Monday, November 26, 2012

Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann (Plus Giveaway)



Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

The tale of the Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, has fascinated and inspired artists, composers, and audiences for almost two hundred years.  It has retained it's 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 has created even more magnificent pictures especially for this book.  He has 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.


Believe it or not, I have never read Nutcracker before, I've never seen the ballet, nor have I ever seen the various TV productions that have come out over the years.  Despite all of that, I still had a vague idea of what it was all about.  I knew it was about a young girl who loved her Nutcracker and how that Nutcracker battled the evil Mouse King.  

What I didn't know, was all the stuff that happened in between.  I didn't know that there was this rather creepy godfather who was a genius clockmaker and would make her and her brother magnificent Christmas present every year.  I also didn't know that on one particular Christmas, the young girl, despite her lovely dolls and pretty dresses, fell in love with a little Nutcracker, a gift for the entire family.  I didn't know the legend behind the Mouse King or why he was so bent on destruction.  I didn't know of the magnificent battles the toy soldiers, lead by the Nutcracker, fought against the hoards of mice.  I never would have guess the real identity of the Nutcracker and how he came to be cursed in such a way.  I didn't know how action packed, romantic, and plain fun this would be to read.  Having illustrations by Maurice Sendak, was icing on the cake.  

Thanks to the lovely people at Crown, I have a copy of this book to giveaway.  All you need to do to enter, is leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas story.   You also need to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.  You must be a US resident, sorry guys.  The giveaway will run from now until 11:59 pm CST, on 12/5/12.  I'm cutting this one short in order for the winner to get it by Christmas.  I will use random.org to pick the winner.

Challenges: CS

14 comments:

bn100 said...

I like The Nutcracker.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

bermudaonion said...

I'd never read The Nutcracker before this book either. I liked it but do wonder if it will appeal to kids. No need to enter me.

traveler said...

Thanks for this lovely giveaway. My favorite Christmas Story is The Christmas Carol. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

What a special giveaway. A favorite Christmas story is It happened one Christmas. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

lag123 said...

I love The Paperbag Christmas.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Man of la Book said...

Not an entry.

Just wanted to say I enjoyed your review and that you're not the only one who has not read The Nutcracker (even though, now it's probably me).

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Alexia561 said...

Have to admit that I'm really surprised you've never seen any of the productions of The Nutcracker over the years! I've seen TV specials a few times, but admit I've forgotten most of the story. Love Sendak, so am sure this book is lovely!

I can't enter as I'm sort of between addresses now, but wanted to let you know I enjoyed your review! :)

Bookfool said...

No need to add me. I do love the story. We saw the ballet, a few years ago, and really enjoyed it.

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I know the story pretty well because I've seen the ballet at least three times. The first time was when I was 11. My parents got me tickets for my birthday. We almost didn't get to go because it started snowing hard (we lived in Michigan), but we made it. It was wonderful! I'll never forget that first time seeing it. I also got this book for review and I can't wait to read it. I'm hoping I can get my boys to read it with me.

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

Oops, don't enter me. I already have it. Thanks!

Yvette said...

I have this wonderful book and I love it. It's a great prize. :)

JaneGS said...

I love Maurice Sendak and would love to have a copy of this book for my Xmas collection. My favorite Christmas story? Well, the original is pretty darn good--as Joel Fleischman put it in Northern Exposure--you've got a baby, a star, animals--what's not to like? Apart from that one, I've always loved Gift of the Magi and A Christmas Carol, and the chapter in Pickwick Papers where Pickwick and the boys celebrate Christmas.

janetgs05-at-gmail-dot-com

Jill said...

I'm surprised you managed to not read or view it for so long. Lots of cartoons even do versions of it, i recall watching Barbie Nutcracker not too long ago! My kids would love the chance to read this version!

buckfamily at ptd.net

Jill said...

Oops, forgot the favorite story. I like to reread the John Grishom one that Christmas with the Kranks was based on (I can't recall the title of the book but it was So much better than the movie) and I love watching White Christmas every year (along with Rudolph!).