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30 review for The Complete Fairy Tales

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Complete Fairy Tales: The complete collection, Hans Christian Andersen Hans Christian Andersen often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen, (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875) was a Danish author. All the best-loved fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen: The Tinder-Box; Little Claus And Big Claus; The Princess And The Pea; Little Ida’s Flowers; Little Tiny Or Thumbelina; The Saucy Boy; The Travelling Companion; The Little Mermaid; The Emperor’s New Suit; The Goloshes Of Fortune; The The Complete Fairy Tales: The complete collection, Hans Christian Andersen Hans Christian Andersen often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen, (2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875) was a Danish author. All the best-loved fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen: The Tinder-Box; Little Claus And Big Claus; The Princess And The Pea; Little Ida’s Flowers; Little Tiny Or Thumbelina; The Saucy Boy; The Travelling Companion; The Little Mermaid; The Emperor’s New Suit; The Goloshes Of Fortune; The Daisy; The Brave Tin Soldier; The Wild Swans; The Garden Of Paradise; The Flying Trunk; The Storks; The Elf Of The Rose; What The Moon Saw; The Wicked Prince; The Metal Pig; The Shepherd’s Story Of The Bond Of Friendship; A Rose From Homer’s Grave; The Buckwheat; Ole-Luk-Oie, The Dream-God; The Swineherd; The Angel; The Nightingale; The Ugly Duckling; The Top And Ball; The Fir Tree; The Snow Queen; The Little Elder-Tree Mother; The Elfin Hill; The Red Shoes; The Jumper; The Shepherdess And The Sweep; Holger Danske; The Bell; Grandmother; The Darning-Needle; The Little Match-Seller; The Sunbeam And The Captive; By The Almshouse Window; The Old Street Lamp; The Neighbouring Families; Little Tuk; The Shadow; The Old House; The Drop Of Water; The Happy Family; The Story Of A Mother; The Shirt-Collar; The Flax; The Phoenix Bird; A Story; The Puppet-Show Man; The Dumb Book; The Old Grave-Stone; The Conceited Apple-Branch; The Loveliest Rose In The World; In A Thousand Years; The Swan’s Nest; The Story Of The Year; There Is No Doubt About It; A Cheerful Temper; A Great Grief; Everything In The Right Place; The Goblin And The Huckster; Under The Willow-Tree; The Pea Blossom; She Was Good For Nothing; The Last Pearl; Two Maidens; In The Uttermost Parts Of The Sea; The Money-Box; A Leaf From Heaven; Jack The Dullard; Ib And Little Christina; The Thorny Road Of Honor; The Jewish Maiden; The Bell-Deep; The Bottle Neck; Soup From A Sausage Skewer; The Old Bachelor’s Nightcap; Something; The Last Dream Of The Old Oak; The Marsh King’s Daughter; The Races; The Philosopher’s Stone; The Story Of The Wind; The Girl Who Trod On The Loaf; Ole The Tower-Keeper; Anne Lisbeth; Children’s Prattle; The Child In The Grave; Two Brothers; The Pen And The Inkstand; The Farm-Yard Cock And The Weathercock; Beauty Of Form And Beauty Of Mind; A Story From The Sand-Hills; The Butterfly; The Bishop Of B0rglum And His Warriors; The Mail-Coach Passengers; The Beetle Who Went On His Travels; What The Old Man Does Is Always Right; The Snow Man; The Portuguese Duck; The Ice Maiden; The Psyche; The Snail And The Rose-Tree; The Old Church Bell; The Silver Shilling; The Snowdrop; The Bird Of Popular Song; The Will-O’-The-Wisp Is In The Town, Says The Moor-Woman; The Windmill; In The Nursery; The Golden Treasure; The Storm Shakes The Shield; Delaying Is Not Forgetting; The Porter’s Son; and more Others!!!!! تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هشتم ماه سپتامبر سال 2013 میلادی عنوان: مجموعه قصه های پریان: چهار جلدی؛ نویسنذه: هانس کریستین اندرسون؛ مترجم: جمشید نوایی؛ تهران، نگاه، 1384؛ در چهار جلد، در 1470 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان دانمارکی - سده 19 م ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to The Complete Fairy Tales, written in 1835 by Hans Christian Andersen. Many people are familiar with the fairy tales written by the Grimm brothers, but sometimes don't realize there were several different versions or collections by different authors. Another popular one is the series written by Hans Christian Anderson. The two I was the most familiar with were "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Emperor's New Clothes." In both, you see some of the "horror" that you see from other classic f Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to The Complete Fairy Tales, written in 1835 by Hans Christian Andersen. Many people are familiar with the fairy tales written by the Grimm brothers, but sometimes don't realize there were several different versions or collections by different authors. Another popular one is the series written by Hans Christian Anderson. The two I was the most familiar with were "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Emperor's New Clothes." In both, you see some of the "horror" that you see from other classic fairy tales, but these are more about reality and real-life situations that could occur. Also, they don't always end up a positive note. A few movies have been made from them, and countless cartoons and TV shows. I enjoyed some of them, but not all of them. I do think they are worth a read, as they provide some insight into the goings-on of a working mind nearly 200 years ago. It's true-to-form stories that have a basis in moral lessons versus coming-of-age sentiments. Both are valuable, but they are a bit different. Not quite for young children, probably better for pre-teens or teenagers. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pouting Always

    Not a fan of Hans Christian Anderson at all. Most of his stories were short and pointless and the ones with morals made me feel like I was being preached to. I just can't get with the religious tone of his stories or the weird way women are treated like the little mermaid sacrificing herself off the boat, or the prince who tries to court the emperor's daughter but she rejects him so he pretends to be a swine herder and tricks her into getting disowned with him for kissing him and then basically Not a fan of Hans Christian Anderson at all. Most of his stories were short and pointless and the ones with morals made me feel like I was being preached to. I just can't get with the religious tone of his stories or the weird way women are treated like the little mermaid sacrificing herself off the boat, or the prince who tries to court the emperor's daughter but she rejects him so he pretends to be a swine herder and tricks her into getting disowned with him for kissing him and then basically leaves her homeless because that's what she deserves for rejecting an honest prince, or when the guy who journey's with the other guy beats the princess while following her and she thinks its a hail storm. I could go on and on. I literally did not get anything constructive from reading any of the stories and only finished reading the book because I have this compulsive need to finish a book once I start it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Luís C.

    A powerful and beautiful book that I will undoubtedly keep at hand and that made me want to better know Andersen by his autobiography and plunge also in the Tales of Grimm.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    If you want to read the real stories that inspired the lion's share of Disney films, definitely read Mr. Andersen's collection of fairy tales. Do not expect happy endings however - leave those to Walt&Co. Instead imagine families trying to scare their kids into behaving in order to survive the many dangers in this world - represented fantastically by witches and wolves and other beasties and meanies. A wonderful collection!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jaela

    Although some of the tales are really disturbing, the fantasy and imagination behind them is indisputable. I grew up reading this book and I'm sure it'll be valuable for all future generations.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Hans Christian Andersen once said, "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale." And his life certainly was an extraordinary rags to riches story. In all Hans Christian Andersen wrote 156 fairy tales, of which forty are in this luxury, large format edition, to represent the cream of the crop. It is a beautiful, sumptuous book, the semi-matt purple cover slightly textured and embossed, giving almost a "padded" feel. It has a feature reminiscent of medallions in old books; in this case an inset glossy Hans Christian Andersen once said, "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale." And his life certainly was an extraordinary rags to riches story. In all Hans Christian Andersen wrote 156 fairy tales, of which forty are in this luxury, large format edition, to represent the cream of the crop. It is a beautiful, sumptuous book, the semi-matt purple cover slightly textured and embossed, giving almost a "padded" feel. It has a feature reminiscent of medallions in old books; in this case an inset glossy illustration of a mermaid. The paper throughout is glossy, and most pages are bordered with patterns and old gold surrounds. Three gold colours are used; the spine is a slightly brighter gold, and the page edges are shiny and gilt-edged, plus there is a gold ribbon bookmark attached. There is an interesting introduction by the translator, Neil Philip, plus copious, carefully drawn illustrations by Isabelle Brent. These are mostly in gouache, and the illustrator makes much use of jewel colours, patterning and many magnificent gold highlights. It is a book which simply begs to be picked up. The choice of purple and gold is perhaps significant, since it is clear that Hans Christian Andersen believed himself to be a member of the royal family. Not only that, but he tortured himself with the belief that he was unacknowledged royalty, who had been cast out, and this conviction plagued him all his life. Interestingly, although there will probably never be any proof of Hans Christian Andersen's true birth, it is not simply an idle dream, but a genuine possibility. Hans Christian Andersen may have been the illegitimate son of Crown Prince Christian Frederik, later Christian VIII, and the teenage countess Elise Ahlefeldt-Laurvig. He was born in 1805 at Broholm Castle near Odense. Both Hans Christian Andersen's official parents worked at the castle, his "mother" as a nursemaid, and his "father", a cobbler for the family. There had also been a precedent for an illegitimate daughter (Fanny) to have been adopted by another servant of the Royal family a year earlier. Hans Christian Andersen seems to have had a privileged position with this family. Rather than play with the other poor children, he was allowed to play with Prince Christian Frederik's son, Prince Fritz, who was three years younger than him. When this prince later died, Hans Christian Andersen was the only person, not in the family, who was allowed to view the body privately. When he was seven years of age, Hans Christian Andersen's official father was paid to serve in the Napoleonic wars, in place of a local landowner. He returned four years later, a broken man, and died in the Spring. Hans's mother was now destitute, with few choices as she was illiterate, so she took in washing, standing waist deep for hours in the icy river, trying to stay warm by taking nips of schnapps. Two years later she married another shoemaker, who took no interest in the young Hans. Hence Hans Christian Andersen grew up in heartbreaking poverty, and all his life remained self-conscious about his lower class background, despite his success. Perhaps it is because he was born poor that he was obsessed with social class, and always trying to claw his way to the top. He seemed to both worship the nobility but also resent them for holding him at arm's length. He was of course dependent on the patronage of the wealthy to create his art. Whatever the cause, Hans Christian Andersen's stories portray everyone from invented royalty, to the truly destitute. He believed, "Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's fingers." Hans Christian Andersen was awkward and earnest; gawky, ill-at-ease, and always feeling he was picked on by all and sundry. Many of his protagonists are obvious depictions of himself; caring a lot what other people thought of them and worried about fitting in. "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Ugly Duckling" are clear examples. Yet even battling all his worries, Hans Christian Andersen managed to find his voice and write his stories. In many of his stories he seems to explore ideas about wealth, self-worth, and the meaning of life. Many other aspects of the author's life feed into his stories, which were quite an eye-opener to read. If you think that he wrote "nice" stories for children, then perhaps think again. Some of them are very dark in tone, and most are quite depressing. He has been called a "poet of human suffering". Story after story ends in rejection, humiliation or disappointment. Many of the stories feature a downtrodden protagonist. Sometimes the main character will work hard, and then have a wonderful "fairytale" ending. Perhaps they are lucky, becoming rich, or famous, or falling in love, or a combination of these. Sometimes our downtrodden protagonist works hard, and is just about to achieve fulfilment in one of these ways ... but then suddenly dies for no particular reason. Sometimes there is no change at all, and the downtrodden protagonist remains downtrodden. (And then probably dies.) The downtrodden protagonist is not always "he". Sometimes it is a "she". Or equally often it may be a household object, or a flower, a tree, or an animal. Hans Christian Andersen's stories are fantasies, like dreams or visions. The object or creature will have a personality of its own, often showing a boastful or arrogant side; it will talk to other creatures or objects ... and then die. Sometimes the story does not even seem to be a moral fable; perhaps the object does not seem to have a bad side (but it will probably die nonetheless). His stories often feature children—usually a perfect vision of children who are like miniature adults doing various good things. Sometimes they die too. Sometimes the protagonists do not themselves die, but lose a loved one, and must accept that God is in charge of everything—even when they do not understand the reason. And in this way, through every single story, there seems to be a common thread. Hans Christian Andersen's tales are full of ideas about God, angels, faith, the Bible, the afterlife, and sin. He constantly reflects on what it takes to get into heaven, the various wicked things people do, and the nature of God, love, and forgiveness. Considering that the author himself said the stories were for children, it seems remarkable that they are so preoccupied with the darker side of being human. People sin, he says, and darkness often lives in our hearts and souls. He clearly thinks that all humans are sinners and should live in fear of God, but he also keeps reinforcing the redemptive power of love and faith. Many of Hans Christian Andersen's stories end up with the characters in heaven. Although not exactly a Catholic, his views and expressed beliefs certainly inclined that way. Hans Christian Andersen did not start out by writing fairy tales, although that is what we remember him for. Even as a child he had artistic leanings, becoming swept up by the "Tales from the Arabian Nights" which his father told him, and the toy theatre his father had made. The young Hans played with this, and made clothes for his dolls, dreaming of becoming an actor, a singer or a dancer. After his father died he left home to seek his fortune in Copenhagen, committed to an artistic life. He attached himself to various well-to-do families, successfully courted the attention of wealthy and influential people, one after another, and even had his fees at the Ballet School of the Royal Theatre paid. However this attendance was a short-lived experience. His teachers there crushed him by saying that he "lacked both the appearance and the talent necessary for the stage." Hans Christian Andersen was incredibly sensitive to slights all his life. Every cruel remark, or casual, careless comment would be taken to heart and never forgotten. So his wealthy patrons transferred their money to educating him at a private school for gentlemen. But he found this experience a torment too, saying, "it will destroy my soul". It led to him writing a sentimental, maudlin poem called "The Dying Child". But with a stroke of luck, the poem was published in the newspaper "The Copenhagen Post" in 1827, and the young man's future was assured. Hans Christian Andersen's first writing projects included a play, a book of poetry and a travelogue. The promising young author then won a grant from the king, and this enabled him to travel across Europe and work on being an author. He wrote a novel about his time in Italy, which was published in 1835, the same year as he began writing his stories—called "eventyr", or "fairy tales"—and often based on ideas from folk tales that he had heard or read as a child. Another of his preoccupations was to try out new places. He had a wanderlust, and an urge to flee from what he considered to be provincial life. There are echoes of this in his works. In "Five Peas in the Same Pod" all the peas are happy until one needs to explore the world outside. In "The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep", the couple brave all kinds of adventures, in search of something better. There are many instances of someone "trying out their wings". Hans Christian Andersen himself travelled relentlessly, but had a morbid fear of death. Wherever he laid his head, there next to him was a coil of rope which he took everywhere with him, and a handwritten notice, saying, "I only seem dead". He was obsessed with the thought that he might lapse into a coma, and be buried before he could come round. In fact he kept this strange morbid dread of being buried alive through to the very day he died. Over the next few decades, until his death in 1875, he continued to write for both children and adults. He wrote several autobiographies, and also travel narratives and poetry about the Scandinavian people. In 1845, English translations of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales and stories began to gain the attention of foreign audiences. He became a friend of Charles Dickens, who was already enormously popular, although this friendship ended in failure after Hans Christian Andersen had overstayed his welcome at the great author's home. Charles Dickens rather spitefully put up a notice on the wall of his bedroom, after Hans Christian Andersen had left. It read, "Hans Christian Andersen slept in this room for five weeks—which seemed to the family AGES!" It was in England that Hans Christian Andersen's stories first became classics, despite originally being written in Danish. They had a strong influence on subsequent British children's authors, including George MacDonald, Oscar Wilde, A.A. Milne and Beatrix Potter. Over time, Scandinavian audiences then discovered his stories, and now of course they are known world-wide. Hans Christian Andersen's tales seem to have universal appeal, no matter what language they are read in. His stories express themes that transcend age and nationality—often presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity. They are written in a very chatty intimate style, which won him no favours from his original literary critics, who considered this tone inappropriate. But once he found his voice, he found he could not stop writing them, saying, "They forced themselves from me". A friend once expostulated, "You're capable of writing about anything - even a darning needle!" And sure enough, the author rose to the challenge, in his story entitled "The Darning Needle". The stories are clearly cathartic, but also full of beauty, tragedy, nature, religion, artfulness, deception, betrayal, love, death, judgement and penance. And—very occasionally—one has a happy ending. The author called his autobiography "The Fairy Tale of my Life", and indeed his life reads like a traditional fairy tale. Think what the blurb might be: "The son of an illiterate washerwoman and a poor cobbler, who may secretly be a royal prince, who, through sheer persistence and influential help from an unlikely source, becomes a world-famous author, in a privileged position, hobnobbing with royalty" perhaps? Ironically, at the age of fourteen, when he left home, he had predicted this outcome, "First you go through terrible suffering and then you become famous." Charles Perrault had collected fairy tales from many cultural traditions in 1697, and a couple of centuries later in 1808 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected German folk and fairy tales. Later still, Hans Christian Andersen's first fairy tales followed this template of rewriting a traditional story, but in fact only eight out of a total of 156 are direct retllings of Danish folk tales. He quickly moved on to writing his own—and you can certainly tell. Every single one seems to be about an aspect of himself, and he freely admitted, "I was always the chief person", the gawky ugly duckling who didn't quite fit in. His friend H.C. Orsted had said to him, "[Your novel] will make you famous, but the fairy tales will make you immortal". I have rarely felt such ambivalence towards an author. These fairy stories are probably by the only author for whom my personal rating of works varies between one and five stars. He is an extraordinary writer, but I cannot say that I have enjoyed very many of his tales; many of them I have had to steal myself to read. It will certainly be a while before I read another big book of fairy stories, after ploughing through two collections of "Tales from the Arabian Nights" and now this one. The stories vary in standard and taste so much, that I have given this volume my default rating of three stars. And because of this, I have felt it necessary to review nearly all—(in fact thirty-five)—of the stories in this collection separately, whenever they have been published as individual books. Please see my shelves for links, if you wish to read my review of a particular story. The 40 stories in this volume are: The Princess and the Pea Thumbelina The Swineherd The Buckwheat The Wild Swans The Darning Needle The Nightingale The Teapot The Ugly Duckling The Snow Queen The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep The Last Dream of the Old Oak Tree The Shadow It's Perfectly True Grief Father's Always Right The Snowman The Snail and the Rose Tree "Something' The Fir Tree The Tinderbox Little Ida's Flowers The Little Mermaid The Emperor's New Clothes The Steadfast Tin Soldier The Flying Trunk The Sweethearts "She Was No Good' The Bell The Little Match Girl The Collar The Goblin at the Grocer's In a Thousand Years' Time Five Peas from the Same Pod The Beetle The Toad Dance, Dance, Dolly Mine! The Flax The Gardener and his Master The Book of Fairy Tales

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eldonfoil TH*E Whatever Champion

    Strangely, despite four decades on Earth, I have almost no familiarity with this gentleman Hans. If I can live another 4 decades, I doubt I'll forget about him from here on out. What is most generally striking/perplexing to me is how these stories came to be known as children tales, came to be widely accepted and popular rather than scorned. I don't think it's just my glasses that view Hans Christian Andersen as a soul that senses more darkness than light. “Yes, every year the trees have new, fr Strangely, despite four decades on Earth, I have almost no familiarity with this gentleman Hans. If I can live another 4 decades, I doubt I'll forget about him from here on out. What is most generally striking/perplexing to me is how these stories came to be known as children tales, came to be widely accepted and popular rather than scorned. I don't think it's just my glasses that view Hans Christian Andersen as a soul that senses more darkness than light. “Yes, every year the trees have new, fresh leaves, but that is not true of the human heart.” (From a Window in Vartov) HCA desperately wants and loves beauty, yearns for music and poetry and life and innocence, and so we get this at the center of so many of his tales, but at the same time it is mostly apparent that these ideals are but dreams that we must continually reach for, work for, cherish when they sparingly come, because what this world is really filled with is darkness. He seems to say, feel both beauty and evil, know them both, accept them both, but my heart pains that the former will never have the upper hand. Throughout his tales I find his dreamy poetics are amazingly served with a shimmering personal touch; they are not distant, community-built folktales. There are also wonderful juxtapositions, magical paradoxes, and a communicative simplicity that can travel, like a drop in the lake, as deeply as the reader wishes to take things. At the same time, there are many stories of a different breed which will never make it to Disney. Stories like Two Virgins/Two Maidens, In the Duck Yard, and The Cock and the Weathercock dish out satire as sharp as any I've ever encountered. Sharp not only in its depth of understanding, but also in both heavy-handedness and bitterness. Word play, symbolism, and connections in these stories are as far from innocence and naivete as you will find. Other not so well-known stories such as A Drop of Water and The Shadow are probably my favorites so far. Both are extremely intense and particularly revelatory regarding how HCA views human behavior and human nature. Very direct, dark and twisted, but done in unique and colorful ways, they continue to show that HCA was not a simple children's man or the one-trick pony that permeates much of his recognition. And at some point, I don’t recall exactly when, I began to think a lot of Kafka while reading HCA. What are the connections? In a time when the construction of myths and fairy tales is practically extinct, when even the originals are mostly watered down and considered antiquated, Mr. Andersen delivered his most pleasant winds not so long ago and they stretch back to not only the earliest of human experience, but also connect just as strongly to us sensitives amongst moderns. This is a tome to keep bedside, never finishing, never repeating.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    You should call things by their true names, and even if you don't do so usually, you ought to in a fairy tale. --HCA, "The Rose-Tree Regiment" I enjoyed most the first section, from The Sandman, a series of pleasant dreams for good children. I'll have to read it in full some time. As for the rest, they were mostly better-known Andersen tales, all of which I had read before, some even previously illu You should call things by their true names, and even if you don't do so usually, you ought to in a fairy tale. --HCA, "The Rose-Tree Regiment" I enjoyed most the first section, from The Sandman, a series of pleasant dreams for good children. I'll have to read it in full some time. As for the rest, they were mostly better-known Andersen tales, all of which I had read before, some even previously illustrated by Zwerger as stand-alone picture books. So, nice illustrations, big text blocks, familiar stories. Nothing to wrote home about unless you've not read them before. My favorite was from Thumbelina, because doesn't the flower fairy prince totally look like a douche trying to make it with some innocent teen?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Good gravy but something was wrong with Hans Christian Anderson. If household objects aren't chatting about their social status, then people are dying in the streets of Copenhagen! I mean, seriously. I knew the original story of The Little Mermaid, but my kids didn't. The horror on their faces was priceless. I also knew the basic story of The Snow Queen, mostly from the Faerie Tale Theatre version. I'd never read the whole thing. I think the best part was when Gerda asks the flowers if they've s Good gravy but something was wrong with Hans Christian Anderson. If household objects aren't chatting about their social status, then people are dying in the streets of Copenhagen! I mean, seriously. I knew the original story of The Little Mermaid, but my kids didn't. The horror on their faces was priceless. I also knew the basic story of The Snow Queen, mostly from the Faerie Tale Theatre version. I'd never read the whole thing. I think the best part was when Gerda asks the flowers if they've seen Kai, and they all reply with weird, existential imagery, and Gerda says, "Well, that's not at all helpful!" HILARIOUS. This is a beautiful edition, though. Color and black-and-white illustrations, gilt-edged, rich paper. Very nice!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Monroe

    This is an absolutely fantastic collection of Hans Christian Andersen's best work. The translation, by Tiina Nunnally, is sublime and her notes on past translations of Andersen's stories makes it clear just how sublime it is. If you wanted to read a version closer to H.C. Andersen's original, you'd have to read these in Danish. Jackie Wullschlager's introduction is easily one of the best I've read and an essential lens through which to better understand these tales. Short of reading W This is an absolutely fantastic collection of Hans Christian Andersen's best work. The translation, by Tiina Nunnally, is sublime and her notes on past translations of Andersen's stories makes it clear just how sublime it is. If you wanted to read a version closer to H.C. Andersen's original, you'd have to read these in Danish. Jackie Wullschlager's introduction is easily one of the best I've read and an essential lens through which to better understand these tales. Short of reading Wullschlager's biography of Andersen, "Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller", I think you'd be hard pressed to read a more wonderful account of Andersen's life and stories than this 32-page introduction. And what about the stories themselves? The stories are, of course, phenomenal. This is the first time I've read any of Andersen's stories since I was a child and, if possible, I enjoyed reading them even more as an adult. All the witticisms and references to Andersen's life that you don't pick up on as a child are to be savored as an adult. Many of these stories I had never read or heard before, so I was also surprised and brought back to what it was like to be a child again - so enrapturing are these tales. There are a total of 30 to be found in this lovely collection, some utterly delightful, others surprisingly dark, and still others that perhaps pale in comparison to the rest. But one thing that is for sure is that these tales are rendered by Tiiny Nunnally to be enjoyed better than ever before in English. 1. The Tinderbox - 5 Stars Yes, this is a 5-star story to be sure. More folk than fairy, this tale is in fact based on an older Danish folktale that Andersen transformed with his characteristic wit. It features an A+ decapitation and glorious references to sugar-pigs, cake-wives, and social status. It's stupendous. 2. Little Claus and Big Claus - 5 stars So when I saw the title for some reason I thought that this was going to have something to do with Santa Claus until I realized that, oh yes, Claus is actually a name for ordinary people as well - specifically, Germanic men. But that aside, this is a hilarious story, also based on a Danish folktale, about an awfully clever little fellow who performs some delightful tricks. 3. The Princess on the Pea - 5 stars This is a simple little story but I liked it all the same. One of Andersen's more famous, it has been at last been rendered into English with the correct title (previously this was widely known in English as "The Princess AND the Pea"). A princess who's able to feel a pea beneath 20 mattresses and 20 quilts?? Why, that's something special indeed! How the pea didn't get squashed is something I would have enjoyed learning. 4. Thumbelina - 5 stars Another Andersen classic, "Thumbelina" is a delightful tale and at times a bit scary. Inspired by the folktale "Tom Thumb", this one concerns a little thumb-sized lady and her adventures out in the big wide world. You'll never look at moles the same way! 5. The Traveling Companion - 5 stars This is the first story in the collection that I don't remember having heard before. And it is absolutely fabulous. Quite darker than the ones that preceded it as well. To call it the Danish "Rumplestiltskin" doesn't quite do it justice, and I actually think I liked it better than that famous Grimm Brothers' tale. 6. The Little Mermaid - 5 stars The most famous of Andersen's stories and, in my opinion, the best. The Disney adaptation, which is almost more famous now than the original, is one of Disney's best films and it is still a terrible adaptation. This has it all, including an almost perfect ending. I saw "almost" because the last page of this feels tacked on. The Little Mermaid throws herself from the ship into the sea, and her body dissolves into foam. That should have been the end But instead we get a bizarre bit about "daughters of the air" and an obvious plea to children to be good. That tarnishes what would have otherwise been a perfect tale. But, even tarnished, this is still the great writer's best. 7. The Emperor's New Clothes - 5 stars After "The Little Mermaid", this is likely my favorite of Andersen's stories, and after "The Little Mermaid" it's also probably his most famous. You all know the story, no need for me to recap it here, but I was surprised to learn that the little boy's famous cry at the end of "But he doesn't have anything on!" was hastily added by Andersen after the story had already been sent off to the printer's. This is a satire as excellent and brilliant today, in the age of Trump, as ever. 8. The Steadfast Tin Soldier - 5 stars Delightfully poetic. This is the first of Andersen's stories in this collection to feature inanimate objects brought to life. I'd never noticed how clearly Andersen influenced later films like "Toy Story" until I read this story about the quite appropriately named Steadfast Tin Soldier. 9. The Wild Swans - 5 stars Another classic, albeit one I wasn't too familiar with. This one is also based on a classic European folktale, and it's got all the famous elements we see in other tales like Cinderella. Evil stepmother, a bit of magic, and the transformative power of love. 10. The Flying Trunk - 3 stars This is a sort of story within a story, one involving matches and some dishware, and the other the titular trunk and a Turkish engagement. If only our rich merchant's son could have resisted the urge to set off those fireworks... 11. The Nightingale - 5 stars Surprisingly sweet, this story of the Chinese Emperor and his obsession with the nightingale took a number of unexpected turns. Andersen was clearly in high spirits when he wrote this one. 12. The Sweethearts - 4 stars This thought-provoking tale feels like something Andersen wrote after having become the most famous writer in Denmark (and one of the most famous in all Europe) and thinking back on when a woman he loved rejected him - and, lo and behold, it was! All I can say is, that ball deserved it. 13. The Ugly Duckling - 5 stars Come on. You know you love this one. Another one with clear allusions to Andersen's life. 14. The Fir Tree - 4 stars It's only once you've grown up that you realize that all that urgency to grow up was unwarranted. A reminder to slow down and savor life while you can. 15. The Snow Queen - 5 stars This is one of Andersen's more beloved tales, and it features some beautiful moments and spectacular images. The first part, about the mirror, is haunting, and this more than any of Andersen's other tales seems to deal with the battle between good and evil. Reading it, I was reminded of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. 16. The Red Shoes - 3 stars Behave yourselves, children! Don't you wear red shoes when you ought to be wearing black ones or you'll be forced to dance dance dance! 17. The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep - 3 stars Worth it just for the final line - "and (they) loved each other until they broke". 18. The Shadow - 5 stars Woah! I was not expecting that! This reads much more like something Franz Kafka would have written than Hans Christian Andersen. Surprisingly dark and spookily strange. There's nothing else quite like it in Andersen's oeuvre. 19. The Old House - 4 stars There's something surprisingly spooky about this store, reportedly much beloved by Charles Dickens. That poor tin soldier... 20. The Little Match Girl - 5 stars Speaking of Charles Dickens, this gorgeous and heartwrenching story is H.C. Andersen at his most Dickensian. The image of the Little Match Girl, shuddering with cold while staring into the windows of those whose tables were laden with New Year's feasts is absolutely haunting. One of Andersen's best. 21. The Story of a Mother - 4 stars Andersen's misery at his repressed bisexuality and societal isolation made for some incredible tales, not least this one. It all begs the question: whose stories are better? Happy Hans or Miserable Hans? 22. The Collar - 3 stars So I've decided I'm not as big a fan of Andersen's stories that feature inanimate objects as primary characters as much as I am the others. This one I found rather ho-hum. Though it is amusingly self-deprecating. 23. The Bell - 3 stars This one was pleasant enough, but failed to leave much of an impact. 24. The Marsh King's Daughter - 2 stars I thought this one was much too long, featured too many religious overtones, and was ultimately quite unmemorable. Overshadowed by many, much better, stories. 25. The Wind Tells of Valdemar Daae and His Daughters - 2 stars I don't think the wind told it best. 26. The Snowman - 4 stars One can once again see evidence of Andersen's suppressed desires in the Snowman's desperately wanting to be with the Stove. Something that European society at the time would have certainly found most unnatural. 27. The Ice Maiden - 5 stars This fantastic story, set in Switzerland, is one of the best in the collection. Two people, stranded on the island in the little lake, until the Ice Maiden calls the other away. An image both beautiful and haunting. 28. The Wood Nymph - 4 stars Beautiful, uncorrupted nature versus the corrupt hustle and bustle of the city. Andersen as environmentalist, perhaps? 29. The Most Incredible Thing - 5 stars On art and those who would seek to eradicate it. Used during WWII by the Danish Resistance. Without art, without culture, there is nothing. 30. Auntie Toothache - 4 stars This was the last story Hans Christian Andersen ever wrote. Andersen suffered from toothaches his entire life (19th-century European dentistry not being what it is today), and here he has his protagonist, a poet, receives a visit from the titular Auntie Toothache, who promises pain unless the poet should give up writing - forever. Humanity has to be grateful that Andersen himself never made such an agreement.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Taking the FutureLearn course from Odense. You can find the complete tales online here HC Andersen Museum Collection 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 Catechism in Christianity

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    There are some good stories here, and some that scarred my childhood. Between dead match girls and trashed fir trees not to mention frightening Snow Queens the Thumblinias were sometimes needed. Still they last. Excuse me I didn't get much sleep last night, there was something poking my back under my 20 mattresses.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Today, Hans Christian Andersen would be given drugs and therapy, and then more drugs. He would be put into a study about repressed homosexuals and boys with a mamma fixation. All this because of his stories. Andersen’s stories are also not very happy when you truly think about them. For every happy story, like “The Ugly Duckling”, there are at least two sad stories. Yet Andersen, at least in American circles, is considered a children’s author. Whether this is due to those editions or Today, Hans Christian Andersen would be given drugs and therapy, and then more drugs. He would be put into a study about repressed homosexuals and boys with a mamma fixation. All this because of his stories. Andersen’s stories are also not very happy when you truly think about them. For every happy story, like “The Ugly Duckling”, there are at least two sad stories. Yet Andersen, at least in American circles, is considered a children’s author. Whether this is due to those editions or retellings of Andersen’s stories that make the ending happy, I don’t know. I do know that I have read Andersen more times than I have read the Brothers Grimm and that Andersen speaks to more people than the Grimm brothers ever will. The Grimms were interested in collecting folktales and folklore. Andersen is interested in telling stories. Outside of Demark and other northern countries, he is known for his stories, in particular for his fairy stories. This is misleading for Andersen also wrote plays and poems as well as travelogues and autobiographies. His first success wasn’t with his fairy stories. His poem about a mother mourning her dead children is touching (and a theme that enters into one of his tales). Even just considering his stories, people are misled. Everyone thinks they know “The Little Mermaid,” “The Ugly Duckling”, or “The Little Match Girl”, fewer people know the stories how they actually are and even fewer know more of Andersen’s work, such as “The Shadow” or ‘”The Storks”. This does Andersen a huge injustice. Andersen was heavily influenced by several things in his writing. It is common knowledge that he was influenced by folklore and the stories told to him by his grandmother, but he was also influenced by the German writers that predated him or who were his contemporaries. While it is not apparent in his better known tales, he had a strong love of country (even though he always seemed to be traveling away from it) as well as a good dose of patriotism. He was also religious, though this seems to come though in his tale more than anything else. Several critics have pointed out that Andersen has a cult of suffering. His leads his heroes and heroines always suffer. The Ugly Duckling gets frozen in water, the Little Mermaid feels as if she is walking on knives (or broken glass); the Marsh King’s Daughter is transformed into a frog, the little Match Girl freezes to death, the money pig breaks, the storks deliver dead babies. Andersen’s characters seem to suffer far more than those people in the Grimm’s tales (though that isn’t a cake walk either). Andersen, however, is still a considered a children’s author because of the tone, his use of sound (read his tales aloud if you don’t believe me), of putting himself in a child’s shoes (who doesn’t imagine the flowers coming to life). Too often people look at Andersen in the simplest terms. Take “The Little Mermaid” for example. Many today know the story not as Andersen’s but as Disney’s. They think that the mermaid marries her prince and everyone lives happily ever after. While the cursory reader of Andersen knows that this is not the ending, a deeper reading reveals, if not a happy ending, perhaps a slightly hopeful one as well as a few details about the prince. In the mermaid’s story, Andersen presents a people where the women seem to help each (the witch, the mermaid’s sisters, the mermaid herself) and where the only male who does anything is the prince himself. The mermaid and her sisters are desexualized (she loses her voice, they their hair). The prince treats the mermaid like his pet dog. The mermaid, however, wants a soul more than a prince. She acts more as if she has a soul more than prince. By taking “The Little Mermaid” and reducing the plot to a love story, the adaptor or reader does Andersen a disservice and dismisses the larger issue. In the story, it is the non-humans, the merfolk, who appear to have those virtues that humanity claims – compassion. The mermaid might eventually get her soul though she doesn’t get her prince. Today, there is a movement to de-religion stores (look at Narnia in both the movies and the exhibit), but to do so to Andersen guts this story. Or take “The Marsh King’s Daughter”, one of Andersen’s lesser known popular tales. Fairy Tales always treat rape as a non issue or blame the victim. Sleeping Beauty, for example, in some versions is woken by the birth of twins, yet never seems to feel any emotional upheaval. Andersen is one of the few fairy tale writers to deal with the issue of rape and not fully gloss over it. Like the Grimms, who buried the incest theme of some tales, Andersen glosses over the attack that starts “The Marsh King’s Daughter”. The daughter of the title is the offspring of the Marsh King and the Egyptian princess who he attacks. This daughter is full of rage and pain except at night when she becomes a frog. Part of the story is about the daughter coming to terms with this rage. Where else would the rage come off except for the attack on the mother? Many of Andersen’s tales are concerned with relationships, in particular those of mothers and children. Many critics have discovered or argued for the presence of Andersen’s own relationship with his mother in these tales. Andersen’s mother, who gave birth to a bastard daughter before marrying Andersen’s father, comes off looking less like a saint and more like a drunk if this is true. But then, there is a tale like “She Was a Good for Nothing” where the mother is a drunk who dearly loves and cares for her son. In this story, Andersen contrasts public view versus private life, of how the upper class views the lower class. Andersen is often concerned with class in his tales. The upper classes tend to be dismissive of the lower classes, though it is the lower classes that exhibit more of those human virtues. Sometimes, like in “The Tinderbox”, Andersen even seems to attack the royalty, seemingly suggesting that the old order must give to the new. Even in his class stories, Andersen also shows a great love and knowledge of his country. Some of his stories are about the humble beginnings of Great Danes (no, not the dogs) like Thorvaldsen, whose work Andersen seemed to love if Andersen’s stories are anything to go by. It should also be noted that in some of stories, especially in stories where different classes of children met, Andersen suggests more of equality than out and out class warfare. Andersen’s stories aren’t all for children; in fact, as he wrote more stories, Andersen saw himself as writing more for adults and this would example the class conscious stories, but also the longer stories like “The Ice Maiden” or “Ib and Little Christine”. It is in the longer stories that one can see the German romantic influence on Andersen. While the tales are more adult, they also consider several of the same themes that inhabit his more child friendly stories. While “Ib and Little Christine” can be rather annoying if you are female reader, it is impossible to describe the creeping feeling of unease that stories such as “The Ice Maiden” and “The Shadow” inspire. Andersen borrowed from more than his grandmother and the Germans. His “The Rose Elf” presents a revenge minded “Pot of Basil”, a twist on a familiar tale presented by Boccaccio but also used by Keats among others. Andersen’s variation of the “Seven Swans” makes far more sense than other versions, even if it is chaster than those other versions. Andersen’s most famous story might be “The Ugly Duckling”, a story that many critics, rightly it seems, consider to be Andersen’s most autobiographical work. This isn’t to say that the similar theme of belonging, of fitting in, doesn’t appear in other works. There are shades of “Duckling” in “Thumbelina” as well as some of the class conscious Andersen short stories. “The Ugly Duckling” is more memorable because the plot of the story could happen. The plot of “Thumbelina”, not so much. We believe in the duckling becoming the swan because of the way Andersen sets up the story – a mistake could happen. Today, even with all our supposed advancements, you still have hospital mix ups. In most of Andersen’s stories, the reader can meet actual places and people that Andersen knew or admired. Edvard Collin, Andersen’s man crush, appears, as does Jenny Lind. Even smaller characters in Andersen’s history, less well known to the average reader, seem to appear. Andersen’s teachers, the women Andersen felt rejected him (or whom Andersen allowed himself to be rejected by); all seem to appear. Copenhagen is a time honored companion in the stories, but so is Andersen’s love of Italy. This sense of place gives another level of reality to the tales, a level that seems to be missing from the works of the Grimms or Perrault. While many of Andersen’s tales have “morals” or lessons, they are not spelled out as in the work of Aesop or Fontatine. Andersen respects his reader, be that reader a child or an adult, and knows that his reader can follow his lesson without the moral being directly spelled out. Perhaps it is this reason that examines Andersen’s staying power even among, or especially among, female readers. Andersen’s female characters do seem to get punished at far steeper rate than his male characters. While it is true that the Ugly Duckling freezes, his end is far different than those ends of the girls in “The Little Match Girl”, “The Red Shoes” or “The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf”. To say that Andersen was sexist would be a mistake. Even in stories where the girl is horribly punished there are good women – the grandmother, the girl who prays for Karen. More importantly, one of Andersen’s most famous stories, “The Snow Queen” presents two strong willed girls, one of whom keeps her independence; another of women is helped by more women than man when she quests to save her childhood fan who also is perhaps her adult love or husband. The statue of the Little Mermaid, which just recently had its birthday, in many ways, is a fitting and unfitting memorial to Andersen. Like Andersen himself, the statue has survived various attempts to deface it. Andersen faults against those who mocked him, who tried to educate the imagination out of him, or who ignored him because of his class. He survived the fact that he would not be able to fulfill his first dream, to be a dancer. The statue of the mermaid has overcome beheadings, defacing, and veils to still exist as a tourist attraction. But like the works of Andersen’s own works, few people who see the statue know true story of the character the statue is based on, few know the story of the statue itself or of the Kasslett located nearby. Fewer know that it is not the only statue in Copenhagen depicting a merperson that has connection to Andersen (he wrote a story based on the Forsake Merman). Perhaps it is this sense of mystery that keeps Andersen’s popularity. We are introduced to him at two points in our lives. The first time when we are children. The second time when we are older, perhaps after seeing the statue or reading a story to a child. We can have two different readings of Andersen, the man and his work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hossein Sharifi

    FANTASTIC !!!! I dreamt of Wind and Rain... I ran with Fairies... Cats whispered to me from dawn to dusk ... I could feel the breeze touching trees' hair. I was living in the fairy tales till the end of the book ! ....................................................... I would like to recommend this to all who want to escape from the harshness of this so called "real world" ! ... It will open a door of dreams to you !

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley doruyter

    this is a beautiful barnes & noble edition has some of my favorite fairy tales in it. also some i've never read before. with wonderful illustrations some in colour and full page.

  17. 4 out of 5

    M Blankier

    Andersen is probably best known today for “The Little Mermaid,” usually in the sense that children who have seen the Disney film often hear, from their friends, something to the effect of, “Did you know that she actually dies in the end.” Andersen stories, more than any other traditional fairy tales, are filled with pathos and sadness, and end badly for their protagonists. But to dismiss Andersen’s tales as “dark” fairy tales or, as seems to often be the case, a way to totally scar ch Andersen is probably best known today for “The Little Mermaid,” usually in the sense that children who have seen the Disney film often hear, from their friends, something to the effect of, “Did you know that she actually dies in the end.” Andersen stories, more than any other traditional fairy tales, are filled with pathos and sadness, and end badly for their protagonists. But to dismiss Andersen’s tales as “dark” fairy tales or, as seems to often be the case, a way to totally scar children forever, is truly to miss out on an incredible imaginary world, one so rich in meaning and elegantly constructed in lyrical language, and to which we mostly owe the aesthetic sensibilities we associate with fairy tales today. When you imagine a fairy tale, you don’t just see the beautiful princess and handsome suitor of the Grimms or Perrault, but the untainted, exquisite nature of Andersen, the warmth of a hearth, the sparkling of snow, the detail. No fairy tale writer before Andersen had been so literary. Nunnally’s translation is faithful not only to the original language, but the poetic spirit of the original text. Yes, Andersen’s stories are brutal, but they are also gentle; merciless, but also sympathetic and tender. The ending of “The Little Mermaid” so often quoted is actually an invitation to children to be good. Like clapping your hands to bring a fairy back to life in Peter Pan, a good child helps shorten the mermaid’s sentence in purgatory and send her to heaven; it’s very beautiful, and if you bypass Andersen’s tales under the idea that they’re screwed up, as I almost did, you are missing out on one of the greatest children’s classics ever written.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    Saw this on the shelf at my library yesterday when I was browsing the audiobook selection, and used my Goodreads barcode app to scan it in from when I listened to it several months ago. I mostly enjoyed this, although I didn't love all the stories and I kept falling asleep on others as I listened (a hazard associated with listening to audiobooks at bedtime). Listening to 'The Little Mermaid' brought back that sense of sadness and poignancy of reading this much-loved story as a child. There are o Saw this on the shelf at my library yesterday when I was browsing the audiobook selection, and used my Goodreads barcode app to scan it in from when I listened to it several months ago. I mostly enjoyed this, although I didn't love all the stories and I kept falling asleep on others as I listened (a hazard associated with listening to audiobooks at bedtime). Listening to 'The Little Mermaid' brought back that sense of sadness and poignancy of reading this much-loved story as a child. There are other stories in this volume that are equally sad, such as "The Steadfast Tin Soldier,' which gives me some serious heartache. Although Andersen's stories are for a younger crowd than say, Grimms', there are some adult subject matter and themes here. At the same time, that sense of awe and enthusiasm that marks Hans Christian Andersen's storytelling gives these stories a lighter feel than the often gruesome and dark tone of many the real fairy tales (not the Disney versions). But I honestly think that fairy tales are almost essential to giving a child cultural development. It's nice to know that there is the option to play some of these fairy tales as audiobooks, although nothing beats reading a book with a child. I wasn't able to finish this, since it was due back, but I listened to the bulk of it, and I feel I should be able to count it as read. I was glad to see this at my library and that I had the opportunity to enjoy it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    (Finished reading February 25, 2019) Thanks to the power you hold via Goodreads, though you may forget something you’ve logged in, you can then be reminded of it: a joyful thing. Right now I'm referring to my childhood copy of https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... (which doesn't contain all of Andersen's tales though it's combined on Goodreads as if it does). Of those in this current volume I decided to read only the stories I hadn’t read in this edition, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1..., so I thought I was reading only the tales I hadn't rea (Finished reading February 25, 2019) Thanks to the power you hold via Goodreads, though you may forget something you’ve logged in, you can then be reminded of it: a joyful thing. Right now I'm referring to my childhood copy of https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5... (which doesn't contain all of Andersen's tales though it's combined on Goodreads as if it does). Of those in this current volume I decided to read only the stories I hadn’t read in this edition, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1..., so I thought I was reading only the tales I hadn't read before. Au contraire. Looking at the description of the childhood copy (which I no longer physically own), I see it contains a few I didn’t remember, including "The Shoes of Fortune," called "The Galoshes of Fortune" in this collection, a story that didn’t even seem vaguely familiar. Reading the more obscure tales might be an eye-opener for some. Sure, they can be sad and sentimental, like "The Little Match Girl" (one of my favorites); but they are also downright wacky, especially the descriptions of morbid flowers, trees and other mutant-like growths of nature. The man’s imagination was off the charts. If he'd lived in a different time period, we would've thought he was dropping acid.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    I recently chose this book for my book cub. I love HCA fairy tales. They are so compelling and read as though you are sitting at the man's feet and he is telling them straight to you and guestering with his overly large hands. What was so great about reading them this time is this particular edition that is translated by Tiina Nunnally. It is incredible with it's bio of him in the front- a MUST read and the notes about each story in the back to conect it to a time and place in the authors life. I recently chose this book for my book cub. I love HCA fairy tales. They are so compelling and read as though you are sitting at the man's feet and he is telling them straight to you and guestering with his overly large hands. What was so great about reading them this time is this particular edition that is translated by Tiina Nunnally. It is incredible with it's bio of him in the front- a MUST read and the notes about each story in the back to conect it to a time and place in the authors life. Also, the translation is fantastic. At the begining of each story is a picture of one of HCA's many intricte paper cut outs that he often created, which inspired me to get creative as well. I like that you can read one story or all of them. Some stories are one page long and others are 30, so you can take or leave it based on your time limit. If you haven't read The Little Mermaid and only seen the Disney Movie then you are really missing out. One of the most heartbreaking love stories you will ever read. My personal favorite is Great Clause and Little Clause. I laughed out loud when I read in the back notes that "Andersen sanitizes the sexual innuendo of the traditional version by giving the farmer an irrational dislike of deacons, though the cuckold theme is clear to adult readers." As a kid I totally bought that the farmer just had an irrational dislike of deacons, and rereading them as an adult has just been a pleasure. He is the original to what Pixar is doing now with thier storytelling that will entertain kids, allow them to learn lessons, and have a lot of deep thinking and jokes specifically put in just for adults. Just a note to parents - Some of these stories can be somewhat graphic and if you have a very sensative child you might want to preview them first, these are not your sanatized Disney version, but that is what is great about them. Enjoy!! I have also included some quotes I like about fairy tales. When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955) When Albert Einstein was asked how to develop intelligence in young people, he answered: "Read fairy tales. Then read more fairy tales." "Storytellers make us remember what mankind would have been like, had not fear and the failing will and the laws of nature tripped up its heels." -- W.B. Yeats "In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected." -- Charles Dickens

  21. 5 out of 5

    Van

    Should an apocalypse ever befall, this is the first book I'm putting in my survival bag. I don't think I can properly review this book, and I don't intend to. However, I cannot be silent about it when it had had such an impact on me. The Complete Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen encompass all beauty, darkness, and light there is in the world - in the human soul. These are charming stories for everyone of every age. Some tales are happy, and some are very, very sad. Ye Should an apocalypse ever befall, this is the first book I'm putting in my survival bag. I don't think I can properly review this book, and I don't intend to. However, I cannot be silent about it when it had had such an impact on me. The Complete Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen encompass all beauty, darkness, and light there is in the world - in the human soul. These are charming stories for everyone of every age. Some tales are happy, and some are very, very sad. Yet they are beautifully written with a kind hand, from an honest, sensitive (broken) heart through an astonishing imagination. These pages bring you adventure, romance, cruelty, love, loss, gain, acceptance, mistakes, fear, courage, pain, death, life... So much life. And it's magical. It's true. It's the beating heart of Andersen. It's the heart of us all.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I thought I was a fan of Andersen, but I guess not a good one, as there were several tales here that I did not know. And I never before realized that The Princess and the Pea is actually only one page long. And that The Tinderbox is awful, that soldier is not a good guy. The Swineherd is a terrific story in any edition, and here it has some of the best pix in the book. All the pictures are excellent, actually. They have a certain kind of eerie charm, a beauty that is made of both joy I thought I was a fan of Andersen, but I guess not a good one, as there were several tales here that I did not know. And I never before realized that The Princess and the Pea is actually only one page long. And that The Tinderbox is awful, that soldier is not a good guy. The Swineherd is a terrific story in any edition, and here it has some of the best pix in the book. All the pictures are excellent, actually. They have a certain kind of eerie charm, a beauty that is made of both joy and creepiness. You might want to investigate them for yourself before sharing with your child. Many favorites are omitted, which is good because nobody needs another version of Ugly Duckling, Little Mermaid, or even Snow Queen. I would have liked to see Zwerger's work for The Red Shoes and The Steadfast Tin Soldier, though. Btw, I just did a search, and found HCA's name attached to the movie "Frozen" (gonna investigate that!) and to a list of 212 (!) tales: http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/regi...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mykee Tan

    Whenever I get exhausted from listening to lectures, writing papers, making reports or solving problems at the university, I always find that at the end of the day, all I need to calm down my traffic jam of a six-day school week is a pleasant story from Andersen's collection of stories. There is something so compelling about Andersen's tales. They are the simplest, shortest stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading and yet, their morals leave me thinking far past the stories themselves and Whenever I get exhausted from listening to lectures, writing papers, making reports or solving problems at the university, I always find that at the end of the day, all I need to calm down my traffic jam of a six-day school week is a pleasant story from Andersen's collection of stories. There is something so compelling about Andersen's tales. They are the simplest, shortest stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading and yet, their morals leave me thinking far past the stories themselves and onto a broad array of matters which I encounter around me every single day.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Having recently moved to Denmark I needed to get familiar with its number one writer! This was a wonderful collection of stories, some rather dark truth be told but that's what makes them so special. They are fantastical, gritty, funny, sad and everything real writing should be. Classic storytelling which will stand the test of time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    These stories make me cry. Grimm's fairy tales are cautionary fables. These are tiny little slices of tragic reality, dressed up in doll's clothing or hidden behind animal masks. Check out "The Steadfast Tin Soldier,""The Ugly Duckling,"and "The Little Match Girl." Devastating.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Noelle

    Beautifully selected works set in a fantastic translation, Hans Christian Anderson’s The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories is a wonderful introduction to the author’s work. His famous works are included and the translations are just as engaging as Anderson’s original tales. What is pertinent about Anderson’s work is his descriptions and gift for imagery. For example, in ‘The Little Mermaid’ Anderson opens his story by describing the colors and textures of the undersea kingdom that is both lyrical Beautifully selected works set in a fantastic translation, Hans Christian Anderson’s The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories is a wonderful introduction to the author’s work. His famous works are included and the translations are just as engaging as Anderson’s original tales. What is pertinent about Anderson’s work is his descriptions and gift for imagery. For example, in ‘The Little Mermaid’ Anderson opens his story by describing the colors and textures of the undersea kingdom that is both lyrical and vivid, “The waters are as blue as the petals of the cornflower and as clear as glass.…” Anderson’s ability to write diversely while remaining fresh is also a noticeable trait. His stories relate about orphans, oriental clockwork birds, and toy soldiers, each aiming to entertain, to educate on life lessons, or to illuminate on morality and mortal philosophies. The arrangement and organization of the stories are aptly crafted, as is the flow and pacing of each story. Though the pacing varies from tale to tale, such can be seen in ‘The Snow Queen,’ and “The Little Match Girl,’ the quality of the stories, in language and substance, make up for the structure. This collection is universally enjoyable and capable of variety and thoughtful insight. Anderson’s tales prove that children need not settle for simplicity or repetitive formulas; they are worthy of substance and intellectual care.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Collections like these are wonderful. Whether you want to read through the full collection or you’re simply looking for a single fairy tale, it is up to you. It’s so good for picking and choosing the fairy tales as you see fit. In all honesty, though, I would recommend giving all the fairy tales a read as it is great to be able to sit and read them all in their glory.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Fairytales are the only place I find validation.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adam Nelson

    I've waited too long after reading this one to remember many specifics, so my rating and my review have more to do with an overall impression. I really enjoyed parts of this collection as well as valued the stories for their literary heritage. However, as I was reading this to my boys to put them to sleep at night, I began having a very hard time with the several stories Andersen wrote in which children died cruelly, either to teach them a lesson or because it was, simply, the way of things. It' I've waited too long after reading this one to remember many specifics, so my rating and my review have more to do with an overall impression. I really enjoyed parts of this collection as well as valued the stories for their literary heritage. However, as I was reading this to my boys to put them to sleep at night, I began having a very hard time with the several stories Andersen wrote in which children died cruelly, either to teach them a lesson or because it was, simply, the way of things. It's not exactly Grimm's, but it is off-putting, especially for me, a father who is trying to teach my sons of their worth and potential. I'm also trying to build their trust both in God and me not to let bad things happen to them, nor do I want them to believe they could ever commit an offense so bad that it earns them the worst possible consequence of karma and fate. I'm not sure why storytellers used to write this way, but I can only assume it's because people once had a very fatalistic view of life. The fact that we are sometimes still attracted to this kind of storytelling and even celebrate it means we still have much growing to do. I prefer gentler children's stories, especially when I'm reading them to sleep. I prefer good things to happen to children in stories. Otherwise, I feel like I'm giving them a bad model. Children need to feel safe and secure. There is PLENTY of time to learn about the darkness in the world when they get older. Those looking for an alternative, a story with many happy returns, might I suggest my own "A Night with St. Nick"?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Prashant

    author : Hans Anderson. How have I never heard this name before. How is it even possible. This man has created the most poignant of my childhood stories and I have come to know about him so late in my life. Well, at least it was not unlike the other learning of my life : always late but you will get there, trust me! The tales are familiar because they have been adopted in all possible media since decades. Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, The king's new Clothes, The Mermaid were b author : Hans Anderson. How have I never heard this name before. How is it even possible. This man has created the most poignant of my childhood stories and I have come to know about him so late in my life. Well, at least it was not unlike the other learning of my life : always late but you will get there, trust me! The tales are familiar because they have been adopted in all possible media since decades. Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, The king's new Clothes, The Mermaid were beyond fun. It was like going on that roller coaster ride when you know you will end up all nauseous and wobbly but still you so damn enjoy the process leading up to it that you are game for everything. Some tales in the end seem a little lacking but I believe it was mainly because of the mountain high expectation I had from them due to the sky-high bars set from the tales leading up to them. Nonetheless the journey was immensely fun and intriguing. Each time I was hooked to the tale at hand and at the same time was also wondering about the magic the next tale may bring on the table. Crazy? Indeed it is. I am thinking about adding a book shelve here for the books "which make me feel glad that I spend half of my months spending on books" and this is sure to be on the top of it. I can't add it because the name is too big. :( PG.

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