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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  51,576 ratings  ·  654 reviews
In The Sketch-Book (1820-21), Irving explores the uneasy relationship of an American writer to English literary traditions. In two sketches, he experiments with tales transplanted from Europe, thereby creating the first classic American short stories, Rip Van Winkle, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Based on Irving's final revision of his most popular work, this new editio ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Penguin Classics (first published 1819)
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Rick Hunter Sleepy Hollow is the first tale of 13 in my book, but it is only 24 pages long. It seems the same book has been published with different covers. I hav…moreSleepy Hollow is the first tale of 13 in my book, but it is only 24 pages long. It seems the same book has been published with different covers. I have found three different ones already with the same title.(less)

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Roy Lotz
Prose writers are voluminous and unwieldy; their pages crowded with commonplaces, and their thoughts expanded into tediousness.

I am a child of Sleepy Hollow, New York, and I have lived in Irving’s shadow almost as long as I can remember.

Every Halloween, this town is inundated with tourists, who come to wander around the lovely old cemetery where the legend is set, and where Irving himself is buried. Behind my house is where they put on the “haunted hayride.” I went every year as a kid. A pic
Brett C
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of 34 short stories and essays. They include the famous stories 'Rip Van Winkle' and 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow'. This collection is officially known as "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent." and comes from Washington Irving's pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon. The anthology starts with the author (Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. introducing himself) then proceeds to tell various stories. These works include lots of different themes ranging from historical, to social/societal, to humo ...more
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Macabre Tales is a collection of short stories by Washington Irving. I liked some stories better than others, but overall I’m giving the book 4 stars. The review that follows is only for the short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" – 4*

"[T]here is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was about 14 years old I went to the first slumber party of my life at a school friends'. It was Halloween and the large living room was greatly decorated (which was gloriously exotic to me since Halloween, back then, was hardly known in Germany). I only remember one movie from that night; it was Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp. I remember lying on the carpet in front of the couch (no idea why we didn't sit or lie on the couch but whatever), covered by blankets and with lots of pillows aro ...more
Robin Bonne
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Halloween classic. Irving was a bit of a windy fellow, but I enjoyed the stories nonetheless.
I was a victim of marketing with this book: If it had been The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. (the original title) on the cover I almost certainly would have passed it by. However, I could not miss out on the book holding Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, two stories whose fame outstrips that of their author by a few miles (at least in Britain).

See the complete review here:
Cori Reed
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of stories! I didn't love The Devil and Tom Walker, but all the others were spooky fun that I really enjoyed reading the source material of!
Penelope (Penelope’s Picks)

For once I actually prefer the movie over the book. Don't get me wrong, the language is very lush and evocative, but the constant narration and lack of dialogue was a little hard to get behind. Also, Book Ichabod is such a douchelord. I much prefer Johnny Depp Ichabod.

I'll include more thoughts in my Ominous October wrap up video.
Deacon Tom F
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Just ok! I knew the story from cartoons etc. The book was much more in depth and difficult reading because of the period in which it was written.

The reason I read this book was for the title, THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW. For that story, I give a full five stars--the prose, imagery, and even the ending which gives you pause--causing you to second guess what might otherwise seem to be the "obvious" conclusion.

As for the other tales, many I remembered reading years before, but there were some that were completely new to me. However good those may have been, individually, nothing stands out quite as much as SLEEPY HOLLOW.

Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sleepy hollow was only 29 pages but I liked it, a little different than I was expecting. The other 32 stories were okay, a few i didn't really care for much, some I rather liked. The author goes off on alot of tangents in a few stories which seemed weird as none are longer than about 30 pages, but they are all beautifully written.
Julie Zantopoulos
Ugh to the ugh, this was wretched. I know that I'm not a fan of classics for the most part (I don't enjoy the writing style) but I thought this would be a perfect Spookathon and Halloween time read. I was so epically wrong. I read Sleepy Hollow (which I was most excited for) and 23 fo the 27 pages was pure drool fest boring backstory and 4 pages---4 stinking pages were the actual covered bridge/headless horseman/spook and even those were so far from spooky. I wanted it to be so much more than wh ...more
He is called "America's first man of letters," one of the first American writers to separate literary fiction from public discourse; playing mentor to the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allen Poe.

There are a lot of reasons I admire Irving's writings. One reason is I respect the tenacious writer, Irving, who only wanted to be left alone to write. He wasn't afraid to tell his family this after their firm collapsed, or to tell it to the editors who offered him jobs instea
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Washington Irving was one of the writers who provided a literary voice to America after the American Revolution. Imagine being in his position as a writer - American publishers (before copyright laws) reprinted English literary works with no royalty payments to the authors, and sold them to the American public very cheaply. An American writer like Irving not only had to combat this, but he also had to make himself a name in the English critical circles in order to get American readers to read an ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I loved The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, even though it was racist. I tried a few other stories, including Rip Van Winkle, and they were quite misogynistic. I didn’t want to continue.
Scriptor Ignotus
I was at the library stockpiling books in preparation for the Captain Trips Covid-19 apocalypse, in the hope that I’ll have enough reading material to get by with after someone from the CDC shows up and welds my apartment door shut, when the wicked-cool cover of this book caught my attention. Major props to the artist, Bastien Grivet, and to Penguin for knowing how to keep people reading the old classics. It’s perfectly acceptable to judge a book by its cover, and this cover has earned at least ...more
John David
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Just like Jane Austen, it seems like Washington Irving suffers the same fate of being thought of as much later than he actually was. When he is read at all beyond “Rip Van Winkle” or “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” he is carelessly thought to be a contemporary of Hawthorne, Melville, and Emerson. But Irving belongs to the prior generation – the one of James Fenimore Cooper. He was one of the first writers to be taken seriously within his own profession in the United States; Europe was long though ...more
Average Rating for entire book: 3.33 stars. Some stories were better than others. Read on for an individual review of each story.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: I'm going to rate this story a 3.5, not quite a 4, but a little more than a 3.
He rode with short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the pommel of the saddle; his sharp elbows stuck out like grasshoppers'; he carried his whip perpendicularly in his hand, like a sceptre, and as his horse jogged on, the motion of his arms was no
N.T. Embe
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for the origins of some old legends, and the enjoyment of some pretty good stories!
Recommended to N.T. by: American Literature of the 19th Century (Class)
It's been a long time since I had the pleasure of sitting down and reading pieces of literature written in a time before these last couple of decades, and this one did not disappoint. Mind you, while I'm reading this for my American Literature of the 19th Century class (English Major~ Who'd have guessed it~), it's a really delicious experience to be able to put down the more rampant outlandish stories that so often capture the minds of the youths today and read something that was trying to estab ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It has been a while since I saw the movie Sleepy Hollow but when I saw this book I had to get it as I seemed to remember I liked the movie, and the book is usually better than the movie.

Sleepy Hollow is the last story in the book, and so I had to read a lot of other ones before I got to it. They seemed to get more and more boring. The stories themselves wasn't necessarily boring, but the way they were written was. My mind started wandering in all of them and I had to re-read whole pages because
Sotiris Karaiskos
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
One of the most famous collections of texts of early American literature, and I say a collection of texts rather than of short stories because ... that's what it is. Inside this collection are articles on literature, travel impressions, emotional local stories, historical references and a few Gothic stories about which it is best known. Each of these texts offers something to the reader despite the fact that some of them can be described as completely indifferent. However, some of these texts ar ...more
Apr 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I read Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, and while it was fun to actually read these stories that I'm so familiar with by cultural osmosis, the stories themselves were a little underwhelming.

Sleepy Hollow's Ichabod Crane is a pretty good character, and he's described wonderfully, all elbows and flapping. I like the ambiguity of the story as well: (view spoiler)
Completely Melanie
Some of these stories I DNF'd because of the writing, others I really enjoyed, and others were just ok.
Erik Lizee
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great fun little stories. The early 1800s were a different world and these stories are great window into that time.

Different Ichabod Crane than I have in my popular memory. Nice to re-read the Rip Van Winkle story. Really liked the "History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty" story at the end.

Good read!
Nov 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read this literary masterpiece some years ago with immense enjoyment and respect as well as admiration to Washington Irving's unique plot and style. Indeed, I think I'd find this paperback to reread to retrieve the haunting, eerie American atmosphere as imagined a century ago.
Aaron Koelker
I enjoyed this, however in what seems to be a reoccurring theme as of late, I pictured the Disney-versions of the characters throughout. The illustrations were nice, too.
I’m going to rate each story individually and then rate the overall collection:

Sleepy Hollow--3 stars.

The Disney version stuck fairly close to this. I liked the overall writing but there were times in which there was a little too much detail. The creepy atmosphere near the end was great. I felt like the introduction and postscript took away from the story rather than added to it. There are a few mentions of the "N" word and not great depictions of Black people. I appreciate the story itself, th
Apr 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This was my SAT book. Sleepy hollow was definitely an intricate and at times complex read. But it didn't really have a good plot behind it and at certain times it fell behind. However, I would still recommend this book to others because of the fact that certain parts in the text compensate for the lack of other parts. I would recommend this to ages 13 and beyond because of its complexity though younger ages could still enjoy it to a degree. Because of the fact that the plot felt almost cheesy to ...more
Christine Norvell
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I will always be a fan of Irving's descriptive romantic style and his distinctive humor. His character sketches and parodies are the best classic comedy. "The Spectre Bridegroom" remains my favorite story, but no story spoilers here.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I only read a few of the stories so far (Sleepy Hollow one of them) and the intro of the author, and most of the notes. Much better than I thought it would be! This is a great classic to start with if you've never read classics and would like to try one. Very humerus, but creepy too!
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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 popular public persona, Diedrich Knickerbocker.

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

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