It has been quite some time since I have read much Grimm. It has also been a while since I read much Philip Pullman. I don’t think a summary is really necessary for a collection of this type. I was at least vaguely familiar with more than I expected. I promise I am also not going to go through these stories one by one because there are 50 of them and I am pretty sure a post like that would cause everyone to run away in terror. So…
Things I really liked about this collection: The fact that he stayed really true to the original and only changed in order to try to help clarity. As a big nerd I like that there is the option of just reading for enjoyment but if you want it after each story there is the tale type, source, and similar stories as well as his notes. It gives you an idea of what he altered and how. I also think these details would make it a great resource for someone considering writing their own retelling because not only do you have his excellent versions he also gives you guidance on where to continue your research.
One thing that I had definitely never been quite aware of was the weird inconsistencies that exist in the originals. The fact that they did not make any edits even if for example there were errors in the original math. They were truly collectors. I also really love the details Pullman included about the original tellers and their different personalities and how they affect the stories. I think this collection is an excellent way of going back but also making it new.