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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginnings of 'real' homegrown American literature
I don't think many people will want to read this book for fun, although, as something to dip into - perhaps in the spirit of its original publication, as a periodical in monthly chunks - it could be just about amusing. Some readers may be interested in Irving as a forerunner of other American writers, or perhaps in what this book has to say about the relationship between...
Published on 11 Mar. 2003 by Karen Gray

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what am I doing wrong with this?
I bought this so that I could read the stories in any order, just like a poetry collection I've bought and also another collection of short stories. Wrong! I want to read The Legend Sleepy Hollow. It's the penultimate story. I can't highlight it to select it, I have to click each page until I get to it. Sorry, life's too short. Very peeved.
Published on 17 April 2012 by Lesley


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beginnings of 'real' homegrown American literature, 11 Mar. 2003
I don't think many people will want to read this book for fun, although, as something to dip into - perhaps in the spirit of its original publication, as a periodical in monthly chunks - it could be just about amusing. Some readers may be interested in Irving as a forerunner of other American writers, or perhaps in what this book has to say about the relationship between English and American literature in the early nineteenth century.
If so, you will find that this edition (Oxford World Classics) is admirably edited, with detailed and interesting notes and an illuminating introduction by Susan Manning. I would definitely recommend it to anyone studying the book as part of a literature course.
The Sketch Book is an account of an apparently light tourist exploration of some aspects of Europe and America as Irving saw them. Not a travelogue in any generally accepted sense, it is, as its name suggests, more like a series of sketches.
Like many Americans before and since, Irving had an ambivalent relationship with Europe and this is what makes his stories of it interesting. However, his descriptions of English customs, places and people will probably seem quaint (at best) to most readers today. In my opinion he is more interesting when he is creating some myths about his own country. This is probably why he is best known for two memorable, and very American, tales - Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, both of which appeared first in The Sketch Book so you can read them here. These are both truly valuable pieces of writing and well worth study.
If you want a rather more fun and up to date take on the subject of an American in England, why not compare this book with Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island? A bit of a jump, I know, but give it a go, it made me think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleepy Hollow - anything but supernatural, 28 Aug. 2012
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I was not aware of Sleepy Hollow being a short story (or novella), my husband was and told me it's not about the supernatural - while I was halfway through, wading through a lot of landscape descriptions and budgies of various sizes. I thought it was setting the scene for a scary ghost with the face of Christopher Walken. Well, I was disappointed as it's nothing like it and yet I liked the turn. It's a critique of xxxxxx says my husband. I think he may be right, or perhaps I should read it again. If anyone, like me, walks into this thinking the story is like the cinematic version, you'll be disappointed, perhaps pleasantly so.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what am I doing wrong with this?, 17 April 2012
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Lesley (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
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I bought this so that I could read the stories in any order, just like a poetry collection I've bought and also another collection of short stories. Wrong! I want to read The Legend Sleepy Hollow. It's the penultimate story. I can't highlight it to select it, I have to click each page until I get to it. Sorry, life's too short. Very peeved.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, 19 Dec. 2013
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Same old problem with purchasing art books on line without being able to physically flick through them first to check that the content is suitable
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