The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition by Jacob Grimm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was given this book to read and review through Net Galley upon request. This is not really going to be a review of the brother's Grimm tales, but more on this specific edition. I am a lover of all things fairy tales, so I was immediately drawn to this book. This edition is divided into two volumes within, each containing the stories that were printed in 1812 and 1815 editions, which contains over 150 tales. I was surprised and interested to read that some of these tales did not follow the original Grimm stories I read a while back, such as the Little Red Cap tale. I recalled the wolf being cut open and filled with rocks, which was not present in this book, even with two endings to the story provided. The table of contents was very messy for me. I am not sure if it was just an e-book copy or what, but the listing of each tale was numbered on a new line (how most table of contents are), but then about midway through each volume in the table of contents it became a paragraph jumbled together and was quite hard to read. There was also random small words and numbers written throughout the book that appeared to be more like organizational notes. They were a bit odd and jarring, but does not necessarily hinder the reading of each tale. I did really love the style of the illustrations. They were all black and white, as if paper cut out silhouettes, like the cover. Some were quite whimsical and really beautiful to look at, while others were very strange and almost horror story-ish to look at, as if the most gruesome part of the tale was chosen to be depicted. For example, I came across an illustration depicting a decapitated unicorn with blood spurting and collecting on the ground. That was a bit strange to me, even though we are talking about the harsh original Grimm tales. It should be noted that there is not an illustration for each story, which made the choices of the illustrations at times all the more strange for me, thinking there could have been a more whimsical beautiful illustration created instead.
Overall, it is not a terrible edition, but not necessarily my favorite. I cannot compare to other original Grimm books I have read in the past in regards to the number of tales included, as I cannot recall from previous books, but this book does contain a lot of tales to enjoy. I think some minor issues could be cleaned up to make the book more put together, and would definitely opt for more whimsical illustrations over grotesque, but that is my personal opinion when it comes to fairy tales. If you like reading the old original tales, this book definitely has many for you to indulge in!
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