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Wonder Tales: The Book of Wonder and Tales of Wonder Paperback – 31 May 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (31 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486432017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486432014
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,172,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"[Dunsany's] rich language, his cosmic point view, his remote dream-worlds, and his exquisite sense of the fantastic, all appeal to me more than anything else in modern literature."

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Top Customer Reviews

By E. A. Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Lord Dunsany was one of the handful of fantasy writers before "Lord of the Rings" took the world by storm. Now "Wonder Tales" compiles two of his best short story collections, with their exotic fairy tales ranging from the comic to macabre.
"The Book of Wonder" is a mix of all kinds of fantasy tales: a pair of dueling idols; 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 queen cry; the story of the Gibbelins, who eat "nothing less good than man"; and of Miss Cubbins and the Dragon of Romance.
"Time and the Gods" is a radically different kind of story. Ever read the Silmarillion? Dunsany jumps into similar turf with his invented legends of gods and heroes, such as the story of Time and how it overthrew even what the gods favored, how Inzana lost her golden ball (an enchanting little sun legend), the meeting between Night and Morning, and the tale of Slid, an upstart young god.
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 ("Miss Cubbins," "Chu-Bu and Sheemish"), while others are majestic and mythic, like the entire "Time and the Gods" book.
Dunsany's writing is lush and descriptive, but in the slightly distant style of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. He handled comedy, tragedy, horror, and made-up legends with skill and imagination. Not to mention that his mythmaking -- one of the earliest examples of a fictional mythology -- is astoundingly realistic and beautifully made.
"Wonder Tales" is an excellent collection of some of Dunsany's best short stories. Vivid and beautifully written, this early fantasy writer is a must-have.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are weary of the world, then we have new Worlds here. 20 Oct. 2007
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Somehow I expected this collection to be rather thicker- and yet, upon reading, I am not disappointed. Lord Dunsany used exactly the appropriate number of words in every case to paint his word pictures. Most of these tales are only four pages or so long, yet they are all perfect, or nearly so. Each story is a gem- an exquisite miniature.

As for content, these are all accounts of the Edge of the World. Perhaps you know it as Faery, the Mittelmarch, or even the Twilight Zone. It is the interface between our world and the next higher. You discover it by chance, here and there, when the improbable seems to mix more and more with the mundane. Sometimes you catch a glimpse of it in the twilight, the gloaming, for that is the only light by which it may be illuminated to our eyes. It penetrates our world like silver veins through granite- and communicates with an infinitely greater, deeper, body of bright ore...

And yet the author had humor- and a distaste for the sordid in the world. He lets drop hints of no politician being honest- and of ordinary work being a meaningless affair. Plus, the second half of the book (written in 1916) speaks of being weary of a world of mud, and blood, and khaki. Yet, I sense that Lord Dunsany was no idle escapist- he was an explorer.

Save this book to read before sleep, for I sense that is where many of these stories came from- their inspiration is there still, if you are lucky enough to connect with it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short short stories! 13 Sept. 2015
By Michael Hornberger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have read and liked Lord Dunsany's longer stories you'll like these shorter stories. Most are only 2 or 3 pages long, but they stay with you. It includes 2 collections of Dunsany's from 1912 and 1916. Excellent if you only have a few minutes to read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and Inspired. Magical, wise, old-fashioned tales that carry you politely away. 16 Sept. 2014
By lindab - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lovely and inspired. This author has an old-fashioned, authentic poetic gift for prose. His stories are magical and fanciful, and laced with aching beauty. His simple and thoughtful characters (in the span of the shortest stories) come absolutely alive, to the point that you feel them breathing next to your ear, and are narrated with the most gentle, subtle English sarcasm that is a treasure to read. I treasure losing myself for a few minutes in his World.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, from way back 22 Mar. 2014
By David Chambers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dunsany's gift is for creating stories that totally involve the reader in as few words as possible. He has a gift for the surprise ending, the twist you didn't see coming. He's been imitated by many authors, but his unique style remains his own. He has written cautionary tales - perhaps anticipating the Internet - that are as potent today as they were fifty years ago. A benchmark author for his time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark tales with clear lessons 18 April 2013
By Terisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really love to read this book. Each short story tells like a legend or old wives tale, and includes very strong emphasis on the doom of evildoers. I recommend that if your small child is reading this book, that you accompany them into this realm of wonder.
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