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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
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Archive Horror > 2017 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5735 comments Mod
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) is a short story of speculative fiction by American author Washington Irving. The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. Some residents say this town was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement.


message 2: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 9695 comments Mod
I hope readers will enjoy their visit to Sleepy Hollow. The schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, is quite the character and has an interesting encounter with "The Headless Horseman".


message 3: by Eva (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eva | 33 comments Looking forward to finally reading the original: there are so many film and TV adaptations that everybody seems to know the story of Ichabod Crane, but it'll be interesting to see what the original story actually is like.


message 4: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 9695 comments Mod
It is a relatively short story that can be read in one sitting. I enjoyed the way Irving described Ichabod, and the other characters as well.


Brian Reynolds | 4282 comments Great choice. I'm with Eva on this, but I will save it until the very end of the month so I can finish it on Halloween. Join you then.


message 6: by Ana (new)

Ana | 84 comments Interesting choice here! ;) I heard about this book before (because of Tim Burton's movie - one of my favourite film producers). Maybe a bad timing now, due to work, but if I get a free online version, I might join you. Enjoy your readings!


message 7: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 9695 comments Mod
That would be great, Ana. The story is not long.


Brian Reynolds | 4282 comments Rosemarie wrote: "That would be great, Ana. The story is not long."
As Rosemarie also said, it can be read in one sitting.
However, despite its brevity, I did run into an abridged edition when ordering it on Amazon, which happens with classics also marketed to children or tweens, so be careful that you purchase an unabridged version.


Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 105 comments This is my first time reading the story-- it has been referenced so much in various stories, movies, and TV shows (Scooby Doo!) that I thought I knew the storyline well enough. It is a fun story on the surface, but there is a darker undercurrent to it.
(view spoiler)


message 10: by Ana (new)

Ana | 84 comments I'll try! ;) Thanks for the motivation :)


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

If its good enough for Scooby Doo, its good enough for me!


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

The writing is beautiful, but it feels short and cursory to me. I love the characters - I could read about them for a full-length novel.


message 13: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5735 comments Mod
Rian wrote: "The writing is beautiful, but it feels short and cursory to me. I love the characters - I could read about them for a full-length novel."

We are glad you enjoyed the book. Who was your favorite Character?


message 14: by Eva (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eva | 33 comments I finished the story a couple of days ago and hadn't expected that it actually is more of a comical story than a spooky story. I thought the plot line of the headless ghost rider would be much more prominent.
But instead Ichabod Crane is a bit of a laughing stock and the big moment when the rider appears (view spoiler)
Irving's description of places and characters were excellent and mostly extremely detailed (except for Katrina van Tassel who is never really tangible).
In the end I wondered what the point of the story actually was: certainly not to tell - only - a ghost story.
I agree with Suki though that it only seems a fun story on the surface. According to an extensive Google search of a few minutes ;-) there are themes like: imagination, storytelling, the American revolution, the old vs the new world, country vs city and brain vs muscle.
Did you read any of that in the story?


message 15: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 9695 comments Mod
I think that the imagination plays a big role in this story, as well as Ichabod's greed. The two combine to create his spooky ride home.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Lesle wrote: "We are glad you enjoyed the book. Who was your favorite character."

Spoilers!!!...

I have to admit I secretly was pulling for Ichabod Crane to come down with the beautiful woman, because Brom Bones was a troublemaker. Crane was a bit of a gold-digger, on the other hand.

I was most impressed with the depictions of peaceful agrarian life - I guess my favorite characters would have to be Katrina and her father.


message 17: by Eva (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eva | 33 comments I don't think we actually ever read about Katrina's view on her two suitors or what she thinks of Ichabod? And we can only assume that she rejects him, because Irving writes that he leaves the van Tassel place "with an air quite desolate and chapfallen".
But the narrator himself claims, he does not know what was said between Katrina and Ichabod and only goes on to describe how Ichabod seemingly heartbroken sets off home.
I wonder why Irving choose to not give Katrina more of a voice? Or let us know why Ichabod is so "crestfallen" on his way home?


Brian Reynolds | 4282 comments It's Halloween and time to read THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW. Some comments:

1) It was very good though, as Eva said, it is more comical than scary. But a humorous tale, with a build-up to a slightly scary ride is enjoyable. Irving kept the reader wondering about the reality of the horseman just enough to make it interesting.
2) Irving was much more descriptive than I anticipated. I found his often florid descriptions of things very engaging at first, but slightly tiring as the story progressed, including alliterative ones such as:
"stately squadron of snowy geese"
"bevy of buxom lasses"
"doughty doughnuts" and "crisp and crumbling cruller"
3) It was hard to root for anyone in the romance. She's a flirt and Brom a bully (Bully Brom Bones?) While Ichabod evoked some empathy, as Rian points out, he's a gold-digger. Irving first describes Crane at the party:
"He was a kind and thankful creature, whose heart dilated in proportion as the skin was filled with good cheer..."
Then, In the same paragraph, Irving describes Crane imagining, after winning Katrina:
"Then, he thought, how soon he'd turn his back upon the old schoolhouse; snap his fingers in the face of Hans Van Ripper, and every other niggardly patron, and kick any itinerant pedagogue out of doors that should dare to call him comrade."
Kind and thankful? Perhaps Brom and Katrina is the best fit. Remember, also, Ichabod is the outsider to the community and ultimately moves on.
4) I see many of the themes Eva mentions in the story, and they add to the depth of the story. Overall, its a well-written, if overly descriptive, slyly humorous but scary, insight into rural, small town American culture in the early 1800s.


message 19: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rosemarie | 9695 comments Mod
I would like to thank Eva for co-hosting our discussions of the two "horror" selections, as well as all the participants.

Remember that all discussion posts stay open for comments, so please feel free to comment any time.


message 20: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5735 comments Mod
I would also like to "Thank" Eva and Rosemarie! Wonderful job on both Classics. Comments were interesting about both.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow....comments gave me a different perspective than what I had of the Classic.

Nice job!


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