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The Gray Wolf and Other Fantasy Stories
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The Gray Wolf and Other Fantasy Stories

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  173 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Presents a tale of a student, an old woman and her beautiful, but cursed daughter in the Shetland Islands. This is a selection of short stories from the nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy.

The gray wolf.--
The cruel painter.--
The broken swords.--
The wow o'Rivven.--
Uncle Cornelius, his story.--
The butcher's bills.--
Birth, dreaming, death
Paperback, 196 pages
Published October 24th 1980 by Eerdmans (first published 1871)
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David Gregg
"The Gray Wolf" is such a wonderful short story! It sparks my imagination and leaves me wanting more--badly. It leaves me with questions, and a longing for a different ending. But the bitter loneliness, the weight of the curse, and the mystery all make for a fascinatingly bittersweet read from George MacDonald.

The audiobook version of "The Gray Wolf" can be downloaded from LibriVox for free (
Jim Collins
Aug 17, 2014 Jim Collins rated it it was ok
With the exceptions of The Gray Wolf, The Cruel Painter, and Uncle Cornelius, this collection is not quite fantasy. The stories are tedious yet beautifully-written. This collection comprises preachy and descriptive stories of marriage, life and death, ghosts and phantoms, and a shapeshifter. The narration is introspective and gabby throughout, though of course what did I expect from Victorian fiction?

I'm sure I'll be reading more George McD in the months to come. I enjoyed the haunted and twilit
Karen L.
Jun 18, 2008 Karen L. rated it it was amazing
Loved the cruel Painter. The stories are very Gothic, filled with love, suffering perseverance and sacrifice.
When I was a child, "The Princess and the Goblin" was one of my favorite fantasy stories (second to Narnia, of course). So for some reason I picked this up assuming that it was for children, but it's not.

It's okay. Not great, not terrible. Sometimes overly wordy/dramatic, occasionally interesting and poignant or creepy. But of course, it's George MacDonald, and there are times when I really like the way he phrases things and looks at the world. I don't know that I would have finished all of the
Hannah Jean
Jul 03, 2013 Hannah Jean rated it liked it
All in all, The Gray Wolf and Other Fantasy Stories is a fabulous collection of short stories. George MacDonald has all the qualities of a great story-teller; he is creative, a teacher, and an enchanter. My favorite stories were The Cruel Painter and The Wow O’Rivven. MacDonald’s stories feel like fairytales. They can be understood and enjoyed by both adults and children alike. The characters are well rounded and believable and the worlds he builds are rich in detail without becoming tedious. An ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Bree rated it it was amazing
Shelves: special, favorites
I found this book in a used bookstore, years ago. There are seven short stories in this book, and I love two of them: The Gray Wolf, and The Cruel Painter. There is a strange clarity in these stories, an usual way of describing events... similar to looking at photographs. After I read these stories, I found myself daydreaming about the images. There is a hint of romance, a hint of fear, and something much deeper in his stories because he was introspective.
Kate  K. F.
Dec 11, 2012 Kate K. F. rated it really liked it
The stories in this collection show the variety of George MacDonald's writing and the elegance of Victorian fantasy. These stories cover a great range from a Gothic tale on a moor to a haunting tale of a marriage spiraling out of control. For any reader of current fantasy, MacDonald's stories create the history of fantasy and are worth reading and digger deeper into.
Don Gubler
Sep 23, 2015 Don Gubler rated it liked it
Nice fantasy story. Interesting coming from a more academic person steeped in medieval traditions and training.
Apr 04, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
Fairy tale stories. They are a quick read but well written and creative. The Gray Wolf is actually the shortest of the stories but still an original and tense tale.
Jan 15, 2017 Suzanne rated it liked it
Definitely prefer MacDonald when his stories resemble fairy tales rather than sermons, as many of them skewed towards the latter in this collection.
Jessie Harvey
Jan 03, 2009 Jessie Harvey rated it liked it
George McDonald is always recommendable.
Jan 09, 2011 Victoria rated it liked it
Eerie, symbolic: these stories are a challenge to understand, but the rewards once they are figured out are more than satisfying, in my opinion. MacDonald does not fail as CS Lewis's role-model!
Written almost anecdotally. I feel like there was probably some sort of deeper meaning which was entirely lost upon me.
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George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.

Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as G.K. Chesterton, W. H. Auden, J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle. Lewis that wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I
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