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Phantastes Paperback – August 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479125881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479125883
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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I loved this fantasy.
Amazon Customer
"Phantastes" is the dream we wish we could have, like opulent music, full of mossy forests, water, flowers, moonlit nights, courtly lovers, solemn buildings.
Lawrence
In spite of the wordiness, the story is delightful and very interesting.
John G. Curington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey W. Smith on August 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The following review is given specifically for the Johannesen edition (George MacDonald Original Works) of Phantastes.

First of all, the book has a slick, dark green cover that is waterproof. The front cover and spine are engraved with gold leafing, which gives the book a beautiful antique appearance. Furthermore, the spine is well-rounded and appears to be enforced for a lifetime of handling (this is obviously important for a serious book collector!). Also, the sewn pages within are acid-free and are of a light cream color which makes it easy on the eyes while reading.

Secondly, Johannesen has included all thirty-three illustrations by Arthur Hughes. No other modern printing of this text includes these illustrations. Although it may sound silly to wish for these illustrations, it really adds a touch of delightful nostaglia to Phantastes

Thirdly, the Johannesen editions are considered authoritative editions, which hold significant weight for the literary student or MacDonald scholar.

Although the price may seem a bit steep, the product is well worth it. This is an attractive edition which may be passed down through your family for generations to come. I hope that this brief review has been helpful - happy shopping!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence on December 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
A warning should be printed on the title-page of this beautiful, unique book, preferably curling around a romantically decorated Gothic archway: Caution, You Are Now Entering the Realm of Dreams. Many would-be readers have found themselves bored or confused through ignorance of this simple fact. "Phantastes" is perhaps the most truly dream-like book ever written. As in a dream, one scene morphs into another; objects acquire an intense emotional significance for no apparent reason; explanations are offered and happily accepted despite their obvious failure to explain anything.

George MacDonald is sadly little known, and he might have disappeared altogether but for the enthusiasm of C.S. Lewis, who called MacDonald his Teacher and said that reading "Phantastes" "baptised his imagination". I can only say that this perplexes me. Christian interpretations of this book seem to me neither more nor less plausible than Freudian ones. Interpreting a dream is like building a little cage for a soap-bubble. The same with fairy-tales, of which MacDonald was also a master. Do fairy-tales have "meanings"? If the story had a meaning that could be told, what need would there be for the story?

So MacDonald was an Explorer of what we now call the Subconscious, which we consider to be Inside Us. But remember that he wasn't as clever as we are, he thought of this Realm as neither Inside nor Outside: and of course he was right. It wouldn't be true to say he was the first. Both English and German Romantics influenced him; but while they waded ever deeper and deeper, he let go and began to swim. (He acknowledges his debt with the inset story of Cosmo in Chapter 13, which could have been written by the German Romantic Novalis.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Forsythe on November 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This was an amazing book by George MacDonald. It was absolutely beautiful and I could not put it down. When I had to put it down, my thoughts were constantly drawn back to the story of Anodos and his journey through the Land of Faerie.
As I read, I could see that he was showing me much more than just the skin of the story. There was so much underneath that I could see, like shadows of fish in pond. You can see them, but can't particularly tell what kind they are. Perhaps this is due to lack of intelligence on my part, yet, there was much that I did not understand about the story. Even so, it added to the beauty and mystery of the book.
Also, this version by Johannesen is great. The illustrations by Arthur Hughes are perfect to go along with the book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first had to read Phantastes for a college English class, but i've since reread it dozens of times for my own enjoyment. MacDonald virtually transports the reader into the mind and heart of Anados (the main character) as he journeys through Fairyland. Here, Fairyland is a deeply dreamlike, sometimes nightmarish place where everything and everyone has a signifigance far beyond the surface. For me, the best part of this story is the fact that one can read it as a simple adventure or as a spiritual journey. The allegorical aspects of Phantastes are everpresent, though not blatant. MacDonald's flowery, Victorian prose allows the reader to draw only as much from Phantastes as he would like to get. However, if you read this, it will probably suck you right into the heart of the story. If you are looking for a dark, rich fantasy, this is the original...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alive and well in Arkansas on October 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Phantastes is perhaps the most beautiful thing I have ever read. It blurs the lines between all forms of art reminding one of looking at a painting or listening to a beautiful strain of music. I highly recommend the book, for it provides with it not only good reading but a deep experience.

However, the 2012 Popular Classics Publishing of the book is NOT the copy I would recommend. First, in a regular copy of Phantastes one would find that George MacDonald quoted another author at the beginning of each chapter. These quotations add depth to the story because they cause the reader to see Phantastes outside of the book. Also these quotations add depth to George MacDonald, for first it shows his education as well as the sorts of authors he esteemed. Secondly, this copy is an awkward size. It's perhaps 11" give or take, which makes for an unpleasant aesthetic appearance, but also it simply does not feel like reading a book. Finally the copy does not do a good job in formatting the songs found throughout the book. These songs are difficult to read because it it is obvious that they are supposed to be formated in the way one would format poetry and yet that is simply not the case in this book where the poetry is formatted as prose.
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