Monday, October 31, 2016

CLASSICS REVIEW - The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

This was an audiobook re"read" for me. I first read this story from a collection called Washington Irving's Sketchbook. I read the stories, which included Rip Van Winkle, when I was 12 or 13 years old. I read my grandmother's book and I am going to ask my sister to look for it at my mother's house so I can have it with me.
Before beginning to listen I had my doubts about what I remembered from the book, and which parts of the story may have been colored by the movies I had seen, especially the Johnny Depp version. It turns out a great deal of the story in my head was from the films and not the pages.

In the 1999 movie there is a lot of fast action and drama, but there is basically none in the book. The narration is mostly descriptive of setting, the fashion of the day, daily routines, customs, habits, and food in 1799 Upstate New York. As Historical Fiction it is stellar. I will dare to say if you like Dickens, or L.M. Montgomery, you will like this story, too. Here is an excerpt...

 "It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day, the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet."

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow might not be frightening according to current standards, but the writing is beautiful and it will most certainly put you deep into the autumn vibe zone.
If you would like to fall into the zone, The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow is available free in the Public Domain: HERE.
One of the reasons I was excited to revisit this story was because about three years ago I traced my father's family back to Sleepy Hollow in the 1600 - 1700s. Two of them were deacons in the Old Dutch Church mentioned in the book, and barely mentioned as it was. There was no big dramatic scene in the church like in the 1999 film. Plus, none of the characters could have possibly been based on any of my relatives, as I had initially hoped, because they were loyalists and had moved to Canada by 1799. It was still interesting reading about the area though.

The narrator is favorable. His pacing is good, and his speech is easily understood.
Have you re-read any classics lately?

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