Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jack and a GIVEAWAY

I was reading through The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang when I stumbled upon The History of Jack the Giant-Killer. I immediately thought of Jack and the Beanstalk. But this story had no beanstalk. It's a series of encounters that a certain Jack has with different giants or ogres. Clearly, he's a different Jack, like the different Snow White, yet he's still associated with giants.

I think the best known version of the Jack in the Beanstalk is probably the one in which Jack basically steals the giant's wealth and later kills the giant. But there's another version (well, a couple different versions. . .), wherein everything the giant has actually belonged to Jack's father. When Jack was young, the giant killed his father and stole everything. Jack's mother fled with her son and never spoke of it. So Jack must reclaim his family's property. You can read that version here. Also, you can find more Jack and the Beanstalk stories here.

Jack and the Beanstalk - Huan Tran:

Interestingly though, in both Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer, sometimes there's a lady ogre or lady giant who's the wife to one of Jack's enemies. What's really different is that the wife usually helps Jack or at least tries to hide him from her husband to keep him from being eaten. In some versions, Jack is clearly playing on hers sympathies. But in other versions, the lady giant just takes it upon herself to protect him.

One of the reasons I like Jack the Giant Killer better than the Beanstalk tale is because there's more than one story in way. Depending on which version you read (some of them have been shortened), Jack encounters at least three different giants, sometimes five. Jack the Giant Killer is a little lengthy, but it's really interesting. Usually, he escapes or kills the giant by outsmarting them.

I particularly like this version of Jack the Giant Killer. In both the opening scene and the ending scene, Jack blows a horn. In the beginning, his horn arouses the anger of a giant and so it begins his adventures as a Giant-Killer. In the last one, the horn brings about the end of a giant and so ends Jack's giant killing days. It gives the story a sort of completeness.

So, the giveaway has nothing to do with Jack.

I shall be giving away these lovely books. (Sorry if the photos seem a bit bleary.)

I was trying to find some a nice collection of Andersen's tales, but nothing I found satisfied me, so how about some Grimm instead? It's blue; blue always wins.

Stars Above is a collection of short stories about our Lunar Chronicles friends. If you've not read the Lunar Chronicles, I highly recommend it. I love the twist Meyer takes on fairytales and it's fun to see how she weaves the tales together with such completeness. I'm currently reading Winter. I actually haven't read this book yet so I'm hoping it's good! But it's by Meyer so I believe you will be in good hands.

Now this. Haha. I have this weird belief that every avid reader needs to read The Princess Bride at least once in his or her life. Technically it is not a fairytale. Yet most people seem to miss the point that this book, and its movie, are satire. It questions and gives a cynical look at literary archetypes and elements that I think fairytales strongly influenced. But more on that later.

(Those are onion flowers by of way. I thought they'd go nicely since it's The Princess Bride.)

This specific book is actually, uh, my book. I could only find a second-hand Princess Bride and the one I found is in poorer condition than my own. I am not going to give someone a sad looking book. Mine has a little wear on the papercover but otherwise it's good. I rather cherish my copy of The Princess Bride simply for the stupid and illogical reason that it's my copy (yeah, so it's special, okay?). I guess I'm saying that whoever ends up with this book I hope they make a special place in their heart for it.

Great. Now I'm being sentimental over books.

But hey, if one is going to be sentimental, it might as well be about books, right?


  1. Your doing a giveaway, how cool. I need to do one at some point. Is it international? I saved those links to read later. I love the movie Jack the Giant Slayer, it would be fun to put my own twist on it some time. I have wanted to read The Princess Bride forever, is it really good? Your going to give away your own copy, your so nice.

    1. YES! It is international. Sorry, I guess I should've mentioned that.
      I want to say I've seen the movie? But I can't remember it. And I might have seen a Beanstalk movie instead.
      The Princess Bride is fabulous! I love it so much. It is very much a satire of, well, a lot of things. A lot of people get hung up on the beginning though, because it's not what they expected. But it is worth the read. Promises.

  2. *states* you are giving away your own copy?! Wow. I'm not sure I could do that. You are a kind soul. Also, I like how there are many versions of some fairy tales. It leaves it kind of open for you to decide what happened. :P

    1. And by *states* I mean *stares*. Wow. I can't technology.

    2. Haha! Thanks. But hey, if it means I get to spread The Princess Bride influence, it is 100% worth it. ;)

      I agree. Different versions of fairytales is fun and you can always tell when people added or took away from them. It gives you a lot of different options.

  3. The different variations on Jack's story, be it with the beanstalk or mainly focusing on killing giants, have always been fascinating to me. Like, what was the original story, and who thought of it? I do specifically remember liking the version where Jack is reclaiming his father's stolen possessions. *nods*

    This blog party is fabulous. :D I'm really enjoying it. And your book photos are beautiful (especially the one with The Princess Bride and the onion flowers). Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. That's what I wondered. Because the two stories are so different. The only similar elements are Jack and a giant.

      Thank you! I'm so glad you are enjoying it! (Thanks. I'm mildly proud of that one.)

  4. Omg SUCH a nice giveaway. :') You are too generous. (I'm assuming it's INT, but if nto, ignore my entries, haha.)

    Erm, but can I admit...I watched a really "scary" version of Jack and the Beanstalk when I was little. Like, maybe I was 8 or something? (I'm sure it wasn't even scary. but whatever.) I WAS SO FREAKED OUT OF MY MIND I DIDN'T SLEEP FOR A WEEK. So basically I do not do even speak of Jack and the Beanstalk. XDXD Which is annoying of me? Because it'd be great to retell? But = childhood trauma.

    1. Yes, it IS international. I forget to mention! Sorry.

      Oh, yes. I think I saw that one. But I was older when I saw it, otherwise I probably would've been scared too. It was unnecessarily gory. And just, kind of weird. I don't blame you.

  5. HEY! I'm really glad it's int! XD

    AAaannd it is quite late at night and I've been on a few planes today BUT I shall return and my comment on Jack shall be v insightful, promises.

    1. Yes, it is. :)

      Sounds good! Have a good flight. :)

    2. ^^I promised a v insightful comment and NOW I'M FEELING THE PRESSURE. Past Emily, look what you've done!

      I think the most interesting thing about this story is that the giantess is sometimes good. In the fairytale writer bio post earlier I commented on the fact that the Grimms edited the moral nuance from their stories, ie changing biological mothers to stepmothers, but to have an "evil" being like a giant displaying good qualities goes against this. It's quite modern when you think about it.

      But what thanks does she ever get from Jack?

    3. Yes, I always wondered at that too. Woman were always depicted as pure good or manipulative evil. But this giantess (usually an evil being) is depicted as good (or is it naive?) by helping Jack. But of course, afterward she isn't mentioned at all. It isn't said if Jack spares her or kills her with her husband, after her role is played she just disappears from the story, like she doesn't matter.


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