Phantastes, A Faerie Romance for Men and Women

( 41 )

Overview

Introduction by C. S. Lewis

In October 1857, George MacDonald wrote what he described as "a kind of fairy tale, in the hope that it will pay me better than the more evidently serious work." This was Phantastes—one of MacDonald’s most important works; a work which so overwhelmed C. S. Lewis that a few hours after he began reading it he knew he "had crossed a great frontier."

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Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women

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Overview

Introduction by C. S. Lewis

In October 1857, George MacDonald wrote what he described as "a kind of fairy tale, in the hope that it will pay me better than the more evidently serious work." This was Phantastes—one of MacDonald’s most important works; a work which so overwhelmed C. S. Lewis that a few hours after he began reading it he knew he "had crossed a great frontier."

The book is about the narrator’s (Anodos) dream-like adventures in fairyland, where he confronts tree-spirits and the shadow, sojourns to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth. The tale is vintage MacDonald, conveying a profound sadness and a poignant longing for death.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781115085922
  • Publisher: BiblioBazaar
  • Publication date: 9/21/2009
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

(1824-1905) The great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, whose works influenced C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. "I do not write for children," MacDonald once said, "but for the childlike, whether of five, or fifty, or seventy-five."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Travels through Fairy Land, by one of Lewis' and Tolkien's favorite authors.

    Perhaps it was my high expectations which have cooled my impressions of Phantastes: for C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, two of my favorite authors, both considered this man among their highest inspirations. (Lewis once said that MacDonald was his master, and that he could not think of a book he had written in which he had not quoted the nineteenth century poet, proto-fantasist and sermon writer.) Don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed this book, for it was filled with images of beauty, subtle power, and transportation, infused with a melancholy which aroused longing rather than dampened it. The story of Anodos, a skeptical young man who finds himself one morning in Fairy Land, and of his journeys and travels there, in which he begins by searching for his Ideal beauty, and ends by losing his Shadow and his pride, is a well crafted and meaningful one. And the theme of Death, not as a curse, but as a gift, as a doorway to fulfillment of desire, is resonant and beautiful and true. But it lacks the meaning and mystery, the truth and transcendance, of Lewis' fantasies (both in his Ransom trilogy and his Narnia chronicles).

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    An immersive and Heartwarming Fairy Tale

    This book is filled with awe and wonder, illustrating an imaginative fairy tale world inhabited by timeless characters. The story is heartwarming, although its allegorical imagery is about impossible to decipher, and the author's poetry within the book is not even the second best I have read. But if you can get passed these subtle disappointments, it's overall a very good story, and it sucked me right in from the very beginning. I highly recommend it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Fantasy that inspired so many others

    C.S. Lewis referred to George MacDonald as "his master." That's quite a compliment coming from an author as world-renowned and loved as C.S. Lewis. However, C.S. Lewis was not the only writer to be inspired by MacDonald; Lewis Carroll, W.H. Auden, G.K Chesterton, Mark Twain, Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, and E. Nesbit were also influenced by MacDonald's writing.

    Phantastes is a fantasy into which you must immerse yourself to appreciate. (Phantastes was the novel that C.S. Lewis said baptized his imagination.) The central character, Anodos, steps out of our world and enters a fantastic world, rich in imagery and full of memorable sub-plots. Like many of MacDonald's other stories, it is a story of death, but as C.S Lewis was quick to notice, it is a good death.

    What I love most about MacDonald's romantic fantasies are the beautiful images he paints, the interwoven sub-plots, and the deep truths that under-gird his stories. His meandering style (mentioned above) helps me to lose myself in the story rather than trying to guess at where he might be going with every twist or turn. I also like the fact that you never really leave his stories behind. Instead, you go on thinking about them, returning to them, wondering and wandering about them. MacDonald's protagonists are continually stepping into and out of the present, everyday world and the fantastic, extraordinary other-world. I find this simply fascinating.

    If you are like stories that are both deep and rich in imagination, you're likely to enjoy Phantastes. (If you wish to add this book to your home library, I like the ones published by Johannesen best. They have a lovely binding and are facsimiles of the original printing. If you prefer paperback, then I recommend Eerdmans because they include C.S. Lewis' introduction.)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Dream-like

    This book tells the tale of a man who enters Fairyland and the adventures that he has there. "Phantastes" obviously influenced J.R.R. Tolien and C.S. Lewis. Although I gave this book five stars, its queerness really renders it outside of any rating system.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Horrible book, unreadable

    Horrendous spelling errors...dont bother.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Unreadable

    This book is unreadable because of the errors in the text. If you like trying to figure out what hhh means from context then you will enjoy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2011

    Caveat Emptor

    The book is good, but the free nook-book is full of typos.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2003

    not to my taste

    I love L'engle and I own almost everything C.S. Lewis has written, but I didn't thoroughly enjoy this book. It was well-written, but I never felt drawn into the story. I agree that you should just take your time and enjoy each scene, rather than try to plod through quickly (which is possibly why I didn't get much out of this book).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2002

    PhanTASTES

    When I bought this book, I thought it said 'Phantasies.' As i began to read,m i realised the truth and realised that 'Phantastes' is more appropriate. I'd never read a book like it before. Now, I'd read most of George MacDonald's works by then, but he is always surprising. This book is a sketchbook, exactly like an artist's, only with words. The imagery in this book is MacDonald's very best. However, it must be admitted that the plot is rather lacking. I would suggest reading Phantastes first, but definiely read this book. You will realize the size of the debt Tolkein and Lewis owe Rev. MacDaonald

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Ur kidding

    Maybe its just me but this was some tedious reading, constantly decifering the vocab didnt help either, this is worse than any other work i,ve read so far, i will never finish reading this.............

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  • Posted September 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fabulous

    Wonderful book! Very fantastic, engaging, and thought provoking.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    MacDonald is a master

    This was my first experience with a George MacDonald story. I've read some of his poetry but unfortunately have a hard time finding his novels in stores. After reading Phantastes I will go to whatever lengths I must in order to find more of his work. There is a reason that George MacDonald is the unacquainted mentor of C.S. Lewis. He truly is the originator of spiritual fantasy. This book connects so well with who we are, how we have fallen, and how we can still be the men and women we are meant to be. For me this was a fun albeit dramatic journey through a magical world, and in the end lit a fire inside of me that I have not felt for some time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2002

    Life changing

    Absolutely the best book I have ever read and most likely will ever read! Imagination at its best! His book has what I call the third deminsion. Not just a plot and not just great writing but a deeper meaning. The monsters are not just bad because they are monsters but because they are all apart of evil.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2002

    Purity and Truth

    Anyone who has sincerely searched for truth and meaning in life will be comforted and enlightened by this amazing book. This book displays the depth of MacDonalds relationship with God and perhaps his own spiritual journey. It awakens every desire in you while purifying your soul. For some like myself this book will be life changing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2000

    Deep, Heady, Meditative

    This is the first book I read after THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE, and I do recommend it. If you enjoy getting lost in a haze of mysticism as a good narrator leads you through a twisted maze of fantasy and philosophy, you'll enjoy this work of MacDonald. A word of caution - this book needs and deserves quiet time for you to ponder it and truly delve into it. It is something that is hard to read while traveling or feeling tense because you need the heaviness to settle in your brain. This book makes you think, and feel, and wonder. If you don't have the time or the mental capacity for it, don't bother. If you do have the time and the thoughtfulness to appreciate it, by all means.

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    Posted June 25, 2010

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    Posted August 23, 2011

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    Posted December 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

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