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At the Back of the North Wind (Everyman's Library Children's Classics) Hardcover – October 16, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
PS - My sister read an edited, abridged version of this book, one rewritten to make it easier for children, and it was awful. It skipped whole chapters and left out some of the very best parts. I think kids can handle this book, just the way it was written. Stay away from nasty abridgements that are really censorship in disguise!
In the North Wind, as in much of MacDonald's work, there is a wealth of moral and religous themes and analougies under the surface. In my mid 20's now, I was surprised at the effect that reading MacDonald's childrens books has had on me. It is not that I would have disagreed on an intellectual level with anything in the books before reading them, but rather that McDonald has a talent for gently bringing people to examine what their opinions mean and how they treat other people as a result of them. I've found more than a few chinks in my own armour, in that respect.
As for North Wind in particular, it's quite a breathtaking, display of raw, imaginative brawn. The first third or so of the book is perhaps one of the most chilling and beautiful stories I've ever read. It becomes a little more conventional after that and meanders a little. There is a good bit of amiable nonsense and a fairy tale within it that, though it seems a little tacked on and has nothing to do with the greater story, is still very clever and charming. I think most adults will see the ending coming, but it left me a little shaken up anyway.
Like some of the other reviewers have mentioned, it's a very hard thing to create a character who is absoulutely good. There is a real danger of making the character into a weak, simpering, priggish, goody two shoes.Read more ›
Don't look for answers. Simply read the story and let it wash over you. If you have the faith of a child, you will not be unaffected.
Diamond is the young boy of a poor coach driver and his wife living in England during the late 1800's. The story begins in the hayloft above the horse stalls where Diamond sleeps, as the wind blows, but it is not a simple wind, it is the North Wind, the romantic and enchanting idea of a grand lady who is the north wind. Diamond, the infinitely innocent and pure child is beckoned into the air and weaved into many journeys with the north wind where he learns goodness, truth and beauty. Throughout the story, other people see him as quietly wise or as one of `God's Babies.' As the story progresses Diamond becomes week and ill and while being taken to the enchanted country at the back of the North Wind he lapses into unconsciousness. Diamond returns, and with what strength he has, blesses everyone whom he meets; helping his family by driving his father's cab while he is ill, saving an orphaned friend off the streets, even quieting the drunken man's baby who lives next to him, whom even mistakes him for an angel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Returned. This particular version (Mythik Press, Black and White Tree cover) looks like a badly done photocopy. Small print centered strangely on the page.Published 1 month ago by Alisha Thibodeau
What a wonderful story. When George MacDonald and Mark Twain offered to send their books to each other, this was the one Twain asked for. I don't blame him. Read morePublished 1 month ago by dreampig
Only thing I didn't like was the format. This book felt and looked like a textbook. The story itself is wonderful, would recommend it to anyone- children and adults.Published 3 months ago by Christy Miller
An intriguing read and probably good for those who already appreciate MacDonald as I do. As an introduction to his work, however, it may not be his best. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Don Moore
Thank you for making this affordable so my family can enjoy a beautiful copy of our favorite book. It's good to see honest people.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Although I really enjoy George MacDonald I found this book hard to stay focused on.Published 7 months ago by D. A. Fugitt