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A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
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A Tale Dark and Grimm (2010)

by Adam Gidwitz

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Tales Dark & Grimm (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2641139,544 (3.88)45
  1. 10
    Tales from the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird by Vivian Vande Velde (kaledrina)
  2. 00
    Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales by Ellen Datlow (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Fans of fairy-tale adaptations that are a bit on the dark and twisted side will enjoy both of these books--but readers will want to know that A Tale Dark & Grimm gets downright gory at points.
  3. 00
    The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Fairy tales come to life in these stories inspired by the Grimm Brother's creations. A Tale Dark and Grimm is much more intense and, at times gory, than the lighthearted and funny The Fairy-tale Detectives.
  4. 00
    Fractured Fairy Tales by A. J. Jacobs (jacqueline065)
    jacqueline065: this good if you like twisted fairytales
  5. 00
    The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children by Keith McGowan (kaledrina)
  6. 00
    Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull (bibliovermis)
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» See also 45 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
This is to be a middle grade book, but if you can't handle a bit of witches, warlocks, hunters and gore then it isn't for you.

I was given the complete works of the Brothers Grimm for Christmas. This book I had picked up somewhere along the way. It intrigued me with it's tongue-in-cheek humour and style of narration. I wasn't disappointed.

It takes the tale of Hansel and Gretel from birth to almost adulthood. Talk about a dysfunctional family! Starting out was no picnic with their parents. No wonder they ran away! But running away did not make it any better, since they got tangled up in eight other scary tales!

With chapter titles "The Seven Swallows," "Brother and Sister" you might think the book isn't too bad. But there are the chapters "A Smile As Red As Blood" and that is a whole 'nother tale!

For me, it is in a style similar to Roald Dahl. He may write for kids, but they aren't sweet, simple tales. There are bad things that happen to the characters, along with the good. Sometimes the bad things seem just so right!

If you want something just a little off the rails...this is a good choice. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | May 16, 2019 |
3.5 ⭐. I enjoyed this new take on Hansel and Gretel. There were definitely some devilishly gory parts that made my face cringe. It was a delight. 😁 ( )
  ecmross | Apr 19, 2019 |
I enjoyed the story overall and I felt like it was true to the Grimm fairy tales, but it was start and stop a lot at the beginning with the author stopping to make comments. It's not something I'm used to. ( )
  DevDye | Nov 25, 2018 |
Once again Gidwitz has surprised me with a cohesive, entertaining, humorous story, if not a little bizarre. In this fractured fairytale, he talks to the reader. Specifically, he warns that this is not going to be your cutesy fairytale. This one, he claims, is true horror. Throughout the book he warns the reader to stop reading if the gore gets to be too much. His warnings, however, actually end up adding a level of humor and may even make children more inclined to read on. Some kids will find the gore to be no problem and others may genuinely not like it. I recommend parents and librarians read the book first so they can warn younger kids.

Excerpt:
“Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, you should go ahead and rehire that babysitter that came by for the previous story. Make her take the little ones out to a movie this time. A G-rated movie. Or an R-rated movie, for that matter. Whatever it is, it probably won’t be as bad as what you’re about to read. I know you don’t believe me. ‘How much worse could things get?’ you ask. Believe me. Much worse.”

So what exactly is going on in this story, you’re probably wondering. This is a retelling of Hansel and Gretel woven into 9 tales. They start out to find better parents, and end up jumping from home to home after they realize that there are no good parents. Here are the tales Gidwitz weaves together into a great story.
1. The backstory of how H&G's parents met, married and were cursed.
2. The close-to-classic tale of H&G running away and meeting the witch with the candy house.
3. H&G move in with a family who turns their 7 boys into birds. Feeling responsible, H&G journey to find the birds and set them free. Gretel cuts off her finger to open the entrance to a mountain.
4. H&G decide to live on their own in the Wood of Life. Hansel won't stop killing animals and finally he turns into a wolf.
5. Gretel is on her own. She follows a path through foreboding woods to the home of a handsome man. She hides and watches as he reaches into a girl's throat, pulls out her soul, then butchers her with an ax.
6. Hunters kill the wolf and realize it is a boy when they skin the fur. The family who care for Hansel accidentally gamble him off to the devil. Hansel goes to hell, tricks the devil and gets away.
7. H&G reunite and return to their parents.
8. H&G kill the dragon that has been terrorizing the kingdom.
9. The dragon turns into their father. Gretel kills her father, then heals him with magical twine. H&G become king and queen.


The story is well-written, but I know there are parents who would be appalled by parts of it. Here is an excerpt describing the worst scene.

"He lifted an ax that hung on the wall, and Gretel, peering through a gap between a filthy pot and a filthier pan, watched her handsome, wonderful, funny friend hack the girl's body into bits and toss each piece into the boiling cauldron. His blunt butcher's knife rose and fell, rose and fell. He licked the blood from his hands and sent piece after piece sailing into the pot."

If you're on the fence, read the book. Then decide. ( )
  valorrmac | Sep 21, 2018 |
Somewhat reminiscent of Into the Woods, it's a novel that manages to turn numerous classic fairy tales into episodes in the life of Hansel and Gretel. It's simple and accessible to read (which is deceptively hard to write!) and very cleverly done. As it went further I liked it better and better. The story works.

(Note: 5 stars = rare and amazing, 4 = quite good book, 3 = a decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. There are a lot of 4s and 3s in the world!) ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adam Gidwitzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bohang, LalaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my family. Obviously.
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Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hansel and Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs.
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Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales.

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