Hiddensee Low Price CD: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

Version: Unabridged
Author: Gregory Maguire
Narrator: Steven Crossley
Genres: Literature, Fairy Tales & Folklore
Publisher: HarperAudio
Published In: October 2018
# of Units: 10 CDs
Length: 12 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

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.

Reviews (1)

*REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*

Written by Ruth T on November 17th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 3/5

It’s a well written and intriguing book, just not in the way I’d like. The description, in my opinion, doesn’t accurately describe what the story is about and those who want whimsy similar to ‘Wicked’ is going to be left disappointed and confused. It’s really more of a character study with a pinch of Grimm’s fairytales and Greek legends in the background. The little girl mentioned in the description won’t show up for quite some time and we’re left with Dirk Drosselmayer who is a dense and often frustrating protagonist. Once again, a great book for clubs who’d like to dig deep into what the story could mean but not a fanciful holiday story.

Author Details

Author Details

Maguire, Gregory

Gregory Maguire is the author of five novels for adults and more than a dozen novels for children.

His adult novels, all published by HarperCollins, are Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995), praised by John Updike in the New Yorker as "an amazing novel," Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (1999); Lost (2001); Mirror Mirror (2003); and Son of a Witch, the sequel to Wicked, published in 2005.

Wicked has been developed as a big-budget Broadway musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, The Prince of Egypt, etc.).

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister was filmed for ABC/Disney and aired originally in the Spring of 2002. It starred Stockard Channing and Jonathan Pryce.

Mr. Maguire's work for adults and for children has been published abroad in England, Ireland and Australia, and various works have been purchased for translation into French, German, Danish, Dutch, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

His children's novels include The Hamlet Chronicles, a projected seven book series including, to date, Seven Spiders Spinning, Six Haunted Hairdos, Five Alien Elves, Four Stupid Cupids, and Three Rotten Eggs. A Couple of April Fools is next. Though he is best known as a fantasy writer, Mr. Maguire has also written picture books, science fiction, realistic and historic fiction.

For the Sunday New York Times Book Review Mr. Maguire has published signal reviews of significant fantasies by J. K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, and Maurice Sendak. He has also contributed articles and essays in journals such as the Boston Review, the Christian Science Monitor, The Horn Book Magazine, and others.

Mr. Maguire has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships. He was artist in residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and has received fellowship residencies at Blue Mountain Center, New York; the Hambidge Center, Georgia; The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Vermont. In addition to writing, Mr. Maguire is a national figure in children's literature education. He was a professor and associate director of the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College, 1979 through 1986. Since 1986 he has been codirector and founding board member of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a nonprofit that focuses attention on the significance of literature in the lives of children.

Mr. Maguire received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Tufts University (1990). He has lived abroad in Dublin and London, and now makes his home in Massachusetts.