The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

As with most people, I walked into this familiar with some of the stories, and I quickly discovered I wasn’t nearly as well-versed as I thought.  Many of these were quite new to me.  The ones I thought I knew… well, I only thought I knew them.

I read from this every night before bed and occasionally during morning coffee on those lazy weekends where I could get away with it.  Let me say up front, it makes a big difference when you read these.  In the mornings, the tales seem charming, even if their creep factor shines through.  At night, when the shadows start moving in unnatural ways and the neighborhood dogs bark for no reason whatsoever (or do they?), these things take on a life of their own.  It’s a lot like reading Lovecraft in a way, only without the descent into madness.  When you read, it’s straightforward and doesn’t really do anything to you psychologically because you know what to expect.  Mostly you wonder what it does to kids, who are actually better at bouncing back from such things than adults are.  After the stories process, that’s when your imagination makes you revisit them.  That’s when the real power of these tales comes into play.  It’s no wonder stories like these become part of our collective consciousness.  I had a lot of fun with this.  Time very well spent.

4 stars

grimms-fairy-tales

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