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Wonder Tales: The Book of Wonder and Tales of Wonder Paperback – October 16, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Book of Wonder" is a mix of all kinds of fantasy tales: a pair of dueling idols; a man whose interest in his imaginary land eclipses the real world; a magical window that shows amazing things; suitors try to make a cold queen cry; the story of the Gibbelins, who eat "nothing less good than man"; and of Miss Cubbins and the Dragon of Romance.
"Time and the Gods" is a radically different kind of story. Ever read the Silmarillion? Dunsany jumps into similar turf with his invented legends of gods and heroes, such as the story of Time and how it overthrew even what the gods favored, how Inzana lost her golden ball (an enchanting little sun legend), the meeting between Night and Morning, and the tale of Slid, an upstart young god.
Dunsany's fantasies aren't as vibrantly realistic as J.R.R. Tolkien's, or as pensive as C.S. Lewis's. Instead they're like fantastical, melancholy little paintings. Some are whimsical ("Miss Cubbins," "Chu-Bu and Sheemish"), while others are majestic and mythic, like the entire "Time and the Gods" book.
Dunsany's writing is lush and descriptive, but in the slightly distant style of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. He handled comedy, tragedy, horror, and made-up legends with skill and imagination. Not to mention that his mythmaking -- one of the earliest examples of a fictional mythology -- is astoundingly realistic and beautifully made.
"Wonder Tales" is an excellent collection of some of Dunsany's best short stories. Vivid and beautifully written, this early fantasy writer is a must-have.
As for content, these are all accounts of the Edge of the World. Perhaps you know it as Faery, the Mittelmarch, or even the Twilight Zone. It is the interface between our world and the next higher. You discover it by chance, here and there, when the improbable seems to mix more and more with the mundane. Sometimes you catch a glimpse of it in the twilight, the gloaming, for that is the only light by which it may be illuminated to our eyes. It penetrates our world like silver veins through granite- and communicates with an infinitely greater, deeper, body of bright ore...
And yet the author had humor- and a distaste for the sordid in the world. He lets drop hints of no politician being honest- and of ordinary work being a meaningless affair. Plus, the second half of the book (written in 1916) speaks of being weary of a world of mud, and blood, and khaki. Yet, I sense that Lord Dunsany was no idle escapist- he was an explorer.
Save this book to read before sleep, for I sense that is where many of these stories came from- their inspiration is there still, if you are lucky enough to connect with it.
THE BRIDE OF THE MAN-HORSE
DISTRESSING TALE OF THANGOBRIND THE JEWELLER
THE HOUSE OF THE SPHINX
PROBABLE ADVENTURE OF THE THREE LITERARY MEN
THE INJUDICIOUS PRAYERS OF POMBO THE IDOLATER
THE LOOT OF BOMBASHARNA
MISS CUBBIDGE AND THE DRAGON OF ROMANCE
THE QUEST OF THE QUEEN'S TEARS
THE HOARD OF THE GIBBELINS
HOW NUTH WOULD HAVE PRACTISED HIS ART UPON THE GNOLES
HOW ONE CAME, AS WAS FORETOLD, TO THE CITY OF NEVER
THE CORONATION OF MR. THOMAS SHAP
CHU-BU AND SHEEMISH
THE WONDERFUL WINDOW
it also has the TIME AND THE GODS
Time and the Gods
The Coming of the Sea
A Legend of the Dawn
The Vengeance of Men
When the Gods Slept
The King That Was Not
The Cave of Kai
The Sorrow of Search
The Men of Yarnith
For the Honour of the Gods
Night and Morning
The Secret of the Gods
The South Wind
In the Land of Time
The Relenting of Sarnidac
The Jest of the Gods
The Dreams of the Prophet
The Journey of the King
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you have read and liked Lord Dunsany's longer stories you'll like these shorter stories. Most are only 2 or 3 pages long, but they stay with you. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Michael Hornberger
Lovely and inspired. This author has an old-fashioned, authentic poetic gift for prose. His stories are magical and fanciful, and laced with aching beauty. Read morePublished 22 months ago by lindab
Written in 1917 The Book of Wonder by Irish fantasy writer Baron Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett Dunsany. Read morePublished on April 3, 2014 by E. B. MULLIGAN
Dunsany's gift is for creating stories that totally involve the reader in as few words as possible. He has a gift for the surprise ending, the twist you didn't see coming. Read morePublished on March 22, 2014 by David Chambers
I really love to read this book. Each short story tells like a legend or old wives tale, and includes very strong emphasis on the doom of evildoers. Read morePublished on April 17, 2013 by Terisa