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The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,510 ratings  ·  128 reviews
One of our most universal myths is that of the Green Man, the spirit who stands for Nature in its most wild and untamed form. Through the ages and around the world, the Green Man and other nature spirits have appeared in stories, songs, and artwork, as well as many beloved fantasy novels, including Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Now Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, the accla ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 12th 2004 by Firebird (first published May 27th 2002)
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'Cole *Bookwyrm Babe, Voyeur of Covers, Caresser of Spines, Unashamed Smut Slut, the Always Sleepy Wyrm of the Stacks, and Drinker of Tea and Wine* Yes, in my opinion, it is worth reading. Short stories and poems are always good to read, especially if you're not ready to throw yourself into…moreYes, in my opinion, it is worth reading. Short stories and poems are always good to read, especially if you're not ready to throw yourself into another novel or series. This anthology is centered around nature and nature beings of myth, like fairies or native spirits. (less)

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3.95  · 
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 ·  2,510 ratings  ·  128 reviews

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Arielle Walker
Anthologies can always be a little daunting to read. For every incredible, can't-put-this-down tale, there's bound to be at least one that's really not to your taste.

And yes, that happened here too, with one or two stories that I skimmed through, disliking and bored.

I didn't care. The stories that made up for this were stunning and I'm torn between favourites.

Tanith Lee's "Among the Leaves So Green" is a lingering, strange tale where the good and kind are rewarded, as in any fairytale - but it
Maggie Stiefvater
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This collection of short stories, all inspired by the myth/ legend of the Green Man, was the most satisfying collection of short stories I've read in a long time. There were only one or two that didn't stick with me for a long time after reading them, and as a whole, the work was tremendously cohesive. Definitely a keeper for any fan of YA fantasy.

***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a truly magical composition. One day I must visit Grand Central Park and say hello to Gnaw-bone and Bugle, or go into a lonely wild tangle searching for a wodwo or The Green Man, or gae to the Scotland woodland to find the Cailleach Bheur. In some ways I feel I already have, it transported me so.

“When you see the wind stir the green-wood, or when you turn the pages of a book made from a tree’s still-blameless flesh, lean close and listen.

You hear my voice.”

And I do; it is my own voi
Feb 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book was a complete mixed bag of hauntingly beautiful short stories I hoped would never end to ones I couldn't wait to finish. There are poems too but I bought the book for the stories.

The highlights to me were:

Somewhere in my Mind there is a Painting Box by Charles De Lint. I don't think this man can write badly. The romantic in me wanted a different ending but his was right for the characters and situation.

Hunter's Moon by Patricia A. McKillip. I wanted to know what happened next. It fel
Aug 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
This book claims to be an anthology of works interpreting the spirit of nature. While that description is technically correct, it gives a completely inaccurate picture of the short stories in this works. The majority of the works are modern dark or weird fantasy in an urban setting. Only one or two incorporate the green man of the title and provide any sense of the mystery of nature. It may be that I am too old for this work, which is aimed at teens, but I found it really slow going. The stories ...more
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Oddly, my favorite story was the least green -- Emma Bull's "Joshua Tree."
Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have paid true homage to the spirit of the Green Man in this anthology: "In this book, we've asked the writers to journey deep into the Mythic Forest, to bring back tales of those wild lands, and of the creatures who dwell within them. Thus in these pages you'll find witches, wolves, dryads, deer men, a faery or two, and numerous magical spirits of nature..."

This anthology of the spirit who symbolizes nature includes stories by:

Gaiman, Neil: "Going Wodwo" (poem)
Aug 02, 2015 rated it liked it
This was somewhat of a disappointment for a fan of this editing team and their previous anthologies. Admittedly, I did not realize that this one was categorized as YA until after I bought the book, so it was immediately at a disadvantage with me.

The first story was definitely starting out on the wrong foot. Although I enjoyed Delia Sherman's adult fantasy, The Porcelain Dove, this urban fantasy tale never bridged the gap of disbelief for me. I know Central Park quite well, have explored the wil
Apr 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
A beautiful collection of mythic short stories(with the exclusion of two). I loved the introduction, which I usually skip in most books. This one, however, was very informative and interesting. I also like that at the end of each story or poem they give you a little info about that author. I've found many new authors that I like as well as books by them that I've added to my "to-read" shelf. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars, but there were two stories in particular that did not fit in wit ...more
Jun 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was so excited to start reading and was so thoroughly disappointed. The collection read very juvenile and sort of cobbled together. The only redeeming story for me was "Daphne", which had a lilting quality to it that was quite nice; unfortunately some of the word choice was a bit put-upon and indulgent. Granted, I only made it through the first 4 stories before deciding to put it down. Other choices were calling my name.
I liked most of the stories in this book, and several I even loved.

More than that, the tone or theme of the collection as a whole--the sense of quiet inscrutable vitality surging in the roots and leaves and green shadows--haunts my imagination even after the individual stories begin to fade.

That is the highest praise I know to give an anthology.
R. G. Nairam
I was so pleasantly surprised by this anthology.

It was one of those books that I kept seeing at the library and wanting to check out but kept reminding myself "hey, you don't like short stories that much."

I was incorrect. (Well, the half of me saying "don't bother" was incorrect, and fortunately overruled by the other half that kept saying: "but forests.")

While I didn't like every single entry, I did like a lot of them and loved a few. For some reason /Grounded/ is probably my favorite, even th
Kerry Pickens
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2017
After having read Kingsley Amis' book The Green Man, and seen the film version with Alfred Finney, I expected this book to have more horror tales based on the Green Man mythology. There was a poem by Neil Gaiman and a story by Charles de List that were good, but the rest was mainly fairy tales.
Fantasy Literature
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
In fairy tales, whenever someone journeys into the forest, you just know something strange is about to occur and that the protagonist’s life is going to be changed forever. The same is true of the stories and poems featured in The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest. With this collection, editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling kicked off a series of young adult anthologies, each devoted to a particular theme. Here, the theme is wild nature, and most of the stories feature teenage characters ...more
Oct 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully inspired selection of short stories and poems each with their own spin on the legendary “Green Man”. Find here a teenage girl plays a deadly game with the Queen of Central Park, a boy who risks his own life to help in a war, two girls who wish for their lives to change with unexpected results and many more.

The tales range from humorous to untamed and mystical, but each contains the power and mystery of the forest. The Green Man will take you from New York to Arizona, from fairy tal
Joell Smith-Borne
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Holling and Jaden brought this home from McKays a while back. Jaden read it about 3 times, I've read most of the stories, but most amazing, Holling has been reading it. He even asked if I could recommend some other fantasy books like the stories. I gave him Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip--I think he started reading it but I don't think he got very far. Still, pretty impressive for the Green Man, to get Holling reading fantasy at all!
Apr 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
I went half-way through this when finally coming to the realization this does not interest me. I thought since it consisted of so many different writer's that it would be fun and always interesting, turns out not the case. Each of the stories feel the same in the since that it's, well, boring. I am fairy-ed out, I thought it would be of all types of magical creatures and it was really mainly fairy's and not very imaginative stories at that. I may have enjoyed this when I was 8 or 10 but as an ad ...more
This is the second time that I have read this book. The stories aren't bad, but overall they aren't memorable. The only story that I remembered with any clarity before re-reading this was the story by M. Shayne Bell, "The Pagodas of Cilorine", a wonderful tale about Ravel and his childhood. The story is simply charming and worth the price of the book.

Other good stories include "Remenets" by Kathe Koja, a story that anyone living in a city will understand and Delia Sherman's :Grand Central Park".
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, love-it
The Green Man is an excellent anthology of fantasy stories, each incorporating--you guessed it-- the green man figure. Not sure what/who the green man is? There's an essay at the beginning discussing the history and prevalence of the green man legends! There are stories for just about everyone-- ones set in our world with a fantasy twist, or ones in other worlds; there are fairytale retellings, and pop culture references. It also serves as an excellent way to familiarize yourself with a range of ...more
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
I found this rather young adult for my taste, and from around the halfway point I started skipping through the stories looking for something different and generally lost interest.

I enjoyed the Tanith Lee story (I always do enjoy her work) but overall most of the short stories lacked the touch of darkness that I was looking for.

I fear I have been spoiled by reading Robert Holdstock's The Bone Forest. I was hoping for something along those lines, but I was disappointed.

Aug 23, 2009 rated it liked it
The only problem with short stories is that you really want some of them to go on . . . ! My favorites in this collection were "Hunter's Moon," by Patricia McKillip (of course) and "Grounded," by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. "Joshua Tree," by Emma Bull, was also notable for concept & narrative voice.
I didn't know this was a YA book when I picked it up, so I was a little disappointed -- not that it wasn't a decent read, but it wasn't what I expected so that clouded my overall opinion. I would have preferred more mythology. I wound up skipping a few stories that didn't interest me right off.
Carolyn Dunn
My short story "Ali Angugne o Chash" appeared in this anthology- ,many didn't "get it" but I'm glad the editors did. Datlow & Windling have done some great work in publishing authors with very different backgrounds in the best of speculative fiction.
Michelle Wardhaugh
Each of these stories and poems was rich and special. They all felt like they had roots set firmly into some of the deepest and most elemental myths of the natural world. I'd have to put this set on a list for "best short story collections" in my personal library.
Penny Reilly
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful group of authors and inspired story lines ...I enjoyed every last tale and it is currently sitting next to the bed to dip into when I need a "Green Man" fix.
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This fantasy anthology had a lot of writers I really like in it and I liked the stories and poems about various forest creatures. I especially liked "Daphne" because I like Greek mythology.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grand Central Park by Delia Sherman — ★★★

Daphne by Michael Cadnum — ★★★★ stars
Omg, this was just so good. It was magical and feminist and mythological, and the voice was superb.

Somewhere in My Mind Is a Painting Box by Charles de Lint — ★★★

Among the Leaves So Green by Tanith Lee — ★★★★
The anti-villain in this one was so intriguing, and I love when fantasy plays around with the human perception of time. When otherwordly beings regard generations as moments, but still live in the details. So, so g
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, short-story
The Mythic Forest is every forest – we enter it whenever we enter the woods. The Green Man dwells there, called by different names all over the world. When we hear the rustling of the leaves, we're still hearing the Oracle, and the oaks are still the home of faeries ... or at least tales about them. In California, there are living trees, the bristlecone pines, that are thousands and thousands of years old. So are the stories of the trees. They are ancient, deeply rooted in the loam, yet still un ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection of forest and nature spirit-themed tales, this kind of work is exactly what we need these days. Nature has never left us, but more and more we find ourselves leaving it; this anthology provides a refreshing return to the creative natural world, beautifully seen through both lighter and heavier lenses of fantasy. My only criticism is that there are one or two stories that for less smoothly into the theme, but it's not irksome enough to merit a snatched star. All of the wri ...more
In brief: A collection of fantasy stories inspired by the Green Man archetype and the deep, wild, magical forests of Europe.

Thoughts: As with most short story anthologies I’ve read, I liked almost but not quite all the stories. There are a few that didn’t jive with me, that either felt rushed or had messages that didn’t sit well with me or were told in a style that was hard to follow, but overall, I liked this. The stories were certainly inventive, which is mostly what I read it for. I suspect o
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter
“Often misunderstood, Dionysus is far more than a wine deity. He is the Breaker of Chains, who rescues not only the flesh but the heart and spirit from too much of worldly regulations and duties. He is a god of joy and freedom. Any uncultivated, tangled, and primal woodland is very much his domain.” 10 likes
“Her feet were large, and she had a habit of whistling badly, but these things made her worthy of being loved. A goddess might be adored for a moment, but only a real person can speak forever to the rest of us.” 9 likes
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