Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BOOK TALK: GRIM'S FAIRY STORIES

Fairy Tales are basically synonymous with childhood. I grew up with them being told to me, seeing them re-imagined in Disney movies, and read re-written versions of these classic tales. But much later in life, I realized that I didn't actually know the original versions of the tales that filled the early years of my life.

I think what was most interesting about reading these is that I am of the opinion that retold or otherwise modernized versions are just so much better than the Grimm Brothers' original iterations. Am I aware that this is an entirely unfair and liberally subjective statement? Yes, yes I am, that's why this is a Book Talk and not a Book Review.

I think some works of fiction fall into such a classic status that they truly are beyond reproach. This work is one of them, but I am still allowed to have certain feelings towards it. I think that fiction like this should be read by everyone, especially if you have fond memories of the more recent works that it inspired. It's fun for me to look at the origins of where certain things came from and it was certainly a real treat to delve into these classic stories. I think my main issue with them is that the characterization of these versions isn't as complete as newer ones and that the messages are a lot thinner than I expected. I think I was anticipating something more akin to Aesop's Fables, but that wasn't the case. That's not to say these stories are meaningless, because there are little lessons and morals that can be taken from them, but they are a bit generic and harder to draw out, especially for younger audiences. These stories are also very very dark and are definitely NOT something I'd read to a really small boy or girl.

I also listened to this as an audio-book which worked out quite well since these stories are written in such a way that they sound like they are being told to you out loud anyway. The audio quality was pretty decent especially for the $0.99 price tag. It was nothing special, but good enough for it to be an enjoyable experience.

So overall, I'm really glad that I can finally say that I know these original tales. They didn't blow me away or change my life or anything, but were a great study into work that inspired the stories that enchanted me as a child.

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