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Phantastes, a Faerie Romance for Men and Women Paperback – January 29, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1407623177 ISBN-10: 1407623176

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Phantastes, a Faerie Romance for Men and Women + George MacDonald: An Anthology 365 Readings + Unspoken Sermons Series I, II, and II
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 166 pages
  • Publisher: HardPress Publishing (January 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407623176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407623177
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,165,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It keeps you interested all the way through to the end.
RVP
Odd events happened, one after another, but were not related or explained.
MamaSylvia
I read Phantastes because of the very high recommendation of C. S. Lewis.
F. Vogel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By F. Vogel on June 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read Phantastes because of the very high recommendation of C. S. Lewis. I'm surprised by the negative reviews, but if MacDonald's other books are really better than this one then I'm excited to read them, because I really liked Phantastes.

At first it was hard to get into because for a while the story seems to wander aimlessly. MacDonald describes Fairy Land beautifully, but I just didn't see any plot to connect the seemingly random events. Also, it was sometimes a chore to get through the long sections of poetry (as I'm not a big fan of poetry).

BUT at about halfway through the book, a story started to take shape, or rather, the "story" was hinted at all along, and the central struggles finally came to the surface, like love vs. possessiveness, and sacrifice. It's really a connect-the-dots kind of book, but not in the sense of a detective story: in a deeper sense of seeing the picture that MacDonald paints of the human heart, a picture that at first looks like random splotches, but then, as if we were watching the picture being painted, becomes more and more recognizable as the separate shapes are connected and finally find their meaning as a whole. MacDonald has painted not only a fairy story, but he has painted us, our own heart, in all its joy and pain.

Once I saw this, it really changed my attitude toward the book. I read the second half in one sitting! I'll definitely read it again sometime because I'm sure I missed a lot of the layers and hidden meanings.

My advice: If you're bored in the first half, just keep reading! It gets better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I picked up this book on the advice of a friend. I knew MacDonald was a major influence on C.S. Lewis, and that is pretty evident as one reads this book. The story is about a man who finds himself in Fairy Land, compelled to journey all the way through it and reach its end. He encounters various strange characters on the way and, of course, has his own set of adventures. Along the way, he learns about himself, his own sin nature, and redemption.

The book itself is moderately hard to read, due to MacDonald's constant use of archaic terms and his many forays into rough, albeit enjoyable, poetry. Additionally, discovering themes and undercurrents of the work will require multiple readings--at least if my experience is any judge. But these constraints notwithstanding, I did enjoy reading this book. There were a lot of good vignettes spread throughout, and I enjoyed the rather lighthearted way in which the author writes.

As has been the case with several other books I've read that were "endorsed" by C.S. Lewis, if you choose to read this one, know that you may spend a lot of time scratching your head--although that is not necessarily a bad thing!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lloegyn on October 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's rare that I give a book 5-stars, but "Phantastes" definitely earned it. This is the first time I've read one of MacDonald's books, so if the others are even better I can't wait to read them!

About the book: The first half is like a beautiful, but fragmented, dream. It's difficult to see how the fragments relate to each other, or what purposes they serve. Many chapters could easily work as stand-alone short stories. In the second half, everything starts to come together. It's like piecing together a puzzle to see what picture forms at the end.

The story often becomes philosophical, but in a way that encourages individual thinking rather than promoting only the narrator's viewpoint.

Readers of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien (or any other Inklings, for that matter) will probably find "Phantastes" worthwhile.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diana J. on June 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is well-written but some of the allegorical illustrations are not as clear as they ought to be; and, like most fairy tales, it dwells to much on the dark side of things.
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By GREGORY L JONES on December 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book should be read slowly- preferably with gentle background music. I listened to "A Way of Life" from The sound tract "The Last Samurai". The writing is spectacular. The verbal imagery is clear.MacDonald's skills are so good that I could easily see in my mind's eye the Fairy land world. The symbolism is deep. This is my second time reading it.
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By Hannah Forth on July 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
George MacDonald is one of the most creative authors of all time. This is the fourth copy of this missive that I've owned. I read the others to death! Every book he ever wrote speaks to the soul as well as the imagination.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Do not expect to like this book if you have never felt the immortal longings of Fairyland stir in your soul. But for those who have heard the faint notes of fairy music whispering to you on some golden Midsummer twilight, they might find some enjoyment in this strange tale of a man's wandering through the fairylands.
This is not a plot-driven book. The story is simple enough. A man wanders into the mystical other world and encounters strange goings on. The plot springs from this like a dream, shifting unexpectedly and often, flowing like a river shifting and twisting in its banks. An act as simple as opening a door might bring a sudden shift in the narrative, a jump in time and place. If this lack of structure sounds unappealing, then this book is probably not for you. The story recounts the journey of Anodos through the spiritual realms of Faerie, and his triumphs and failures therein. As a reader who enjoys such fantastical journeys, I found this book to be a pleasant read.
The ending of the book was not as satisfying as I had hoped it would be, especially after the long winding road to reach it. Also, the book includes a lot of poems, verse and songs, which I find bogs down the flow of the narrative. The songs in particular, which can be quite lengthy at times, I did not like. Because they lack music, the lyrics are somewhat dead on the page. Some of these songs seemed to go on and on for pages. Tolkien showed this same irritating trait later in his works, so if you find the songs in the Lord of the Rings unappealing, then you probably won't like these.
C.S. Lewis claimed that Phantastes was the bok that baptized his imagination, and it is easy to see why.
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