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Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,681 ratings  ·  199 reviews
In the first of these stories from the Catskill Mountains, a superstitious schoolmaster encounters a headless horseman; in the second, a man sleeps for twenty years, waking to a much-changed world.
Paperback, 83 pages
Published January 28th 1980 by Watermill Press (first published 1819)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I listened to this driving home from NJ last night, though I just got around to reviewing it today. If this can be called a review, that is.

I don't really have much to say about these two stories, honestly.

Sleepy Hollow is actually a bit creepy at times on audio, especially since the ending is left unresolved, but honestly, I think it's pretty obvious what the situation was. He had an overactive imagination and someone took advantage of that knowledge to their own benefit. A cautionary tale,
Jakob J.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
(I'd give Legend of Sleepy Hollow 5 stars, and Rip Van Winkle between 3 and 4 stars. The following thoughts are exclusively on Sleepy Hollow)

One of the seminal American ghost stories, arguably the preeminent American ghost story, with a name as recognizable as any contemporary pop culture phenomenon (thanks in large part to its perpetual resurrection in Halloween tradition, Disney, Tim Burton and now the Fox Network), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow indicates Washington Irving’s fascination with the
D Dyer
Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Reviewed after rereading.
This was a quick, fun but not particularly extraordinary set of stories. The language the author uses is definitely of its time. And I for one preferred Rip van Winkle to sleepy hollow in considering their original forms. I like the story of sleepy hollow better but Irving‘s telling of it here doesn’t quite match up to the various TV and film adaptations. Still, if you are looking for a fun fast Halloween read this wouldn’t be a bad choice, particularly if you are fond
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What most people forget about Irving's story is the absolute humor that runs though it. True, the horseman is scary, but the whole point of the story isn't the horror, it's the lampooning.
J.A. Ironside
Since I was reading 'The Spellbook of Katrina van Tassel' - a reimagining of this story - it occurred to me that I hadn't read the original for decades, so I picked it up. I think a lot of the snarky humour in the narrative of the original must have gone over my head when I was nine or ten, but it certainly found its audience this time. It's very much a told story. There's no dialogue and all characters are presented through a third person omniscient narrator who gives you the impression that ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I recognize its canonical importance in American Literature with a capital L. And it is wonderful, historically, for its storytelling structure, its humor, its brilliant use of upstate New York setting. It draws on early American folklore and creates its own folklore. But...well, but nothing. Everyone should have read this and liked it. At least appreciated it.
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed some of the stories in this collection of Washington Irving's short stories on audio CD. The first on the 4-disc set was "Rip Van Winkle," and the second "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" — the two I most wanted to hear/read. I had read both in junior high school and again in college, but apparently I either didn't pay attention well the first two times or didn't remember them correctly. "Sleepy Hollow" especially was nothing like how I remembered it, and perhaps that's because of all the ...more
Aj Sterkel
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
First, a confession: I’m not the biggest fan of Washington Irving. I studied his work in college, and I found most of it to be pretty tedious. But, it’s my goal to read more classic horror this year. It felt wrong to ignore “the father of American literature.”

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle are two novelette-length works that are set in the Catskill Mountains of New York. The stories were both published in 1819 and quickly became popular around the world.

In The Legend of Sleepy
Bill Wallace
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I revisited these classics courtesy of Librivox recordings as part of my exploration of the history and literature of the Hudson River. Both stories are so deeply embedded in American literature and popular culture that the original texts are often forgotten. Both are remarkable stories and their place in the foundation of the country is unshakable.

Both are also overshadowed by their echoes in film, cartoons, children's versions, Catskills tourism, songs, and other media, so it's difficult to
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
I finally read the original version over the summer. Of course, I was familiar with the story from the Disney animated version that I grew up with, but the writing in the story is incredible. It is so descriptive. I felt like I was walking through those wild wood of another time. Writers had to work harder to build the images with words before there were pictures and movies. The humor was charming and subtle. The story is suspenseful, but not too scary for kids.

This month I'm going read this
Jeffrey Bumiller
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Another Halloween inspired reading adventure. I am obliged to love these two tales because their setting, The Hudson Valley in New York State, is where I grew up! They are both a lot of fun, and eerie, if you let your imagine run wild. The writing doesn't blow me away but the stories themselves are so endearing! I actually found Rip Van Winkle to be a little creepier than Sleepy Hollow on this go around. Oh well, maybe when I read them again in ten years they'll flip positions. Time will tell.
Phil Giunta
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Continuing in the Halloween “spirit,” the next book on my October reading list has also been in my collection since high school. In fact, like Great Ghost Stories (reviewed last week), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Wan Winkle was purchased from the Scholastic Book Club.

Washington Irving’s stories are classics of American literature. Both are set in the Catskill Mountains of southeastern New York state where Irving was born and raised.

In the quaint, isolated village of Sleepy Hollow—where
Kristina Hurd
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It is remarkable that the visionary propensity I have mentioned is not confined to that native inhabitants of the valley, but is unconsciously imbibed by every one who resides there for a time. However wide awake they may have been before they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time, to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow imaginative - to dream dreams, and see apparitions."
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

"The very character of the people seemed changed.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
These stories were well-known to me. But I had never actually read them. They provided a great Halloween week treat. This edition, published by the Sleepy Hollow Press, includes twelve illustrations from the original publication thT have been beautifully colored. I thoroughly enjoyed the both stories and illustrations.
Dan Lafferty
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sleepy Hallow - 3.5 stars,

Rip van winkle - 4.5 stars
Wine of Ages
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a fun quick read. I'm a big fan of the 1999 version with Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci and decided to give it a whirl. It was captivating as I felt the anxiety build up inside me, the horseman coming closer! And the ending I wasn't expecting it. ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Note: I'm reading my Norton Anthology of American Literature, Volume B; both stories appear to be complete.

This is my first time reading Irving, and I can tell already that I want to read more. A short biography was included, and similarities between the author's life and his writing only serve to make the reading experience more enjoyable. I'll definitely re-read both around Halloween.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised I've never read these two stories by Irving. I have seen movie adaptations and enjoyed them. The stories were written in 1819 and 1820 and were enjoyable and entertaining. I found the book at a nice book store in Holt UK. It was published in 1893 and contains excellent drawings by George H. Boughton which enhance the stories. The stories are well-known; Rip Van Winkle about a carefree, lazy man who falls asleep for 20 years after drinking with a group of 'elves' he finds while ...more
Mackenzie Warren
This book was more like a short story... it had a bit of confusing language in it but was over all a good read! i don't know too much about the author but I do know that he had a pretty good idea of what a highschool dance might be like if you replaced the little midget men with Boys and Girls, and instead of bowling you made everyone dancing. But the drinking thing is about right. I know that that is sterio typing and I've been to some of these dances and have not done any questionable things, ...more
Sean Chick
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rip Van Winkle is a yawner (yes that was intended!) but The Legend of Sleepy Hallow is a triumph of prose and mood, made complete by its enigmatic ending. Irving understood the appeal of legend even in the midst of evidence to the contrary (Brom Bones is most likely the rider but this is never fully confirmed). One can see the influence this had on Poe and Lovecraft. The tone and word choices are similar, even if Irving shies from confirming the Horseman as an apparition.
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got this book as part of a Scholastic Book order when I was a grade schooler. I was more interested in "Sleepy Hollow" than "Rip Van Winkle," but it was one of my introductions to early U.S. literature, and I still love them for that reason. Irving was, after all, the first American to be recognized abroad for his writing talent.
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read both these stories many times before, but I appreciate them all over again after listening to them again. I love the way Irving describes places, it is so evocative. I must pull out his book of short stories I have and get cracking and try to regain that magic.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These stories are magical and wonderfully written--especially Sleepy Hollow, which follows a courtship plot masquerading as a ghost story. Too much to be comprehensive here, but essentially Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones compete for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel. Bones is described in the following way:

"He was famed for great knowledge and skill in horsemanship, being as dexterous on horseback as a Tartar. He was foremost at all races and cock fights; and, with the ascendancy which bodily
David Howard
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
These are stories deep in the general awareness, so it's good to know the original stories.

Sleepy Hollow is the more interesting of the two, with it's elements of what it means to be a "manly" man versus a "scholarly" man, whether someone who comes into the community can ever truly be a part of the community or is always an outsider. And what we are willing to do and what we're willing to believe.

Rip Van Winkle can be summed up with the cautionary, "Never eat food or drink of the fae!"
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
50 States and at least 50 Authors 2017 Reading Challenge. NEW YORK.

These are perhaps the best known of Irving's short stories. The "legend" of Sleepy Hollow is a headless horseman, said to be a Hessian who lost his head to canon fire. He rides from the cemetery to where he was shot looking for his head. Ichabod Crane is fond of young Miss Van Tassel. He is particularly fond of her father's wealth which she will inherit. However, he is not the only young man in the area who covets the young lady
Andrew Lynch
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Two short stories; one, a classic horror story involving the Headless Horseman, and the second, a classic folk tale involving the experiences of Rip Van Winkle after he goes for an eventful walk with his dog in the mountains. Both stories reflect our fledgling country when it was less than 50 years old and still wrestling with our past and future.

I have loved both since I was child, and read them every year when summer starts to fade into fall and the leaves start changing. They're perfect for
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I had never actually read either of these. Maybe I had read a picture book adaption of Sleepy Hallow, but never the actual story. Through that picture book and the Disney adaption I knew the story. Nothing really stood out as being different from those, at least not anything significant. I think having the open ending is a great way to end a story on a creepy note. You can speculate all you want, but you never really know what happened, which is just unsettling!

Rip Van Winkle is a character I
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Dickens supposedly carried Washington Irving’s books to bed with him–at least he said so, at a banquet they attended together. Irving’s works fill 30 volumes, so, did Dickens read them all? Maybe. Irving’s writing is wonderfully detailed and picturesque, so Dickens would have loved it. The rest of us? All we read are the two most famous stories: “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” I’ve read them both over and over, and I love them. Once I tried Knickerbocker’s History of ...more
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Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He began his literary career at the age of nineteen by writing newspaper articles under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle.

In 1809, he published The History of New York under his most well known public persona, Diedrich Knickerbocker.

Irving is best known for his short stories The Legend of Sleepy