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Wonder Tales: The Book of Wonder and Tales of Wonder
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Wonder Tales: The Book of Wonder and Tales of Wonder

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  186 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Irish writer Edward J. M. D. Plunkett, the eighteenth Baron Dunsany, was one of English literature's most original talents. The author of many of the best fantastic tales in the language, he also greatly influenced other writers working in the genre. This collection of all the stories from two of his finest collections includes the famous "Three Sailors' Gambit," possibly ...more
Paperback, 158 pages
Published October 16th 2003 by Dover Publications
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Julie Davis
Oct 25, 2014 Julie Davis rated it really liked it
I picked this up super-cheap for my Kindle after reading a really delightful story from the Book of Wonder in Tales Before Tolkien. The stories ranged from weird and creepy to humorous. I really loved the exotic story telling style although not all of the stories impressed me equally. I'm definitely going to be reading a few on Forgotten Classics sometime.
Nov 12, 2014 Caroline rated it it was amazing
I picked this off the bookshelf to read in October as a Halloween-y book, and a palate cleanser after having finished a bunch of novels. The stories in here are all pretty short; perfect for reading on your lunch break. We read a few of the stories from this book in a Fairy & Fantasy class in college, and I think this is the first time I've gone through and actually read all of the stories. So many of them have sort of tragic endings, but not in a way that makes one sad. Like, sure, a charac ...more
Dec 01, 2014 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A whimsical way to spend a couple of hours. It's possible to see how Neil Gaiman was influenced by Dunsany--they have the same organic, easy-going style in which the story that needs to be told, rather than the expected story or the "please everyone" story, is told. Some of the stories in this anthology are dark and others are funny, ending in a punchline of sorts. The stories about the pirates, with their floating island and other ingenious getaway tactics, are especially cute. These are storie ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Fabulantes rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasia
"En la narrativa de Dunsany hay lugar también para un humor negro e irónico que arrastra a muchos de sus personajes a crueles destinos (precedente de una vertiente más sombría que explotará Lovecraft), así como para la crítica sutil de la naturaleza humana. Pero es, sin duda, la nostalgia de ese mundo de los sueños, versión siempre perfeccionada de la realidad, el sentimiento que subyace en toda la obra de Dunsany, y que contagiará de forma irremed
Jun 20, 2009 Oakshaman rated it it was amazing
If you are weary of the world, then we have new Worlds here

Somehow I expected this collection to be rather thicker- and yet, upon reading, I am not disappointed. Lord Dunsany used exactly the appropriate number of words in every case to paint his word pictures. Most of these tales are only four pages or so long, yet they are all perfect, or nearly so. Each story is a gem- an exquisite miniature.

As for content, these are all accounts of the Edge of the World. Perhaps you know it as Faery, the M
Jan 16, 2013 Jake rated it liked it
This book was pretty disappointing for me. Dunsany is my favorite author of all time - The Gods of Pegana and Time and the Gods stand above anything I've ever read. His other works have never been as good, but they're at least good.

This, on the other hand, was very difficult to read and took me most of two years.

Many of the stories are just stupid and pointless. There is hardly even a plot in many of them. Some, like "Why the Milkman Shudders When he Perceives the Dawn" are so mind-numbingly d
Mar 05, 2011 Nick rated it it was ok
I launched into Lord Dunsany's Wonder Tales with high hopes. After all, he's the early fantasy writer supposed to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien and others, and his books are spoken of in hushed tones by Neil Gaiman, a hero of mine. But alas, The Wonder Tales read like primitive early samples of the genre, sort of Tarzan Meets Winnie-the-Pooh. It was the names in particular that got me: Tholdenblarna, Hlo-Hlo, Moung-ga-ling, Snyth, Nuth, Plash-Goo -- come on. More than that, these stories are li ...more
Why the Milk Man shudders as he perceives the dawn
Dustine Rene
Mar 10, 2016 Dustine Rene rated it it was ok
Most of the stories have a similar theme, that of things not going the way the protagonists wanted them to happen. Only the nature of the quest or the circumstance would differ but the endings are almost always unfortunate. The frequent use of this device made the stories somehow predictable. Still, there were a few gems in this collection. "The Wonderful Window" would be my favorite story. I also like "Chu-bu and Shemish", "The Bureau d'Echange de Maux", "A Narrow Escape", and "The Exiles' Club ...more
A writer who influenced prior generations of writers, themselves now influential, who isn't well known in his own right at this point.

This is an omnibus of two small books of short stories, many only a few pages long. The best are mysterious little glimpses, small slices of a larger unknown. Some others fall rather flat, and there are parts of Dunsany's worldview that don't age particularly well.

Still, it's an easy read, and even if it's a mixed bag it's worth it for the better moments.
Adrianna Buonarroti
Mar 27, 2008 Adrianna Buonarroti rated it really liked it
The language in this book is beautiful and it's easy to see how the author influenced a generation (and then some) of fantasy writers.

The stories are shorter than most modern day short stories, something almost flash fiction. It's hard to really understand how groundbreaking these stories were when we're so accustomed to fantasy and gothic horror now, but I think these compare favorably to the work of any modern writer.
Jul 28, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps the best book of short stories I have ever read. Lord Dunsany creates a fantasy world that is unlike anything you will find in the standard classic fantasy of Tolkein's creation. His world is at once our world, and completely different. It is dark and fantastic, but full of heroism and failure. I was sincerely disappointed when I finished the last page.
Shayla Williams
Nov 21, 2013 Shayla Williams rated it it was amazing
Shelves: almost-favorites
One of my favorite authors, H.P. Lovecraft, was inspired to write by these stories. Naturally, I had to read them for myself. I think the student outdid the master, though. While these are "wonder"ful tales, Lovecraft wrote better. I am still placing this in my "favorites" shelf, and may gift the book to my nieces soon.
Alexander Fitoussi
What strange and wonderful short stories! I can see where H.P. Lovecraft got a lot of his inspiration from!
Travis Webster
Oct 19, 2015 Travis Webster rated it it was amazing
Lovecraft loved it. So did I.
Wes shelley
Jun 18, 2013 Wes shelley rated it it was amazing
amazing imagination!
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Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany was an Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work in fantasy published under the name Lord Dunsany. More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes hundreds of short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays. Born to one of the oldest titles in the Irish peerage, he lived much of his life ...more
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