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Phantastes

George MacDonald

Book Overview: 

A young man named Anodos experiences dream-like adventures in a distant land, where he meets tree-spirits, endures the presence of the overwhelming shadow, journeys to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Marble vestments thou hast thrown; But thyself, in silence winding, Thou hast kept eternally; Thee they found not, many finding— I have found thee: wake for me."

As I sang, I looked earnestly at the face so vaguely revealed before me. I fancied, yet believed it to be but fancy, that through the dim veil of the alabaster, I saw a motion of the head as if caused by a sinking sigh. I gazed more earnestly, and concluded that it was but fancy. Neverthless I could not help singing again—

"Rest is now filled full of beauty, And can give thee up, I ween; Come thou forth, for other duty Motion pineth for her queen. "Or, if needing years to wake thee From thy slumbrous solitudes, Come, sleep-walking, and betake thee To the friendly, sleeping woods. Sweeter dreams are in the forest, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Fantasy in water colors by the great maker of myth.

I like a good faerie story, a nice romp in fairy lands. I especially like reading older fantasy novels to help this graph I have in my head showing the progression and evolution of fantasy in literature. MacDonald's book here, published in 1857, seemed like a good one to pick up - it's an early f...more

A friend and I decided to have "family story time" each evening as a new bedtime routine to help us fall asleep more calmly in the midst of interpersonal and academic stress. We chose this classic tale, picked up by C.S. Lewis at a train station (he later said that it influenced his writing great...more

In many ways this really isn't a good book. The style borders on choppy and dense. The story doesn't always flow. MacDonald routinely makes excurses without telling you. But...

The "mythopoeic" prose is its redeeming quality. MaDonald bathed the book in sacramentality. Ever...more

While I read this book several years ago (the 2006 date is a "best guess"), I'd actually started it back in 1990 and didn't finish it at that time. It gets off to kind of a slow start, and one element in the storyline was initially off-putting to me (but no spoilers here!). However, I'm glad I de...more

“But Love is such a Mystery
I cannot find it out:
For when I think I’m best resolv’d,
I then am in most doubt.”
(Sir John Suckling)

I have just finished Phantastes and was immediately compelled to put my thoughts to paper. What attracted me to the book was, beside t...more

I know that I read this once before, many moons ago. But my only recollection of it consisted in the fact that I had read it. I recently decided to read it again because of the impact it had on Lewis. Having done so, I can only conclude that Lewis saw a great deal more in it than I was able to, a...more

The first time I read this I was a newly married 18 yo. My husband was taking a class at college titled Oxford Christians and I may as well have taken the class myself because I read every single life-changing book Dr. Kay Ludwigson assigned. And of all the books by all those wonderful Inklings a...more

On his twenty-first birthday, Anodos entered his father's study and opens a drawer where a little woman that claims to be his grandmother grants his wish to go to fairy-land. With many tests to pass, will he pass them all to make it into Fairy-land or is all just a fantasy? Read on and find out f...more

It’s like a dream: You just
find yourself somewhere
and you wander on.
Not like a quest,
with a destination
and obstacles along the way.
No. You just find yourself walking
without a destination
and when you get somewhere
someone was expecting you,
someone who had sent you some...more

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