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Phantastes: A Faerie Romance Paperback – October 17, 2005

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George MacDonald (1824–1905) was a Scottish writer, poet and minister. His literary works, most notably 'Phantastes,' 'The Princess and the Goblin' and 'Lilith,' proved influential amongst the greatest writers of the late 19th and early 20th century, including Mark Twain, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (October 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486445674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486445670
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #538,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cliff Biram on May 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to Phantastes through Tokien and Lewis. After reading in "Surprised by Joy" the profound impact this book had on C.S. Lewis, I had to read it for myself. I was not disappointed. The book has its finger in something that modern fantasy books are mostly missing. Where modern writers tend to infuse their stories with modern men and women with swords and an older manner of speech, the very essence of Phantastes is something truly "old." There is a strong moral root to it, that is profoundly Christian, a sense of good things lost but better things gained through humility. The moral foundation of it has the weight of reality behind, and has a bitter-sweet quality to it.

The line from a song sung in the book has stayed in my mind ever since I first read it (and I do not have a great head for memorizing lines)

"Alas, how easily things go wrong!

A sigh too much, or a kiss too long,

And there follows a mist and a weeping rain,

And life is never the same again."

I think this line captures that "Paradise Lost" feeling present in the book quite profoundly, and yet there is much more to it than that.

I could go on at length about this book, but shall leave it at this: This is a fairy tale, and a true romance, with a profound moral center. It has its roots in the old ways of thinking and the old ways of feeling. It is a bridge to the "old," the heart and soul that makes knights and maidens and chivalry and honor a fascination to this very day. It is easy to see why this book inspired the great fantasy writers of the twentieth century.

I would conclude with a comment on the illustrations. I highly recommend this version as the illustrations are incredible.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Davis on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I previously read Phantastes with a copy from the library. It didn't have any illustrations. I ordered this copy because it has the original illustrations, and it is wonderful! The paperback quality is average, but the text is clearly printed, and the illustrations add a lot to the reading. This copy is probably "pocket-quality," useful for wear and tear, but not really a collector's edition. However, I still recommend it for anyone who wants a nice copy for their personal library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. B. McCaffery on May 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
So far, it is the best edition I've come across. It is the only one that looks as though it wasn't patched together for the purpose of quickly reading a book C. S. Lewis read. This edition is to be enjoyed; it affords leisure. More often than not, this great genius, George MacDonald, becomes the author of print-it-yourself publishers. By no means is Dover classified among these.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DeSoto on April 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps the greatest book I've ever read. Reading it is like getting hit over the head repeatedly with a bouquet of magic wands, it is a little surreal, certainly gorgeous, and simply magical.
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