Sunday Book Club: The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm

Yes, I am reviewing a children’s fairy tales book, even though I am not a child nor am I reading this for a child. But hey this is my blog, and my brains, so I can do whatever I want and read any book that I feel like! Yay! No judging here. The Brothers Grimm are Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm – I doubt many people know their individual names because they are usually known collectively as Brothers Grimm. Can I just say, what a name!

The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales has always been on my to-read list, believe it or not. I’ve heard of how different and more gritty it is compared to the heavily edited and happy versions that we were told as children. I don’t know why it took me so long to finally read it, perhaps because it is for children and it’s weird to carry around a fairy tales book. But now that everything is digitized, I can read it without anyone knowing! The best part – it is completely free! I think the copyright has run out, like many classics, so it is free to read.

There’s no plot spoilers for this review – because this is a book of a lot of fairy tales, many of which are should be quite familiar to us although in a milder, much happier and less grisly form (unless your parents actually read this version to you, then your parents are truly awesome or that they liked making you cry as a child). Each story is very short and if you were reading it to a child, then it should take roughly 10 to 15 minutes per story. Not every story is good – some are very nonsensical and some have very abrupt endings, as if the stories weren’t very well thought through, but I always go back to the fact that this is meant for children and it shouldn’t have too many twists and turns.

This version of many well-known fairy tales takes one step further when it comes to consequences of the good or bad actions taken. Take Cinderella – the evil stepsisters chopped off their toes and heels to try to fit their feet into the shoe, and then later they were blinded when their eyes were pecked out by crows. But goodness almost always trumps, and bad people always get their just deserves – usually in a rather gruesome way. There are a ton of life and ethical lessons in the stories – many of which I feel we have forgotten over time as we grew older, and greed and fear took over.

After reading this, I wished I had read this version when I was a little child or that my parents have read my siblings and I this much more gruesome version and put some fear of doing bad things or harbouring evil thoughts in us. If I ever have children, I think this will be the version that I read to them. Take this in mind that it is a collection of fairy tales meant for children, so there are a lot of repeated themes and stories that are very similar; I don’t think it is fair to judge it against the regular story books targeted towards adults.

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