truth about fairy tales.
More recommend for new comers who want's great art work and something easy to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars close look at the uncensored tales
It was really interesting to find out about how the Grimm's collection was put together and how it was rewritten. I was surprised to read that the Grimms added violence in order to make the stories more parent-friendly--I guess parents in those days really believed that punishments would produce virtue.Loved the stories at the end, which are pretty hair-raising.
I was surprised to learn that these stories went so far back in time and that they were originally for adults.

3-0 out of 5 stars Could be better
Maria Tatar's book, while excellent lacks focus.She needs more information in some areas, while in other areas, she needs entirely new sections.It is an excellent book, but you may not find all the information you're looking for.For instance, I was reading the sex and violence section, and she would go on for pages about the sources the Brothers used.While this can pertain to the section title, she strayed to much, and I felt the section was lacking information on sex and violence. ... Read more

14. Grimm's Last Fairytale: A Novel
by Haydn Middleton
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2001-03-16)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$2.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312272901
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Book Description
In September 1863 Jacob Grimm travels through rural western Germany with his devoted niece, Auguste-- who longs to learn, at last, the truth about her family-- and Kummel, their new and enigmatic manservant. As relations between the three reach the boiling point, Jacob's traumas and heartbreaks here in his original homeland are revealed in vivid flashbacks. Now, old, Jacob resists Auguste's attempts to make him take stock of his life, but memories that are repressed have a tendency to reappear in other places and in other guises.Throughout Jacob's travels, he is reminded of the folk tales he and his brother Wilhelm collected in their Tales for the Young and Old. Although the brothers were renowned language scholars and passionate supporters of German unification, they were haunted throughout their lives by the Tales. Most notable is the feverish fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, which holds a shattered mirror to a life, a country, and a history. The Sleeping Beauty recounted here is neither the Disney version nor even the Grimms' version, but an enchanting tale that goes beyond the marriage of the prince and princess to reveal the surprising truth behind the evil spell.In his compelling historical novel, Haydn Middleton re-creates the life story of literature's most famous brothers. It is a history that could almost be a fairy tale itself, with its fabulous changes of fortune, tests of duty and honor, arrogant princes, lost loves, and twisted family relationships-- all unfolding in a world of dark forests and even darker politics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing
An incredible accomplishment.Middleton interweaves 3 stories:Jacob Grimm at the end of his life, key moments throughout Grimm's life, and a stylized version (related to Grimm's life) of the fairy tale, Briar Rose.All three stories are richly interwoven and overlapped, so you are never quite sure which is influencing the other.Middleton uses wonderful pacing, beautiful language and a "well-spun" yarn to keep the reader thoroughly engaged.As a history buff, I appreciated Middleton's ability to include historical and cultural background to help explain the purpose behind Grimm's actions.I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of fairy tales, German development during the early 19th century, the life and times of the Grimm's Brothers, or simply a well-told story.

5-0 out of 5 stars MAGICAL ARTISTRY
Middleton's Grimm ranks with Angela Carter's bejeweled fairytale rewrites in BURNING MY BOATS. He weaves three plots into one story. First he tells of the life of Jacob Grimm in his last year as he takes a sentimental journey across Germany to an early home he shared with his brother during Wilhelm's marriage. He tells of Jacob and Wilhelm's youth and their mother's stories that burst with blood and suicide, and how these stories later lead into the the brothers collecting horrific children's tales. He tells of Jacob's tie to his late brother's daughter, who falls in love with their mysterious manservant, Kummel. And he tells the story of Sleeping Beauty as it has never been told before and which parallels Jacob's own life. All these stories are suffused with marvelous description and surreal imagery that at once rubs shoulders with gripping realism and such rich epithets as "Her face would split a pitcher." For me, this is a stunning invention and modern classic that follows the German soul into its darkest subterranean windings that lead later into jackboots on cobblestones. Do yourself a huge favor and dip in. ... Read more

15. Once upon Time
by Quackenbush
 Hardcover: Pages (1986-02-01)
list price: US$11.95
Isbn: 0671662961
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16. Darkest Desire: The Wolf's Own Tale
by Anthony Schmitz
Hardcover: 134 Pages (1998-11-01)
list price: US$19.00 -- used & new: US$0.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0880016264
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

In Darkest Desire Anthony Schmitz turns the Brothers Grimm ontheir heads, retelling "Little Red Riding Hood" from the wolf's perspective. Whatever charm the reader might reasonably expect from such a conceit, however, rapidly dissipates under the beast's graphic and unpleasantly sexual descriptions of child murder:

If I close my eyes, I can still hear the sound of cloth shredding as I pulled with my teeth. I was mad with rage and joy for a moment, and then I was overwhelmed by guilt. Yes, yes, certainly he was a pathetic thing, so miserably, mistakenly confident. But he was as God had made him, and now he was torn asunder. I quickly lost my appetite. I left him almost whole, except for the upper ham. That I retched in the grass a few minutes later.
The wolf goes on to describe how, in the days following this first kill, he "relived those few minutes again and again," and one can't help but think of the Ted Bundys and Jeffrey Dahmers of the world, slouching towards their next gruesome murder.

Schmitz does have a point he's trying to make about the individual's obligation to his own true nature, no matter how perverse, versus his duty to conform to social norms. In exploring this dichotomy, the author skewers psychotherapy--or at least the most opportunistic practitioners of it--and paints Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm as the 19th-century equivalent of tabloid journalists, willing to go to any length to get their story, even if it means manufacturing it.All this might have worked had the wolf's proclivities been less revolting. Unfortunately, there's just no argument to be made in favor of baby-killing as a form of self-expression. Darkest Desire is well written but deeply unpleasant to read.--Alix WilberBook Description
Wolf's life in the wood might be happy, except for one problem. He can't control his urge to devour children who stumble across his path. His runaway desires have made him an outcast among his peers. He lives an unhappy, solitary life -- until he encounters the Brothers Grimm. Wolf is thrilled to realize that in the presence of these scholars, he can speak. The Grimms take Wolf into their camp, fill him with brandy, and poke at the source of his easily apparent unhappiness. When they learn the truth about Wolf's cravings, they propose a cure.

Now Wolf must make a decision. Can the satisfaction of a "normal" life outweigh the joys of his perversion? Are his desires truly dreanged, or is he simply giving full expression to his personal nature? Does he have an obligation -- as his occasional companion Devil argues -- to live as a unique individual in the manner to which he was born?

Wolf trust his new friends, and agrees to their cure. The brothers construct a complicated and dangerous scenario to discover how Wolf will behave. Is Wolf nothing more than a subject for research? The Grimms no more than conniving reporters?

Ultimately, Wolf, Devil, the Brothers Grimm, an outraged Frau, and her endangered babe collide at a pool in the dark wood to settle ancient questions: Can the deepest and most perverse desires ever be overruled? Or more important, should they?

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good and dark tale of morality
Schmitz has written a great book.There is so much to feed on on so many levels.I was so astounded by the wolf's understanding of his relationship with evil.He refuses to personify it and yet has realized that his ongoing companionship is not friendship.I think the story raises questions about humnan complicity in evil and the human tendency towards idolatry (knowledge, science, consuming).By the end of the book, one has to wonder where the center of the evil that is being described lies:in the devil, in the wolf, or in the Brothers Grimm?Schmitz ablilities to make the reader see situations from the view point of the wolf is truly amazing.It's a good tale and will keep the reader thinking about those big questions about good and bad and knowledge.

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable short read
Schmitz performs in 100+ pages what many writers cannot do with several hundred more.Presents us with an affable yet fallable protagonist, sets up themes and conflict we can relate (in our own desires), and resolves it satisfactorily.As it is so short, it would be unwise to summarize the plot and spoil things for the reader.Surely, however, a newly vocal wolf who preys on children, the Brothers Grimm, and the Devil should provoke anyone to read this appealing work.:)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fur-raising tale
This is another book review by the boonie dogs, Wolfie and Kansas."Darkest Desire", allegedly by Anthony Schmitz, presents a wolf's-eye-and-snout view of the Brothers Grimm.We suspect that this bookwas ghostwritten by a fellow canine.Much of the book is too insightfuland too clever to have been written by a typical human author.

Thepassages about the tastiness of human puppies are somewhat offensive.Acanine is more likely to protect a human child from human predators than toeat the child himself.However, "Schmitz" does make it clearthat the child-eating wolf is no more typical of canines than HannibalLecter is of humans.In a nice twist on an idea used decades ago byClifford Simak in "City", Schmitz makes use of the canine abilityto perceive and interact with phenomena beyond human perception.

5-0 out of 5 stars Twice Told Tails
Many postmodern deconstructions of legends and fairy tales are rather self-consciously academic and self-referential and are clever in a "hey, look at this fancy stuff" sort of way. Darkest Desire setsthe whole nature/culture controversy on its head in a most entertainingmanner with a notable lack of pretense. Strongly recommended for adults andmature teens.

5-0 out of 5 stars A splendid and original idea well done
This is one of the most original books I've ever read. I was a bit skeptical when I heard about the premise. Who writes an adult book about the Big Bad Wolf? Once I cracked it, though, I couldn't put it down.Schmitz has fashioned fairy-tale characters that are not only interestingbut (who would believe it?) believable. His writing is precise, hisobservations droll. And as you might suspect, the story is hilarious. Thisis a book that I'm going to tout to my friends. ... Read more

17. The Wrestler's Cruel Study: A Novel
by Stephen Dobyns
 Hardcover: 426 Pages (1993-08)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$3.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393035115
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hmmmm
I've owned this book for about five year and just could never get into it although it seemed like it would be interesting. I finally got into and boy am I glad I did. This is one of the most unique books I have ever read (and I've read A LOT). It's a book about finding out who you are through and in ways you never considered. The characters are highly entertaining, the situations are crazy and highly entertaining and the thought provoking ideas within this book leave you with things to consider long after you've finished reading. It's hard to describe a book like this! I rarely give five star reviews, but this one deserves it. Read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the Most Unique Book You'll Read This Year...
I was hesistant to start The Wrestler's Cruel Study. Too many books like this have left me disappointed, with an empty feeling when the last page is finally turned. I'm happy to say that this sprawling novel is not one of those. Dobyns manages to fuse literature with entertainment, creating this bizarre amalgam that is part conventional mystery, philosophical pondering, and high humor. Somehow, it actually works. I was even more struck by the dazzling prose, and stark originality in some of the imagery and style Dobyns uses. As one would imagine, this book is now out of print, but I highly reccomend tracking it down.

5-0 out of 5 stars smartly funny
I don't have much to add here, but I thought I should let potential readers know that this was the funniest and one of the most memorable books I read this year. So different from Dobyns' other stuff, but SO rewarding as well. It does help to have some interest in the history of theology/heresy and Grimm's fairytales, not to mention Nietzsche.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gimmick is form pretending to be substance....
"The Wrestler's Cruel Study" was a staff recommendation at a local bookstore here in San Francisco several years ago; and, that brief review, placed on the shelf near copies of the book, was written with such enthusiasm and humor that it charmed me the rest of the day. However, I did not purchase the book as I assumed that the reviewer was the talent and that the review was meant as a kind of comic hyperbole. That was a mistake. After running across the book again at another store, I finally bought it. Now, some years later and after a second reading, I think I can say that it ranks among my very favorites.

As the book jacket suggests, we begin by observing an apartment complex where we witness two gorillas scale the outside wall to gain entry. Once inside, they kidnap a young woman wearing only her nightgown and steal her away. Her fiancé, a professional wrestler, is warned against soliciting the help of the police in her recovery; and he is given no motive for the kidnapping or asked for a ransom of any kind. In an effort to discover her whereabouts and gain her safe return, the wrestler embarks on a search that, he discovers, will do more to unravel the mystery of who he is than it will to find the one he loves.

Here is a book that manages to be, among other things: a study in identity and the perception of the self; a nightmare; a story of redemption; absurdist theater designed to illustrate philosophical argument; and a big-dicked perversion of Nietzschean philosophy, albeit a charming and gravely humorous one.

In the book Mr. Dobyns makes much of "gimmick." Put another way, he makes much of the masks that we wear, focusing on how they serve us, but more importantly, how they do us disservice. In illustrating the many ways that it is possible for one to bandage his or her wounds, and wear layer upon layer of these dressings or masks, he has created fully-realized characters with all manner of human strength and frailty. To have done so without judgment is, to my mind, a huge achievement.

Each of the characters that populate this wild and enormously entertaining novel is developed with the skill of one who really seems to understand what it means to be human. Each of them has much to learn about life, their connections with others and, perhaps most importantly, with themselves.

As lucky readers, this all serves to do the same for us. It asks rather big questions and gives no simple answers. Again, this is quite a feat for a fiction. We are asked, "When we look in a mirror, do we see ourselves or a committee?" I submit that if we look closely enough, this book, like any good looking glass, might just give us a glimpse of who we are.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stephen Dobyns, always a cruel study with which to wrestle
One needn't be the least bit interested in professional wrestling, cruelty or studying to enjoy and grow from reading this absurdist, moralist, epic novel by Stephen Dobyns.It is truly a study in the human condition disguised as a day in the life of a professional wrestler.

The book simply works at many levels.I suppose a wrestling fan could almost read it literally and enjoy it as a hero/detective novel.Anyone with a taste for the absurd can merely enjoy the wonderful twists of fortune and circumstance the characters find themselves in.With an appreciation for Nietzche, arcane studies of Hebrew and Christian theology, a sense of Jungian analysis and a penchant for many-layered, indeed entwined metaphors on top of the rest, I was delighted.

If you like any of Dobyn's other works, or the twisted yet familiar view of humanity common to writers such asAnne Tyler, John Irving or Tom Robbins, you will likely enjoy this book as much as I did. ... Read more

by James M. McGlathery
 Hardcover: 226 Pages (1990-10-01)
list price: US$29.95
Isbn: 0252017412
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Critical of Romance
When I first picked up this book I was looking forward to reading a study about depictions of passion and desire in fairy tales, especially since McGlathery covered three of my favorite authors--Grimms, Basile, andPerrault. (Grimms dominate the study.)After delving into the book though,I was dismayed to find that he concentrated on "nubile""marriageable" female images and dismissed male images of passionand desire.The lack of balance is disheartening and annoying.On theother hand, for academic readers out there, the end notes are thorough,helpful, and interesting. ... Read more

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