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Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Nutcracker (1816)

by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Read aloud to my son for Christmas. This is the basis for the famous ballet, the story of Marie, who receives a Nutcracker doll for Christmas that subsequently comes to life, battles a seven-headed mouse king, and takes Marie on a tour of a fairyland made of sweets. My son pronounced it "weird, but very descriptive, so I could picture it in my head, so I liked it." I thought it was entertaining, but surreal and dreamlike. ( )
  sturlington | Dec 29, 2016 |
I've seen BalletMet's The Nutcracker at the Ohio Theatre multiple times, but I'd never read the 1816 story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by ETA Hoffman. The edition I read, Nutcracker, featured illustrations by Maurice Sendak which I loved. The story itself was creepy. Caught up in the beauty of the ballet, I'd never thought about how much that whole scenario would scare the bejeezus outta me! A talking nutcracker, a seven-headed mouse, the creepy old dude...shivers galore.

4 stars ( )
  flying_monkeys | Dec 16, 2016 |
Look at the page count - the only other version I've read was a 28 pp adaptation. I'll have to check how long it was in the original, or how it's meant to be....

ISBN 051755285X

Almost coffee-table size hardcover. Two stories in one, really.

First is the introduction by Sendak in which he complains of other adaptations of Hoffmann's story, and talks about what he did for the PNB production. This adaptation is continued throughout the rest of the book in the illustrations. I was not impressed.

Second is the (translated) story by Hoffmann. I loved this. It is long, but it could be faithfully adapted for the stage if stuff like the Sugarplum fairy wasn't added in.

I did youtube some of PNB videos and thought it lovely, but, really, it's a different story.

I strongly recommend you try to find a copy of Hoffmann's work that has no, or at least few, illustrations, and judge the story by that. No matter how many performances you've seen, whether acclaimed or amateur, you don't know Hoffmann's story, and you're missing out.

  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The Nutcracker was one of my favorite stories as a child, specifically told through the movie "The Nutcracker Prince" (1990). I only found out the ballet and movies were based on a book recently, when Penguin released these beautiful Christmas classics editions. The movie from 1990 is actually a very close adaption of the book, all of the aspects that I loved in the movie was there in the book. Therefor, it was enjoyable to read it from a nostalgic point of view. It's magical, Drosselmeier is the fabulous uncle we all wish we had, who brings toys and magic every time he visits. The story is imaginative and fun. The writing was a bit difficult for me to follow at times, mostly because of part of the vocabulary which I was unfamiliar with (could be because English is not my first language, and it's a book published in the early 1800s). Otherwise, I did enjoy the story. Of course very suitable for this time of the year! ( )
  zombiehero | Mar 25, 2016 |
If you only know the story from the ubiquitous ballet, revisit it via this version. Maurice Sendak's distinctive art lends just the right appealingly surreal tone to ETA Hoffman's fairy tale. Like all good fairy tales, there is a thread of darkness and danger along with bright fantasy, and the spare storytelling pairs perfectly with the lush illustrations of this version. ( )
  jenspirko | Nov 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hoffmann, E. T. A.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Innocenti, RobertoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kota, MattiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manheim, R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manheim, RalphTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neugroschel, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sendak, MauriceIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Setälä, SalmeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Francia Russell, who thought of it
Kent Stowell, who shaped it
the dancers of the Pacific Northwest Ballet,
who made it happen
First words
Christmas Eve
On the twenty-fourth of December Dr. Stahlbaum's children were not allowed to set foot in the small family parlor, much less the adjoining company parlor—not at any time during the day.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Dumas père's 1845 French version of Nutcracker and Hoffmann's 1816 German version are different works.
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 051755285X, Hardcover)

"A classic, new and complete. One of the ten best illustrated children's books of the year."
-- New York Times Book Review

The tale of Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816, has fascinated and inspired artists, composers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. It has retained its freshness because it appeals to the sense of wonder we all share.

Maurice Sendak designed brilliant sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Christmas production of Nutcracker and created even more magnificent pictures especially for this book. He joined with the eminent translator Ralph Manheim to produce this illustrated edition of Hoffmann's wonderful tale, destined to become a classic for all ages.

The world of Nutcracker is a world of pleasures. Maurice Sendak's art illuminates the delights of Hoffmann's story in this rich and tantalizing treasure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:59 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

After hearing how her toy nutcracker got his ugly face, a little girl helps break the spell and changes him into a handsome prince.

» see all 11 descriptions

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