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The Robber Bridegroom Paperback – November 8, 1978
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From the Back Cover
Legendary figures of Mississippi's colorful past--keel-boatman Mike Fink and the dread Harp brothers--along with characters from Eudora Welty's own delightful imagination people this rollicking fantasy set along the Natchez Trace. Berry-stained bandit Jamie Lockhart steals pioneer wilderness planter Clement Musgrove's beautiful daughter, Rosamond, away from a home dominated by his ugly, evil second wife, Salome. These and other characters are gathered together in a tale at once acid and gentle, wise and lighthearted, woven as much from the rough homespun of American history as the gossamer thread of fairy stories.
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Top customer reviews
This is a relatively short novella that is what I would call an adult fairy tale. I read it over four days in moments of free time. There are some gruesome features in the story and some sexual activity depicted, that would cause me not to have a child read this. It is not obscene, just not child like.
I saw a review elsewhere that compared this work to "Candide" by Voltaire. I agree with the comparison in some context, however I felt Candide is a much more hilarious work. The Robber Bridegroom is more clever and humorous than hilarious. I am completely uncredentialed, but in my unqualified opinion this work reminds me more of a somewhat more obscure work, "The History of Rasselas" a 1759 work by Samuel Johnson.
I am glad I read this work, but as another reviewer on this site stated, they found the story tedious at times. I also found it sometimes tedious and by the end, just wanted to finish the work and continue my study of this fine author. I have no plans on rereading this work unless I have a specific reason to do so. Thank You...
This is a rollickingly funny book, no matter what else one might claim to find in it. It's a comic antidote to all the dead-serious mythification of William Faulkner, an intentional (I think) counterweight to the exaggerated self-reverence of Southern culture. And it's short! About the length of a good viking romance.
Clement Musgrove, the planter father, is a curiously honorable man in a world where the only dishonor is getting thwarted in your rascality. Near the end of the tale, when everything has gone from worse to worst, Clement sets himself in the middle of a circle of stones and delivers a three-page monologue of runic wisdom. Here's an excerpt:
""What exactly is this now?... What is the place and time? Here are all possible trees in a forest, and they grow as tall and as great and as close to one another as they could ever grow in the world. Upon each limb is a singing bird, and across this floor, slowly and softly and forever moving in profile, is always a beast, one of a procession, weighted low with his burning coat, looking from the yellow eye set in his head.... But the time of cunning has come, and my time is over for cunning is of a world I will have no part in. ... Men are following men down the Misssissippi, hoarse and arrogant by day, wakeful and dreamless by night at the unknown landings. A trail leads like a tunnel under the roof of this wilderness. Everywhere the traps are set. Why? And what kind of time is this, when all ids first given, then stolen away?"" Snorri Sturlison couldn't have said it better. And no sooner is Clement's monologue spoken than he is snatched by Indians, vengeful spirits as silent as the trees such planters as Clement have been despoiling for cotton lands.
Like all good folk tales, The Robber Bridegroom comes with a stinger, a grim Grimm moral.
Turns out . . . I LOVED it. It was a nice fantasy break from the style of many classics. I wrote my final paper on it. Like all fairy tales it was simple and easy to understand (thumbs up!)but when you reflect on it, you can actually take away some adult advice. It has everything you need and doesn't require a lot of time to get it all. It has the annoying characters, the funny ones, the ones you love and the ones you love to hate. Definitely a good read for busy people everywhere who want a good story but don't have a lot of time.