Review: The Treasury of the Fantastic

January 24, 2014 4.5 stars, Book Review 6 ★★★★½

The Treasury of the Fantastic

The fantastic, the supernatural, the poetic, and the macabre entwine in this incomparable culmination of storytelling. Imaginative stories of wit and intelligence weave through vivid landscapes that are alternately wondrous and terrifying. Bringing together major literary figures from the 19th and 20th centuries—from Alfred Lord Tennyson and Edith Wharton to Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde—these masters of English and American literature created unforgettable tales where goblins and imps comingle with humans from all walks of life. This deftly curated assemblage of notable classics and unexpected gems from the pre-Tolkien era will captivate and enchant readers. Forerunners of today’s speculative fiction, these are the authors that changed the fantasy genre, forever.

Contents

Introduction by Peter S. Beagle
Foreword by David Sandner

“Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“Darkness” by Lord Byron
“La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
“Peter Rugg, the Missing Man” by William Austin
“The Mysterious Bride” by James Hogg
“The Mortal Immortal” by Mary Shelley
“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathanial Hawthorne
“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
“Morte d’Arthur” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
“Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti
“Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson
“The Golden Key” by George MacDonald
“Carmilla” by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
“Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
“The Ogre Courting” by Juliana Horatia Ewing
“The Ghostly Rental” by Henry James
“The Dong With the Luminous Nose” by Edward Lear
“The New Mother” by Lucy Lane Clifford
“The Griffin and the Minor Canon” by Frank Stockton
“The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde
“The Stolen Child” by W. B. Yeats
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek” by Ambrose Bierce
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman
“The Bottle Imp” by Robert Louis Stevenson
“A Moth: Genus Unknown” by H. G. Wells
“Cassilda’s Song” by Robert W. Chambers
“The Library Window” by Margaret Oliphant
“The True Lover” by A. E. Houseman
“The Blind God” Laurence Houseman
“The Reluctant Dragon” by Kenneth Grahame
“The Book of Beasts” by Edith Nesbit
“The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs
“Casting the Runes” by M. R. James
“They” by Rudyard Kipling
“The Sword of Welleran” by Lord Dunsany
“The Celestial Omnibus” by E. M. Forster
“The Eyes” by Edith Wharton
“The Ghost Ship” by Richard Middleton
“The Listeners” by Walter de la Mare
“Red-Peach-Blossom Inlet” by Kenneth Morris
“The Mysterious Stranger” by Mark Twain
“Enoch Soames” by Max Beerbohm
“Climax for a Ghost Story” by I. A. Ireland
“A Haunted House” by Virginia Woolf

Before the fantasy of our current times there were the classics. Possibly little known to readers of the genre or perchance you’re familiar with many of the names that make up the collection in The Treasury of the Fantastic. And fantastic is exactly what you will get!

Being a long time lover of anything fantasy since the first time I set my eyes on something magical it was such a pleasure to read these stories by some of the masters in classic literature. Some of these stories I had already read before and many more it was my first time experiencing. It was an absolute delight to see so of these authors collected here and finding new treasures I hadn’t realized really fell into the realm of fantasy. In the foreward there is even a criteria given of how the editors went about selecting which pieces to include. This might help clear things up for us readers if you perusing the name list and wondering why a particular author or other isn’t here.

Keeping in mind that these are all works written between the early 1800s to 1923. So you definitely get that old world feel while you’re reading. Admittedly, while I do enjoy the occasional classic literature it is not to my preferred reading taste. Mostly because you have to read it slowly to effectively absorb and process the writing. For this reason it took almost 4 months to get through this thick volume when normally I can read an anthology of this size in a month or two. This is not light reading and in my opinion it was best read in between my other novels or occasionally one every few evenings.

Normally when I review collections I give each piece an individual rating but there were just too many (44) in this one. Suffice to say many I adored, others were good and very few I slogged through. If you’re a classic literature can as well as a lover a fantasy then pick this up and experience some of the earlier works in the genre!

 

The Treasury of the Fantastic

Edited by David Sandner & Jacob Weisman
Find Book: Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads

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• This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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6 Responses to “Review: The Treasury of the Fantastic”

  1. Tammy

    I’ve read a lot of these, and this seems like it would be a great reference book to keep on your shelf, pull down to read once in a while, or go back and revisit old favorites. I’m not sure I could read it all in one lump, though! Heavy!

    Hey, I’m having the worst time with Rafflecopter. Are you still having problems? Is it just me?
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    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Oh definitely not something you can read all it one month. It took me months to get thru. Slowly plodding along. I only briefly thought about doing a rating for each and was like ‘tabitha are you insane no way’.

      I haven’t been entering any giveaways so I don’t know. I haven’t had any complaints on the giveaways I’ve hosted though….