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Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

Scris de Gregory Maguire

Povestit de Steven Crossley


Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

Scris de Gregory Maguire

Povestit de Steven Crossley

evaluări:
3/5 (22 evaluări)
Lungime:
10 hours
Lansat:
Oct 31, 2017
ISBN:
9780062694478
Format:
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Descriere

In this imaginative novel rooted in the rich soil of early-nineteenth-century German Romanticism, beloved New York Times bestselling author Gregory Maguire twins an origin legend of the famous Nutcracker with the life of Drosselmeier, the toymaker who carves him.

Gregory Maguire's novels have been called "bewitching," "remarkable," "extraordinary," "engrossing," "amazing," and "delicious." Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked, Wonderland in After Alice and Dickensian London in Lost, Maguire now takes us to the Black Forest of Bavaria and Munich of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffman. Hiddensee recreates the backstory of the Nutcracker, reimaging how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how it magically guided an ailing little girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a snowy Christmas Eve. It also brings to life the mysterious godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toymaker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism a migrating strain of a Hellenic mystery-cult, and ponders a profound question: how a person who is abused by life, short-changed and challenged, can access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless. Ultimately, Hiddensee, offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized on the eve of a winter holiday, has something precious to share.

Lansat:
Oct 31, 2017
ISBN:
9780062694478
Format:
Carte audio

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Despre autor

Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of A Wild Winter Swan; Hiddensee; After Alice; Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked—the beloved classic that is the basis for the blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical of the same name—Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family in New England and in France.


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2.9
22 evaluări / 13 Recenzii
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  • (2/5)
    This one was nearly a DNF, but I soldiered on and the last quarter redeemed the story, boosting it from a one star to a two. Like the last Maguire book I read (After Alice) I found this one essentially dull. It started with a lot of potential and ended well, but the vast 60-70% in the middle stretched endlessly. Maguire has a lot of devoted fans. He writes dense, challenging literary fiction. I like to read for entertainment and knowledge. I've come to the conclusion, he is not the writer for me.
  • (3/5)
    Another interesting take on a classic story by Gregory Maguire. I enjoyed the story but was not wowed. There were a lot of slow points and character motivation didn't always show through. I never really connected with any of the characters. Most of the story has absolutely nothing to do with anything from the nutcracker tale. It isn't until a good ways into the book that the Nutcracker even appears and then in isn't really significant until the end. All in all, it was a decent read once but I don't need to ever read it again.As with his other works, the book is a darker take on the story and there are a few scenes that are not appropriate for younger audiences.
  • (3/5)
    I liked it better than After Alice, but that may be in large part because I'm less attached to the source material. There's still a bit of "trying-too-hard", but not so much that it distracted from the narrative.
  • (1/5)
    CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! Why did I trick myself into reading this utter nonsense?!?! Why?!?!!? After Alice (his Alice in Wonderland adaptation) was bad enough (another 1 star review) but I was lured in by the premise of a backstory to the nutcracker. I'm an idiot! I should have stayed clear! My god, this story hardly anything to do with the nutcracker and the first 200 pages was about a boy named Dirk wandering the countryside, no mention of A nutcracker or THE nutcracker OR Christmas. NOTHING! ZILCH! Literally dumb. I hate this. I'm never tricking myself into reading his stuff again. Avoid if you know what's good for you.
  • (4/5)
    I have picked up and put down this book all month long only finishing it this morning. Poor, poor, Dirk endured so much for so so long. I am still a little book drunk about this one and it may take a day or so to gather my thoughts together for a review. But soon. I promise.
  • (3/5)
    Received as a Give Away Winner:

    Was looking forward to a really cool taint on an old story. Got some of it but was also disappointed a bit as well. Dirk was an excellent character but was just so dark and depressing at times that it made it hard to fell sorry for him or even love him as a character. The whole homosexual possibilities between him and Felix where completely unwarranted. Felt like the author put it in just to be relevant or to say something about his own tendencies; simply not needed and takes away from the book. Would have liked to have had more Klara though as well as more woodcutter; just way way to many loose ends .
  • (3/5)
    The writing was all over the place. The narration was great but the story was just ok. I started liking it better about three fourths in. It could just be my mood but this is one I won’t read again.
  • (3/5)
    This story gives sincere backdrop to life before the official Nutcracker. I love the beginning Little Red Riding Hood set in Germany. Germany has so many children’s stories and this is one outside of Pinocchios village. Just my personal thought. Dirk has gone through a lot! I really liked the details in regards to music! So much musicianship. I did feel very bothered that a skilled musician would play a beautiful piece while Dirk and his lover slept together in the church balcony. So not the reason for enjoying the music! It bothered me a lot! And for poor Dirk because he is a man slithered away and captivated by this woman’s words and honey. He has so many regrets and it’s sad for him. Christmas in the end was well written!
  • (5/5)
    It's not a christmas story until the very end. it's well written and entertaining, although I have always loved this author.
  • (5/5)
    You have to go into reading a book by Gregory Maguire with an open mind. I didn’t know that when I read my first book authored by him but it’s apparent pretty quickly that you are entering a different kind of world. His books are not going to be for everyone and I’ve run into people that love them as I do and just as many that don’t get them. I find it surprising that I enjoy them as much as I do as I am such a literal thinker. To me that is a testament to Mr. Maguire’s ability to create a reality within his fantasy worlds. To somehow ground them in enough that is believable for a person to accept animals that talk or worlds beyond the type we inhabit.Hiddensee is not the Nutcracker’s story but rather his creator’s. Like most I suspect, I had never given much thought to this aspect of the tale, but rather only to the more familiar; the young girl, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s music is familiar to most and calls to mind the happy children skipping along and of course that famous dancing fairy.This book, though goes to dark places. The godfather who sets the tale in motion bringing the Nutcracker to little Klara is the focus of Hiddensee and his back story is not really a happy one. It’s this tale that Maguire mines for his book. He takes his reader through a rather dark childhood through the use of the German fairytales that most of us grew up on and the author assumes his reader has at least a general knowledge of these tales. I don’t know if they are still told to children but some of the first stories I was read included Grimm’s fairy tales. Seemingly happy for children but far more threatening when read through the eyes of an adult, eh?The godfather’s origins were not happy and this book explores that and at times it can get a little slow but overall the magic that is Mr. Maguire’s writing pulls you out of those sections and the overall reading experience is like eating a sugar plum.
  • (2/5)
    Hiddensee is a re-imagined novel of the infamous Nutcracker story, which I found really unique and was initially, quite excited to read. Dirk grew up deep in the woods, far from any town or village, with the old lady and the old man; until the day he ran away after an accident in the woods left him with one eye and the sneaking suspicion the pair had tried to kill him. The novel follows Dirk as he makes he way through Bavaria, never settling for terribly long in once place. After traveling the world, he sets up shop as a toy-maker, carving beautiful figurines from wood, earning himself quite the reputation. Finally as an old man, he gifts his prized Nutcracker, carved from the wood of that log ago forest in which he was raised, to the sickly Klara, his goddaughter. In what her parents are convinced are fever dreams, Klaras toys come to life at night in an epic battle, the Nutcracker included.Having read many of Maguires novels in the past (Wicked, Son of a Witch, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister), I had really high hopes for this book. Unfortunately I just really didn't love it. I wanted to love it so bad, but I didn't. I found it boring and uneventful. There were parts that were entertaining and exciting. I was particularly fond of the time Felix and Dirk spent together, and was pretty bummed that nothing ever really transpired between the two as far as a romantic relationship. It was confusing at times and hard to follow, perhaps it was too nuanced with hidden meanings that I really just didn't understand? Either way, this was my least favorite of Maguires books. Not really where he was trying to go with this book, but I would have found a book about Felix and Dirks relationship much more appealing than the genesis of the Nutcracker (which really only comprised a very small portion of the book). Overall, this book wasn't for me, but I wouldn't discourage you from reading if you enjoy this genre. 
  • (5/5)
    You have to go into reading a book by Gregory Maguire with an open mind. I didn’t know that when I read my first book authored by him but it’s apparent pretty quickly that you are entering a different kind of world. His books are not going to be for everyone and I’ve run into people that love them as I do and just as many that don’t get them. I find it surprising that I enjoy them as much as I do as I am such a literal thinker. To me that is a testament to Mr. Maguire’s ability to create a reality within his fantasy worlds. To somehow ground them in enough that is believable for a person to accept animals that talk or worlds beyond the type we inhabit.Hiddensee is not the Nutcracker’s story but rather his creator’s. Like most I suspect, I had never given much thought to this aspect of the tale, but rather only to the more familiar; the young girl, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s music is familiar to most and calls to mind the happy children skipping along and of course that famous dancing fairy.This book, though goes to dark places. The godfather who sets the tale in motion bringing the Nutcracker to little Klara is the focus of Hiddensee and his back story is not really a happy one. It’s this tale that Maguire mines for his book. He takes his reader through a rather dark childhood through the use of the German fairytales that most of us grew up on and the author assumes his reader has at least a general knowledge of these tales. I don’t know if they are still told to children but some of the first stories I was read included Grimm’s fairy tales. Seemingly happy for children but far more threatening when read through the eyes of an adult, eh?The godfather’s origins were not happy and this book explores that and at times it can get a little slow but overall the magic that is Mr. Maguire’s writing pulls you out of those sections and the overall reading experience is like eating a sugar plum.
  • (3/5)
    "Hiddensee" is a prequel to E.T.A. Hoffmann's "The Nutcracker," imagining the backstory of Grandfather Drosselmeier that leads to his presentation of a nutcracker to Klara. The first and last chapters of the book are atmospheric and draw beautifully on the German Märchen tradition, but this magic gets lost in the middle as Maguire strives to match Goethe's Bildungsroman style. The tension between the fantastic and logical elements of the German culture is never quite resolved, and I found my interest flagging. Maguire briefly introduces the Brothers Grimm themselves as characters in an early section, but then spirits his main character away and never returns to the scene. I never quite became as interested in Dirk Drosselmeier as I was in the individuals he left behind. This was not quite the magical Christmas read I had imagined it would be. Readers should also be advised that the book contains explicit descriptions of sexuality and is not appropriate for children.