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The Book of Wonder

Lord Dunsany

Book Overview: 

Fourteen fantasy short stories by Irish Fantasy writer, Lord Dunsany, considered a major influence on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula K. Le Guin and others.

“Come with me, ladies and gentlemen who are in any wise weary of London: come with me: and those that tire at all of the world we know: for we have new worlds here.” – Lord Dunsany, the preface to “The Book of Wonder”

Excellent book for fans of the Harry Potter series.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The wind soughed, and the great tapers flared, and their obvious fear and the silence of the Sphinx grew more than ever a part of the atmosphere, and bats went restlessly through the gloom of the wind that beat the tapers low.

Then a few things screamed far off, then a little nearer, and something was coming towards us, laughing hideously. I hastily gave a prod to the door that they guarded; my finger sank right into the mouldering wood—there was not a chance of holding it. I had not leisure to observe their fright; I thought of the back-door, for the forest was better than this; only the Sphinx was absolutely calm, her prophecy was made and she seemed to have seen her doom, so that no new thing could perturb her.

But by mouldering rungs of ladders as old as Man, by slippery edges of the dreaded abyss, with an ominous dizziness about my heart and a feeling of horror in the soles of my feet, I clambered from tower to tower till I found the door tha. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Some of the stories are okay, but in many cases they feel a little dated. The ones about politics, however, are quite funny.

This is the thrid book I've read by Lord Dunsany, and he has quickly moved into my top five best authors list. This book is similar to "Time and the Gods", in that it's more of a collection of shorts than a novel. Everyone of them was awesome, I particularly liked the stories that involved men wh...more

Wonder, Irony, Horror, Poetry, and Fantasy

“Come with me, ladies and gentlemen who are in any wise weary of London: come with me: and those that tire at all of the world we know: for we have new worlds here.”

That's the preface of Lord Dunsany’s The Book of Wonder (1912). The fourteen short stories following...more

Da grande lettore di H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith e J. R. R. Tolkien, come non potevo leggere qualcosa di Lord Dunsany, diciamo il punto di inizio, del fantasy classico?
Così la mia ricerca mi ha portato a questo libro: "Il libro delle meraviglie", preso in bibliotec...more

Geek that I am I actually read this to prepare for the Tolkien Professor’s Faerie & Fantasy podcast seminar that covers the book. I am rather conflicted about Dunsany in general and this book in particular. After finishing the first half I found that _The Book of Wonder_ more or less confirm...more

Dunsany possibly at his peak -- this is a short collection of short stories (mostly in the 3-4 page range) and vignettes, but what stories they are, all told in Dunsany's poetic, King James-inflected prose.

Highlights include Distressing Tale of Thanogbrind the Jeweller, Probable Adven...more

Classic fantasy from one of the great masters. Published in 1912, this was not the first nor the last book of short stories from Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (what a moniker that was!) It was, however the only one that was created with the illustrations done first. Sid...more

Ritratto di un sognatore...more

Take the worst kind of second rate fantasy and the worst kind of Alice in Wonderland nonsense, and it turns out two wrongs do make a right :) . This isn't amazing but it does work. The best part is that so many of the tales feel allegorical.. except your never quite sure what they're allegories o...more

Dunsany's magic is palpable in all elements in his stories. These short stories, in some cases, left me wanting for more, in others, I was rather bored and just wanting it to end. I believe that were Dunsany truly shines is when he creates a vast world where his characters can evolve and more tha...more

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