The Hunting of the Snark
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The Hunting of the Snark

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  2,289 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Ever since Lewis Carroll's nonsense epic appeared in 1876 readers have joined his ten-man Snark-hunting crew and pursued the search with great enthusiasm. What are they hunting for? What is the Snark? Numerous theories have been proposed. Carroll himself provides a helpful Preface to the poem and is recorded as having explained to one reader: 'In answer to your question, "...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 128 pages
Published 1995 by Penguin Books (first published 1876)
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"You must read this book!" the Reviewer cried,
As he searched for a suitable rhyme
But as long as he stole more than half of the words
He was sure he would get there in time.

The rest of this review is in my book What Pooh Might Have Said to Dante and Other Futile Speculations
Jan 09, 2012 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: people who smile easily
Another book I picked up at the Tate last week in Liverpool. More of the Tove Jansson nostalgic illustrations and a beautiful edition which sat happily in my hands last night as I read it aloud in bed. Thank God i live alone. The wonderful tumble of Carroll's rythmic pulsing verse is such fun to burble out and some of the verses made me smile out loud

'He thought of his childhood, left far far behind-
That blissful and innocent state-
The sound so exactly recalled to his mind
A pencil that squeaks o...more
Petya Kokudeva
Сигурно има много начини да се влюбиш в нонсенса (и по-точно в nonsense verse-a), но моят беше през Едуард Лиър, Огдън Наш и Луис Карол - именно с The Hunting of the Snark. Толкова причудлива сплав от искрен смях и ненатраплив, самоироничен смисъл рядко се среща. Но да не се отплесвам. "На лов за Снарк" на български е истинско пиршество! Майсторски преведена откъм ритъм и стъпка, безукорна в римите (а на места изобилства от тях, има и вътрешноредови даже).

Кристин Димитрова, преводач; Владимир Т...more
This is the epitome of nonsense verse and the measure by which I compare all others. The verse is beautifully and nimbly handled without sacrificing the humor or the nonsense.

My version has Martin Gardner's annotations which are helpful, but not necessary. Nonsense isn't supposed to make sense!

I highly recommend this book for adults, children, and pets. It is one of my favorite books that I've re-read several dozen times.

(Added note: Boris Karloff has an excellent reading of this that is avail...more
La chasse au Snark est une pépite. Pourtant, même si j’adore l’absurde britannique, lire ce poème me faisait peur. Je suis une lectrice de poésie très médiocre alors avec le côté délirant de Carroll, je craignais de ne rien comprendre et de m’ennuyer. Pour être honnête, je crois que je n’y ai pas compris grand-chose et c’est peut-être aussi la preuve que je ne sais pas lire parce que si Carroll a voulu dire quelque chose ou faire passer un message à travers son texte, je suis passée totalement...more
Probably my favorite poem to date. This so intrigued me that I returned for a reread the same day.

Much longer than "Jabberwocky," this "Agony in Eight Fits" (as Carroll calls it) is an adventurous, mysterious, brain-tugging story of a sailing crew which sets to find a Snark (whatever it is):

"They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care; / They pursued it with forks and hope, / They threatened its life with a railway-share; / They charmed it with smiles and soap."

The theme is dark and w...more
A recent episode of Inspector Lewis on PBS had numerous references to this nonsense poem, and I realized I hadn't read it since junior high. I decided if I was going to re-read it at all, I'd get the annotated version from the library. It's not as good as the Annotated Alice, but I'm grateful for a few of the notes. One was on the stanza:

He was thoughtful and grave--but the orders he gave
Were enough to bewilder a crew.
When he cried, "Steer to starboard, but keep her head larboard!"
What on earth...more
Vincent O'Neil
"In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away-
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see."

Say what!

The original was published on April Fools' Day in 1876, eleven years after the publication of Alice in Wonderland. So, it behooves you to have read Alice first.

Then, you try to read Snark and understand what the heck is going on. I mean, Alice was confusing enough, but Snark offers an even more unique challenge.

We know Lew...more
Five stars for both content, Lewis Carroll's sublimely weird nonsense epic about an ill-fated hunting mission by a group of bizarre characters, and edition, which contains Martin Gardner's playfully brilliant introduction, extensive annotations, and appendices. Carroll says of his eight fits of Snarkdom that there is no real symbolism- the Snark is just a Snark. Or more precisely, a Boojum. Numerous scholars have pooh-poohed this, arguing that no Victorian writer can understand how he is influen...more
I am a fan of Lewis Carroll, but I had never read the entire poem of "The Hunting of the Snark." So I was delighted to receive this new edition of the poem illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko from Library Thing Early Reviewers.

The poem is, of course, typical Carroll nonsense. A bit of math, a bit of natural history, some nice rhythm and crazy characters who have no explainable relationship with one another. The set off on an adventure to find the Snark and bring it in.

Lipchenko's art work is perfect f...more
Mahendra Singh
Great poem but the illustrator is a debauched, discombubulated fool whose asemic scribblings and ink-blottings cannot stand up to even the most puerile graphical ravings of a den of opium-besotted thuggees, or even the currently uber-hip artiste visually polluting the cover of the New Yorker. Which ever one's worst, that's the one that this artist is worserer than.

Frankly, I think there's something funny about the whole business and I wouldn't be surprised if there's prison time and/or stiff fin...more
If you don't get the annotated version, you may be left wondering about the bathing-machines and why the snark's life could be threatened with railway-shares. It's still a fun book without the background material, but I think the annotations add to the value.

Carroll said he wrote this poem to figure out for himself the meaning of a phrase that popped into his head: 'He softly and suddenly vanished away/for the snark was a boojum, you see'.
Written in about 1875 by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), The Hunting of the Snark is one of his nonsense poems, akin to but longer than Jabberwocky. The plot of the story concerns ten men who embark by ship to search for the Snark, an animal never precisely described but which might, if luck turned bad, instead by a Boojum, in which case the finder would vanish. Written in quatrains with a rhyme scheme of “abab”, the text is deliciously funny, filled with portmanteau words, irony, and silliness...more
"They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

Simply put, Mr. Carroll at his finest.
One of the greatest works of nonsense ever.
Well, I gave TV a chance today. However, I found Titanic, Terminator 3, reality shows and other stuff, so, those aren't real options for me. I have no sitcoms to watch right now. Although, I'm kind of tired of watching the same sitcoms/tv series all the time. There's nothing new now. Once Upon a Time is on, so that's a good background sound. What to do on a Saturday afternoon? Yes. Let's find something out of the ordinary to read. And what did I find? A brilliant, typical Carroll nonsense poem....more
A phenomenal book. If the poem itself isn't enough, the Surrealist-inspired drawings bring a whole new dimension to the eight fits. Both Carroll's clever preface and the illustrator's afterword bring amusing and informative context. Love love love.
This is my all time favorite book/nonsense poem. Me and my dad used to read it every fall together, it is forever the best of the best.
Douglas Dalrymple
Review of the 2010 edition from Melville House with illustrations by Mehendra Singh: Awesome.
I love the illustrations by Mahendra Singh in the Melville House edition!
Oct 29, 2010 Topher marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm curious to see this new illustrated edition from Melville House...
Jacqueline Wagenstein
На лов за смях и смисъл

На 1 април 1876 г. (дата, съвсем не случайно подбрана) светът се сдобива със Снарк - същество, чиято главна отлика е, че не подлежи на въобразяване. Повярвайте, не можете да си го представите! По-любопитното е обаче, че именно това е била целта на създателя му - Луис Карол. Когато Хенри Холидей - художник на първото издание на нонсенс поемата “На лов за Снарк” - е готов с рисунките за книгата, Карол отхвърля десетата и последна илюстрация, защото тя изобразявала Снарка. Та...more
holiday's illustrations make this the edition to have.
Landon Proctor
What I say three times is true.
Svetlozara Kabaktchieva
Прекрасно преживяване е този стихотворен "нонсенс". Ако обаче сте сериозен човек и не обичате безсмислици (тук изведнъж се сетих за бизнесмена от "Малкия принц", който обича да брои звездите, за да ги притежава), хич и не си губете времето с тази мъничка книжка. Ако обаче обичате това, което не е знайно какво е, радвате се на начина, по който думите се наплитат, можете да се смеете на истински смешни неща, значи сте готови за експедицията за търсенето на Снарк. Смятам, че истинското харесване на...more
Entah kenapa suka banget baca puisi ini. Karakter, kejadian, dialog, kata-kata 'ajaib' khas Carroll terangkum di sini. Mungkin justru karena nonsense jadi kita bebas membayangkannya sendiri. Berdasarkan pendahuluan yang dijelaskan penulis tentang dua kata yang dicampur jadi satu kata,jadi berpikir kalau Snark itu idenya dari 'shark' & 'snake', tapi dari analisis-analisis yang lain ga ada yang nyebut itu. Toh pada akhirnya ketahuan Snark itu apa, walaupun sama-sama absurdnya.

Review lengkap me...more
David Edmonds
“To seek it with thimbles, to seek it with care;
To pursue it with forks and hope,
To threaten its life with a railway-share;
To charm it with smiles and soap!”

What does it all mean? No one seems to know. Not even Lewis Carroll, apparently. He claimed to have no more idea on what the poem was about than anybody else, although he did mention at one point, "...the whole book is an allegory on the search for happiness." Carroll's acme of Nonsense poetry, The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Holy crap! You guys have to read The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll! I’m not even kidding. It is incredibly short, technically counts as a classic, and will absolutely make your day.

The Hunting of the Snark is nothing but a nonsense poem. Or, as the subtitle claims: “An Agony in Eight Fits.” I had a lot of fun in the small amount of time it took to read. The poem chronicles a strange group that sets sail for the purpose of snark hunting.

“ ‘You may seek it with thimbles — and seek it with...more
Goetz Kluge
There is a 2011 British Library edition (ISBN 978-0-7123-5813-2).
The best edition for research is the 1981 William Kaufmann edition (ISBN 0-913232-36-X).
As for Snark hunting in illustrations, I also recommend Mahendra Singh's 2010 version (ISBN 978-1-935554-24-0).

Ditchley Snark
Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark neither is nonsense nor is it silly. It has been written by Reverend Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), who refused to accept the 39 Articles of the Anglican church. I assume that Dodgson addressed t...more
After reading this twice, I understood it a little more. Typical Carroll in that it is as untypical as an unbirthday. My favorite part is the blank ocean chart, which was actually printed to clarify to the reader that indeed it was an absolute blank. I like this because Carroll teethed with adventure and an absolute blank prepares one for perfect results as whatever you find, will be what you were looking for.

The poem is in Limerick style, run on and contstantly jumping characters that are delic...more
Bob R Bogle
As TS Eliot's A HANDBOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS is unjustly lost in the solar glare of THE WASTELAND and THE LOVE SONG OF J ALFRED PRUFROCK, so too this perfect gem by Lewis Carroll suffers unfairly because of the success of one or two other works of his which might be mentioned.

I first discovered SNARK when I was in college, and until this morning it had been a few decades since I'd last returned to this epic tale of seafaring and monster encounters which, in its own way, is similar to tales of brav...more
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A Lifetime's Read...: The Hunting of the Snark and What Alice Found There 1 2 Dec 21, 2011 01:32PM  
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The Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer.

His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense.

Oxford s...more
More about Lewis Carroll...
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass Alice in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1) Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2) The Complete Stories and Poems Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories

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“For the snark was a boojum, you see.” 8 likes
“This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out That the Captain they trusted so well Had only one notion for crossing the ocean, And that was to tingle his bell.” 6 likes
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