- 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)
Wonder Tales: The Book of Wonder and Tales of Wonder Paperback – 31 May 2004
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"[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."
Top Customer Reviews
"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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
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.
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