Nathan Eilers's Reviews > Phantastes

Phantastes by George MacDonald
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's review
Aug 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read from May 31 to September 28, 2012 , read count: 1

This is a strange and entrancing book. Reading this book feels like proceeding through a long dream, where the incidents flow from one to the next without always linking to each other. One has no idea what's going to happen in Phantastes one chapter to the next. I suppose I would call this a flaw in many books, but MacDonald makes it work for two reasons. First, the setting: the book takes place in Fairy Land, where one expects magical and surprising events. Second, the narrative seems mainly to be a vehicle for the rich symbolism of the book. C. S. Lewis cited MacDonald as an influence of his, and that legacy is on display in this book.

This is a book of symbols and moments. The dream-like feel is perfect because dreams present us our lives in disguise, but we can often unpack the meaning of certain elements of the dream when we wake. MacDonald does the same here, giving the reader metaphors for existence in ever-changing settings. This novel is wonderful if you're willing to let it take you along for the ride; I was happy to do so.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Jl (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jl Loved this book. Why did I only give it four stars? I'll fix that!

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