• List Price: $10.99
  • Save: $1.70 (15%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 11 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by BigHeartedBooks
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This item is listed as acceptable and has probably been well used. It could have considerable writing or highlighting throughout but is still usable and has been priced accordingly. Please do not buy if you are expecting a perfect copy. It has a couple more reads left before its time to be recycled. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Tam Lin Paperback – August 3, 2006

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$4.99 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Tam Lin + Briar Rose
Price for both: $16.28

Buy the selected items together

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Firebird; Reissue edition (August 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014240652X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142406526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This delightful new entry in the Fairy Tale series, featuring children's classics refashioned for adult audiences, adapts the eponymous Scottish ballad to a Midwestern university setting. In the early '70s, scholarly Janet Carter enters Blackstock College as an English major. She and roommates Christina and Molly fall in with an attractive, often eccentric group of classics students who circle around Professor Medeous, a spectacular, enigmatic redheaded woman. The girls pair off with young male classicists, Janet beginning an affair with Nicholas Tooley, whose vast familiarity with Shakespeare and often distant approach to intimacy disturb her. When the liaison ends, she takes up with the young man formerly attached to Christina. The ghost of a pregnant student who committed suicide, mysterious late-night horseback forays led by Professor Medeous and the appearance in a list of Shakespeare's actors of the names of three of the Classics Department scholars urge Janet on a dangerous quest to save her lover. Dean ( The Whim of the Dragon ) has written a quintessential college novel, anchoring its fantastic elements in a solid, engaging reality.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The medieval Scottish ballad of a young woman who rescues her love from the queen of faerie undergoes a radical but convincing transformation as fantasy author Dean ( The Secret Country ) updates the story to modern times and relocates it to a Minnesota college campus. The fifth volume in the "Fairy Tale Series," which includes Steven Brust's The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars ( LJ 3/15/87) and Patricia Wrede's Snow White and Rose Red (Tor Bks., 1989), vividly portrays a classic tale of love that spans the border between the worlds. Recommended.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The plot is definitely a little slow.
N. Lee
I found the sequence of events fascinating, the stories of the ghosts beautiful, the characters enthralling.
I especially loved the literary discussions the characters had, and found them extremely amusing at times.
Tara Hall (meeplet@mailcity.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Marcy L. Thompson VINE VOICE on August 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is full of lovely language, subtle references to the ballad of Tam Lin, unadulterated nostalgia for life at a liberal arts college in the 1970s, and characters who are flawed but endearing. I wore out one copy of this book and had to buy a second, which disappeared into a friend's library, so I had to buy a third. I reread it at least once a year, or whenever I want to read a beautifully written book which will reveal more on each successive reading.
However, lots of people hate this book. Some of the people who hate this book are people whose literary tastes I otherwise trust implicitly. It's hard to know why they hate it. They say they hate the cardboard characters (but the characters seemed to me to be both wonderful evocations of the archtypes they represented and also quite well-drawn as individuals). They say the book is pretentious (but I went to school with a bunch of people who talked like that -- we outgrew it, but the dialogue sang to me). They say the fairy tale is just nailed onto the ending of the book (but if you look, the details of the ballad are present from the first page -- and surely one of the things Dean is trying to say is that the fantastic has as its context the mundane). They say the writing is wooden (I disagree).
If you love lanugage, if you were ever a somewhat pretentious young intellectual, if you want to remember what it felt like to be 18 years old at a liberal arts college (and you didn't have to go to Carleton to feel the tug of nostalgia), you will probably like this book. But if you don't, you will be in good company.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jody M. Keene on February 6, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read Tam Lin, well, I can't remember when. I've read it over and over since then, though, and each time I pick out new clues, new hints, new allusions, new jokes . . . This is a textbook example of a LAYERED novel.
As many other reviewers have pointed out, understanding this book can hinge on a liberal arts education. I had one, I'm happy to say--we even operated on a trimester system, just like Blackstock, the college Janet attends in the novel (which is loosely based on Carleton College in Minnesota--after reading this book, I seriously considering transfering there).
Now. The ending IS a bit rushed. I tallied it up once: Janet's freshman year takes up very nearly one half of the book, while her other three years take up progressively fewer pages. The "fairy tale" ending gets a similarly rushed treatment, but I don't think that necessarily detracts from the story as a whole, especially if you're familiar with the Tam Lin ballad--which I wasn't when I first read it, and I still loved it.
If you can find it, buy it. This isn't a book to be borrowed from the library and read once--you'll never catch everything. Buy it, read it, read it again, and then read it once more. After a year or so, read it again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lewis on March 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was disappointed the first time I read this. While it was a very good novel about college life in the early 70s, I wanted to read a novel based on a fairy tale/folk legend. I enjoyed the literary dialogue bantered back and forth among the characters (believe it or not, my friends and I do speak this way; the curse of the overeducated!)
Curiosity had me turning back to the book a second time, and suddenly the world I blundered into was much richer. Without having the expectations of gnomes and wishes and magical events that I had the first time, the subtler wonders of this book unfolded. Tiny clues lead up to the suddenly otherworldly ending, ones that can't be understood on the first read-through.
Pamela Dean has to be a outstanding wordsmith, to manage to keep me interested through a 10 page decription of a uninspiring 17th century play, among other things. The pace may be slow, but it gives you a chance to watch the lovely scenary go by. For that reason, I love this book more every time I read it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Zuercher on October 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I reviewed this book two and a half years ago, when I first read it, and I feel the urge to re-review it and give a more mature perspective. (or, "How Tam Lin Impacted My Life")
Since reading this book I have read so many works of great literature (like the poetry of Keats, and _The Lady's Not for Burning_, and _Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead_, and the poetry of Pope) that I wouldn't have been introduced to, otherwise. Besides that, I've reread the book itself a thousand times, recommended it to everyone I know, and looked for everything else she wrote. (This is still my favorite.)
The plot in brief: Janet Carter (of Carterhaugh) goes off to college; discovers friends, literature, magic, mystery, and politics.
How realistic is it? Rather. I go to a small Midwestern liberal arts college (it's in Ohio, though); I reread the book two weeks after arriving here, and I knew exactly what Janet/Pamela Dean was talking about. Ending up with roommates (well, only one) you don't know a thing about, becoming friends with them, meeting large groups of guys . . . and in my experience, Theatre majors really do talk like that, except my theatre major friends are more likely to quote Sondheim than Shakespeare (being the musical variety). My father went through a physics class altogether too similar to Janet's; my friend's fencing class is altogether too much like Janet's; and there are people here who *would* set bizarre things like "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" to music. (Does this make you intrigued?)
The ballad plot, for the sticklers, comes in on page 73. There are hints and other ideas of it before that, but the actual opening of the ballad is page 73. That doesn't mean you can skip the first 72 pages of the book, however.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?