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The Gray Wolf and Other Fantasy Stories

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Presents a tale of a student, an old woman and her beautiful, but cursed daughter in the Shetland Islands. This is a selection of short stories from the nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy. The gray wolf.-- The cruel painter.-- The broken swords.-- The wow o'Rivven.-- Uncle Cornelius, his story.-- The butcher's bills.-- Birth, dreaming, death Presents a tale of a student, an old woman and her beautiful, but cursed daughter in the Shetland Islands. This is a selection of short stories from the nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy. The gray wolf.-- The cruel painter.-- The broken swords.-- The wow o'Rivven.-- Uncle Cornelius, his story.-- The butcher's bills.-- Birth, dreaming, death


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Presents a tale of a student, an old woman and her beautiful, but cursed daughter in the Shetland Islands. This is a selection of short stories from the nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy. The gray wolf.-- The cruel painter.-- The broken swords.-- The wow o'Rivven.-- Uncle Cornelius, his story.-- The butcher's bills.-- Birth, dreaming, death Presents a tale of a student, an old woman and her beautiful, but cursed daughter in the Shetland Islands. This is a selection of short stories from the nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy. The gray wolf.-- The cruel painter.-- The broken swords.-- The wow o'Rivven.-- Uncle Cornelius, his story.-- The butcher's bills.-- Birth, dreaming, death

30 review for The Gray Wolf and Other Fantasy Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Gregg

    "The Gray Wolf" is such a wonderful short story! It sparks my imagination and leaves me wanting more--badly. It leaves me with questions, and a longing for a different ending. But the bitter loneliness, the weight of the curse, and the mystery all make for a fascinatingly bittersweet read from George MacDonald. The audiobook version of "The Gray Wolf" can be downloaded from LibriVox for free (http://librivox.org/short-story-colle...). "The Gray Wolf" is such a wonderful short story! It sparks my imagination and leaves me wanting more--badly. It leaves me with questions, and a longing for a different ending. But the bitter loneliness, the weight of the curse, and the mystery all make for a fascinatingly bittersweet read from George MacDonald. The audiobook version of "The Gray Wolf" can be downloaded from LibriVox for free (http://librivox.org/short-story-colle...).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    Of course all the books that I wanted to read for Halloween just came in. This was one of them. This was an interesting story that was extremely short.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Abbigayle Grace

    Loved this stories in this volume; especially the last, 'Birth, Dreaming, & Death'. Loved this stories in this volume; especially the last, 'Birth, Dreaming, & Death'.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Very short. Strange. Ok

  5. 5 out of 5

    D. Prokop

    Creepy and mysterious in a nice, gothic way...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen L.

    Loved the cruel Painter. The stories are very Gothic, filled with love, suffering perseverance and sacrifice.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jim Collins

    With the exceptions of The Gray Wolf, The Cruel Painter, and Uncle Cornelius, this collection is not quite fantasy. The stories are tedious yet beautifully-written. This collection comprises preachy and descriptive stories of marriage, life and death, ghosts and phantoms, and a shapeshifter. The narration is introspective and gabby throughout, though of course what did I expect from Victorian fiction? I'm sure I'll be reading more George McD in the months to come. I enjoyed the haunted and twilit With the exceptions of The Gray Wolf, The Cruel Painter, and Uncle Cornelius, this collection is not quite fantasy. The stories are tedious yet beautifully-written. This collection comprises preachy and descriptive stories of marriage, life and death, ghosts and phantoms, and a shapeshifter. The narration is introspective and gabby throughout, though of course what did I expect from Victorian fiction? I'm sure I'll be reading more George McD in the months to come. I enjoyed the haunted and twilit feeling of his writing and language; I'm certain I'll enjoy the pure fantasy of the novels Lilith or Phantastes quite a bit more than I did this hit-or-miss collection.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kate K. F.

    The stories in this collection show the variety of George MacDonald's writing and the elegance of Victorian fantasy. These stories cover a great range from a Gothic tale on a moor to a haunting tale of a marriage spiraling out of control. For any reader of current fantasy, MacDonald's stories create the history of fantasy and are worth reading and digger deeper into. The stories in this collection show the variety of George MacDonald's writing and the elegance of Victorian fantasy. These stories cover a great range from a Gothic tale on a moor to a haunting tale of a marriage spiraling out of control. For any reader of current fantasy, MacDonald's stories create the history of fantasy and are worth reading and digger deeper into.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Peter Coffin

    This was my first taste of MacDonald and I am certain it won't be my last. The eponymous Gray Wolf story, the Cruel Painter and Uncle Cornelius are clearly the standouts here, which is no real surprise, despite the quality of the other tales, it is harder to commit oneself quite as enthusiastically to a didactic tale of marital humility when one has picked up this volume under the promise of "fantasy" in the vein of Lewis and Tolkien. These three shine all the brighter for it however, in their G This was my first taste of MacDonald and I am certain it won't be my last. The eponymous Gray Wolf story, the Cruel Painter and Uncle Cornelius are clearly the standouts here, which is no real surprise, despite the quality of the other tales, it is harder to commit oneself quite as enthusiastically to a didactic tale of marital humility when one has picked up this volume under the promise of "fantasy" in the vein of Lewis and Tolkien. These three shine all the brighter for it however, in their Gothic fireside tale charm, and manage to create an interesting contrast with the collections other stories. These other stories certainly show the range of MacDonald concerns. For the most part, the lessons are best found in the style of his densely packed prose, rather than in the stories themselves. The stories are almost absurdly simple, hardly worthy of a tale at all, in some cases, but MacDonald brings a definition, a gravity to each, that if not always convinces the reader, at least stirs the soul. The lessons themselves may throw readers off who are not overly familiar some amount of Christian doctrine, however, most readers should be ablebto appreciate the familiar refrain throughout each story that frames the world in the characteristic contrasts between the freedom of divine inspiration and rumination, and the limitations of human avarice, power, and fear. MacDonald delivers a message of hope as well as displaying the dire need for a grim world to know the light of connection with its God and its fellow man, rather than its frequent self-destructive opposition and self-service. Overall an enjoyable afternoons read, but leaves me excited for the more fantastical entries in this authors retinue.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    MacDonald is a master of fantasy. His writing is tight, the content is rich and creative. He stands second to none in this genre. He pulls from local Scotch legends, the richness of the Bible, his own imagination to create powerful short stories. The Portent explores the cosmic connections between families, sinners, and lovers, and the need to sometimes make right what ancestors got wrong. The Castle is a chilling allegory of the Old and New testaments and Christ’s intervention through His life. MacDonald is a master of fantasy. His writing is tight, the content is rich and creative. He stands second to none in this genre. He pulls from local Scotch legends, the richness of the Bible, his own imagination to create powerful short stories. The Portent explores the cosmic connections between families, sinners, and lovers, and the need to sometimes make right what ancestors got wrong. The Castle is a chilling allegory of the Old and New testaments and Christ’s intervention through His life. Amazing spiritual truths, exciting setting. The Broken Sword is less fantasy than an ultimately ironic tale of courage, honor, and redemption—and the need for personal action and suffering in all. The Gray Wolf was a little weird, but I think is a reflection on the outside of one’s inner nature. Uncle Cornelius’ Story was part ghost story, part moral tale, excellently executed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Wow, I really did try to slog through this. the Gray Wolf is a fun story, but the next three stories, which I actually made it through were soporific. Obviously this writer is not for me. C/D edition. The Gray Wolf, 3 stars. Be careful when out on the lonely moors. The Cruel Painter, 1 star. I can't believe I finished it. The Broken Swords, 1 star. What a bore. The Wow O'Rivven, 1 star. Pointless and boring, and not a fantasy story. Wow, I really did try to slog through this. the Gray Wolf is a fun story, but the next three stories, which I actually made it through were soporific. Obviously this writer is not for me. C/D edition. The Gray Wolf, 3 stars. Be careful when out on the lonely moors. The Cruel Painter, 1 star. I can't believe I finished it. The Broken Swords, 1 star. What a bore. The Wow O'Rivven, 1 star. Pointless and boring, and not a fantasy story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kate MacRitchie

    I expected these stories to spirit me away to a magical place but it felt like a slog. The title story 'The Gray Wolf' was mysterious and fun, and I enjoyed the Gothic atmosphere of The Cruel Painter but the others fell flat. Most of the stories weren't fantasy but stories of real life with curious or spiritual elements peppered in. I might've enjoyed it if George MacDonald didn't take forever to GET TO THE POINT!! I expected these stories to spirit me away to a magical place but it felt like a slog. The title story 'The Gray Wolf' was mysterious and fun, and I enjoyed the Gothic atmosphere of The Cruel Painter but the others fell flat. Most of the stories weren't fantasy but stories of real life with curious or spiritual elements peppered in. I might've enjoyed it if George MacDonald didn't take forever to GET TO THE POINT!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    My least favorite of George MacDonald's collections of short stories. Though labeled a collection of fantasy, most of these were realistic fiction, dealing with death, war, loss, depression--generally a collection of misery and suffering. Some end with sweet moments of redemption, but that wasn't enough to make this collection as lovely as the rest have been. My least favorite of George MacDonald's collections of short stories. Though labeled a collection of fantasy, most of these were realistic fiction, dealing with death, war, loss, depression--generally a collection of misery and suffering. Some end with sweet moments of redemption, but that wasn't enough to make this collection as lovely as the rest have been.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    2.5 stars. Wonderfully atmospheric prose. Terribly drawn out plots.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    3.5/5. A few stories were quite good. Some of the others didn’t really connect with me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emily Rush

    "The Cruel Painter" was my favorite story, though most fell a little flat for me. "The Cruel Painter" was my favorite story, though most fell a little flat for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nijole

    The cruel painter was my favorite book when I was about sixteen. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve reread it. I’m not really fond of any of the other stories except for Uncle Cornelius

  18. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    This book was a collection of short stories. "The Cruel Painter" and "The Butcher's Bills" were fantastic and well worth the read. This book was a collection of short stories. "The Cruel Painter" and "The Butcher's Bills" were fantastic and well worth the read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura (Book Scrounger)

    When I was a child, "The Princess and the Goblin" was one of my favorite fantasy stories (second to Narnia, of course). So for some reason I picked this up assuming that it was for children, but it's not. It's okay. Not great, not terrible. Sometimes overly wordy/dramatic, occasionally interesting and poignant or creepy. But of course, it's George MacDonald, and there are times when I really like the way he phrases things and looks at the world. I don't know that I would have finished all of the When I was a child, "The Princess and the Goblin" was one of my favorite fantasy stories (second to Narnia, of course). So for some reason I picked this up assuming that it was for children, but it's not. It's okay. Not great, not terrible. Sometimes overly wordy/dramatic, occasionally interesting and poignant or creepy. But of course, it's George MacDonald, and there are times when I really like the way he phrases things and looks at the world. I don't know that I would have finished all of the stories except that I counted this toward my reading challenge ("A book with an ugly cover"), so...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Small Decisions

    All in all, The Gray Wolf and Other Fantasy Stories is a fabulous collection of short stories. George MacDonald has all the qualities of a great story-teller; he is creative, a teacher, and an enchanter. My favorite stories were The Cruel Painter and The Wow O’Rivven. MacDonald’s stories feel like fairytales. They can be understood and enjoyed by both adults and children alike. The characters are well rounded and believable and the worlds he builds are rich in detail without becoming tedious. An All in all, The Gray Wolf and Other Fantasy Stories is a fabulous collection of short stories. George MacDonald has all the qualities of a great story-teller; he is creative, a teacher, and an enchanter. My favorite stories were The Cruel Painter and The Wow O’Rivven. MacDonald’s stories feel like fairytales. They can be understood and enjoyed by both adults and children alike. The characters are well rounded and believable and the worlds he builds are rich in detail without becoming tedious. And all of the stories, though they vary in length, can be read in one sitting, which makes it a lot easier for me to begin a story because I hate putting a book down mid-chapter.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bree

    I found this book in a used bookstore, years ago. There are seven short stories in this book, and I love two of them: The Gray Wolf, and The Cruel Painter. There is a strange clarity in these stories, an usual way of describing events... similar to looking at photographs. After I read these stories, I found myself daydreaming about the images. There is a hint of romance, a hint of fear, and something much deeper in his stories because he was introspective.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Don Gubler

    Nice fantasy story. Interesting coming from a more academic person steeped in medieval traditions and training.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Fairy tale stories. They are a quick read but well written and creative. The Gray Wolf is actually the shortest of the stories but still an original and tense tale.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Definitely prefer MacDonald when his stories resemble fairy tales rather than sermons, as many of them skewed towards the latter in this collection.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    ugh, I obviously struggled through this

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessie Harvey

    George McDonald is always recommendable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Eerie, symbolic: these stories are a challenge to understand, but the rewards once they are figured out are more than satisfying, in my opinion. MacDonald does not fail as CS Lewis's role-model! Eerie, symbolic: these stories are a challenge to understand, but the rewards once they are figured out are more than satisfying, in my opinion. MacDonald does not fail as CS Lewis's role-model!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Written almost anecdotally. I feel like there was probably some sort of deeper meaning which was entirely lost upon me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    James McCoy

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

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