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The best part of this collection is the selection. Peter Norberg chose works from three of Irving's collections: And selections from other writings: I remembered reading, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" a while back. Reading it again, I imagined I would be enthralled, since it is a legend and all. The selections from The Sketch-Book and Tales of a Traveller however, were my favorites--character sketches in confessional and story-telling form, with a hint of Gothic. Irving was very observant when he wrote, so much so that some of his fiction even sounds like personal essays.

His ardent descriptions of characters placed me deep into the story , setting, and the characters' innermost thoughts. And while reading his exhaustive landscape observations, I felt as though I were on a journey through Europe and America--no wonder why his work was considered travel literature. It's the strangest thing. I read most of Irving's stories as a kid, and loved them. I thought his prose was brilliant. As an adult, I'm sitting here reaching the end of a sentence and wondering what the hell the beginning of the sentence said. His words run on and on.

I'll try again, on a day when my attention span is feeling a less For that story, I give a full five stars--the prose, imagery, and even the ending which gives you pause--causing you to second guess what might otherwise seem to be the "obvious" conclusion. As for the other tales, many I remembered reading years before, but there were some that were completely new to me. Sleepy hollow was only 29 pages but I liked it, a little different than I was expecting. The other 32 stories were okay, a few i didn't really care for much, some I rather liked.

The author goes off on alot of tangents in a few stories which seemed weird as none are longer than about 30 pages, but they are all beautifully written. Sep 08, N. Those looking for the origins of some old legends, and the enjoyment of some pretty good stories! American Literature of the 19th Century Class.

Or, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

It's been a long time since I had the pleasure of sitting down and reading pieces of literature written in a time before these last couple of decades, and this one did not disappoint. Yet even to put aside the relationship of this small book's worth in the development of a nation and its establishment of a strain of literature all its own, this is a really fun and enjoyable piece of fiction to read. It's refreshing to put aside all the fantasies that we're used to hearing about, and the pathetic attempts at portraying romance in some "cool" and "sexy" more like "redundant and grotesquely pathetic" way, and just enjoy plain works that have elements of all of the above and more.

You don't have to like all of them, but each of them has its own little world and fanciful, charming tale that it weaves for you, easily and quickly fretting you along its bends and easygoing ways. Irving's work is not difficult to read, for all that his language does give away its age at times. His works are for the most part simple and to the point, with the exception that he--like many of the characters he writes--tend to get carried away on whims of fancy and completely engulf themselves in their own passions.

Even when I found myself rolling my eyes or shaking my head, I still read the story, because each one of them contained a smidgeon of something that captured my interest and kept me going just a little bit further. His plots are all quite simple to follow. There's nothing bewildering or confusing, even though most of them have a few mysterious elements thrown in there for a while. But most of those are unraveled before long, and the one time he took me on a journey from one story to another to another, only to shock me with a surprise ending in finding the stories were all related, I was awed with wonder at how he expertly swung all these seemingly unrelated tales fully around and linked them together to form a delightful loop!

He is, if nothing else, a masterful executor of language, and his storytelling, whether the subjects seem to be up your alley or not, is almost continuously enjoyable! In just under two hundred pages, we get thirteen different stories, and I must say that while some dragged a little, there were quite a few that really caught the imagination or spoke to the emotions and the engaged mind! Irving has a spectacular manner of making things that can be so dated still remain absolutely charming outside their time period, and it is only emphasized by my playful attitude while reading his works.

While more than a few of them carry a message, and some beautifully philosophize, we still have that amiable storyteller sitting there before us, telling us his tales of all kinds, yet never losing that same enjoyable quality that made this such a pleasant read. And just for the record, my favorite stories would have to be "Rip Van Winkle," "The Mutability of Literature," "The Wife," and then the string of stories that all lead into one another: Guess I really did enjoy this read for the greater part! And these are only the ones that I loved! The others were still really enjoyable too!

It's a fun read, guys. You can so easily have fun with these simple tales, and engage with what's going on. Was it super-spectacular and amazing to me? Yeah, it definitely was. A hundred and seventy pages can't hurt you! People read absolute DIRT that's twice as long as that and only zaps brain space instead of increasing it.

I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

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View all 18 comments. Average Rating for entire book: Some stories were better than others. Read on for an individual review of each story. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: I'm going to rate this story a 3. He rode with short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the pommel of the saddle; his sharp elbows stuck out like grasshoppers'; he carried his whip perpendicularly in his hand, like a sceptre, and as his horse jogged on, the motion of his arms was not Average Rating for entire book: He rode with short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the pommel of the saddle; his sharp elbows stuck out like grasshoppers'; he carried his whip perpendicularly in his hand, like a sceptre, and as his horse jogged on, the motion of his arms was not unlike the flapping of a pair of wings.

Yes, this is my favorite quote from the book. I haven't read much classic literature, and the change in writing style was definitely something to get used to. But after a few pages that didn't seem to be a problem anymore.

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I'm not sure how I would have fared had this story been longer, but as it was, it was a delight to read. I love the dialogue, and the descriptions of Ichabod and his horse were hilarious. I like the movie better than the book in this case, but that is simply because the movie has more to it. I love them both as separate things. The book is a fun, quick read, a little disappointing because it wasn't nearly as spooky as I was hoping. I had to really focus on the words, and try to put myself in Ichabod's shoes to feel even a little wary. That Ichabod was certainly a nervous critter.

So to sum up: This story gets a 3. It wasn't captivating enough or fleshed out enough for a 5 star rating, but I definitely liked this story. I'd often heard of Rip Van Winkle, and knew he slept for a long, long time. But that was the extent of my knowledge about this story. I didn't know he was terribly lazy when it came to doing his work while he had no problem doing work for other people.

I didn't know he had a wife that was constantly nagging him. Oh, and that poor dog! He's practically as henpecked as old Rip himself! This is a fun quick read, and I love the way it's written. Reading a different writing style is so much fun. I like that it takes a little more effort to read and follow along, due to the way the English language has evolved since this was written. The Spectre Bridegroom 4 out of 5 stars for this one. I think I'd like to read this as a novel.

The plot is a bit cheesy perhaps, but I found it enjoyable. And if the story was novel length, there'd definitely be room for more development of both plot and characters, as well as some plot twists. This story played out in my head like a Tim Burton stop motion film. It felt very "The Corpse Bride". The setting, the characters, the crazy family.

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Hmm, now I want Tim Burton to create this movie. Anybody know how to get in touch with him? By the time she was eighteen she could embroider to admiration, and had worked whole histories of the saints in tapestry with such strength of expression in their countenances that they looked like so many souls in purgatory.

She could read without great difficulty, and had spelled her way through several Church legends and almost all the chivalric wonders of the Heldenbuch. She had even made considerable proficiency in writing; could sign her own name without missing a letter, and so legibly that her aunts could read it without spectacles.

She excelled in making little elegant good-for-nothing, lady-like knickknacks of all kinds, was versed in the most abstruse dancing of the day, played a number of airs on the harp and guitar, and knew all the tender ballads of the Minnelieders by heart. I can't make up my mind whether Irving is being sarcastic and satirical, or sincere, given the time that this was written. Either way, this part was funny, if only in the way he wrote it, regardless of the fact that that would never fly today.

The Devil and Tom Walker 2 out of 5 stars for this So, I wasn't sure what to make of this one. Here's what I got out of it: Greed invites misery, don't take shortcuts the literal, through the woods kind , don't make deals with the devil, greed and selfishness give way to paranoia. Take this quote for example: Some say that Tom grew a little crack-brained in his old days, and that, fancying his end approaching, he had his horse new shod, saddled, and bridled, and buried with his feet uppermost; because he supposed that at the last day the world would be turned upside-down; in which case he should find his horse standing ready for mounting, and he was determined at the worst to give his old friend a run for it.

Now if that isn't a man eaten away by greed and fear, I don't know what is. His wife was no better. She nagged him, yelled at him, was just a miserly as he was, never trusting him an inch. Their fights were known to send a bachelor hurrying "on his way, rejoicing Many and bitter were the quarrels they had on the subject; but the more she talked, the more resolute was Tom not to be damned to please her Such was their relationship.

Neither giving an inch to the other, for no other reason than spite.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving

Both were genuinely terrible people. I felt like I was reading a story that no other purpose than to scare me into being good. This was definitely not a story that captured my attention, imagination, or fancy.

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  8. The Pride of the Village Oh dear. I'm afraid in my eyes this story is only a 1. There's nothing I hate about this story precisely, but nothing I love either. It felt like a combination of the high school drama movies so popular in the s, and a Jane Austen novel. Sweet perfect innocent girl is wooed by someone with less than stellar intentions. She, in her pure innocence, falls deeply in love with him, while he is only looking for a "village conquest" so he can swap stories with his soldier friends. But, then he ends up really falling in love with her. This is the high school drama part of the story.

    What was he to do? There were the old obstacles which so incessantly occur in these heedless attachments. His rank in life, the prejudices of titled connections, his dependence upon a proud and unyielding father, all forbade him to think of matrimony He asks her to run away with him, as a companion, not a wife.

    She recoils in horror upon understanding his proposal. Her innocence shattered and her heart broken, she withdraws from the world. He leaves and forgets, almost, all about her. But then he returns to her, finding that he can't live without her after all. And this is the Jane Austen part of the story. While beautifully written, with a charming little village that reminds me of a village I once visited in Switzerland, this story was not for me. Old Christmas 5 out of 5 stars for this nostalgic tale! This story is so beautiful!

    The gaiety and cheerfulness Irving brings to the pages, the feeling of nostalgia for the old days, It made me ache. Ache for Christmas to once again be more than a marketing ploy, more than the commercialized holiday it is these days. Our narrator is invited to celebrate Christmas with an old friend and his family. The head of the family, Squire Bracebridge, turns out to celebrate Christmas in the old fashion.

    While he himself prefers things as they used to be, he still makes sure that the younger generation enjoys themselves by including traditions and foods more to their style. I can't help but wonder if our narrator was feeling nostalgic for simpler times in the s, how vastly have things changed nearly years later? Does anybody still remember these ancient traditions? Being 21 and feeling just as the narrator does, makes me feel ancient.

    I, too, long for simpler days, for the more simple celebration of Christmas. Shorn, however, as it is, of its ancient and festive honours, Christmas is still a period of delightful excitement I also laughed aloud several times; Irving's sarcastic and humorous writing style making things funnier than they are.

    For instance, the situation where the parson is telling a story, but he gets less and less enthusiastic as he sees people stop listening, until, at the end, he "concluded his remarks, in an under voice, to a fat-headed gentleman next him, who was silently engaged in the discussion of a huge plateful of turkey.

    Era da tempo che desideravo leggere un libro di Washington Irving. Ma non me ne era mai capitata l'occasione. Vorrei poter dire che il procrastinare la soddisfazione del desiderio ne abbia proporzionalmente aumentato il piacere. Ma Era da tempo che desideravo leggere un libro di Washington Irving. Non che lo giudichi "brutto", ma non appartiene al genere di letture che preferisco. E "sketch" significa proprio schizzo, abbozzo, tratteggio sommario e ben definisce il contenuto del libro.

    Altra bella cazzata degli editor, a mio modesto avviso. Sulla seconda, invece, posso esprimere la mia opinione. In prima battuta, considerando il periodo storico in cui lo scrittore si colloca, era assolutamente ovvio che vi sarebbero state un buon numero di descrizioni e stupirsene mi sembra fuor di luogo. Certo, sono molto datati i concetti, ma vanno presi considerando il momento in cui sono stati messi nero su bianco. Apr 28, Alex rated it liked it Shelves: I read Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, and while it was fun to actually read these stories that I'm so familiar with by cultural osmosis, the stories themselves were a little underwhelming.

    Sleepy Hollow's Ichabod Crane is a pretty good character, and he's described wonderfully, all elbows and flapping. I like the ambiguity of the story as well: It's pretty racist though. Rip Van Winkle is kindof a little slip of a story; dude falls asleep, wakes up, it's been a while, and that's sortof the end of it. View all 4 comments. Oct 27, Bookworm rated it really liked it. The mood is set perfectly, the small town is said to be haunted and the townspeople believe there is such a thing as the Headless Horseman.

    Enter Ichabod Crane, who is a schoolteacher and arrives at Sleepy Hollow from Connecticut to teach the townchildren. Ichabod is described as being tall and lanky, with his clothes too large for his thin frame. He also enjoyed reading, singing and flirting with the t The Legend of Sleepy Hollow starts off with the narrator describing the town of Sleepy Hollow. He also enjoyed reading, singing and flirting with the townswomen.

    He spent winter evenings with the old Dutch wives and loved to hear them tell ghost stories.

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories

    When he meets Katrina Van Tassel, he likes her right away. However, Katrina is being courted by Brom Van Brunt, a young man well known for being mischevious. When there is a party at the Van Tassel home and the whole town is invited, Ichabod is more than happy to go. Ichabod hopes that one day he will marry Katrina and he will inherit the Van Tassel property. As the night goes on with dancing and drinking, the townspeople begin to tell thier ghost stories.

    And invetiably, they begin to tell stories about The Headless Horseman. Once the night is over and everyone starts to go home, Ichabod stays behind to speak to Katrina. When he is done, he leaves, walking home alone late at night.

    He begins to pass a few of the places where the ghost stories he heard of took place.