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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories [Paperback]

Washington Irving
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 21 2008 Dover Thrift Editions
The quintessential American writer, Washington Irving emerged as the country's first popular author with such beloved nineteenth-century short stories as "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." These highly entertaining fiction masterpieces reveal Irving's unique mastery at portraying the landscapes and culture of early America.
This modestly priced edition includes both of these Irving landmarks, as well as other acclaimed short works by the famous essayist, travel writer, biographer, and historian:
• "The Spectre Bridegroom"
• "The Devil and Tom Walker"
• "The Wife"
• "Westminster Abbey"
• "Mountjoy"
• "Adventure of the Mysterious Stranger"
and five other classics.
Filled with satire, pathos, and picturesque observations, these remarkable stories are important foundations of the American literary tradition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW Washington Irving, illus. by Michael Garland. Boyds Mills, $8.95 ISBN 1-56397-605-6. Full-page oil paintings illustrate this unabridged edition of the classic spine-tingler. All ages.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-- Ichabod Crane's peculiar looks may not have found favor in Katrina Van Tassel's eyes--but in Flint's illustrations, Katrina's own eyes are crossed, and pop from a fleshy, sharp-nosed visage, thin-lipped, jowly, and neckless. (Irving's original description of Katrina as a "blooming lass" has been deleted from this adaptation.) Her favored suitor, Brom, looks like an early avatar of The Incredible Hulk (badly in need of orthodontics): Irving wrote of his "bluff but not unpleasant countenance." Even skinny Ichabod doesn't look so bad next to this loutish yokel, making Katrina's choice rather puzzling. The lurid color (a midnight sky of tomato soup, a pea green Crane) and bizarre perspective (the Headless Horseman's steed seems to be falling on its neck, although it's only rounding a corner at speed) owe something to modern art, but only caricature Irving's own art. There is humor in Irving's tale, but what we have here is parody. Choose Diane Wolkstein's retelling (Morrow, 1987), despite the indifferent cartoon illustrations; or stick with the "unadapted" meandering, dreamy prose of the original text, with color and line art by Rackham (Morrow, 1990). --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, but... April 25 2004
While The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a timeless tale that has endured the ages and countless retellings from Disney to Tim Burton, the original work contains a rather large error in tone - a blatant one. The story is told in third person as though it's a journal - the sketch book of Diedrich Knickerbocker, in fact. This is fine, except for the climax scene in which Ichabod journeys home through the hollow from Van Tassel's house, and is confronted by the Headless Horseman. This scene is written with all the detailed minutia that characterizes Irving's style, but the obvious problem is that, of course, nobody was there to witness what happened to Ichabod Crane while he was alone in the wilderness, so therefore it could not possibly be communicated by means of somebody's journal - this person would never have known what actually happened in the Hollow since nobody was there to witness it, and apparently Ichabod never survived or stuck around to tell anyone. Irving never deals with this obvious problem in the text (a simple "This is what we think happened..." would've sufficed). The story probably would've worked much better with a traditional "God-perspective" narrator rather than a fictional character's journal. It is nonetheless, a classic work of American literature and should be read by everyone.
This is a fine edition and also includes Rip Van Winkle, another story of paranormal experience and also of the Knickerbocker sketch book. It's a similar tone to Sleepy Hollow, but the characters aren't as memorable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where The Pocantico Winds Its Wizard Stream Feb. 24 2003
The original 1928 Arthur Rackham edition of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (first published in 1819) was one of the most beautifully illustrated versions of the tale ever produced. This Books Of Wonder facsimile of that edition is certainly the finest available today, though folk artist Will Moses' bright retelling runs a close second. Rackham's watercolors for this American classic are very much in keeping with his earlier work, which had established him as the greatest British illustrator of his era.
Where much of Irving's tale is painted in the warm autumn hues, Rackham choose to portray Sleep Hollow as not only a place of overwhelming haunts and visions, but as a region existing in a state of permanent, moody twilight. His Sleep Hollow seems perpetually in crepuscular shadow: the last pure rays of the sun have just vanished from the earth, and darkness, though it has not fallen yet, is falling quickly. In the artist's eye, Irving's fireside tale appears to take place not in glorious mid-October, but in storm-swept late November. The illustrator's anthropomorphic and archetypal Sleepy Hollow also magnifies elements of Irving's romantic landscape over and above the necessities of the text. While witches, ghosts, and visions are discussed in the story, Rackham depicts the trees, houses, and countryside of the region as teeming with every kind of fairy, goblin, dryad, and witch, as if calmly revealing to the eyes of man the always coexistent if invisible supernatural life of the Hudson River Valley. His painting of Major Andre's Tree, for example, depicts a traditional European fairytale witch and her black cat familiar walking along the road beneath Andre's tree as if they had every right to be there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sleepy Hollow package ever Sept. 25 2002
I have experienced several productions of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," in person, on stage, on screen and in books. None of them is as good as this book/cassette set, with the combination of Glen Close's narrative talents in relating the story and being able to read along in the wonderfully illustrated book graced with period "artwork." The mystery and atmosphere of this story is perfectly captured; the story is expertly edited and narrated. Close is a storytelling genius and is completely and effectively able to switch personae and voices as she re-tells this classic story. I have listened to it with my children during long drives in the car at night, and I have listened to it on bright autumn afternoons by myself. I have carted it around and I have lent it to many people, with the result that I no longer have my copy! Autumn and Halloween were not the same last year without it. This set is completely as entertaining for adults as it is for children. No school library,no home should be without a copy.
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Will Moses' illustrated retelling of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow rivals Arthur Rackham's near century-old version as the best edition of the book ever published. The Rackham version, with its moody, archetypal illustrations, has the slight edge, as it contains Irving's full original text in addition to Rackham's spectacular artwork.
However, Moses's simplification of the narrative is masterfully executed, and the colorful, playful, and numerous paintings which adorn the book have a warm period charm of genuine Americana. Moses portrays the Hudson River Valley as a lush expansive valley not unlike the Garden of Eden on the first day of creation. Happy farmers, their wives and children, cows, geese, ducks and pigs frolic together amid fields of wheat and corn; galleons approach dramatically from the river; and the Catskill Mountains, sun, and sky suggested an infinite panorama and endless horizon full of promise.
The story tells us that the Dutch colonists were a superstitious lot, and that the Sleepy Hollow region itself was or seemed to be under a spell of some kind. The farmers and their wives suspected witchcraft; strange music was heard in the air; visions were seen; and the inhabitants themselves lived their lives in a kind of continuous dreamy revery. These tales and superstitions give rise to the legend of the headless horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a canon ball in the war, and now nightly prowling the region in search of it. Moses' nocturnal landscapes of the swamps, hills and the Old Dutch Cemetery under a bright harvest moon are particularly effective. Significantly, these stark, haunted landscapes do not violate the spirit of the book, but enrich its sense of wonder.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for around the campire.
Wonderful short stories to read.
Published 29 days ago by April McDonaugh
5.0 out of 5 stars You feel that you are there
As with many readers my previous exposure to this story was the Disney Cartoon and the ghoulish adaptation by Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci in the Movie "Sleepy Hollow" [Blu-ray]... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2010 by bernie
1.0 out of 5 stars TERRIBLE
This is the worst book I've ever read! If there was a number lower than 1 that's what I would rate it. Read more
Published on July 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story
this story is very exciting.I'm glad that Crane disappeared at the end,whatever his destiny is.The Sleepy Hollow is so secluded and beautiful that we don't allow anyone to spoil... Read more
Published on June 8 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars the description is marvellous
Actually, I personlly think the story is not as attracting as I have imagined before reading. But what kept me continuing reading from the cover to the end? Curosity! Read more
Published on May 13 2004 by Lucy
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Escape From Reality
Washington Irving creates a whimsical, dreamy setting in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" that sends a reader into the same reverie in which his characters live. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2004 by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars My All-Time Favorite Story-A Timeless American Classic
"The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving is my all-time favorite story! Set in upstate New York in the late 1700's, schoolmaster Ichabod Crane arrives in the quiet... Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars i love it i would read it again
it is so cool i would let my parents do anything to me to get me that book. i would recommend it to everyone in the world. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Masterpiece!
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a suspenseful story that combines creativity of older writing with the suspense of modern ghost stories. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2002 by S. Kqira
4.0 out of 5 stars Sleepy Hollow
The legend of Sleepy Hollow written by Washington Irving is a great story to read and tell. Irving's precise descriptions of the setting and the characters paint pictures in your... Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2002
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