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The Historically Annotated Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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Headless horsemen were staples of Northern European storytelling, featuring in German, Irish (e.g. Dullahan), Scandinavian (e.g. the Wild Hunt) and English legends and were included in Robert Burns's "Tam o' Shanter" (1790), and Burger's Der wilde Jager, translated as The Wild Huntsman (1796). Usually viewed as omens of ill-fortune for those who chose to disregard their ap Headless horsemen were staples of Northern European storytelling, featuring in German, Irish (e.g. Dullahan), Scandinavian (e.g. the Wild Hunt) and English legends and were included in Robert Burns's "Tam o' Shanter" (1790), and Burger's Der wilde Jager, translated as The Wild Huntsman (1796). Usually viewed as omens of ill-fortune for those who chose to disregard their apparitions, these specters found their victims in proud, scheming persons and characters with hubris and arrogance. The chief part of the stories, however, turned upon the favorite specter of Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman, who had been heard several times of late, patrolling the country; and, it was said, tethered his horse nightly among the graves in the churchyard. The story was immediately matched by a thrice marvelous adventure of Brom Bones, who made light of the Galloping Hessian as an arrant jockey. He affirmed that on returning one night from the neighboring village of Sing Sing, he had been overtaken by this midnight trooper; that he had offered to race with him for a bowl of punch and should have won it too, for Daredevil beat the goblin horse all hollow, but just as they came to the church bridge, the Hessian bolted, and vanished in a flash of fire. All these tales, told in that drowsy undertone with which men talk in the dark, the countenances of the listeners only now and then receiving a casual gleam from the glare of a pipe, sank deep in the mind of Ichabod.


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Headless horsemen were staples of Northern European storytelling, featuring in German, Irish (e.g. Dullahan), Scandinavian (e.g. the Wild Hunt) and English legends and were included in Robert Burns's "Tam o' Shanter" (1790), and Burger's Der wilde Jager, translated as The Wild Huntsman (1796). Usually viewed as omens of ill-fortune for those who chose to disregard their ap Headless horsemen were staples of Northern European storytelling, featuring in German, Irish (e.g. Dullahan), Scandinavian (e.g. the Wild Hunt) and English legends and were included in Robert Burns's "Tam o' Shanter" (1790), and Burger's Der wilde Jager, translated as The Wild Huntsman (1796). Usually viewed as omens of ill-fortune for those who chose to disregard their apparitions, these specters found their victims in proud, scheming persons and characters with hubris and arrogance. The chief part of the stories, however, turned upon the favorite specter of Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman, who had been heard several times of late, patrolling the country; and, it was said, tethered his horse nightly among the graves in the churchyard. The story was immediately matched by a thrice marvelous adventure of Brom Bones, who made light of the Galloping Hessian as an arrant jockey. He affirmed that on returning one night from the neighboring village of Sing Sing, he had been overtaken by this midnight trooper; that he had offered to race with him for a bowl of punch and should have won it too, for Daredevil beat the goblin horse all hollow, but just as they came to the church bridge, the Hessian bolted, and vanished in a flash of fire. All these tales, told in that drowsy undertone with which men talk in the dark, the countenances of the listeners only now and then receiving a casual gleam from the glare of a pipe, sank deep in the mind of Ichabod.

30 review for The Historically Annotated Legend of Sleepy Hollow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    Such heavy description, but still a good Halloween classic!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Pull up a chair and have seat. Do you want a drink? Please, I insist. I’ve been drinking for hours. As you can see, I have a fire going in the fireplace, to ward off the chill of a winter you can already sense around the corner. It is dark outside the window. The nights come fast as the days shorten. The wind is howling. That is the wind – right? Its shriek sounds almost alive, almost human. Here, have another drink. Scoot closer to the fire. I want to tell you a terrifying story. The 2016 elect Pull up a chair and have seat. Do you want a drink? Please, I insist. I’ve been drinking for hours. As you can see, I have a fire going in the fireplace, to ward off the chill of a winter you can already sense around the corner. It is dark outside the window. The nights come fast as the days shorten. The wind is howling. That is the wind – right? Its shriek sounds almost alive, almost human. Here, have another drink. Scoot closer to the fire. I want to tell you a terrifying story. The 2016 election cycle. Wake up. Are you okay? You lost consciousness and fell out of your chair. No, I didn't rifle through your pockets. No, you aren't missing a ten-dollar bill. Moving on. I probably should have given you more warning, since the political theater we have experienced these past months (years?) has filled me with more dread than anything Stephen King could ever conjure. Just recently, I attempted to watch the evening news, which is silly, I know, but I am old fashioned in some ways. Specifically, I like it when someone tells me the weather; it makes me feel someone is accountable. With the exception of a couple Viagra commercials, dispiriting in and of themselves, every commercial was a political ad. They were run in sequence, the first candidate calling the second candidate a tax-lover, followed by the second calling the first a terrorist-lover, and then circling back to the first calling the second a liar. Since I live near the border of two states, my misery is compounded. Strikingly, not a single advertisement referenced any positive position statement. It was all grossly negative hyperbolic attacks. If you were to get all your political information from watching the ads sandwiching the evening newscast, you would come to a shocking revelation. Everyone running for elected office this year is in cahoots with ISIS! My advice. Take a break. Take a drink. (There are so many things to mix Baileys with). Read a book. Better yet, read a seasonal book, one that puts you in the mood for the finer things of fall. Forget about politics. It’s time to focus on pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin beer. It’s time to read – or in my case reread – Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Irving’s short story is familiar to most. Even if you’ve never read it, you’ve probably consumed some of it by cultural osmosis. It concerns a love triangle between itinerant school teacher Ichabod Crane; the lovely Katrina van Tassel, daughter of a wealthy planter; and local big-man-on-campus Brom van Brunt, who goes by the baller nickname of Bram Bones. The setting is rural New York State, in the years following the American Revolution. The exact year is unclear, though I’ve seen it placed in the 1790s. Ichabod, a striving pedagogue with a taste for the high life, has come to teach in “the drowsy shades of Sleepy Hollow.” As drawn by Irving, Crane is a memorably awkward figure. He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weathercock perched upon his spindle neck, to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield. This sketch gives you a good idea of Irving’s excellent powers of description. He masterfully renders his setting. The farms, the forests, the babbling brooks, are all made vivid in your imagination. The “great fields of Indian corn,” the “golden ears peeking from leafy coverts.” A sloop “loitering” on the river, “dropping slowly down with the tide, her sail hanging uselessly against the mast.” The hues of the forest in “their sober brown and yellow…some trees of the tenderer kind…nipped by the frost into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.” Irving paints this beauty with color and detail, with sound and scent. Imbedded in these descriptions is a sense of the vastness of the wilderness, and how its trackless depth gave rise to superstitions, to tales of spooks and goblins and galloping Hessians lacking heads. The dominant spirit…that haunts this enchanted region…is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head has been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war; and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk, hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind. File Photo: The Headless Horseman, as captured in this undated photo that was definitely not taken in my front yard, but rather in Sleepy Hollow This is not a scary story. It only borders on the spooky. The achievement of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is in its near-perfect atmospherics. Irving delivers Sleepy Hollow in all its rustic glory: the sweep of her fields; the wend of her roads; the beliefs of her people. And the food! Oh, the descriptions of the food! Fain would I pause to dwell upon the world of charms that burst upon the enraptured gaze of my hero, as he entered the state parlour of Van Tassel’s mansion. Not these of the bevy of lasses…but the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea-table, in the sumptuous time of autumn. Such heaped-up platters of cakes of various and almost indescribable kinds, known only to experienced Dutch housewives! There was the doughy dough-nut, the tenderer oly koek, and the crisp and crumbling cruller; sweet cakes and short cakes, ginger cakes and honey cakes, and the whole family of cakes. And then there were apple pies, and peach pies, and pumpkin pies; besides slices of ham and smoked beef; and moreover delectable dishes of preserved plums, and peaches, and pears, and quinces; not to mention broiled shad and roasted chickens…Heaven bless the mark! I want breath and time to discuss this banquet as it deserves, and am too eager to get on with my story. Happily, Ichabod Crane was not in so great a hurry as his historian, but did ample justice to every dainty. You just gained five pounds reading that. I probably should have warned you. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has become a timeless American classic since its publication in 1820. It has been adapted (often terribly) into plays, musicals, cartoons, movies, and television shows. The original remains deceptively simple, a good-naturedly mythologized vision of pastoral America. In a few short pages, it wonderfully evokes a time, a place, and a season. Year after year, it never fails to inject me with the spirit of the fall. It leaves me with comforting visions of turning leaves, sharpening weather, roaring fires, hot drinks, and warm pies. Right now, that is exactly the type of escape I need.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Candi

    This little treasure was simply delightful! Quite honestly, I didn’t expect to enjoy it quite so much. I’ve seen the various movie adaptations over the years and figured there wasn’t really anything more to be gained by reading this short story. I was wrong – the eloquence of the written word brought the legend up to a whole other level for me. Everyone is probably familiar with the tale of the Headless Horseman and the little valley of Sleepy Hollow, situated near the small town of Tarry Town, This little treasure was simply delightful! Quite honestly, I didn’t expect to enjoy it quite so much. I’ve seen the various movie adaptations over the years and figured there wasn’t really anything more to be gained by reading this short story. I was wrong – the eloquence of the written word brought the legend up to a whole other level for me. Everyone is probably familiar with the tale of the Headless Horseman and the little valley of Sleepy Hollow, situated near the small town of Tarry Town, New York. The descriptions of the countryside were remarkably vivid and evoked such a lovely image and feeling of autumn in New York, a personal favorite time of year. Ichabod Crane is well-known to those familiar with early American literature. You need not have seen the Disney movie to picture this oddball of a figure! Washington Irving draws an image of a somewhat ungainly fellow who is a bit of a freeloader and a fortune hunter. He is well-versed in Cotton Mather’s “History of New England Witchcraft”, and, like the rest of the village folk, is not immune to superstitions and the thrill of tall tales. A wonderful description of Sleepy Hollow and its inhabitants really exemplifies the expressiveness of the prose: "Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols. The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a head." What happens to those with a lively imagination? You’ll have to take this wild ride through the valley with Ichabod to find out. You most likely won’t tremble with fear, but you may become just a wee bit spooked by the dark phantom. Even if you don’t feel the least bit rattled, you will be entertained! You may even muster up a little chuckle, just like my old pal Brom Bones who always managed a laugh whenever this story was re-told.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the old school classic read in catching up on classics for October 2016. I read an illustrated version of the Washington Irving's tale, which I finished in under an hour, and for which I rate three stars. I was familiar with the story of the Headless Horseman, especially as it has been used in Harry Potter in the form of the ghost Nearly Headless Nick. Consequently, I was looking for an action packed story featuring the aforementioned headless horse. Even though th The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is the old school classic read in catching up on classics for October 2016. I read an illustrated version of the Washington Irving's tale, which I finished in under an hour, and for which I rate three stars. I was familiar with the story of the Headless Horseman, especially as it has been used in Harry Potter in the form of the ghost Nearly Headless Nick. Consequently, I was looking for an action packed story featuring the aforementioned headless horse. Even though the horseman does play a small role in the tale, he is not the central part of the story or even the prose. Irving's story, however, is the tale of Ichabod Crane the schoolmaster in his attempt to woo heiress Katrina Van Tassel in Sleephollow, also known as Tarrytown, New York. The story focuses on Crane's futile attempt to win Van Tassel away from Brom Bones, which only angers Brom, causing him to woo Van Tassel as well. The climax is the tale that has survived over time-- the myth of the headless horseman. Is there a horseman or not? No one knows. Unfortunately, the scene with the horseman is only a page long and for me not scary at all. Because I was looking forward to a scary ghost story, this was a major letdown for me. The best part of the tale-- Irving's prose and descriptions of life in Tarrytown which have survived the test of time and made Irving into one of America's original master story tellers. Perhaps I will enjoy his other stories better, especially the adult version of Rip Van Winkle, another story I am already familiar with. In the meantime I am looking forward to discussing this ghost story in group.

  5. 4 out of 5

    PorshaJo

    Fun read and a great way to kick off my month of Halloween reads. I know the story, watched countless movie versions of the story, but never actually read the book. Still didn't....I listed to this one via audio. A fun read, but I wanted more gothic, creepy-ness. I wanted more Headless Horseman. The audio narration was wonderful! The narrator's voice had an edge of spookiness to it (a very good thing). Glad I read this one but yeah, I prefer the movie version 'Sleepy Hollow', which I watch every Fun read and a great way to kick off my month of Halloween reads. I know the story, watched countless movie versions of the story, but never actually read the book. Still didn't....I listed to this one via audio. A fun read, but I wanted more gothic, creepy-ness. I wanted more Headless Horseman. The audio narration was wonderful! The narrator's voice had an edge of spookiness to it (a very good thing). Glad I read this one but yeah, I prefer the movie version 'Sleepy Hollow', which I watch every Halloween.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    I thought this story and I were Meant To Be. A few days before reading this, I read and reviewed Washington Irving's other famous story, Rip Van Winkle, and really enjoyed it. And then I read The Fold, which has this exchange between a high school student and his teacher in the first few pages:“Ichabod Crane isn’t really the hero of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’.” “Explain.” “He’s, like, the British. You told us that when you said we couldn’t just watch the TV show to learn the story. You said th I thought this story and I were Meant To Be. A few days before reading this, I read and reviewed Washington Irving's other famous story, Rip Van Winkle, and really enjoyed it. And then I read The Fold, which has this exchange between a high school student and his teacher in the first few pages:“Ichabod Crane isn’t really the hero of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’.” “Explain.” “He’s, like, the British. You told us that when you said we couldn’t just watch the TV show to learn the story. You said that sometimes the bad guy is right there in front of us.”And I really love symbolism, so I was all set to love this story. It just didn't quite work out the way I'd envisioned. Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher, is an outsider in the beautiful New York valley of Sleepy Hollow, but he's a native of Connecticut, not England. When you Google "Ichabod Crane" nowadays, you get mostly this: . . . which, nice as he is to look at, is not the real Ichabod. Washington Irving writes:He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snip nose, so that it looked like a weathercock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew.Disney got this one right. What Disney also got right was distilling Irving's story down to the the good stuff. Irving just spends too long describing the countryside, Ichabod and his avarice and questionable habits, the coquettish Katrina and her family farm (Ichabod wants to wed Katrina, but mostly because she's beautiful, she's rich, and she's got huge ... tracts of land), and Brom Bones and his jealousy. All of these descriptions were nicely done, but didn't hold my interest like I had hoped. And if there was any symbolism of post-Revolutionary War Great Britain in Ichabod, other than just his greed, I couldn't find it. He's not at all admirable--as well as being greedy, he's pompous, self-absorbed and superstitious--but I also found him kind of pitiful. When the Headless Horseman (aka "Galloping Hessian of the Hollow") finally appears, the excitement ramps up. And there's the enduring mystery: What really happened that night? And what became of Ichabod Crane? (Actually, I think the story itself makes it fairly clear what happened(view spoiler)[: Brom pretended to be the Headless Horseman, threw a pumpkin at Ichabod and knocked him off his horse, and Ichabod, between his superstitions and cowardice and his disappointment and humiliation that Katrina had just dumped him, slipped away during the night) (hide spoiler)] . It was interesting reading the original version of the tale and comparing it to the heavily Disney-influenced version in my head. And the character of Ichabod Crane is well-drawn. Overall the story was just a little too detailed and slow for me. Free on Gutenberg, here (at the end of this original collection of Washington Irving stories, with some really charming original illustrations) and here (just the story itself). Art credits: http://poolichoo.deviantart.com/art/S... and Disney Studios. :)

  7. 5 out of 5

    James

    I spent a few weeks every summer in the Catskill Mountains at a resort with my godparents, parents and grandparents. I used to walk around the forest, searching for the headless horsemen. The cottages we always stayed in were either "Rip Van Winkle" or "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Such good memories on the place and this book. Even before the movie, it launched my thirst for mystery and the hunt! And when they used this to make a few movies and then the TV show, I loved the whole concept. A must-r I spent a few weeks every summer in the Catskill Mountains at a resort with my godparents, parents and grandparents. I used to walk around the forest, searching for the headless horsemen. The cottages we always stayed in were either "Rip Van Winkle" or "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Such good memories on the place and this book. Even before the movie, it launched my thirst for mystery and the hunt! And when they used this to make a few movies and then the TV show, I loved the whole concept. A must-read for folks interested in mystery and a little bit of the gothic... in the classics realm. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Ichabod Crane goes for a wild ride. Washington Irving first published The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in 1820. Besides being an iconic story and a fine example of early American literature, this is also a revealing historic illustration of life in the Dutch portions of early nineteenth century New York. We get to spend some time with the corpulent and satisfied Dutch farmers and glimpse early American culture. Irving’s language is typical of narrative fiction from his time, but is also resplendent as Ichabod Crane goes for a wild ride. Washington Irving first published The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in 1820. Besides being an iconic story and a fine example of early American literature, this is also a revealing historic illustration of life in the Dutch portions of early nineteenth century New York. We get to spend some time with the corpulent and satisfied Dutch farmers and glimpse early American culture. Irving’s language is typical of narrative fiction from his time, but is also resplendent as very early speculative fiction. Ichabod’s fear of the occult is well placed but fans of Disney’s 1949 animation will be pleased to note a charming and more sophisticated original vision.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Though I've seen the movie versions countless times and listened to Bing Crosby croon about Brom Bones every Halloween for decades, this was my first time reading the story and it was MAGICAL! I really enjoyed Irving's style. His descriptions paint joyful pictures without being too wordy or grandiose. The passages about Icabod's boundless appetite and his lust for Katrina's huge...tracts of land are priceless. Reading this story has given me a new appreciation for Irving. My goals now are: 1) Read Though I've seen the movie versions countless times and listened to Bing Crosby croon about Brom Bones every Halloween for decades, this was my first time reading the story and it was MAGICAL! I really enjoyed Irving's style. His descriptions paint joyful pictures without being too wordy or grandiose. The passages about Icabod's boundless appetite and his lust for Katrina's huge...tracts of land are priceless. Reading this story has given me a new appreciation for Irving. My goals now are: 1) Read Rip Van Winkle and Tales of the Alhambra posthaste. and 2) Win millions of dollars ASAP so I can buy a farm in the Hudson River Valley. I feel the need for my own picturesque tracts of land. Sleepy Hollow, New York

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    I have to say that re-reading this as an adult is a much different and more wonderful experience than as a snot-nosed kid of 15. I was able to appreciate the nuances much more, enjoying just how established Mr. Crane could be as a realistic and sympathetic character, even if he was slightly foolish. In other words, he felt real, I felt invested, and as any lover of horror knows, we must also feel superior to our victims before their inevitable and somewhat moralistic demise by supernatural or nef I have to say that re-reading this as an adult is a much different and more wonderful experience than as a snot-nosed kid of 15. I was able to appreciate the nuances much more, enjoying just how established Mr. Crane could be as a realistic and sympathetic character, even if he was slightly foolish. In other words, he felt real, I felt invested, and as any lover of horror knows, we must also feel superior to our victims before their inevitable and somewhat moralistic demise by supernatural or nefarious deeds. Now, whether this was a mortal practical joke played on a lover of the fantastic and the horrible or whether this was actually a real-life ghost story, as the Dutch Wives would insist, is a matter for debate. Either way, it was nice and ghoulish and ramped up perfectly to a thrown screaming head. :) Quick tale, fascinating, and expertly described. :) And an eternal Halloween Treat. :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Thanks Stephanie - your review led me to read this and I am so glad I did:) I suppose it is because I had my education in England that this book was not part of my school reading nor had I come across it since. So it was a first time read for me and it was delightful! I always love stories written in this kind of old fashioned and extremely literate prose. The descriptions are just superb, especially the one of Ichabod Crane. At the end of that the reader knows exactly what he looked like to the Thanks Stephanie - your review led me to read this and I am so glad I did:) I suppose it is because I had my education in England that this book was not part of my school reading nor had I come across it since. So it was a first time read for me and it was delightful! I always love stories written in this kind of old fashioned and extremely literate prose. The descriptions are just superb, especially the one of Ichabod Crane. At the end of that the reader knows exactly what he looked like to the point of being able to draw his picture! Compared to the literature available today I would not describe this book as horror. Just a little bit spooky maybe. But very well written and extremely entertaining.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mackey

    Here in Indiana (US) there is a town called Irvington that has absolutely no historic connection to Washington Irving at all but never-the-less each year produces a marvelous and quite large Halloween festival in his honor. It lasts a week and centers around the characters from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I decided it was time re-read the story to catch up on all things forgotten. It's a simple tale really. A schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, is trying to woo a young woman from town and it angers th Here in Indiana (US) there is a town called Irvington that has absolutely no historic connection to Washington Irving at all but never-the-less each year produces a marvelous and quite large Halloween festival in his honor. It lasts a week and centers around the characters from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I decided it was time re-read the story to catch up on all things forgotten. It's a simple tale really. A schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, is trying to woo a young woman from town and it angers the town bully. This leads to the "frightening" scene of the headless horseman and Crane's demise. Although it's a very short read, one that is perfect for Halloween, it is a beautiful example of Irving's writing ability. As a reporter for many years, he writes about the town and people in such great detail that you will remember them long after you've put down the book, perhaps even years later. If you've never read the story then now is a great time. If you have read it, I encourage you to read it once more. You will be amazed at what you've forgotten.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    Well, hello there, Mr. Ichabod Crane! I cannot believe I waited so long before meeting you. I really don't see the horror part in this classic. I found myself smiling throughout the entire story. And it was all Irving's fault. He's just so funny and charming. There was no dialogue at all. I became aware of that at some point and wandered how come I still enjoyed it. The ending fit the character perfectly. I would have not wanted it any other way.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Apatt

    For most classics that I read it is easy to discern how they have stood the test of time and attain their classic status. However, a few titles, like Moby-Dick; or, The Whale and Three Men in a Boat hold little or no appeal to me at all, and why would anybody want to read them is beyond me. I am consigning The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to the “not for me” pile (though I am careful not disrespect any classics because they are still being read more than a hundred years after first publication, just For most classics that I read it is easy to discern how they have stood the test of time and attain their classic status. However, a few titles, like Moby-Dick; or, The Whale and Three Men in a Boat hold little or no appeal to me at all, and why would anybody want to read them is beyond me. I am consigning The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to the “not for me” pile (though I am careful not disrespect any classics because they are still being read more than a hundred years after first publication, just because I don’t like them doesn't mean they are not any good). I was expecting a quick and creepy Halloween read but found the story to be lyrical and jocular in tone but entirely devoid of any “fear factor”. The prose style is indeed a pleasure to read. I like how Ichabod Crane is characterized and described as looking like a “scarecrow eloped from a cornfield”. Crane’s predilection for fanciful tales also resonates with me and beautifully described: "His appetite for the marvelous, and his powers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary; and both had been increased by his residence in this spell-bound region. No tale was too gross or monstrous for his capacious swallow." Unfortunately, after the half-way point has passed by with nothing very interesting happening the author’s breezy style begins to outstay its welcome. I find myself losing interest in Irving’s prolonged descriptions of inconsequential things like birds and trees and such, and the complete absence of any dialogue does not help. To cap it all off the “horrific” climax turns out to be very much an anti-climax for me, and the epilogue renders the entire story rather pointless. It's ironic that in today’s popular culture Icabod Crane is usually depicted as a heroic figure. The original Crane as featured in this story is very much an anti-hero, he is not brave, decent, honest or even good looking. The Headless Horseman in Irving’s story eventually turns out to be something is a lame duck (I hope this is sufficiently vague not to be a spoiler). Both the 1999 Tim Burton movie and the new Sleepy Hollow TV series (2013) have taken the image of the Horseman from this story and upgraded him into a much more frightening and supernatural antagonist. As a general rule, movie and TV adaptations are always inferior to the literary source material. Here is an exception that proves the rule, I find both the movie and TV show (series 1 only) much more entertaining, dark and intense than Irving’s original story. So I suppose I do have something to be grateful to Washington Irving for after all. Not my pick for a Halloween read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    I loved the narration of this story. Tom Mison (the actor from the Sleepy Hollow television show) narrates this book and I could seriously listen to his voice all day long. Unfortunately, I didn't liked the actual story as much as I thought I would. I really wish the story was a bit darker and less descriptive. I would give the narration 5 stars and the story 3 stars so I'm going with 4 stars overall. I grabbed this audiobook for free from audible a while ago and it appears that it is no longer f I loved the narration of this story. Tom Mison (the actor from the Sleepy Hollow television show) narrates this book and I could seriously listen to his voice all day long. Unfortunately, I didn't liked the actual story as much as I thought I would. I really wish the story was a bit darker and less descriptive. I would give the narration 5 stars and the story 3 stars so I'm going with 4 stars overall. I grabbed this audiobook for free from audible a while ago and it appears that it is no longer free. I thought it was an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex Farrand

    3.5 star rating A classic short story about a village's urban legend, the Headless Horsemen. I first encountered this story when I was a child. It was a classic animated film. Do children watch this movie anymore? Anyways, this young school teacher tries to impress a young woman, so he can have the luxuries of life. Oddly, I felt like this man was my kindred spirit. He seemed more impressed with the food than the mistress he was trying to pursue. It was an Alex moment, and I was starving by the e 3.5 star rating A classic short story about a village's urban legend, the Headless Horsemen. I first encountered this story when I was a child. It was a classic animated film. Do children watch this movie anymore? Anyways, this young school teacher tries to impress a young woman, so he can have the luxuries of life. Oddly, I felt like this man was my kindred spirit. He seemed more impressed with the food than the mistress he was trying to pursue. It was an Alex moment, and I was starving by the end of my car ride. I don't know if any of you guys have the same problem, but I tend to get real imaginative at night. This is why I refrain from watching scary movies. I tried to watch American Horror Story the other night, and stopped myself. I said I would watch it in the day time, since I wouldn't freak myself out. I am a weeny, I know! Same with this fine, hungry gentleman when walking home at night. I could relate. The writing was picturesque. Like I stated before I was hungry, and I could imagine the heart wrenching critical scenes. I wish there was more, but at the same time I think if the author lengthen his story it would become boring. I am up in the air at the length. It was fun, not really spooky. Could the legend be true, or a prank, or the figment of our imagination. Enjoy this short, classic story. I am ready to read more scary classics!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Fernando

    Siempre quise leer esta corta historia de Washington Irving (1783-1859), uno de los precursores de la literatura norteamericana y considerado como el primer escritor de best-sellers americano. Si bien estuvo a la sombra de los grandes pioneros literarios norteamericanos como Poe, Hawthorne o Melville, supo granjearse la fama de excelente escritor a partir de novelas y cuentos como éste y Rip Van Winkle o su volumen “Cuentos de la Alhambra” en el que recuerda su paso por España. “La leyenda del jin Siempre quise leer esta corta historia de Washington Irving (1783-1859), uno de los precursores de la literatura norteamericana y considerado como el primer escritor de best-sellers americano. Si bien estuvo a la sombra de los grandes pioneros literarios norteamericanos como Poe, Hawthorne o Melville, supo granjearse la fama de excelente escritor a partir de novelas y cuentos como éste y Rip Van Winkle o su volumen “Cuentos de la Alhambra” en el que recuerda su paso por España. “La leyenda del jinete sin cabeza” (Sleepy Hollow) es corta pero muy entretenida y dista mucho de la adaptación que Tim Burton hiciera de ella en el cine. Narra la historia de un simple maestro, Ichabod Crane que busca ganarse el corazón de la hermosa hija de un poderoso hacendado, llamada Katrina Van Tassel. Luego de una velada en donde se sirven abundantes manjares en la estancia del terrateniente, Ichabod, volviendo a caballo, se encontrará con el famoso jinete del cual se tejieron las historias más fantásticas y sobrenaturales posibles y ese encuentro marcará su vida a fuego. Cabe destacar que la técnica narrativa de Irving es convincente y sólida, puesto que el lector nunca deja de leer hasta el final de la historia lo que va a suceder y todo esto es rodeado de las mejores escenas con personajes llamativos y pintorescos. Seguiré leyendo a Washington Irving. Rip Van Winkle es mi próximo objetivo.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Jeanette

    I really enjoyed this book. After having just watched the Johny Depp movie version, I was surprised to find the book had almost nothing in common. I read it mostly at night and I enjoyed the spooky moments (though I admit my idea of spooky is pretty low on the scale for some). Ichabod is mildly detestable as a character; he seems like he has all the foundational qualities to make a wonderful villain, were this another story. I laughed at his envisioning the Van Tassel's animals as sumptuously co I really enjoyed this book. After having just watched the Johny Depp movie version, I was surprised to find the book had almost nothing in common. I read it mostly at night and I enjoyed the spooky moments (though I admit my idea of spooky is pretty low on the scale for some). Ichabod is mildly detestable as a character; he seems like he has all the foundational qualities to make a wonderful villain, were this another story. I laughed at his envisioning the Van Tassel's animals as sumptuously cooked dishes which he hoped to enjoy throughout the winter. This is a tale clearly written for the sensibilities of another time, and as such, I enjoyed the historical value. As other reviewers have noted, his descriptions of the people and the period were marvelous. I loved the descriptions of the countryside, which is unusual for me. Since it was such a short read, I didn't mind slowing down to imagine the scenery. This is one of my favorite bits: "To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield." I don't often want to read a book more than once, but I plan on revisiting this on Halloween to relish all the descriptive phrases and the fun story.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ⇢Eryn

    Great writing but mediocre Gothic story. I could see myself enjoying this more around fall/winter time or during Halloween.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Disclaimer: my only experience with the Headless Horseman has been the wonderful Disney short adaption of it I watched repeatedly (no joke on repeatedly) during my childhood and the Tim Burton version. The entire time I read this though, I kept seeing the Disney version in my head and marveling at how well they captured the caricature of the schoolmaster that Irving seemed to be portraying and I had no idea as a child. Irving (who I'm now extremely interesting in researching more on his life a Disclaimer: my only experience with the Headless Horseman has been the wonderful Disney short adaption of it I watched repeatedly (no joke on repeatedly) during my childhood and the Tim Burton version. The entire time I read this though, I kept seeing the Disney version in my head and marveling at how well they captured the caricature of the schoolmaster that Irving seemed to be portraying and I had no idea as a child. Irving (who I'm now extremely interesting in researching more on his life and his influence on American culture/literature) creates the slightly cultured, slightly interesting, and dabbler in the occult stories, schoolmaster who aims higher than his station in life. He aims to the wealth of the comfortable farmer Van Tassel through his delightful, peach of a daughter, a coquette called Katrina. The protagonist, Ichabod, boorishly assumes his passable talent at psalm singing and higher refinement than the bumpkin group of boys, coined the Sleepy Hollow Boys will endear him to Katrina and the largesse of her father's farm. He doesn't quite understand the determination of Brom Bones nor the aims of the Headless Horseman.. whoever he may be. A really fun way to launch October reading. Though no where near as chilling or macabre as modern writing can be, it was a delightful satire into the world of New England after the Revolutionary War. I can't wait to read more into what Irving may have meant in this charming short story. I hope to update the review accordingly.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    I’ve seen a few film adaptations of this story and I think I went into it expecting it to be too much like those and it left me feeling a little bit disappointed. I felt like it just lacked some OOMPH to really get me interested. I also found the story really loaded down with long, unnecessary descriptions and really slow to start. I found it really only picked up in the last quarter of the book, that’s when I started to get into it and before I knew it, it was over! I did still enjoy the story I’ve seen a few film adaptations of this story and I think I went into it expecting it to be too much like those and it left me feeling a little bit disappointed. I felt like it just lacked some OOMPH to really get me interested. I also found the story really loaded down with long, unnecessary descriptions and really slow to start. I found it really only picked up in the last quarter of the book, that’s when I started to get into it and before I knew it, it was over! I did still enjoy the story though and I’m glad that I finally got around to reading it!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    I really wanted to like this story but it definitely wasn't my cup of tea. Honestly, I found the story boring. The author spent too much time on description, so the story was quite slow and it dragged. I was also really disappointed with the end. I expected that the ending will scare me at least a little but, but it didn't. The story ended pretty abruptly, and now that I've finished it, I'm glad it did. Even though this was a pretty short story, it sure felt like a long one. Now I'm off to see t I really wanted to like this story but it definitely wasn't my cup of tea. Honestly, I found the story boring. The author spent too much time on description, so the story was quite slow and it dragged. I was also really disappointed with the end. I expected that the ending will scare me at least a little but, but it didn't. The story ended pretty abruptly, and now that I've finished it, I'm glad it did. Even though this was a pretty short story, it sure felt like a long one. Now I'm off to see the movie. Hopefully I'll enjoyed it more than I enjoyed this short story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Simona Bartolotta

    Read for my Anglo-American literatures course. I also re-watched the Disney short film, of course.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Flor

    2,5 ⭐ Este es el tipo de libro que debería venir con una alerta en la portada que diga “no pierdas tu tiempo, mira la película que es mejor”. Me ha parecido aburrido, y se me ha hecho cuesta arriba terminarlo, a pesar de ser tan corto. En mi mente, lo tenía catalogado como de terror, y lo único que me ha dado es gracia, por lo de la calabaza. 😕 No superó mis expectativas. No lo recomiendo. 👎🏻 2,5 ⭐️ Este es el tipo de libro que debería venir con una alerta en la portada que diga “no pierdas tu tiempo, mira la película que es mejor”. Me ha parecido aburrido, y se me ha hecho cuesta arriba terminarlo, a pesar de ser tan corto. En mi mente, lo tenía catalogado como de terror, y lo único que me ha dado es gracia, por lo de la calabaza. 😕 No superó mis expectativas. No lo recomiendo. 👎🏻

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ronyell

    Illustrated by Robert Van Nutt “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is another fantastic story from Rabbit Ears’ “Storybook Classic” series. Everyone knows the famous story of Icabod Crane and his encounter with the Headless Horseman. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is one of the greatest stories ever created by Washington Irving and with Glenn Close’s haunting narration along with Tim Story’s eerie music and Robert Van Nutt’s beautiful yet haunting illustrations makes this one classic that no one will Illustrated by Robert Van Nutt “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is another fantastic story from Rabbit Ears’ “Storybook Classic” series. Everyone knows the famous story of Icabod Crane and his encounter with the Headless Horseman. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is one of the greatest stories ever created by Washington Irving and with Glenn Close’s haunting narration along with Tim Story’s eerie music and Robert Van Nutt’s beautiful yet haunting illustrations makes this one classic that no one will ever miss! Glenn Close’s narration is haunting and tender at the same time throughout this video. Glenn Close is extremely tender in her tone of voice when she narrates the peaceful life of Icabod Crane and when the Headless Horseman is mentioned, Glenn Close’ s voice suddenly gets dark and frightening, especially during the scene where the Headless Horseman starts chasing Icabod. Tim Story’s music is tranquil yet haunting at the same time especially during the scenes of the Headless Horseman where his music gets a spooky tone and intensifies when the Headless Horseman starts chasing Icabod. Robert Van Nutt’s illustrations are beautiful, especially of the illustration of Katrina Van Tassel herself with her golden and curly hair and beautiful blue eyes. Robert Van Nutt’s illustrations are also haunting especially of the image of the Headless Horseman being shown as a silhouette and spouting a scary looking pumpkin head which he carries in his arms. Parents should know that there are some genuinely scary scenes in this video that makes The Fisherman and His Wife look like a friendly family video. The scenes with the Headless Horseman are extremely intense especially towards the end of the video where it chases Icabod around the town. Also, parents might be concern about the use of “hell” in this video as this video is aimed towards children. Parents might want to see this video first before they show it to their children just to see of their children can handle the scary scenes in this story and also teach their children about how the word “hell” is used in this video as it is use in context to the underworld. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is probably Rabbit Ears’ scariest tale ever created and is also a very moving video for children who love romance and horror combined into one story. Children will certainly fall in love with this video for its tranquil beginning about Icabod’s life and the horror that the Headless Horseman brings into the story. I would recommend this video to children ages seven and up due to many scenes that can be frightening to smaller children and because of the use of the word “hell” mentioned two times in the video. Other Rabbit Ears titles to check out: The Fool and the Flying Ship King Midas and the Golden Touch Puss in Boots Pecos Bill Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    First of all, this right here is the most cruel thing an author has ever done to his/her character: "He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snip nose, so that it looked like a weathercock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way t First of all, this right here is the most cruel thing an author has ever done to his/her character: "He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snip nose, so that it looked like a weathercock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him one might have mistaken him for the genius of a famine descending upon the earth or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield" That's just wrong. Where's the love? Haha. This story wasn't as scary and dark or spectacular as I imagined it would be. I don't know what they're doing with the Sleepy hollow Tv show. But they should keep doing. The Ichabod Crane in here isn't as valiant or heroic or even remotely interesting as I made myself believe; as they made me believe. Ichabod in media content is not the Ichabod in the book. That's probably a good thing because they wouldn't pay me enough to watch a dry-ass, petty and mediocre Ichabod on screen. I liked the idea of a town like Sleepy hollow. One buried in superstitions, ghosts and phantom stories. One as bewitching as it. "However wide awake they may have been before they entered the sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time, to inhale the witching influence of the air and begin to grow imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions" That a town like that could still prove serene and beautiful, and offer such profoundness was fascinating to me. "If ever I should wish for a retreat whither I might steal from the world and it's distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley" Irving exhausts a good amount of paper giving detailed descriptions unbearable listings of foods on Katrina's farm...of a number of other things...of foods on Katrina's farm...of foods on Katrina's farm. OKAY I GOT IT! Crane's a gold-digger. But a whole paragraph on food listing and not in a mouthwatering way? What really had me piqued and appeased was the suspended state of the ending. The mystery that surrounds the ending: What truly happened to Ichabod Crane?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Many a year since I had read this one and I found I liked it better than I had remembered. Who wouldn't appreciate the descriptive powers of Washington Irving: On all sides he beheld vast store of apples; some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees; some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market; others heaped up in rich piles for the cider-press. Father on he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from their leafy coverts, and holding out the promise of cake Many a year since I had read this one and I found I liked it better than I had remembered. Who wouldn't appreciate the descriptive powers of Washington Irving: On all sides he beheld vast store of apples; some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees; some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market; others heaped up in rich piles for the cider-press. Father on he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from their leafy coverts, and holding out the promise of cakes and hasty-pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them, turning up their fair round bellies to the sun, and giving ample prospects of the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed the fragrant buckwheat fields breathing the odor of the beehive, and as he beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty slapjacks, well buttered, and garnished with honey or treacle... I could see the bounty, I could taste the honey, I could feel the cool Autumn breezes and feel the golden sun. Writing that endures.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sue K H

    This is the Classics group short story read for October. I thought I knew this story, but I didn't. It wasn't the least bit familiar. There wasn't much about the headless horseman, although he does become prominent in the end. This is a story about a beloved school teacher who thoroughly enjoys his simple life, yet gets caught up in trying to change his status when a rich women of the town gives him romantic attention. The story is really about how various hobgoblins can take us off of our steady This is the Classics group short story read for October. I thought I knew this story, but I didn't. It wasn't the least bit familiar. There wasn't much about the headless horseman, although he does become prominent in the end. This is a story about a beloved school teacher who thoroughly enjoys his simple life, yet gets caught up in trying to change his status when a rich women of the town gives him romantic attention. The story is really about how various hobgoblins can take us off of our steady path in life. It's really quite good and deep for a children's story. I'm glad I read it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Frogy (Ivana)

    2.5/5*

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

    i is for Irving (Washington) Read a book that is less than 150 pages. I have to say I was a tiny bit disappointed with this. I know the story so so well that I had always believed I had read the original version, but as it turns out I haven't. I've seen the movie thousands of times, seen the TV show, and read abridged children's versions of the tale. It's a tale that has always surfaced every Halloween and one that I remember fondly. So when I actually read the entire unabridged tale recently on T i is for Irving (Washington) Read a book that is less than 150 pages. I have to say I was a tiny bit disappointed with this. I know the story so so well that I had always believed I had read the original version, but as it turns out I haven't. I've seen the movie thousands of times, seen the TV show, and read abridged children's versions of the tale. It's a tale that has always surfaced every Halloween and one that I remember fondly. So when I actually read the entire unabridged tale recently on Tor, I realized that it's kinda boring. Not at all scary or Halloween-y. Nothing to create an entire Halloween attraction for. (the above was actually a photo I took in Sleepy Hollow, New York during their Halloween Headless Horseman's graveyard walk which is the scariest fucking thing I've ever gone through. Says the girl who is hardly scared.) In fact, I much prefer this And this I'm giving this 3 because I really enjoyed reading the original source material even if it wasn't what I expected. And the story is still creepy and atmospheric and has spawned countless amazing adaptations and references. And reading the original material really made me see that it had a lot more connections with the apocalyptic TV show than I had originally thought. So those were fun little Easter eggs to find. The irony of the ending always gets me every single time, and I thought Irving had a wit to his writing style, particularly when writing about Mr. Ichabod Crane that I enjoyed. This story lost stars for being completely un-scary and also for being so heavy on description that the story seemed bare in comparison. (Seriously, the first 45% of the story was pure description. The plot doesn't even start until about halfway). It was also interesting to see how little space in these pages miss Katrina von Tussell actually occupied. She is a character who has been quite embellished in other adaptations. I laughed a bit at those parts. All in all, it was free and it was short and I'm glad I read it. I got to cross off a classic off the list, and I can finally say that I read the original. If you want to do either or both of those things, read this story online at Tor for FREE http://www.tor.com/2015/10/27/the-leg... 3 stars.

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