Book Review

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING by E.T.A. Hoffmann

Rating: 4 / 5

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING by E.T.A. Hoffmann was one of our December picks for the #ClassicsBuddyRead! While I have seen the ballet, I didn’t know the original story so I picked up both an original translation and a graphic novel adaptation by Natalie Andrewson.

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING is a translated fairy tale and the basis for the ballet, though certainly not a perfect match. A little girl is gifted a nutcracker at Christmas and is shocked when it comes to life along with the rest of the toys. When she falls ill a family friend tells her the nutcracker’s origin and how he came to be so ugly, but the little girl loves him even so.

After reading this, I wouldn’t consider it a favorite story but it was fun to hear the full origin story of the adapted ballet. I really enjoyed the graphic novel adaptation most of all as it added more pictures and visuals to what was a fairly dry story in the original.

I am glad that I picked both of these up, though I don’t know that they’d be ones I would look to revisit often. It did leave me humming the music I remember from the ballet (perhaps a bit more than I wanted!) and gave me an excuse to pair it with my sugar plum cupcake (even if there is a sad lack of a sugar plum fairy in the original story!).

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