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Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]

Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Book Description

2 Jan 2000 Dover Thrift Editions
Choice collection of short fiction by one of the masters of the genre. In addition to the title story, this volume includes "The Birthmark," "Rappaccini’s Daughter," "Roger Malvin’s Burial," "The Artist of the Beautiful," "Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment" and "My Kinsman, Major Molineux." Tales deal with scientific experiment, witchcraft, revenge, more.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A potent sampling of Hawthorne's tales 19 Aug 2001
By Michael J. Mazza - Published on
"Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories" brings together 7 tales by the great United States author Nathaniel Hawthorne. These stories date from the 1830s and 1840s, and reveal Hawthorne, well-known today as a novelist, to be a talented practitioner of the short story genre.
These are stories of weird science, romantic and professional obsession, thwarted love, witchcraft, guilt, and the quest for beauty. Irony and tragedy mark many of the tales. Hawthorne takes us from the rugged American frontier to a sunlit Italian garden. The title story is a strangely compelling evocation of the Salem Puritans and their obsession with Satanic conspiracies. Also impressive is "Roger Malvin's Burial," a devastating psychological tale.
If the only Hawthorne you know is the author of the justly-celebrated "Scarlet Letter," check out this collection. Overall, this book is a good choice both for classroom use and individual reading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witchcraft, Revenge, Guilt, Artistic Obsession, and Humor - Distinctly Hawthorne 8 May 2007
By Michael Wischmeyer - Published on
In reviewing Twice-Told Tales, Edgar Allen Poe wrote: "Mr. Hawthorne's distinctive trait is invention, creation, imagination, and originality. It would be a matter of some difficulty to designate the best of these tales; we repeat, without exception, they are beautiful."

This little Dover Thrift Edition - Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories - offers seven interesting and varied tales by Hawthorne. Actually, only one, Dr. Heidegger's Experiment (1837), is found in Twice-Told Tales. This imaginative short story is among Hawthorne's most humorous and is often found today in short story anthologies. Accused by some of plagiarizing this story from a chapter in a novel by Alexandre Dumas, Hawthorne pointed out that his tale predated by more than twenty years that of Dumas, and that he took some pride in that Dumas chose to appropriate this fanciful work for his novel.

Five stories - The Birthmark (1843), Young Goodman Brown (1835), Rappaccini's Daughter (1844), Roger Malvin's Burial (1832), and The Artist of the Beautiful (1844) - are from the collection titled Mosses from an Old Manse. The Birthmark and Rappaccini's Daughter are tales of arrogance and obsession, whereby men of science go astray in their compulsive pursuit of knowledge and perfection.

Like many of Hawthorne's stories, Young Goodman Brown is distinctly American, drawing upon the Puritan influence in the New England colonies. I find this inventive story of witchcraft and temptation to be somewhat sobering as Goodman Brown learns that the mere act of encountering temptation, even if ultimately resisted, may have unexpected consequences.

The Artist of the Beautiful stands apart from the others in this short collection; this story of artistic passion is surprisingly modern. The psychological development and somewhat ambiguous ending is, perhaps, not entirely unlike the writings of Henry James some fifty years later.

I do not recall previously encountering either of the last two stories, Roger Malvin's Burial and My Kinsman, Major Molineux. Although Roger Malvin's Burial is a tale of guilt and ultimate retribution, it does not draw upon the Puritan heritage. Rather out of character for Hawthorne, Malvin's Burial explores the role of the frontier wilderness in New England history. Although My Kinsman, Major Molineux offers a humorous conclusion to these New England tales, this story of the revolutionary period has a serious side also.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtue vs. vice and fabulous storytelling 22 May 2007
By A.J. Hills - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An incredible bargain and wonderful tales to boot, vice and virtue were never more complex or interwoven as in these Hawthorne tales. All of his stories speak to the irreversible errors of man, well not altogether irreversible. There is redemption and resolve but not for all his characters. If you are looking for spiritually driven fabulously intriguing stories, look no further. Edgar Allan Poe has a fierce rival.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some great classics in here! 16 Mar 2014
By Nikki Bacon - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read some of these stories in high school, and enjoyed rereading them here. Definitely some deep stuff. Nathaniel Hawthorne is a great writer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BOOK 5 Mar 2013
By Hyundee - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is really riveting; there is a lot of subtle symbolism and the plots and social commentary really tells a lot about the time period this was written.
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