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Time and the Gods

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  634 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (1878-1957) was an Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work in fantasy published under the name Lord Dunsany. He was a prolific writer, penning short stories, novels, plays, poetry, essays and autobiography, and publishing over sixty books, not including individual plays. The stories in his first two bo ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Dodo Press (first published 1906)
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Community Reviews

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Jonathan

Lord Dunsany is one of the most remarkable authors to have ever lived. If not in the way he wrote his prose, then in the way he lived his life as an adventure. And from this sense of adventure he developed a most remarkable perspective on the universe and fantasy. From this perspective he wrote a new mythology full of childish wonder, simplicity and also beauty. There is an aesthetic of delight to be found in Time and the Gods and it is this aesthetic which is so very appealing to read.

"And as a
...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
Well... Why give 3 stars and make it Favorite. Well, because not all stories within are excelent. Some are quite weak. But others... ulálá... They are masterpieces. They are the foundation of Fantasy. If Tolkien is considered as the father of Fantasy then Lord Dunsany is the Grandfather of it all.

There are some great tales within this short story collection like The Men of Yarnith; Time and the Gods; The coming of the Sea and probably my second favourite In the Land of Time. In this story you've
...more
behemothing
Jun 18, 2016 behemothing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-fall
Time and the Gods is probably one of the most metal things I have ever read. If I make a prog rock concept album, I have my source material:

"Then Slid went backward growing and summoned together the waves of a whole sea and sent them singing full in Tintaggon's face. Then from Tintaggon's marble front the sea fell backwards crying on to a broken shore, and ripple by ripple straggled back to Slid saying: 'Tintaggon stands.'"
-The Coming of the Sea.

"And far away Trogool upon the utter Rim turned a
...more
J. Boo
Short stories, set in the same world as Dunsany's (better) "Gods of Pegana", and many of his other writings.

Dunsany's prose tends to the florid, as befits someone whose full appellation was Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany. Shoot-the-moon sentences abound, and I suspect that few readers will be neutral -- you'll either enjoy or despise his style.

Some of the stories are quite good. Here, for example, is a taste of Dunsany's prose from "In the Land of Time", where a king g
...more
Evgeny
May 27, 2013 Evgeny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Another classic fantasy book which had a lot of influence on J.R.R. Tolkien thus on the whole fantasy genre. The dated style makes is quite hard to read (thus only 2 stars instead of 3). It is a collection of short stories related to early days of gods and their creation and later, relationship between people and gods (mostly done with prophets being the interpreters of gods' will. The book is curious for historical value, if nothing else.
Nikki
Nov 15, 2013 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I haven't read any Dunsany before, but I'm glad I finally got round to it. Having a whole collection of these stories was maybe a bit much to read in one go (ah, train journeys), but I did enjoy the world Dunsany created, and the mythic language he used to tell it. I should read more by and about Dunsany, I think: I don't actually know anything about him.
Joseph
May 08, 2013 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basically like The Gods of Pegana only moreso. Again, these are primarily vignettes or prose poems or fables rather than anything resembling more traditional stories -- those will start appearing in his next book, The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories. Again, filled with lovely King James prose and beautiful, evocative names and again not a great jumping-in place if you've never read Dunsany before.
Stephen Brooke
Jul 14, 2014 Stephen Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories in ‘Time and the Gods’ follow those Dunsany wrote for ‘The Gods of Pegana’ and have at once more ambition and less charm than those tales. One can more readily see Dunsany’s influence on Tolkien’s myths in ‘The Silmarillion’ and elsewhere here, as well.

But unlike Tolkien, there is an underlying humor that is both skeptical and tolerant of mankind’s (and the gods’?) shortcomings. There is also a wistfulness that foreshadows Dunsany’s novels, the sense that there are things on the othe
...more
Jon
Aug 11, 2015 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
I'm giving two stars for the literary value, but I did not enjoy this story at all. It's a similar idea to The Gods of Pegana where the book consists of loosely connected short stories. However, if you asked me for a summary of what I just read, I wouldn't be able to do it. I'm not afraid to admit that most of the author's writing went over my head. Often times my eyes glazed over and my brain wandered elsewhere even as I forced myself to keep reading the words on the page. I'd recommend this fo ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Fantastic classic tales by Lord Dunsany... according to the preface:
"These tales are of the things that befel gods and men in
Yarnith, Averon, and Zarkandhu, and in the other countries
of my dreams."

...for those who love to occasionally drift away from reality...

Available online here: http://dcc.vu/Media/E-Books/Lord%20Du...
Nickmizer
Aug 17, 2011 Nickmizer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dunsany's writing is beautiful. This is a collection of short stories and vignettes tied together by a (roughly) shared world. Reading this and his other work, one could be forgiven for thinking that all of the future of fantastic literature is contained in miniature herein.
Hannah
Jan 02, 2017 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 or 3.5
Mary
Sep 21, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read this book in Serial Reader which means it is the Gutenberg library free version. I chose it because I knew Dunsany had such an influence on Lovecraft and Tolkien.

Since this book is short stories it worked really well for Serial Reader (an app that sends a chunk of the book to your phone or tablet each day). It was 15 installments that took 10 - 15 minutes each to read.

My favorite story was the prophet who kept hearing new gods in the distance and following them. He eventually came back a
...more
Michael Eisenberg
I've been completely caught up in the short stories of Lord Dunsany (as I said in an earlier post), pretty much all I've been reading for the last month or so. I finally finished them all (at least all that are relevant to the "fantastic")including his first novel "Don Rodriquez: The Chronicles of Shadow Valley" so I'm coming up for a breath of fresh air...and have decided to read the Titus Groan trilogy by M. Peake. I'm only 30 pages in and I can tell that this is going to be one wild ride!

But
...more
Yve
Then said Fate to Chance: "Let us play our old game again." And they played it again together, using the gods as pieces, as they had played it oft before. So that those things which have been shall all be again, and under the same bank in the same land a sudden glare of singlight on the same spring day shall bring the same daffodil to bloom once more and the same child shall pick it, and not regretted shall be the billion years that fell between. And the same old faces shall be seen again, yet n
...more
Ian Massey
When the Fantasy and SF Masterworks series came out I thought they would contain books that, as a huge fan of both genres, I SHOULD read. Sadly, there are more in both series that I don't get on with that those that I like.

In terms of fantasy novels, I don't know what it is about older ones that means I can read a page and not remember a single thing from it - the language, maybe, or the style of writing. This series also includes one of just three books that I haven't managed to complete at all
...more
R.M.F Brown
Sep 19, 2014 R.M.F Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing blend of speculative fiction and fantastical imagination.

Dunsany has long been cited as an influence on numerous fantasy writers. This Victorian adventurer had an interesting and remarkable life, and this collection of fiction is reflective of that world view.

It is unfortunate that the weakest stories of this collections are the first a reader encounters, because if you do not persevere, you are in danger of missing out on some great fiction. For every thirteen at table, there ar
...more
João Batista
Feb 02, 2016 João Batista rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of 20 stories only surpassed in literary quality by Tolkien. A perfect poetic prose of tales in honor of Yarnith, Averon, Zarhandhu, dream-cities of the author...and marbled Sardathrion.
Here we have the god Slid battling the mountain Tintaggon; the child Inzana (Dawn) playing with her golden ball; men defying the gods; Ya, Ha and Snyrg (spirits of evil) enjoying while gods sleep; we have a story of a king who was not; the location of the days that were; another king looking for the
...more
Psychophant
Dunsany is a critical influence on XXth century Fantasy in English, so indirectly it is influential on all modern fantasy. The baroque modernist writing has influenced how fantasy was presented, through Tolkien.

I like Dunsany's overwrought style, doomed characters, and naive rejection of technology, but in small doses. So this is a good book to read as I did, in electronic form, without continuity. If I had read it in one go I would have given in only two stars, as so many stories are similar a
...more
Pieter Brouwer
Deze verhalenbundel van Lord Dunsany ligt duidelijk in het verlengde van The Gods of Pegana. De meeste verhalen vond ik toch wat saai en niet altijd bijster origineel (wat de gedachte betreft), maar er zaten een paar sterke verhalen tussen. De moedwillig archaïsche stijl werkt vaak saai, maar soms zorgt het voor erg mooie parabelachtige vergelijkingen en omschrijvingen. Interessant is ook de achterliggende idee dat een mensheid die zijn toevlucht zoekt in de religie daardoor gevangen blijft en o ...more
Kisholi
Jun 06, 2015 Kisholi rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I spent most of this, thankfully short, book feeling like I just wasn't getting it - something about it, was just beyond reach. Most of the prose was beautifully written with a lyrical quality - I even read bits of it out aloud to myself. However, none of the stories really stuck and if I were to attempt to tell someone else about this book, or one of its stories, I would not be able to recreate a single scene. Definitely one of the stranger things I've ever read.
Christina
Aug 31, 2016 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, classics
Definitely read "The Gods Of Pegana" first. Then if you enjoy the mythology there, know that you can pick this one up for more stories set in that universe. Lord Dunsany's not for everybody, but personally I found that, like with Shakespeare, once I got into the rhythm of the language it no longer became a difficulty. And the names! Oh my goodness, the names in this book. I had to stop and savor a few of them out loud.
Kurt Rocourt
Jul 18, 2015 Kurt Rocourt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I've read bad books. I've read boring books. But it's rare to read a book where I have no idea what the heck happened. This is the book to read when your high on drugs or drunk. Some older books are books of there time. This book is just nuts. The only thing I can remember about this book is wanting to buy a bottle of wine and hoping I wake up and somehow got to the last page.
DavidO
Jan 31, 2013 DavidO rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
It felt like an unnecessary sequel to his first book. Didn't seem to add much (coherent) to the mythology to me. It added stuff, but it was all over the place and didn't seem to have much point. Maybe that's why it wasn't in his first book, that is, maybe this is mostly all the stuff that wasn't good enough to be in the first book.
Jason
A good example of early fantasy literature, if a bit dry at times. As with most collections of short stories (which is how this seemed to me), there were some stronger than others. I particularly liked "A Legend of the Dawn" and "In the Land of Time". Interesting to see where so many successful fantasy writers got their inspiration.
Chris
Chu-bu and Sheemish was awesome (which is the only reason I'm giving this an extra star), but the rest of this book is just not for me. I wanted to like it and did like Dunsany's "Book of Wonder" but I got bored with most of these stories way too easily and ended up skimming the last half of the book.
Jesse
Sep 13, 2009 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fantasy
This is one of the best fantasy books I've read in a long time! It is basically a lost mythology. Well, a mythology that only appears in Dunsany's mind. It is written so beautifully and the prose are so poetic and enchanting and visual and it makes you ache to be there.

A very quick read, I would recomend it to everybody!!
arg/machine
Feb 15, 2012 arg/machine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantasy classic from Lord Dunsany. In the public domain, with a free electronic copy available here.
Tone
Aug 07, 2011 Tone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mythology
I'm amazed that I'd never heard of this book before. Honestly, I'm amazed that this exists at all.
I listened to the libervox recording of this on my commute. It's very dense material and not suted to traffic so I'll try and give it a read sometime in the future.
Francesco
Feb 06, 2016 Francesco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
These tales are of the things that befel gods and men in Yarnith, Averon, and Zarkandhu, and in the other countries of my dreams.

Lettura completa su http://bibliotecarbaro.wordpress.com/...
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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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“For a while, O King, the gods had sought to solve the riddles of Time, for a while They made him Their slave, and Time smiled and obeyed his masters, for a while, O King, for a while. He that hath spared nothing hath not spared the gods, nor yet shall he spare thee.” 3 likes
“Then said Fate to Chance: "Let us play our old game again." And they played it again together, using the gods as pieces, as they had played it oft before. So that those things which have been shall all be again, and under the same bank in the same land a sudden glare of singlight on the same spring day shall bring the same daffodil to bloom once more and the same child shall pick it, and not regretted shall be the billion years that fell between. And the same old faces shall be seen again, yet not bereaved of their familiar haunts. And you and I shall in a garden meet again upon an afternoon in summer when the sun stands midway between his zenith and the sea, where we met oft before. For Fate and Chance play but one game together with every move the same, and they play it oft to while eternity away.” 1 likes
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