Book Review: “Rapunzel”

Rapunzel, from the 1914 Cupples & Leon edition...

Rapunzel, from the 1914 Cupples & Leon edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, illustrated by Johnny Gruelle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Rapunzel” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Fairy Tale

Source: Public Domain. You can read it here.



It’s a lot different than I expected. The biggest surprise for me was Rapunzel wasn’t a princess. For some reason I was under the assumption that she was a princess (as in her parents were king and queen). Guess that’s what I get for letting Disney movies shape my perceptions of fairy tales.

I had some unanswered questions. How did they get into the tower in the first place? There are no stairs or doors. Or better yet? How was this tower built in the first place?

I wasn’t too pleased with Rapunzel agreeing to marry with prince instantly. Eeek. I thought intsa-love today was bad. I didn’t like it but I can’t be too mad at her because of it. Can you imagine being stuck with your only your mother 24/7 for your whole life? I guess it is understandable that she would literally jump at the first chance to get away from that.

The story is quite short which is a shame. It’s really interesting idea and I would have loved to see the Grimm brothers flesh the idea out more. That’s one of the biggest reasons Project: Fairy Tale and retellings appeal to me. I want to know more about these stories.

It’s a Grimm fairy tale so of course the story is dark. Kidnapping? Exile? Jumping and loosing one’s sight? That’s a bit dark to be reading to kids. It’s interesting to note that the does end pleasantly with a “happily ever after”.

The bottom line? Interesting but a bit short.

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12 thoughts on “Book Review: “Rapunzel”

  1. All of the stories are short, comparatively to what we read now. I always loved Rapunzel. From the Faerie Tale Theatre version, I gathered that there was a door, but “mama bear” sealed them in working from the outside in.

  2. Fairytales are really interesting, because they are sooo basic. There isn’t a lot of detail, and, like you said, lots of instalove going on. I talked a bit on why fairytales are so basic in my post today.

    I understand why they are bare bones, but it does make it more difficult to enjoy the basic fairytale. Especially without illustrations. But this makes them wonderful for retellings!

    Also, I know Tangled is SOOOOO different from the original tale! Not a bad thing at all. I really liked Tangled, it’s just soooo different from the origina.

    So glad you started this project, Alison.

    • I think in the back of my mind I “knew” that they were pretty basic but it didn’t fully click until I read a few.

      Absolutely! Making any fairy tale your own in a retelling would be pretty easy to do.

      I love Tangled too and agree that it’s quite different. I haven’t had a chance to watch it since reading the story but I think it’s a pretty good retelling/adaption.

    • I know! I have to constantly remind myself that the movies aren’t the fairy tales. 🙂 I’m so glad that we all had that little push with this project to go back and actually read some of these fairy tales.

  3. I agree. All fairy tales are far too short. It’s what makes retellings so interesting, though! Seeing where other writers take the base story and go from there. 🙂 I actually just bought a book all about maiden in tower stories, so I can’t wait to read about them myself! Looking forward to future Rapunzel posts!

  4. I was actually more familiar with the fairy tale before Tangled, and really enjoyed seeing what Disney changed about it! Great write-up of the story! Definitely it’s great to see fairy tales expanded on! Now I have the songs from Into the Woods in my head – not sure if you are already familiar with it, but that musical has some of Rapunzel’s story in it, and it’s a great show! 🙂

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