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Lud-in-the-Mist

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  3,442 Ratings  ·  395 Reviews
Between the mountains and the sea, between the sea and Fairyland, lay the Free State of Dorimare and its picturesque capital, Lud-in-the-Mist. No Luddite ever had any truck with fairies or Fairyland. Bad business, those fairies. The people of Dorimare had run them out generations ago and the Duke of Dorimare along with them.

Until the spring of his fiftieth year Master Nath
...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 18th 2012 by Prologue Books (first published 1926)
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Sandi
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
30-odd years before Tolkein published “The Lord of the Rings”, a British woman named Hope Mirrlees wrote a fantasy called “Lud-in-the-Mist”. Neil Gaiman wrote an introduction to the edition I read and I can see that he meant every word. His own “Stardust” draws very heavily on “Lud-in-the-Mist”, especially in setting and tone. Other recent novels that are reminiscent of “Lud-in-the-Mist” are “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” by Susannah Clarke and “Little, Big” by John Crowley. They all share ...more
reed
Jan 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neil Gaiman raved about this book, so I read it. I wish I could have read it without knowing anything about it -- but I still liked it. It was written in the 1920's -- before fantasy tropes were so set in stone -- so it goes in directions you don't expect it to. Also, it's as though the author never heard of the idea that fantasy is a juvenile and disreputable genre, so she takes herself and her book seriously and uses fantasy to explore real and important ideas.
Tijana
Izgleda da je Lud-in-the-Mist (Lud u magli? Lad? Ko bi ga znao) najpoznatiji nepoznati fentezi. U tom smislu da je objavljen 1926. i da je njegova istinski ekscentrična (i jednako istinski bogata) autorka posle toga uglavnom batalila pisanje; možda je smatrala da je u dvadeset petoj rekla sve što je imala. I da je sledećih devedesetak godina njegov uticaj na fantastiku, naročito britansku, vrlo prisutan i vrlo skriven čak i onda kad pisci na koje je Houp Mirliz presudno uticala (recimo Nil Gejma ...more
Kate Sherrod
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course, I come to this novel via Tim Powers, who quoted it quite tantalizingly and memorably in Last Call as one to which Scott Crane and his late wife often referred in their intimate shorthand with one another. At one point Susan's ghost, or at least the chthonic spirt-of-alcohol that is impersonating Susan refers to "a blackish canary" ("canary" as in the sense of "a shade of yellow" rather than that of the bird of that name) as a way of commenting on Scott's refusal to grasp what is reall ...more
Oliviu Craznic
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An exquisite, well-written, fascinating fantasy - unfortunately, a very disappointing ending.
Or, should I say, very disappointing AFTER the ending, as the episode of Master Nathaniel meeting Duke Aubrey and finding the truth about Fairyland should have been the excellent ending of the book.
However, the author decided to write a few chapters more, and the conclusion was not at all fit for the story.
Worth reading, though. Could have been a masterpiece - it is, at the end of the day, just a fine b
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Olivier Delaye
Neil Gaiman made me do it! Er, for those who don't know, Neil Gaiman touted Lud-in-the-mist as one of the best yet most overlooked Fantasy novels of the twentieth century, and in my humble opinion he slightly, just slightly, oversold it. Sure, it's a beautifully written book, and Fantasy notwithstanding, surprisingly timeless (actually, it's pretty hard to believe it was written in 1926!), but for some reason I found it a bit hard to get into the story and care for any of the characters. I appre ...more
Jenna St Hilaire
This is a tale of the relationship between Fairyland and ordinary life, which puts it at the heart of my favorite storytelling traditions. Born during the late lifetime of fellow countryman George MacDonald (relevant works: Phantastes, Lilith), and just thirteen years younger than  G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy), Mirrlees seems to write under the guidance of the same muse that led them. It wouldn't surprise me if she were directly influenced by either one or both; nor would it surprise me if, like ...more
Phoenixfalls
I don't think I'm well-read enough to review this book -- as is the case with many British writers of that period, Mirrlees is far better classically educated than I am, and I'm sure I missed quite a few of her references. However, I now firmly agree with Neil Gaiman that this is "the single most beautiful, solid, unearthly, and unjustifiably forgotten novel of the twentieth century" so I felt I should attempt to review it here in the hopes that I get a few more people to seek it out.

This is mos
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Nikki
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been meaning to read Lud-in-the-Mist for ages and ages, and I don’t know why I didn’t get round to it sooner. It is classic fantasy; more like Lord Dunsany’s work than anything modern, though maybe Patricia McKillip might be a spiritual successor in some ways. The prose is glorious; it just feels warm and vivid, though honey-tinged in colour. I felt, reading it, like I could see the city of Lud; like I knew something of the dreams of its people, even if their daily lives were perhaps a litt ...more
Fuchsia  Groan
Maravilloso clásico de la fantasía escrito en 1926, moderno, irónico, crítico, lleno de personajes carismáticos, con ese maravilloso aire de leyenda, de cuento antiguo. Tremendamente evocador.

¿Quién no se ha preguntado en qué bosques misteriosos nuestros antepasados descubrieron los modelos que inspiraron las bestias y los pájaros de sus tapices?

No hay ninguna cosa cotidiana que, contemplada desde cierto ángulo, no se transforme en un hada. Piense en el Dapple, o en el Dawl, cuando se pierden en
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Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The people of Lud were...well, "Luddites". This book I read long ago and it is by turns very sad, very funny, and always mind tickling. This is one of those..if you can find it, "must reads" of fantasy. Of course some will disagree with me...but I'd say if you get the chance, read it.
Fish
Jan 16, 2018 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
(Why is Neil Gaiman's name on this too? Can that ego maniac go away forever?)

Anyway, I'm enjoying it, and it's pretty mysterious and interesting so far.
Simon
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fairy tale for adults. Both serious and light, this is a story that works on more than one level. The surface narrative is an intriguing story and mystery that gradually builds tension and is delivered with a pleasant, leisurely prose style. But also the author is trying to say something about society and the meaning of life.

Stylistically, I found echoes of this in Jack Vance's "Lyonesse" books. Certainly I think if you liked one then you'll like the other. But don't read this if you want more
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Olga Godim
Nov 16, 2013 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of good old English
Shelves: did-not-finish
I’ve been thinking: why couldn’t I finish this book, why did I get so bored? Now I know – because I couldn’t care for any of the characters. None was sympathetic. None inspired me to like him or her, even a little bit. In that, this book resembled a satire, but it wasn’t sufficiently funny either. It also read like a huge metaphor, but I didn’t like what I was seeing in it. Too close to home, I suppose.
And it was too slow. I stopped reading on page 85, when still nothing happened, just lots of t
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Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
An obscure fantasy classic, if that isn’t too much of an oxymoron. This little gem was first published in 1926, then re-released in 2005 with a beautiful cover (and too many typos – I have no patience for publishers milking a dead author’s work without bothering to copyedit, even if they do have great cover artists).

Lud-in-the-Mist is set in a fictional land reminiscent of pre-industrial England; it feels like a precursor to Tolkien’s Shire. Of all the modern fantasy I’ve read, the book that fee
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Zen Cho
Aug 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
ahhhh this rocked!!! It's funny how this mostly takes place in the Real World (as opposed to Fairyland) and Neil Gaiman's Stardust mostly takes place in Fairyland (not the Real World), and yet there is more magic in a single serif on any letter of any word on any page of Lud-in-the-Mist than there is in the ENTIRE BOOK of Stardust.

I should note that its handling of race is weird -- Tolkien-style "all the non-white people are from somewhere else". Indigo people appear to be the world's analogue f
...more
Randolph Carter
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, owned
I'm not a big fan of this sort of fantasy. It's a good read as this thing goes, just not my kind of stuff. Whimsical fairy tale with a bit of a grim side to it that is hard to categorize. Probably a bit of an influence on authors like Neil Gaiman. Nod and a wink kind of stuff that is charming and sly at the same time.
Eric Orchard
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All fans of Faerie fantasies.
Recommended to Eric by: Neil Gaiman ( through blurbs and interviews )
I can't believe it took me so long to read this! It's a classic fantasy novel, totally essential to anyone who loves this type of book. After reading this book, it seems that there's a whole tradition of literature descended directly from this story. Unlike Tolkien ( who I love ) this is a more modern take on folklore and human nature but at the same time it reaches back far into primal things. I can really see where writers like Neil Gaiman and Suzanne Clarke are coming from.
Aitziber Madinabeitia
Si os gusta el folclore y los cuentos de hadas tenéis que leer Entrebrumas. es difícil hoy día encontrar historias con hadas así de buenas, de auténticas y enraizadas en el fértil suelo de la tradición feerica occidental. Una delicia de libro, contado al ritmo pausado de quien charla junto al fuego.
Nazmul Hasan
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-fantasy
A work of art. Read it. NOW
Helen
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story, lyrical prose.
Tracey
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I have wanted to read this for awhile so I am thrilled that I was able to secure a copy through inter library loan. This will be the last book I read of 2017, and what a great little gem to finish the year on.
This almost forgotten fantasy tells the story of a country and it's people; Dorimare, that is bounded by sea and mountains and watered by two rivers, the Dapple and the Dawl. The Dapple has it's source in the country to the west, Fairyland, which borders Dorimare with the Debatable Mountain
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Nick Imrie
Virginia Woolf described Hope Mirrlees as 'capricious, exacting, exquisite, very learned, and beautifully dressed' which also, I think, describes Mirrlees's greatest book: Lud-in-the-Mist.

Lud-in-the-Mist is the capital of Dorimare, which borders fairyland. But ever since the aristocracy were chased off and the merchants established control of the town, fairy has been a dirty word and no crime is more depraved and taboo than the eating of fairy fruit. Fairyland and Dorimare must be reconciled, an
...more
Sean
Jul 10, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lud-in-the-Mist comes highly recommended, first by the situation of its author (Mirlees was an intimate of Woolf and Eliot, and they both praised some of her work) and second by a number of modern authors who claim that it is a forgotten fantasy masterpiece.

Unfortunately, it is merely okay. I realize that many people think it unfair to judge a book by modern standards, but that's exactly the standard that I have for books I read—and there are any number of truly classic novels that can stand up
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Lora
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great story, fantastic in its fantasy and deeply felt. Clean, hopeful, not overly intense or focused on darkness. It also emphasizes the saving grace of creativity in our lives. It was rather symbolic, much of which I could just get a whiff of and almost recognize, other aspects I felt were really quite familiar. Because it was written before too many formulas for story telling had been cursed into stone, it is unusual, fresh, and expects much of its reader. Beautiful passages, intere ...more
C
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite books. Subtle, sly, terrifying, funny, precise. Mirrlees is a prime example of a female writer whose ideas were appropriated and overshadowed by other (male) writers.

Case in point: one of the first passages, after Master Nathaniel accidentally plays a note from an enchanted lute: "He was never again the same man. For years that note was the apex of his nightly dreams; the point towards which, by their circuitous and seemingly senseless windings, they had all the time been con
...more
LPG
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lud-In-The-Mist has stuck in my mind like soft, dreamy taffy.

It's a perfect example of a book I would have never found without Goodreads. It has it all: pre-Tolkien genre concepts, fantasy that leans more towards the faerie than the fairy, and a comfortingly British cast to follow.

The story is very rote Agatha Christie stuff. Taboo fairy fruit keeps finding its way into the city. People eat the fruit & go slightly batty. Our distinctly British heroes must find out how and why. There's a mys
...more
Mary Catelli
A fantasy tale predating The Lord of the Rings by decades. . . .

Lud-In-the-Mists is the capital of Dorimare, a prosperous country that bordered on Fairyland, and once upon a time had been a duchy before they revolted at the last one's caprice and destructiveness. Now it was ruled by a wealthy merchant class and very content they were, having prohibited any dealings with Fairyland at all -- particularly with its fruit, which has a peculiar effect on those who eat it, who are never content after w
...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
This book is full of parables that you can feel the essence of, but never quite get with your conscious mind. But same as how in the book it's told that the characters understood certain things not with their mind but somehow differently, you understand it as well, without really understanding it. It's like remembering a dream after waking up - somehow it all makes sense, although nothing really does, and things can't be arranged in order at all, happening simultaneously but at the same time one ...more
Emma
This was a very charming little book, by turns witty, melancholy, nostalgic and playful. While it was fascinating to get an idea of what the fantasy genre looked like before Lord of the Rings, the book's age definitely showed in some of the very outdated social commentary that surfaced from time to time. I also feel like I might have better appreciated the book if I had a better idea of the context it was written in, because I'm convinced that there was a lot of thinly veiled political commentar ...more
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Ballantine Adult ...: Lud-in-the-Mist Discussion 1 12 Jun 03, 2016 11:08PM  
Literally Geeky: Lud-in-the-Mist 7 30 May 25, 2014 09:54AM  
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Hope Mirrlees was a British translator, poet and novelist. She is best known for the 1926 Lud-in-the-Mist, a fantasy novel and influential classic, and for Paris: A Poem, a modernist poem.
More about Hope Mirrlees...

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“A house with old furniture has no need of ghosts to be haunted.” 24 likes
“Reason I know, is only a drug, and, as such, its effects are never permanent. But, like the juice of the poppy, it often gives a temporary relief.” 20 likes
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