The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

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When Ann and Jeff Vandermeer promise a big book, man, do they deliver. The Big Book of Classic Fantasy is an absolute feast, spanning hundreds of years of storytelling across multiple genres and countries to assemble an incomparable collection of fantastical tales. From Kafka to Capek, Nesbit to Nabokov, and Grimm to Baum, this is a who’s who of fantasy icons, mixing with relative unknowns and lost treasures to create a cavalcade of treasures.

Fables and legends, anecdotes and thrice-told tales, you’re guaranteed to find something for every fantasy fan in the world in this collection. And even if you’re thoroughly well-versed in the genre, you will still find a few stories here that will surprise and delight you. (Fourteen of the stories in the collection have never been published in English before.)

I spent over a week luxuriating in this book, and I still feel like I could dive back in for more; that’s how much content rests between the covers. (And more than a few hours were spent pondering just how a nose could escape someone’s face and masquerade as a member of the government, as happens in Gogol’s story in the book.)

Although there are many contemporary and current authors that could’ve fit the bill, the editors’ desire to stick to true classics, whether famous, unsung or otherwise, add a level of reverence to the collection that is often missing from short story collections. This is not just a celebration of the form, it’s a monument to it.


Reviewed By:

Author Ann Vandermeer, Editor • Jeff VanderMeer, Editor
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 848 pages
Publisher Vintage
Publish Date 2019-07-02
ISBN 9780525435563
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2019
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
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