Title: The Nutcracker
Author: Alexandre Dumas
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Classics, Romance
Publisher: Fall River Press
5th sentence, 74th page: Take care, then, dearest mechanic, to have the young man who has never been shaved, and who wears boots, in readiness in ten minutes, together with the nut Crackatook.
The nutcracker doll that mysterious Godfather Drosselmeyer gives to little Marie for Christmas is no ordinary toy. On Christmas Eve, at the clocks strike midnight, Marie watches as the Nutcracker and her entire cabinet of playthings come to life and boldly do battle against the malevolent Mouse King and his armies. But this is only the start: read on for a tale of enchantment and transformation, enter a world by turns fantastical and sinister, a kindom of dolls and spun-sugar palaces, and learn the true history of the brave little Nutcracker. Adapted from a dark fairy-tale by ETA Hoffmann, Alexandre Dumas’ romance of childhood imagination inspired Tchaikovsky’s world-famous ballet. Brilliantly adapted by translator Sarah Ardrizzone and illuminated by Kitty Arden, this is the perfect Christmas gift for readers of all ages.
I can’t believe it has taken me THIS DAMN LONG to realise that The Nutcracker is actually a novel. Or at least, that it wasn’t originally a ballet. Once I realised this though, it took me absolutely no time to rush to my nearest book store and buy an adorably illustrated version of this classic.
It took me a little while to get past the preface of the story. I just didn’t find it overly engaging, and was waiting for the moment that the nutcracker appeared in the story. But the second that it did? My goodness, I couldn’t put this down! I was only going to read a few pages, I ended up reading the entire novella in one sitting and then going to sleep super late at night… far later than I had intended since I did have to work the next day…
There is everything that I love from the ballet which I know far better. Yet there is more. There is a darkness in this telling that makes Mary and the Nutcracker’s triumph so much more beautiful. I had one of those amazing book hangovers when I put this down and am finding it stupidly difficult to find another book to compare…
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