Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Gregory Maguire

Narrated By: Steven Crossley

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Date: October 2017

Duration: 10 hours 5 minutes


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.


  • Ruth T

    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.

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

by Gregory Maguire

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Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker, Gregory Maguire