Book Review: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

 As I've said before on this here blog, I'm a late bloomer. I'm also old. So I suppose it may come as a shock to some to learn that I have only just finished reading The Little Mermaid for the first time. It made me smile, it made me cry. But not for the reasons you might think. Intrigued? Read on...

First of all, I now understand where most mermaid stories have come from, or are/were at least inspired by. The fact that this story was written in 1837 absolutely blows my mind. Not because it's still around and being newly reprinted for the a ga-zillionth time. It blows my mind because somewhere along the centuries, we've rather lost the desire to create and/or read stories with less-than-happy endings. Although this indeed has a happy ending, just not the one most have come to expect.

I'm not mentioning any spoilers here because I think everyone should read it. But the one thing I will mention is that the last couple of lines--which are simply a thinly disguised warning to children to be good and obey their parents--and included in most fairy tales, felt like an afterthought, and unnecessary. But hey, that's just me. Read or reread it, as the case may be, and decide for yourself.

P.S. Want another bombshell? I've never seen Disney's mega-hit animated version either. And at this point, I'm not sure I want to.