Hiddensee A tale of the once and future Nutcracker

Gregory Maguire

Book - 2017

"Gregory Maguire returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him."--Amazon.com.

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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Christmas fiction
Published
New York, N.Y. : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xi, 287 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780062684387
0062684388
Main Author
Gregory Maguire (author)
Other Authors
E. T. A. (Ernst Theodor Amadeus) Hoffmann, 1776-1822 (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Dirk doesn't know where he came from. His first memories are of living with an old woman and man deep in the forest, away from the rest of humanity. When he becomes one mouth too many to feed, the old man takes him into the woods, intending to abandon him. Fate and the forest intervene, however, and Dirk narrowly escapes. A mysterious figure in the wider world, Dirk forges his way with odd jobs, weaving stories for the few friends he makes, chased by tragedy and darkness. Later in life, Dirk settles down and opens a toy store in the city. His carved wooden toys are in high demand, but only Klara, the ailing granddaughter of his one true friend, understands the magic in them. It is her magical journey on a snowy Christmas Eve that brings them to life, saving hers just as Dirk's own is dimming. Maguire's characteristic tone is dark and enchanting in his newest fairy tale revision, following After Alice (2015). Into this origin story of the mysterious gift-giving Godfather in The Nutcracker he has woven many traditional Germanic tales and a few Hellenistic myths, as well, to create a powerful story of hope and redemption sure to delight his fans. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Maguire really knows how to reimagine classic stories—look at his "Wicked" series, which inspired the forever-on-Broadway musical, and his recent, New York Times best-selling After Alice—so we can all look forward to his take on the Christmas favorite. He provides backstory showing how slightly spooky godfather Drosselmeier came to carve the nutcracker while investigating the roots of German Romanticism and considering how those who have suffered can reach out and help others. With a 175,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The author of Wicked and After Alice has written an origin fairy tale for toymaker Drosselmeier and the famous Nutcracker he creates, the protagonists of an E.T.A. Hoffman story that was later transformed into Tchaikovsky's famous ballet. The novel begins with Drosselmeier's beginnings as a young foundling, living in the forest with an old couple. A fateful trip to fell a tree sets the boy on a winding path with a magical knife. He finds shelter and work along the way and eventually begins a long friendship and possibly something more with Felix Stahlbaum, grandfather of Fritz and Marie-Claire, commonly known as Klara, and the recipient of the magical Nutcracker. VERDICT Maguire combines the Greek myth of Pan and Pythia with the dark undertones of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, resulting in a strangely fascinating reimagining of how the Nutcracker came to be. Lovers of classical retellings and the author's other books will admire. [See Prepub Alert, 4/10/17.] Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Hiddensee: An island of white sandy beaches, salt marshes, steep cliffs, and pine forests north of Berlin in the Baltic Sea. Godfather Drosselmeier, a one-eyed toy maker, presents a Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter. Klara is a young girl in distress on a dark winter evening... and everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann--the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. 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. But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers inthe flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults--a fascination with death and the afterlife--and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless access secrets that benefitthe 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 on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share."--Jacket.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The best-selling author of Wicked presents an imaginative tale rooted in early 19th-century German Romanticism that explores parallels between the origin legend of the famous Nutcracker with the life of Drosselmeier, the toymaker who carves him. 175,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"Gregory Maguire returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him."--Amazon.com.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Presents an imaginative tale rooted in early nineteenth-century German Romanticism that explores parallels between the origin legend of the famous Nutcracker with the life of Drosselmeier, the toymaker who carves him.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

The author of the beloved New York Times bestseller Wicked returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him.Hiddensee: An island of white sandy beaches, salt marshes, steep cliffs, and pine forests north of Berlin in the Baltic Sea, an island that is an enchanting bohemian retreat and home to a large artists' colony-- a wellspring of inspiration for the Romantic imagination . . .Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann-- the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. 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. But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults-- a fascination with death and the afterlife-- and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless 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 on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share. 

Review by Publisher Summary 7

The author of the beloved New York Times bestseller Wicked returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him.Hiddensee: An island of white sandy beaches, salt marshes, steep cliffs, and pine forests north of Berlin in the Baltic Sea, an island that is an enchanting bohemian retreat and home to a large artists' colony-- a wellspring of inspiration for the Romantic imagination . . .Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann-- the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. 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. But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults-- a fascination with death and the afterlife-- and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless 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 on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share.