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Phantastes, a Faerie Romance for Men and Women Paperback – 8 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Dodo Press (8 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406530107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406530100
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,607,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John R. Bradford on 2 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This version of MacDonald's classic fantasy provides a list of Arthur Hughes's wonderful illustrations - but does not include the illustrations themselves! Furthermore, the publisher does not seem to have taken the trouble to employ a proof-reader - or if he has, then that worthy should be sacked.
So I recommend looking to another publisher for a copy of this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Additional Product Details 6 Aug. 2007
By Jeffrey W. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The following review is given specifically for the Johannesen edition (George MacDonald Original Works) of Phantastes.

First of all, the book has a slick, dark green cover that is waterproof. The front cover and spine are engraved with gold leafing, which gives the book a beautiful antique appearance. Furthermore, the spine is well-rounded and appears to be enforced for a lifetime of handling (this is obviously important for a serious book collector!). Also, the sewn pages within are acid-free and are of a light cream color which makes it easy on the eyes while reading.

Secondly, Johannesen has included all thirty-three illustrations by Arthur Hughes. No other modern printing of this text includes these illustrations. Although it may sound silly to wish for these illustrations, it really adds a touch of delightful nostaglia to Phantastes

Thirdly, the Johannesen editions are considered authoritative editions, which hold significant weight for the literary student or MacDonald scholar.

Although the price may seem a bit steep, the product is well worth it. This is an attractive edition which may be passed down through your family for generations to come. I hope that this brief review has been helpful - happy shopping!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Some of the Buried Strata of the Human World 20 Dec. 2008
By Laurie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A warning should be printed on the title-page of this beautiful, unique book, preferably curling around a romantically decorated Gothic archway: Caution, You Are Now Entering the Realm of Dreams. Many would-be readers have found themselves bored or confused through ignorance of this simple fact. "Phantastes" is perhaps the most truly dream-like book ever written. As in a dream, one scene morphs into another; objects acquire an intense emotional significance for no apparent reason; explanations are offered and happily accepted despite their obvious failure to explain anything.

George MacDonald is sadly little known, and he might have disappeared altogether but for the enthusiasm of C.S. Lewis, who called MacDonald his Teacher and said that reading "Phantastes" "baptised his imagination". I can only say that this perplexes me. Christian interpretations of this book seem to me neither more nor less plausible than Freudian ones. Interpreting a dream is like building a little cage for a soap-bubble. The same with fairy-tales, of which MacDonald was also a master. Do fairy-tales have "meanings"? If the story had a meaning that could be told, what need would there be for the story?

So MacDonald was an Explorer of what we now call the Subconscious, which we consider to be Inside Us. But remember that he wasn't as clever as we are, he thought of this Realm as neither Inside nor Outside: and of course he was right. It wouldn't be true to say he was the first. Both English and German Romantics influenced him; but while they waded ever deeper and deeper, he let go and began to swim. (He acknowledges his debt with the inset story of Cosmo in Chapter 13, which could have been written by the German Romantic Novalis.)

"Phantastes" is the dream we wish we could have, like opulent music, full of mossy forests, water, flowers, moonlit nights, courtly lovers, solemn buildings. It will always divide opinion: some will fling it away after a few chapters, others will treasure it, re-read and re-read it.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful Book 23 Nov. 2002
By D. Forsythe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was an amazing book by George MacDonald. It was absolutely beautiful and I could not put it down. When I had to put it down, my thoughts were constantly drawn back to the story of Anodos and his journey through the Land of Faerie.
As I read, I could see that he was showing me much more than just the skin of the story. There was so much underneath that I could see, like shadows of fish in pond. You can see them, but can't particularly tell what kind they are. Perhaps this is due to lack of intelligence on my part, yet, there was much that I did not understand about the story. Even so, it added to the beauty and mystery of the book.
Also, this version by Johannesen is great. The illustrations by Arthur Hughes are perfect to go along with the book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A step into Fairyland 24 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I first had to read Phantastes for a college English class, but i've since reread it dozens of times for my own enjoyment. MacDonald virtually transports the reader into the mind and heart of Anados (the main character) as he journeys through Fairyland. Here, Fairyland is a deeply dreamlike, sometimes nightmarish place where everything and everyone has a signifigance far beyond the surface. For me, the best part of this story is the fact that one can read it as a simple adventure or as a spiritual journey. The allegorical aspects of Phantastes are everpresent, though not blatant. MacDonald's flowery, Victorian prose allows the reader to draw only as much from Phantastes as he would like to get. However, if you read this, it will probably suck you right into the heart of the story. If you are looking for a dark, rich fantasy, this is the original...
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing edition 15 Oct. 2009
By J. Rumbold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you didn't read the preface to this edition, or you weren't shopping for an illustrated copy of McDonald's wonderfully engrossing story, perhaps you wouldn't know what you were missing.

Sadly, I did both. The ONLY illustration in this book is on the cover. McDonald's son wrote the preface (to the 1905 edition, bewilderingly included in this version), and made pointed mention of the fact that illustrations had been added in by McDonald's good friend.

However, illustrations are nowhere to be seen in the pages of the book.

I am VERY curious to know if there are any editions out there that have illustrations throughout. I would love to read the version that this preface accurately accompanied. That being said, the story is fantastic thus far, and I certainly am not disappointed with the author's content.

This is not the edition you want to own!
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