A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

Large Print - 2017
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"Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann's mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's fairy tale ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter"--Back cover.
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperLuxe, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Characteristics: 394 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Edition: First HarperLuxe edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062687944


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DPLSaraQT Mar 17, 2018

Lovely, sad, special, whimsical, and philosophical - all at once. Highly recommend.

Mar 11, 2018

Gregory Maguire is one of my favorite writers and he didn't disappoint. However, compared to other re-writing of fairy tales (like "Mirror Mirror" and "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister"), here the relationship to the original story, "The Nutcracker," seems a bit stretched, also because references to the fairy tale appear only in the last section. The book is about Dirk Drosselmeier, a foundling who - although having visions of the Pythia and the god Pan - lives most of his life in a simple, unassuming, almost ignorant way. He meets Felix, a would-be musician who seems to be secretly in love with Dirk, and - after some adventures and a lost love - he spends a good part of his life taking care of Felix' family after his untimely death. The last chapters deal with the friendship between Dirk, now old and supposedly wise, and Klara, a grandchild of Felix, who has a very vivid imagination and is the connection to the original fairy tale. Oh, I forgot: Dirk becomes a toy maker and builds a nutcracker that grows old with him. Overall a very enjoyable book, not devoid of humor, but the sections about the Lost Little Forest (supposedly a Greek forest in search of a new home) are not always very clear. What does the forest represent? Why do the Pythia of Delphos and Pan appear to Dirk? What is Dirk supposed to do - if anything?
However, with characters as Mesmer and a gnome-like knife, this is a book to read, definitely.

ArapahoeSummer Nov 15, 2017

This retelling serves as a prequel to the Nutcracker. The story is imaginative and sometimes dark, weaving in several other fairy tales. Maguire saves the best for last in this one - if you are looking for a retelling of the Nutcracker, don't skip part three.


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