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The Snow Goose

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,813 ratings  ·  471 reviews
Classic storytelling from a bestselling author. Gallico's most famous story, The Snow Goose, is set in the wild, desolate Essex marshes and is an intense and moving tale about the relationship between a hunchback and a young girl. The Small Miracle is a contemporary fable about a young boy's love for his dangerously ill donkey. ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published February 22nd 2001 by Penguin Books (first published 1941)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) You're a person of this time. What did you think? If you want to know what people think about it, check the reviews up there under the title.
That's wh…more
You're a person of this time. What did you think? If you want to know what people think about it, check the reviews up there under the title.
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,813 ratings  ·  471 reviews


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Sara
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lovely sweet short story that almost made me cry!
It documents the growth of a friendship against the severe backdrop of war.
Lesle
A short story of a mere 58 pages and 3.5 stars that tells the story of a physically challenged artist in his late 20's. Philip who has retreated from the world and taken up residence in an abandoned lighthouse located near marshland. This is where he trys to capture the beauty of his surroundings on canvas. He also provides a sanctuary to the birds who seek shelter there over the winter months.
Frith, comes to him with the injured goose and overcomes her apprehension with Philip. They work with
...more
Jessaka
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animals, christmas
Merry Christmas to All

I had just finished reading my first Paul Gallico book, The Miracle in the Wilderness, a short story but a very well written, so much so that I found that I was hanging on to his every word. I wanted to read more stories by him, so I picked up this book, another short story, and again I found myself hanging on to every word he wrote:

A deformed man rescued wild birds that he found near the lighthouse where he lived, when a young girl brought him a snow goose, also known as a
...more
Kay
Aug 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Lyrical and touching tale set in WWII, with the climax taking place during Dunkirk. While there's a danger here of crossing over into sentimentality, for me this lovely tale transformed what could have been pat sentiments into something very heartfelt and noble. It's the kind of tale children will remember and adults will cherish. Really a tribute to the human spirit and the bonds that hold us together.

The fact that this was published in April 1941, at a time of massive German air raids on Lond
...more
Rachel Heffington
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have embarked on the helter-skelter habit of choosing books at random and reading them. I bought a 1960's copy of The Snow Goose at a library sale because it looked interesting and I had never heard of it...and I'm a sucker for new literary fare.
I had no expectations of what it might be, so the fact that this slender little volume contained a heart-warming if slightly predictable story made it precious to me. Yes, The Snow Goose crosses the line of sense vs. sentimentality, but no more than Ol
...more
Sam Quixote
A hunchback artist called Rhayader moves to a lighthouse to paint the coast and the birds. He lives a lonely existence because of his appearance. The nearby village begins circulating rumours that the hunchback is magical and an ignorant girl called Frith takes a damaged snow goose to him to heal which he does with basic medicine (splints, bandages, etc.). The two bond over the snow goose which returns each year to visit until eventually it settles down to live with Rhayader all year round. Then ...more
C.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never like sombre outcomes but most of this novel is very beautiful. The loyalty and respect for life to which it is dedicated is uplifting, like the feeling of beholding these remarkable marsh birds with your own eyes. My province is built on a marsh. I know how ecologically essential this kind of terrain is to Earth as a whole.

I have seen the strength and vibrancy of marsh birds, here in Canada and even in the Essex, England region of this book. Every movement is majestic, their energy so po
...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Classical Serial - Neglected Classics:

A wounded bird brings together a disfigured artist and a young girl
and helps in a courageous act of bravery in World War II.

Philip Rhayader ..... Steven Mackintosh
Fritha ..... Georgia Groome
Mrs Farnes ..... Deborah Findlay
Storyteller ..... Sam Dale
Private Potton ..... Michael Shelford
Commander Brill-Oudener ..... Malcolm Tierney
Jock ..... David Seddon

Composer ..... Roger Goula
Director ..... Sally Avens

Steven Mackintosh stars in Paul Galli
...more
Celia
I read this as a child and remember loving it. I hope to read it again.

Second reading: October 4,2020

The book was even better than I remembered it. Part historical fiction/part love story, it was well worth the re-read.

There is an abandoned lighthouse at the mouth of the River Aelred. It is soon occupied by a lonely man. He is deformed and he lives in this isolated place; it is his safe haven. His name is Philip

He loves nature and is an accomplished painter. One day, he is approached by a local
...more
Kate Forsyth
The Snow Goose is set in the years running up to the evacuation of Dunkirk in the Second World War. Originally published in 1940 in the Saturday Evening Post, it was brought out in book form the following year by Knopf, Michael Joseph and M&S simultaneously. It won the prestigious O Henry prize that same year and has been continually in print ever since. The Snow Goose has inspired a number of musical scores and albums, has been made into two feature films and moved generations of readers. A new ...more
Bayandur
"The Snow Goose" by Paul Gallico is one of my favorites. It is about life, its hardnesses and wonders, pain and joy coming by its natural route, and war - merciless and unnatural, cruel and indifferent as it is.
This book is really to hard to write about. Very personal to me - the emotional plane is really deep and the characters are well-developed.
The book is about an artist, living in a solitary lighthouse - Philip Rhayader, a local girl - Fritha, their friendship symbolized by the wounded bird
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
A man so repulsive that he had to seek solitude, yet so beautiful that a bird from a faraway place and a young girl found themselves inexplicably drawn to him.


I would have loved to quote here some memorable Little Prince-like passages but a prohibition runs in the opposite page of the inside title. So this is the one I shall quote:


"Copyright 1940 by The Curtis Publishing Company. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publis
...more
Maddie
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
My Nana lent me this short story to read, her father passed at Dunkirk so it holds a lot of meaning for her. I found the story wonderful. So great that I was planning out how I'd create a storyboard of it in my head (which I've only done once before).

I'm still debating on whether I want to draw this story out. I know it's a short story and all, but drawing out each panel would take forever. I think I could condense it enough though. It's definitely been added to my list of drawing inspirations.
...more
Jamie
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a lover of history and this book did not disappoint. So beautifully written I felt like the words were singing poetry to me! When I saw Frith standing on her tiptoes, raising her hands toward the sky, I cried and cried.
Loved the illustrations that were done by Angela Barrett.
I am definitely adding this to the bookcase I am filling up for my Grandbaby!!
Bettie
May 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Radio 4 listeners
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deanne
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war
Beautifully written short story with the climax at Dunkirk, difficult to imagine what it must have been like to be stuck on those beaches when that flotilla of boats turned up 60 years ago.
Bethany
I read this book for school and had to write a few paragraphs on it (or something like that). Those aforementioned paragraphs have been sitting on my computer for the past two years and if my memory serves me correctly no one ever actually read them. (I was going to give them to my teacher {AKA mother} but for some reason never got around to it.) I thought I'd post them on here so they didn't go to waste completely.

The message of The Snow Goose is clearly, never fall in love with brave disabled
...more
Caleb
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have to admit, I adore this little book so much. I really try to make time to read it in one sitting once a year or so. Usually I do this while also listening to Camel's album inspired by the book (or the live version as I did this year), for added flare and mood. It works surprisingly well, being an instrumental album and all.

This year I happened to find time to read it on the anniversary of the start of the mass evacuation of Dunkirk, which is the backdrop for the latter half of the book.

The
...more
Damon
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
My mom gave this book to me.

Hidden in the sleeve, I found a decaying envelope with a letter enclosed:

"My dearest friend,

Just after you visited me last Easter I heard this story played on the radio. I liked it so much, Paul, it reminded me of the things you had written which you read to me in the park the first afternoon of your visit. When I wrote you about "The Snow Goose" you asked me to write you the story, but I was dismayed to find that some of the details had escaped me. When I heard it w
...more
Fern Adams
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this story, definitely an underrated classic. I had never heard of it or read it until last year and have thought of it often. Great to return to this December.
The snow goose is a goose who becomes injured and makes a recovery with thanks to the brilliant named Fritha and Philip Rhayader in the midst of the Essex marshes. The goose returns year after year and with it we learn about the characters and the loom of the Second World War and Dunkirk.
Hauntingly beautiful definitely one I shal
...more
Valerie Petersen
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story of love and bravery. Loneliness, the healing of a lost, wounded Snow Goose, a haunting affaire de coeur and the Dunkirk rescue all somehow combine magically. Beautifuully written!
Phil Jensen
A beautiful story of love, sacrifice, beauty, the wonders of nature, and the Dunkirk evacuation. My edition was greatly enhanced by gorgeous, slightly impressionistic paintings by Beth Peck. It's short, so if this sounds good to you, go ahead and pick it up. ...more
Megan (ReadingRover)
This was not only a beautiful story but it was beautifully written as well. The details of the island made you feel like you were there and the description of the man made you grow to love him. It was heartwarming. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.
Rebecca
Philip Rhayader is a lonely bird artist on the Essex marshes by an abandoned lighthouse. “His body was warped, but his heart was filled with love for wild and hunted things. He was ugly to look upon, but he created great beauty.” One day a little girl, Fritha, brings him an injured snow goose and he puts a splint on its wing. The recovered bird becomes a friend to them both, coming back each year to spend time at Philip’s makeshift bird sanctuary. As Fritha grows into a young woman, she and Phil ...more
Dee Toomey
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story is a fast read, but don't let the size of the book fool you. It is a beautiful story...and might I add, you may want a box of kleenix near when you read it. Some of it is written in a manner that is a bit hard to read, as the author wrote parts in the dialect that would be used by the character when spoken in English. Worth the time to re-read a few lines to understand what was said. ...more
Fani *loves angst*
Makes me cry like a baby every time I read it; it's one hell of a book. Amazing writing, vivid imagery, touching story... if only it was longer! ...more
Katrina
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sad but lovely read with beautiful illustrations.
https://piningforthewest.co.uk/2018/0...
...more
Courtney Valente
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico is a pretty short story but it holds a lot of important messages. The powerful writing will get you connected from the first sentence to the last and will make you feel so many emotions too. Here are my thoughts.

This book made me wish that everyone could be treated equally and fairly. Since Philip Rhyader did not look like everyone else, people treated him poorly, but what they didn’t realize was that he was a normal and kind-hearted person on the inside. It made m
...more
elisabeth
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
a bit of a cute idea but quite dull for people who aren't little kids! ...more
JoAnne
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good short story. And despite some tenseness in the second half, a calming and sweet read. Beautiful imagery that sometimes reads like a painting.
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Paul William Gallico was born in New York City, on 26th July, 1897. His father was an Italian, and his mother came from Austria; they emigrated to New York in 1895.

He went to school in the public schools of New York, and in 1916 went to Columbia University. He graduated in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science degree, having lost a year and a half due to World War I. He then worked for the National Boar
...more

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