- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Serenity Pub Llc (June 30 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1604506954
- ISBN-13: 978-1604506952
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.6 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 118 g
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
The Book of Wonder Paperback – Jun 30 2009
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About the Author
Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (24 July 1878 – 25 October 1957) was an Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work, mostly in fantasy, published under the name Lord Dunsany. More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes many hundreds of published short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays. Born to one of the oldest titles in the Irish peerage, Dunsany lived much of his life at perhaps Ireland's longest-inhabited home, Dunsany Castle near Tara, worked with W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, received an honourary doctorate from Trinity College, was chess and pistol-shooting champion of Ireland, and travelled and hunted extensively. He died in Dublin after an attack of appendicitis.
Top customer reviews
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Described by Lovecraftian scholar S.T. Joshi as one of the most consistent writers of weird fiction, every short tale in this book will be sure to have you return to it, if only to pour over some of the incredibly well written prose that Dunsany filled every page with. Some of the stand-out tales are "The Probable Adventure of Three Literary Men," "Pombo the Idolator," "The Quest of the Queens Tears," and "The Hoard of the Gibbelins." Although these are the ones that stand out in my mind now, none of the stories in this book are bad; in fact, all are incredibly good and stand the test of time like few can.
If you are interested in the primordial roots of modern fantasy, looking for some unique bed-time stories to tell your children, or just want to keep alive the memory of a sadly forgotten authour, I wholeheartedly recommend Lord Dunsany's "Book of Wonder." Come join the Man-Horse in his travels to find the far city of Zretazoola.
Lord Dunsany was one of those few writers, and "The Book of Wonder" is one of the collections of his stories -- grotesque, whimsical, humorous and solemn. Full of gods and goblins, royals and dragons, this is some of Dunsany's best-known work.
It's a mix of all kinds of fantasy tales: a man whose interest in his imaginary land eclipses the real world; a magical window that shows amazing things; suitors try to make a cold-hearted queen cry; the story of the Gibbelins, who eat "nothing less good than man"; and of Miss Cubbins and the Dragon of Romance.
Most entertaining is the tale of Chu-bu and Sheemish: idol Chu-bu is inceansed when a new idol (Sheemish) is moved into his temple. So Chu-bu and Sheemish start insulting each other. And their resulting babyish squabble has the power to level a city and destroy a civilization, and the victor doesn't exactly live on in glory....
Dunsany's fantasies aren't as vibrantly realistic as J.R.R. Tolkien's, or as pensive as C.S. Lewis's. Instead they're like fantastical, melancholy little paintings. Some are whimsical like "Miss Cubbins and the Dragon of Romance" or "Chu-Bu and Sheemish," while others are majestic and vaguely mythic, like old stories that have only recently been dug up.
His writing is lush and descriptive, but in the slightly distant style of the late nineteenth orearly twentieth century. "Night was roaming away with his cloak trailed behind him, with mists turned over and over as he went," one story goes. He handled comedy, tragedy, horror, and made-up legends with skill and imagination. And though his made-up legends and myths aren't actually in this book, you can see hints of it in some of the stories.
"The Book of Wonder" is an excellent collection of some of Dunsany's best short stories, both funny and frightening. Vivid and beautifully written, this early fantasy writer is a must-have.
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