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1. The Vicar's Daughter (Dodo Press)
2. Salted with fire
3. Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood (Webster's
4. Unspoken Sermons Series I., II.,
5. Hope of the Gospel
6. George MacDonald
7. The Complete McAuslan
8. The light princess, and other
9. Phantastes
10. The Wise Woman and Other Stories
11. St. George and St. Michael Volume
12. The Golden Key (Dodo Press)
13. Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing
14. The Reavers
15. Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II,
16. The Christmas Stories of George
17. The Musician's Quest (MacDonald
18. The Golden Key and Other Stories
19. Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II,
20. The Light's on at Signpost

1. The Vicar's Daughter (Dodo Press)
by George MacDonald
 Paperback: 368 Pages (2007-06-22)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$18.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1406530298
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Editorial Review

Product Description
George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Though no longer a household name, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired deep admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master". Even Mark Twain, who initially despised MacDonald, became friends with him. MacDonald grew up influenced by his Congregational Church, with an atmosphere of Calvinism. But MacDonald never felt comfortable with some aspects of Calvinist doctrine. Later novels, such as Robert Falconer (1868) and Lilith (1895), show a distaste for the Calvinist idea that God's electing love is limited to some and denied to others. Especially in his Unspoken Sermons (1867-89) he shows a highly developed theology. His best-known works are Phantastes (1858), At the Back of the North Wind (1871) and The Princess and the Goblin (1872), all fantasy novels, and fairy tales such as - The Light Princess (1867), The Golden Key (1867), and The Wise Woman (1875). ... Read more

2. Salted with fire
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 366 Pages (2010-08-16)
list price: US$32.75 -- used & new: US$23.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1177289083
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Maggie looked in at the window as she passed it on her wayto get a last sight of her father. The sun was shining into the little bare roomand her shadow fell upon him as she passed him; but his form lingered clear in the close chamber of her mind after she had left him far. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Shorter Work with an Impressive Spiritual Lesson.
I have just finished this novel and I was very pleasantly surprise at how good it was. The first couple of chapters are a little dull, but as the story gets moving, it is as good as any of George MacDonald's otherstories. Now there is quite a bit of Scotch dialect and the story focusesmore on one event than do some of the author's other works, but I found thespiritual insight very, very helpful. This book was the next to the lastone that this author wrote. And he wrote it when he was 71 years old, so itrepresents an entire life of spiritual development.

The story revolvesaround a young preacher, Mr. Blatherwick, who because he is self-confidentand prideful, makes a very big mistake which dogs him like the hound ofheaven throughout the story. He refuses to face himself, his faults and hisneed for a redeemer until his conscience almost drives him mad. He hadbecome a preacher to make a name for himself, and in reality he had nothingto offer and everything to hide.

The characters here are very sympatheticand well drawn. We follow a grieving young girl, a compassionate olderminister from the neighboring town, the wise shoemaker and his daughter,and the dissapointed and alienated parents of the young preacher. Theending is quite a shocker.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where pride rules, the soul is lost and the heart is dead.
James Blatherwick, the only son of Marion and Peter Blatherwick, is an arrogant, self-centered, independent individual who is firmly convinced that he requires no outside assistance, not even from God. He is proud, self-possessed and has no doubt that his intellect will guide him through the direst of circumstances.

It is, while disappointing, not at all surprising that such a one as he is preparing to enter the church as one of God's ministers. Is he dedicated to God, does he revere the Almighty Creator, are his motives pure and altruistic, does he ache for the lost, hurt for those who hurt, cry with those who cry? Not hardly. The ministry offers him the opportunity to display his intellectual prowess and scholastic achievements as well as provides a vehicle by which he may readily obtain prominence, position, power, influence, and a quite comfortable living with minimal exertion-not unlike many pastors, priests, and ministers who I have personally had the distinct misfortune toencounter in this century.

Rather than called of God, for he does not know God, to minister to His flock, Blatherwick has chosen the ministry as a profession. He cannot minister, for he cannot love. He cannot heal, for his heart knows no compassion. He cannot do anymore than repeat, from the pulpit, the words that he has memorized, the words that hold absolutely no meaning for him, the words which he himself does not truly believe.

There abides, however, a loving and patient God who will take whatever steps He deems necessary to redeem and recover His lost sheep. While Blatherwick feels himself quite safe and secure within his thin veneer of pride, the Almightybegins to work.

There resides in the same town in which Blatherwick is comfortably ensconced, a humble cobbler and his daughter, both, having neverattended seminary, know more of God than Blatherwick could have conceived possible. It is through the love, patience, understanding, and lives of these two children of God that Blatherwick begins to enter the 'fiery furnace' ofredemption and repentance.

The redemption of a single soul is, indeed, a process of rebirth, for intrinsic to this procedure is often to be found agonizing and excruciating birth-pangs. It is doubtful whether it could be accomplished otherwise. The old must die, and he does not die willingly, while the new struggles midst cries of pain, sorrow, andsuffering to the surface. As the new birth is taking place midst the death of the old, there are prayers innumerable ascending toward the Throne of God. The angels and saints in Heaven, the children of God on earth-all participate in this glorious event.

You are cordially invited to attend both the death and the rebirth of James Blatherwick. In attendance there may be many with whom you have had no prior experience. I ask that you pay particular heed to one old cobbler and hisloving daughter, Maggie. I also request that you not be shy, for this is truly a wondrous occasion. The Blatherwick family will be only too pleased towelcome you to the birth of their new son. ... Read more

3. Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood (Webster's Spanish Thesaurus Edition)
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 264 Pages (2008-06-04)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$20.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001CV8HVK
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Webster's edition of this classic is organized to expose the reader to a maximum number of synonyms and antonyms for difficult and often ambiguous English words that are encountered in other works of literature, conversation, or academic examinations. Extremely rare or idiosyncratic words and expressions are given lower priority in the notes compared to words which are ¿difficult, and often encountered¿ in examinations. Rather than supply a single synonym, many areprovided for a variety of meanings, allowing readers to better grasp the ambiguity of the English language, and avoid using the notes as a pure crutch. Having the reader decipher a word's meaning within context serves to improve vocabulary retention and understanding. Each page covers words not already highlighted on previous pages. If a difficult word is not noted on a page, chances are that it has been highlighted on a previous page. A more complete thesaurus is supplied at the end of the book; synonyms and antonyms are extracted from Webster's Online Dictionary.

PSAT¿ is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT¿ is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE¿, AP¿ and Advanced Placement¿ are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT¿ is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT¿ is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved. ... Read more

4. Unspoken Sermons Series I., II., and II.
by George MacDonald
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKS29C
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Product Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

5. Hope of the Gospel
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 90 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003YKF07G
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Hope of the Gospel is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by George MacDonald is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of George MacDonald then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Some thoughts occurred during reading
It is the first time for me to read this type of book, naturally I have several thoughts during the reading.

(i) When reading the first chapter, I feel familiar with the content because some religious Chinese told me something similar. But it seems to me that their understanding on this topic is only limited to the first chapter because I am never told other things included in other chapters.

(ii) Sometimes, I feel that I am reading the detailed notations on certain phrases taken from Bible with author's understanding.

(iii) Sometimes, I feel happy and noble when reading this book, but thereafter I feel the world still ugly as it was before reading.

(iv) I admit that I cannot write anything like this book, because the author can argue so much based on so few facts. Thus, I sometimes feel the book somewhat empty.

(v) Sometimes I hope to read more on this type of books in future.

5-0 out of 5 stars real
I found this treatise one of the most challenging, the most ringingly true summary of the gospel I have ever encountered. At first I thought it was "works oriented," but then I started realizing that, as they say in AA, nothing changes if nothing changes. Obedience can be as simple as praying when you are blessed with the impulse. ... Read more

6. George MacDonald
by C. S. Lewis
Paperback: 224 Pages (2001-03)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$2.89
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Asin: 0060653191
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In this collection selected by C. S. Lewis are 365 selections from MacDonald’s inspiring and challenging writings. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for C.S. Lewis fans
If you are a fan of C.S. Lewis and trying to collect his materials thisis a simple and enjoyable daily reading. I particularly like the paperback cover with the feather on more than the new ones, so I would recommend a used copy. I would also suggest "The Abolition of Man" and "The Weight of Glory" to go with it. It makes for a nice three book set.

5-0 out of 5 stars C.S. Lewis: George MacDonald
Loved it! Amazing how much Lewis own thought and often words are an echo of MacDonald.

This edition was very nice too. I ordered two and preferred this one. Layout, paper, print all added to the experience of the thought.

I highly recommend it- profound truth in short pithy statements! Needs to be pondered often.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extreme, complex, multi-faceted ... wisdom in sound bites
No wonder CS was drawn to this man's writing! Lewis sorts through MacDonald's body of work to get to real nuggets.

MacDonald packs more theological mind-fodder in one or two sentences than most can pack in a book. There are sound bites that will occupy your thoughts all day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Short Devotionals
George MacDonald has a lot of spiritual wisdom; I love short little tidbits of his thinking that I myself can think on.If you like MacDonald (or Lewis) and his books, especially the spiritual aspect, you will love these quotes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Star Pupil Lewis re-introduces his master in "George MacDonald"
In CS Lewis' 1945 novel, "The Great Divorce," 19th century fantasy poet/pastor George MacDonald guides Lewis' narrarator on passages between hell (the joyless, fearful "grey city") and heaven. The narrator (by extension, Lewis himself) acknowledges MacDonald's life influence from when, at 16, the then-agnostic Lewis read MacDonald's "Phantasies" and concluded: "Here begins the new life."

MacDonald's influence reaches past Lewis to forebears Lewis Carroll (whom MacDonald mentored through Carroll's writing/publishing "Alice in Wonderland"), James Barrie, and GK Chesterton. Barrie and Chesterton helped co-chair MacDonald's centenary celebration in 1924, and Chesterton later called MacDonald "one of the three or four greatest men of 19th century Britain."

No wonder Lewis prefaces his anthology of MacDonald quotes by calling its compilation "discharging a debt of justice." MacDonald, overlooked in a fantasy literature timeline stretching from Lewis and fellow Inkling J.R.R. Tolkein to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, shows his wisdom through365 excerpts from his poems, sermons, and short stories. Each is less than a page-long for easy daily reading.

Referring continually to Lewis' introduction helps while reading hisMacDonald selections. Lewis writes, "Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined." It guidesMacDonald images of the Good Shepherd's sharp-toothed sheepdogs tracking and returning sinners (quote 149), or being told in bereavement "you must be made miserable that you may wake from your sleep to know that you need God." (quote 223, from a man who lost a wife and daughter during his life). Even misplaced daily items are God's blessing against materialism (81). Lewis built his "Screwtape Letters" concept near completely around quotes 245-247.

"George MacDonald" rewards those consistently referencing it. It captures not only MacDonald's freedom from his Calvinist upbringing, but does so though powerful images of Father and Son, Christ and His faithful. It straddles God's demanding "the last farthing" against sin to man's ability to deny self (159, 300) and see that self as God does (208, 243) before we see Him for what He is. Fear and shame, to MacDonald, are undesirable but acceptable introductions (349, 214, 242), until we know, accept, and obey that deeper love (208, 243).

These are excerpts, nothing more. Even praising MacDonald's vision Lewis admits, "If I were to deal with him as a writer...certainly MacDonald has no place in its first rank - perhaps not even in its second." Indeed, many MacDonald inspired (again, Lewis' beloved "Narnia" series) wouldtake his approach to fantasy as a window into human behavior to wildly popular heights a century after his death. "George MacDonald" is neither biography nor full appreciation. But it reintroduces a key 19th literary/spiritual figure through his star pupil, and is recommended for fans of Lewis and of Christian fiction.

... Read more

7. The Complete McAuslan
by George MacDonald Fraser
Paperback: 608 Pages (2009-08-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1602396566
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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George MacDonald Fraser's hilarious stories of the most disastrous soldier in the British Army are collected together for the first time in one volume. Private McAuslan, J., the Dirtiest Soldier in the World (alias the Tartan Caliban, or the Highland Division's answer to the Pekin Man) first demonstrated his unfitness for service in The General Danced at Dawn. He continued his disorderly advance, losing, soiling or destroying his equipment, through the pages of McAuslan in the Rough. The final volume, The Sheikh and the Dustbin, pursues the career of the great incompetent as he shambles across North African and Scotland, swinging his right arm in time with his right leg and tripping over his untied laces. His admirers know him as court-martial defendant, ghost-catcher, star-crossed lover and golf caddie extraordinary. Whether map-reading his erratic way through the Sahara by night or confronting Arab rioters, McAuslan's talent for catastrophe is guaranteed. Now, the inimitable McAuslan stories are collected together in one glorious volume.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure cream from a Master
George MacDonald Fraser was a fantastic writer. All of his books are excellent
reads, whether you read his fiction or non fiction. The McAuslan stories are
somewhere between. They are really autobiographical tales of his service in a
Scottish Highland infantry regiment immediately after WWII. If you're not a big
reader of military history books you'll still enjoy these immensely entertaining
vignettes. Fraser could turn a phrase and his character sketches are brilliant.

I was truly sad to finish this book, I wish there were more. Fortunately there
are still Fraser books out there I haven't read yet, I'm still looking forward
to "Pyrates", "The Steel Bonnets" and the few "Flashman" books I haven't
gotten to.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unfettered Enjoyment
Whether you are a fan of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman series or not, these stories are priceless.Set mostly in North Africa following the end of World War II, the hilarious antics of the Highland soldiers and the wry observations of their Subaltern, Lt. Dand McNeill(undoubtedly Fraser) provide a vivid picture of a peacetime unit with few enemies about besides each other and all the trouble in the world to get into.Some of the oddest and funniest characters are MacAuslan, "the dirtiest soldier in the world, Wee Wullie, and the author's alter-ego McNeill.Some of the stories will make you laugh out loud.More than one may leave you with a tear in your eye.Fraser had that gift.Sentimental without being maudlin.Hilarious without being nonsensical,You can also smell a hint of a hot desert breeze as you read, with just a hint of the malodorous MacAuslan.The rendition of the Glaswegian dialect seems genuine, and may be a bit daunting at times, but you'll find yourself rooting for the "wee boys" throughout this wonderful book by a master storyteller.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Complete McAuslan
All the books I have read by this author have been outstanding.Generally very different, but outstanding.As regards McAuslan, I have had many relatives that were in Highland units over the years, and the things that happen in the McAuslan books are things that happen in a Highland unit.Just don't read it in a place where breaking down in gales of laughter would be inappropriate!

5-0 out of 5 stars Flashman, move over!
For all that have read the Flashman series of books, this is a great change of pace by an excellent writer.The stories of life in a Highlander regiment, and the trials of tribulations of a new junior officer are well worth the reading.Short enough to read one story, and lay the book by until the next opportunity, enough dialect to connect with his "Jocks"- but not so much that a Yank gets lost in the Gaelic.The McAuslan stories are hilarious- and sometimes, sobering.Anyone that has ever served as a junior leader in the military will quickly connect with Mr. McNeil- especially if they had a McAuslan of their own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Calling these "McAuslan Stories" is a misnomer
Although Private McAuslan is most certainly the single most striking character in these collected short stories, it's inadequate to think of Fraser's writings in this volume as centered upon that Highland Sad Sack when one finds here such a wealth of situation, circumstance, and ingenuity in revealing the life and times of a junior officer in the roaring years of turmoil shortly following World War II.

If McAuslan is prominent by dint of the special problems - Dear God, SUCH problems! - he and his kind impose upon fresh young shavetails pulling their first tour of duty with troops, the reader of this review (who had better be thinking of ordering this collection posthaste) should be disabused.Nothing so bland, so one-note, is ever to be found in the prose of George Macdonald Fraser.

A bit of a warning, though. The reader entering upon these stories really ought to be well-grounded in both military history and English literature to fully appreciate the real nuggets of Fraser's wit.While anybody can enjoy them, I really do doubt that someone who can't instantly recall, say, the career history of Sir Henry Morgan is going to achieve the sort of choking, convulsive response that wracked my flabby form when, reading through "The Servant Problem," I came across the words "That's Panama."

And for decided, prickly, deliberate, in-your-teeth "political incorrectness"....

Well, hell. If you're a Fraser reader, you know what you're in for, and it's what you'll be spending your money to get out of this book.

If you're a "Liberal," to hell with you. ... Read more

8. The light princess, and other fairy tales
by George MacDonald, Maud Humphrey
 Paperback: 328 Pages (2010-09-07)
list price: US$31.75 -- used & new: US$21.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1171602448
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An authoritative edition of the shorter fairy tales of George MacDonald, "one of the most remarkable writers of the nineteenth century" (W. H. Auden)

George MacDonald occupied a major position in the intellectual life of his Victorian contemporaries, and his dazzling fairy tales earned him the admiration of such twentieth-century writers as C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and W. H. Auden. Employing paradox, play, and nonsense, like Lewis Carroll's Alice books, MacDonald's fairy tales offer an elusive yet meaningful alternative order to the dubious certitudes of everyday life.

The Complete Fairy Tales brings together all eleven of George MacDonald's shorter fairy tales, including "The Light Princess" and "The Golden Key," as well as his essay "The Fantastic Imagination." The subjects are those of traditional fantasy: fairies good and wicked, children embarking on elaborate quests, journeys into unsettling dreamworlds, life-risking labors undertaken. Though they allude to familiar tales such as "Sleeping Beauty" and "Jack the Giant-Killer," MacDonald's stories are profoundly experimental and subversive. By questioning the concept that a childhood associated with purity, innocence, and fairy-tale "wonder" ought to be segregated from adult skepticism and disbelief, they invite adult readers to adopt the same elasticity and openmindedness that come so naturally to a child.

"I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master . . . The quality that had enchanted me in his imaginative works turned out to be the quality of the real universe, the divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic reality in which we all live." --C. S. Lewis ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

1-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous stories, HORRIBLE editing and printing
I love George Macdonald and some of these short stories are amongmy alltime favorites. But I was terribly disappointed with this edition. The printing goes so close to the spine that it's a struggle just to hold the book open wide enough to see it all. The stores are just crammed in together like a poor quality homemade book. Typos are rampant throughout. My recommendation - by all means get these fables but get them individually or get a different edition of the collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST fairy tale teller!!C.S. Lewis' favorite!!!
A MUST for Christians who love fairy tales that say something deep but also for non-believers, too!!Each tale makes you think.Some make you laugh and some make you cry.

George MacDonald is a master and C.S. Lewis admitted he looked-up to this author.Don't let this volume pass you by!!A genuine feast for the mind, heart and soul.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sermons in the form of Fairy Tales
Possibly the language and era in which the tales in this book was written effected my enjoyment of this book. There were some tales in it that I did like, for example, The History of Photogen and Nycteris was quite good actually. Overall however, I found most of the tales to be preachy and in effect little more than sermons dressed up as fairy tales. This makes sense since the author, George MacDonald, was a Christian minister, but understanding in this case did not increase my enjoyment.

On a positive note, the tales are very well written. The introduction also contains some very good insights by the author about writing and fairy tales in general that I found interesting. I do not dispute that this is an important and influential work, I just did not find the majority of the book to be entertaining.

For those that enjoy reading the classics, don't let my review put you off. I am judging this book entirely by my enjoyment of it, not by its literary merit. I would say that it would be worth your time to give it a shot. You may find it much more rewarding than I did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fairy Tales to delight the imagination
This collection of George MacDonald's fairy tales is top quality. Paperbound, the print is easy to read and has a very nice feel.There is a wonderful introduction to the writings of George MacDonald, who was a contemporary to C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien, among others.I fully recommend this edition to anyone interested in fantasy and great story-telling. You will be surprised that something of this quality can be had so inexpensively.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mossy and Tangle
George MacDonald was one of those rare writers who speak the language of dream and fairy-tale like a native. Shorter pieces in this style tend to work best, so it's fair to say that this book shows MacDonald at his finest. The stories vary widely in tone. The good-humoured courtly teasing of "The Light Princess", the darker Celtic fairies of "The Carasoyn". The curious folklore variations of "The Wise Woman" with its delightful opening: "There was a certain country where things used to go rather oddly". "The Day Boy and the Night Girl", part fairy-tale, part new-made myth and part dream-like parable, a story only George MacDonald could have written.

Three excerpts from the full-length children's book "At the Back of the North Wind" have been included, two dreams and the inset story "Little Daylight". These sections help to give that book its wistful, mystical atmosphere: because the author was as near to being a mystic as a good Protestant can be. ("Where did you come from, baby dear?/ Out of the everywhere into here.")

Best of all is the indescribable "Golden Key". Here MacDonald refines and perfects the sheer dream-flow he used in the grown-up novel "Phantastes", creating a haunting narrative that defies interpretation. If you do nothing else in life, read "The Golden Key". But all these stories brim with the whispered untranslatable wisdom that belongs to fairy-tale. For those who don't know MacDonald, this is the ideal place to start. Essential for anyone interested in wonder-tales or Victorian children's writing, highly recommended to anyoneeveryone else. Many of these stories can be read to children, but some may be considered too wordy. Why are there no illustrated versions in print? ... Read more

9. Phantastes
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 197 Pages (1981-08)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$3.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802860605
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
One of nineteenth-century novelist George MacDonald's most important works, Phantastes tells the story of its narrator's dreamlike adventures in fairyland, masterfully recounted to convey a sense of profound sadness and a poignant longing for death. Introduced by C.S.Amazon.com Review
"I was dead, and right content," the narrator says in thepenultimate chapter of Phantastes. C.S. Lewis said that uponreading this astonishing 19th-century fairy tale he "had crossed agreat frontier," and numerous others both before and since have feltsimilarly. In MacDonald's fairy tales, both those for children and(like this one) those for adults, the "fairy land" clearly representsthe spiritual world, or our own world revealed in all of its depth andmeaning. At times almost forthrightly allegorical, at other timesrichly dreamlike (and indeed having a close connection to the symbolicworld of dreams), this story of a young man who finds himself on along journey through a land of fantasy is more truly the story of thespiritual quest that is at the core of his life's work, a quest thatmust end with the ultimate surrender of the self. The glory ofMacDonald's work is that this surrender is both hard won (or lost!) and yet rippling with joy when at last experienced. As the narratorsays of a heavenly woman in this tale, "She knew something too good tobe told." One senses the same of the author himself. --DougThorpe ... Read more

Customer Reviews (43)

3-0 out of 5 stars Review for the KINDLE version from Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
4 stars for MacDonald's Phantastes
2 stars for Eerdman's Kindle release of the book
3 stars as an average of the two scores.

George MacDonald's Phantastes is a classic early fantasy novel. As C.S. Lewis mentions in the essay that is included by way of an Introduction, MacDonald's genius was not specifically (nor especially) literary. His prose is somewhat troubled. What excels, however is his imagination and his ability to convey goodness and to make it delightful and even exciting. For that alone, the book is well worth reading.

I picked up my paperback version of the book recently and it fell apart in my hands despite only having been read once before, and so I purchased the Kindle version of Eerdman's edition. The reason for choosing their edition as opposed to any of those available in the public domain had to do with deficiencies in the public domain editions. Often enough I found that the German quotes were untranslated and/or suffering from OCR related errors. The text itself was poorly formatted, etc. So I purchased Eerdman's Kindle version of the book believing the text to be in good shape.

Unfortunately, Eerdman's merely scanned and OCRd the book and left it filled with OCR artifacts. The numeral "1", lowercase "L", and uppercase "i" may all be confused. Sometimes opening and closing quotation marks are switched. There are a number of words that have been concatenated into a single word. In one case I simply couldn't make out the word, even from the context, and was forced to go back to my frail print copy. Any guesses as to what word is meant by "rot!y"? The word should have been "folly".

Once again a publisher has done a quick job of converting their book to ebook without bothering with an editorial process prior to publication. And they charge full price for it, as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking, But Hard To Read
Sometimes something as simple as more frequent paragraph indentations make a book much easier to read.I blazed through The Bell Jar while I stumbled through this book.And I read both books upside down, so you can't blame my slowness in completing this book simply on my reading it in a weird way.

In Phantastes, I found paragraph indentations to be few and far between.In certain spots I'd see only one indentation in a whole two page spread.(Pages 36-37 for example) and there are no paragraph indentations at all on pages 26-27.This is in the 2000 Eerdmans edition.I hope there are other editions somewhere that are easier on the eyes, but I don't think so.Some folks might think illustrations would have hindered the vivid imagery of this book, but I'd risk that happening if they could improve such a jumbled mass of words.

Really, the lengthy paragraphs are my only complaint.There are a few slow parts in the book, but none really slow enough to make you stop reading.You constantly wonder where you'll be taken next, even up until the third to last page of the book.Fairy Land is painted in a way never pictured before, and I think MacDonald was one of the first to really start breaking from the traditional presentation of it.Sure, you see the expected knights and dragons and such, but there's a new spin on it all.The fantasy is taken to a new surreal level.This is why I discussed the possibility of MacDonald being the first actual surrealist in an earlier review I did on some minor works of his.Just the part where the narrator lies inside a tower curled up in fear for no reason really seems different than how you'd picture Fairy Land and gives it a much darker side.And the narrator's comments about the absurdity of the wooden people walking over the butterfly girl had me laughing in a way I wouldn't usually laugh at Fairy Land.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not All That
I came to this book through C.S. Lewis, who said great things of it, and writes the introduction for it in this edition. I had great expectations for this. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see why Lewis loved it so much. I'm thinking this sort of book must have been very rare back in the 1850's and probably still rare at the time Lewis discovered it, but even with that, I'm still somewhat confused.

The story is written by Anodos, a young man who discovered a passage into Fairy Land. He tells us his journey in there. For my part, I found that there were little connections between a scene and the next, and in this respect, it did look like a dream. But that's as oniric as it gets. All it really did for me was to make the story look like a random succession of surreal events. I did enjoy some parts and I roughly see where MacDonald is going with all these images and allegories, but I feel like it doesn't serve the story too well, and morally speaking, it's possibly not explicit enough to count as educational, no matter how bad of a reputation this word has.

I can't say I enjoyed this book. You're exposed to all sorts of weird things, and you naturally expect them to connect or make sense at some point, and most of the time, they just don't. There's an evil tree here, evil creatures there, but we just move on to the next series of oddities and get no especial insight into anything.

Eventually this tired me and I stopped expecting the book to have some background story or context. It reminded me of H.P. Lovecraft's stories from the Dream Cycle, most of which I really don't like, because they're dreams, and anything can happen in dreams, so you expect anything to happen at any time, and doing that, you're not surprised by anything anymore. This is what happens in this book. "Sure, whatever," is your reaction to any new element, whether you can make sense of it or not.

This is a book I don't recommend. The narrator's tone makes me want to smack him (sorry), and the overall book just didn't grip me. I know it's a classic and all, but I'd lie to say anything else.

5-0 out of 5 stars Phantastes is Fantastic!!
I just finished reading a Tolken essay of what a Fairy Story is supposed to be.

Then I read this book.This one is right on. I was in the world with the people in the story.

Lilith was the first George MacDonald book I read.

Really, there is no comparison.As a fairy story Phantases is better. Especially considering that it was written first. Also, I did not miss the religious references.They are both wonderful!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars A difficult read but good nonetheless
This book is well worth the effort it takes to read. Mr. Macdonald's writing style is difficult to say the least, however, the richness of the storyline makes it well worth the effort. This is a book that I intend on reading again and each time I read I will update my review of the book. ... Read more

10. The Wise Woman and Other Stories (Fantasy Stories of George MacDonald)
by George MacDonald, Craig Yoe
Paperback: 172 Pages (1980-09)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.99
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Asin: 0802818609
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is one volume in the four-volume collection of the complete fantasy stories of George MacDonald, the great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, whose works influenced C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT- A+
This is George MacDonald at his best!VERY good for families to read together (mom or dad doing the reading probably).Such good stories that show such great insight into good (& bad) character! And kids love to hear them!

5-0 out of 5 stars A charming tale with lessons for children of all ages.
The 'Wise Woman' is my favorite fairy tale of all time.George MacDonald is wonderfully creative, pulls in just enough 'magic' to be interesting but not confusing, and builds strong characters.The tale has a very strong moral content which goes almost unnoticed by the strength of the story and its characters.I certainly recommend this for young people but I am a 'Senior Citizen' and still find it delightful and a bit thought provoking.

Richard Pendleton

5-0 out of 5 stars Parenting Guidelines
I loved this story about the Wise Woman.In a fairytale format, it depicted the consequences of bad behavior while at the same time, showed the positive side of doing the right thing. Great story for kids and parents.

5-0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC--SUPERB
The standout of this collection is the title story, "The Wise Woman, or, The Obstinate Princess." The princess in question is Rosamund, whose royal parents have spoiled her absolutely rotten. In fact, they aresick of her, she's so disgustingly violent and selfish (thanks largely totheir 'care'). Enter the Wise Woman, who steals Rosamund away underneathher voluminous cloak and takes Rosamund to her cottage, which is miles awayfrom nowhere--and bigger on the inside than the outside. Here, for thefirst time, Rosamund begins to learn that her wishes are not what the worldrevolves around. Very slowly. Before that happens, however, she entersanother world through a picture and takes the place of another spoiledbrat, Agnes, daughter of a shepherd and shepherdess. Agnes takes Rosamund'splace. The Wise Woman does her best to save both girls, whose (toparaphrase Burke) intemperate minds mean that they cannot be free; theirpassions have forged their fetters. I can't tell you how the story ends,however. You'll have to find out for yourself.

MacDonald writes in anelegant, leisurely style (he takes three pages to describe a rainstorm atthe beginning), and the story is rather long for a story--a 100 pages, giveor take a few. But these are not really drawbacks. To adult readers, thestory is a rather obvious, but effective, allegory of God's offer ofredemption to humanity. To child readers, it is simply a good story; theywill probably miss the parallel, but get the message. The story is filledwith memorable scenes and images: the little cottage, the Wise Woman'seerie song, Agnes in her bubble (in more ways than one), Rosamund losingher temper with the little child in the boat. These make as much of animpression as the ideas, especially the recurring one that it is not enoughto good; that's easily done when one's in a good mood. The goodness thatcounts is that done against one's inclinations--a hard doctrine thatnegates most of my good deeds, if nobody else's.

In short, this is ahaunting book. It is well-written, it is thoughtful, it stands up both as astrong story and as a sermon, it entertains, it rebukes; it rewardsrepeated reading with additional meaning.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Wise Woman is a profound and superb allegory
Next to the Bible, this book has impacted my life more than any other. If one would truly enjoy taking a good, honest look at one's character, this is the book!It is a frightening mirror of our own humanity, yet one thatwill inspire change! ... Read more

11. St. George and St. Michael Volume II
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 146 Pages (2010-01-29)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$13.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1407633910
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

12. The Golden Key (Dodo Press)
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 48 Pages (2009-02-20)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$6.86
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Asin: 1409957136
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Though no longer well known, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master". Even Mark Twain, who initially detested MacDonald, became friends with him, and there is some evidence that Twain was influenced by MacDonald. His bestknown works are Phantastes (1858), At the Back of the North Wind (1871), The Princess and the Goblin (1872), The Lost Princess (1875), Thomas Wingfold, Curate (1876), The Marquis of Lossie (1877) and Sir Gibbie (1879). He also published some volumes of sermons, the pulpit not having proved an unreservedly successful venue. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars what dreams may come
THE GOLDEN KEY by George MacDonald is nothing short of fascinating.It is all at the same time a fairy tale and a unique mystery.The first time I read it, (and now I honestly cannot figure out why) I didn't care for it.But I kept hearing more and more wonderful things about it.So, I read it again, and it enveloped me.Recently, I read it for a third time.And loved it still more.

To describe the plot of this story would do it no justice.Reading this little story is much more like wrapping up in a warm, thick blanket on a cold and rainy night.It is filled with wonder, suspense, beauty, and innocence.

I can't wait to read it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars a very fun fantasy adventure
I love fairy tales, and this story is a most excellent example of the genre.It follows two children on their journeys through Fairyland and their interactions with various fantastic people and creatures.I loved the pure innocence of the story and found it very captivating.The narration was also very excellent and energetic, making this story a very good listen.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Opening of a New Door in the Development of Literature
While The Golden Key may not be my all-time favorite book, it certainly has a strong connection to the book that I treasure most of all (well, second to the Bible).You see, George MacDonald, author of The Golden Key, was in fact the mentor of Lewis Carroll, who wrote my favorite non-Biblical book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.That's a very powerful and indeed shocking connection if you ask me.But you can kind of see it if you look closely.I mean, the kids in the Golden Key grow both old and young.Alice in Wonderland grows big and small.Kinda similar there.

Yet, I did not know about the relationship between the two books until AFTER I had finished The Golden Key and decided to do some research on its origin.I simply read The Golden Key like I would any other book, and developed some commentary on the work as a whole that I would now like to communicate:

First, the book is very short.I finished it in two days.And because its so short, events move incredibly fast to make room for heavy amounts of whimsical feeling and fantastical description.

But again I have to go back to the Alice thing.I noticed how SO many sentences in the story turned the reader upside down and made him say, "huh?"It was as if the Fairy World did everything it could to stay all out of whack.Whether it was to make speech that could be heard without ears, or to make the oldest people in the world look like little kids, the topsy-turvy nature of everything couldn't help but instill an amazing sense of awe.Truly, The Golden Key opens eyes to such incredible abstract possibilities of the imagination, and perhaps even life itself.

The out of whack sense of awe, while wonderful in this book, developed into full maturity in the Alice books.While The Golden Key merely mentions things that make no sense, the Alice books actually attempt to explain the senselessness of senseless things.

I hope I will always have a special place in my heart for MacDonald's prototype of Alice in Wonderland.Oh, if we only knew how much the imagination behind The Golden Key has really changed the world.I think we would all be very surprised.

5-0 out of 5 stars TheGolden Key
I purchased this book as a Christmas gift for my 20-year-old daughter.It was one of her favorite books as a child and she frequently checked it out of our local library until it disappeared from the shelf there, never to be seen again.She was very excited when she saw that she had her own copy and she took the book back to college with her after Christmas break.Although I haven't actually read the book myself, I can tell you that my daughter thinks it is great!

5-0 out of 5 stars Water
This book is like a drink of the freshest, clearest water on the brightest, bluest spring day you can imagine.It was lovely every step of the way, somehow beautifully sad and wonderful at the same time.With the aid of the creatures of fairyland, mistreated Tangle and adventuresome Mossy go on an enchanting journey which takes them straight through to a wisdom and sense of wonderment that is somehow greater than that found in adulthood (or childhood).George MacDonald truly had an eye for the worlds of fairy, and an unsurpassed talent for expressing beauty in all things.The stories are not always meant to be understood, but deep in that inner place in one's heart, they make sense. ... Read more

13. Quartered Safe Out Here: A Harrowing Tale of World War II
by George MacDonald Fraser
Paperback: 358 Pages (2007-10-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1602391904
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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George MacDonald Fraser—beloved for his series of Flashman historical novels—offers an action-packed memoir of his experiences in Burma during World War II.  Fraser was only 19 when he arrived there in the war’s final year, and he offers a first-hand glimpse at the camaraderie, danger, and satisfactions of service. A substantial Epilogue, occasioned by the 50th anniversary of VJ-Day in 1995, adds poignancy to a volume that eminent military historian John Keegan described as “one of the great personal memoirs of the Second World War.”
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Customer Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars Full of character and characters
George MacDonald Fraser writes of his service in Burma during WWII. It's definitely different
Example. page 215

`Ey, Grandarse, `ear w'at they're sayin' on't wireless? The yanks `ave dropped a bomb the size of a pencil on Tokyo an' it's blown the whole fookin' place tae bits!

Oh, aye. W'at were they aimin' at - `Ong Kong?"
"Ah'm tellin' ye! Joost one lal bomb, an' they reckon `alf Japan's in fookin' flames. That;s w'at they're sayin'!"
"W'ee's sayin'?"
"Ivverybody, man! Ah'm tellin' ye, it's on't wireless! Ey, they reckon Jap'll pack in. It'll be th' end o' the war!"
"Girraway? Do them yeller-skinned boogers oot theer knaw that?"
"Aw, bloody `ell `Oo can they, ye daft booger! They `evn't got the fookin' wireless, `ev they?"
"Aweer, then . Ah's keepin' me `eid down until the Yanks've dropped a few more pencils on Tokyo. An' w'en them boogers oot theer'ev packed in, Ah'll believe ye.?
"Aw, Ah's wastin' me time talkin tae you! `Ey, Foshie, `ear aboot the Yanks? They've dropped a secret weapon on Tokyo, `an the whole fookin' toon's wiped oot!"
"`Igh bloody time. W'ee's smeukin', then? Awoy, Kock, gi's one o' yer H.Q. Coompany fags, ye mean booger!"

It was a fine sunny morning when the news, in it's garbled form, ran round the battalion, and if it changed the world, it didn't change Nine Section.They sat on the floor of the basha, backs to the wall, supping chah and being skeptical. "Secret weapon" was an expression bandied about with cynical humor all through the war; Foshie's socks and Granndarse's flatulence, those were secret weapons, and super-bombs were the stuff of fantasy. I didn't believe it, that first day, although from the talk at company H.Q. it was fairly clear that something big had happened, or was about to."

I'm off to read Paul Fussell's Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the Best Personal Memoir of WWII I've read.
George MacDonald Fraser's memoir of his service as an enlisted man in the "Black Cat Division" in the Burma Campaign. Written forty years after the fact in the 80s Fraser vividly describes the experience of fighting "the Jap" in Burma, by all accounts the worst theater in WWII. The book as everything, in places it is laugh out loud funny, and in others you might have trouble seeing the print because of the dampness of your eyes.

Fraser has the remarkable ability to make us feel like we know the other members of his squad. When I finished the book, I began to miss Nixon, Grand Arse and the others.

Keegan described Quartered Safe Out Here as "one of the great personal memoirs of the Second World War", all I've got to say is "One of?", ha, it is the best, at least the best I've read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fraser's Quartered Safe Out Here (a review by Thomas W Johnson)
George McDonald Fraser was the highly talented author of the "Flashman at the ...." series.I always enjoyed his work. It was normally previewed in Playboy Magazine and allowed the reader to honestly say he was reading the fiction and not bothered by the photos. In world war 2 Fraser was assigned to a Border detachment. In this mildly fictional work, Fraser's character appears to be part of Cowan's 17th Division working its way south towards Rangoon from Meiktila.Its a great read. Short, well written, lots of conversation between the "other ranks" so we're not bothered by Slim, Scoones, Merservy, etc....He does mention Slim's visit among his stories. This is interesting fiction based on Fraser's experiences in 1945.The story about running into the Japanese bunkers on patrol, and debating whether to throw in both his grenades is almost worth the price of purchase on its own.
I recommend this book for readers interested in the war in Burma, the British infantryman's experience in the war in Burma and readers who are acquainted with Fraser's other works.You won't be disappointed.Readers might want to compare Fraser's work to McCann's Memories of Kohima for first person description of an infantry battle against the Japanese. Its not expensive, an easy read and someone you know will want to borrow the book when you're done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Memoir of the Burma Campaign
"Quartered Safe Out Here", by George MacDonald Fraser, is Mr Fraser's memoirs of his service as a 19 year old Scottish Private (and Corporal) toward the tail end of the Burma Campaign in World War II.Written over 50 years after the war, this book is not meant to be an exhaustive study of the campaign, but covers what he remembers of the battles he fought and gives a delightful depiction of the men he fought alongside ... and with ... in Burma against the Japanese.

Early on in the book, Mr Fraser describes his memories as a long line of grey where he remembers generally what was happening but with few specifics alongside occasional bursts of vivid color where he can remember a tremendous amount of detail - and not all of it relevant.Nearly 50 years old myself, I find that's a pretty accurate portrayal of how my older memories are, too, such as my days in college or when I was in the Service.He fits his recollections in with a broader description of the fighting in Burma during the time he served, in a generally chronological, generally episodic manner in line with his memories.

Where this book really shines is in its day-to-day depiction of the life of an infantryman in this theater.He covers everything from the challenges of the jungle ... heat, monsoons, poisonous critters ... to what he wears and eats, and to his impressions of the many different nationalities/cultural subdivisions that fought in the 14th Army (British, Indians, Sikhs, Gurkans, Africans, and so on).But best of all is his descriptions of his section-mates, a much more experienced, battle-hardened, and humorously sarcastic bunch, that fought and beat the Japanese.There are also battle scenes both large and small, although as the author points out, what makes an action slight or deadly dangerous depends pretty much on your perspective; what higher headquarters may barely notice could be the most dramatic fighting of the war for the people involved.

The book is refreshingly politically incorrect, which is to say honest to the era and to what the men involved truly felt and believed.While in my experience, most veterans of the Western Front in World War II have forgiven and are reconciled to the Germans, the veterans of the Pacific front, virtually to a man, still hate the Japanese and will until their dying breath.

I highly recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars An old soldier's authoritis
This book is not a history of the Burma campaign, but a memoir of a tiny portion of it, from the Battle of Meiktile to mopping up operations after Operation Dracula. The author is very forthright about the sketchiness of his memory of events a half century earlier.He was a young private and then a corporal in a section of infantry that was part of the 17th Indian Division.His aim, and the considerable charm of the book, is to portray the men in his section--their attitudes, their speech, their humor, and now and then their courage.One quickly gets to recognize them, and to share Fraser's affection for them--and so it is a genuine shock when now and then one of them is killed or wounded.

Unfortunately from time to time he lapses from a veteran's tenderness into an old soldier's rant about the degenerate customs and revisionist views of the current day.It is natural enough, I suppose, for an elderly author, but it puts the reader through increasingly dense sections of his opinions about non-Burmese subjects--the dropping of the atomic bombs, the lack of respect for stiff upper lips, the pop-psych interrogations ofTV journalists....It is not so much a question of whether his opinions are correct, or politically correct, as it is a question of whether those curmudgeonly passages add to the flavor of the work or dilute it.
... Read more

14. The Reavers
by George MacDonald Fraser
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-04-07)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307388050
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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After twelve gloriously scandalous Flashman novels, the incomparable George MacDonald Fraser gives us a totally hilarious tale of derring-do from a different era.

It's the turn of the seventeenth century (sort of) in the wild Borderlands of Scotland. The irresistible Lady Godiva Dacre and her "chocolate-box pretty" companion Mistress Kylie Delishe find themselves caught between the dashing Bonny Gilderoy (think Johnny Depp on a horse in a tunic) and Archie Noble (Steve McQueen in Elizabethan garb). A casket of jewels, an accidental murder, and an estate at risk are the order of the day. Amidst preposterous alliances and ridiculous complications of the heart, our heroines discover a fiendish Spanish plot to overthrow the king. What ensues is an utterly uproarious thrill ride filled with lecherous mischief, diabolical intrigue, and a cast of supporting characters that only George Fraser could deliver. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars `It was a dark and stormy night in Elizabethan England ...'
Spoiled, arrogant, filthy rich and breathtakingly beautiful, the young Lady Godiva Dacre is exiled from the court of Good Queen Bess [who can't abide red-haired competition] to her lonely estate in distant Cumberland.Poor Godiva.The turbulent Scottish border is no safe place for an Elizabethan heiress: ruthless reivers; black-mailing ruffians; fiendish Spanish plotters intent on regime change.What's a girl to do?She has no-one but Kylie, her blonde school chum. Or does she? What about the dashing highwayman, and that rugged English superman?Hmmm.

From its taut [!] opening sentence [over300 words worth] this [moral] tale is a totally frivolous nonsense.It is, as George MacDonald Fraser firmly stated in his foreword - completely over the top and written for the fun of it. If you can't read it in the same vein, then pass it by.I think that George MacDonald Fraser had a lot of fun writing this book (his last) and I certainly had a lot of fun reading it, notwithstanding my concerns about Frey Bentos and the European Union.

Perhaps the last word belongs to the author's statement from the foreword: `If we seem to treat history lightly in this regard, that is not to say we are false to it; mad fancy may go hand in hand with sober fact, as long as the two remain distinct.' Indeed.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

2-0 out of 5 stars pathetic purple prose
I'm sure there's a story in here somewhere but slogging through the author's artificial folksy speech, overwrought prose, and mindless rambling draws on my nerves and gets tiring fast. It was fun at the introduction, but becomes tedious by the second chapter and near unreadable after that. I just want him to get on with the story. I'm glad I didn't pay full price for this.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Reavers
A rollicking adventure in the style of the Burt Lancaster movie "The Crimson Pirate", "The Reavers" blends Elizabethan history with broad contemporary humor.It is a fun read, especially for lovers of 1940s adventure movies.Not as scholarly as most of Fraser's books(and YES I include the Flashman series), more like "The Pyrates", this story is sarcastic, funny, randy and a fine conclusion to a magnificent career.

5-0 out of 5 stars As a newbie to Fraser, I loved this book!
As a newbie to George MacDonald Fraser's work, I loved this book. The first few pages were a challenge, since it was all blithely-written nonsense to give the reader some background, and the characters had not yet set foot in the scene.But once they did, I found myself really laughing at the over-the-top dialogues.It's obvious that Fraser really does know his history -- this is no guess-work by an amateur -- but boy, does he have fun with it.Much of the dialogue and references might make more sense to those of us who do happen to have some knowledge of the history of the period, and especially of the Anglo-Scottish borderlands and the broad Scots dialect;but since I'm lucky in that regard, I managed to follow the jokes.I have to say that this book is what I really hoped the Terry Pratchett books would be, but never were for me.Anyway, I plan to read more of Fraser's work in the future.I recommend this to anyone who loves jinking word-play and tongue-ferdy nonsense.

4-0 out of 5 stars More swashbuckling silliness from the author of "Flashman" and "Pyrates"
George MacDonald Fraser sadly left us in 2008, but the blessed author left behind some of the most beloved comic novels written in recent years.From his adored "Flashman" series - a perfect comic counterpoint to Bernard Cornwell's bloody Sharpe novels - to the high-sea silliness of "The Pyrates," Fraser's novels have enchanted readers far and wide.

"The Reavers" is not Fraser's best book, but that's far from a critical review - the man set the bar extremely high.This book is akin to "Pyrates" in that it is a stand-alone work of comic gold.Allegedly set in the late 16th century on the English-Scottish border (although with this book, Fraser's historical fidelity is, shall we say, fluid), "Reavers" tells a story of love, political intrigue, and heinous Spanish plots and schemes.

Archie Noble and Ebeneezer Gilderoy are English and Scottish special agents, sworn foes and rivals for the fair, spoiled hand of Godiva, an English princess.Forced to work together to fight off a dastardly Spanish plot to replace the Scottish king with an imposter, this team offers Fraser countless opportunities for him to split your sides with a well-timed jape.Indeed, few sentences lack a punchline - this is a joke-heavy book.

And it is also a bit of a struggle - even though it is far shorter than the epic "Pyrates," "Reavers" is a dense book requiring close attention to what the heck is going on.Fortunately, the jokes come so fast and furious that you don't really mind if you've lost the plot thread, and this isn't actually a Russian novel as far as plot complexity is concerned.

Fans of Fraser have already read this.If you are new to Fraser, don't start with this book - start with "Flashman," jump over to the "Pyrates," and finish with this one.You'll be glad you did. ... Read more

15. Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II, and III
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 232 Pages (2009-11-20)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$10.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1449911382
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"Unspoken Sermons" by George MacDonald is a Christian classic spoken of highly by C.S. Lewis. In "Unspoken Sermons," "to understand the words of our Lord is the business of life. For it is the main road to the understanding of The Word himself. And to receive him is to receive the Father, and so to have Life in ourselves. And Life, the higher, the deeper, the simpler, the original, is the business of life." In his introduction to George MacDonald: An Anthology, C. S. Lewis wrote of MacDonald's theology: "This collection, as I have said, was designed not to revive MacDonald's literary reputation but to spread his religious teaching. Hence most of my extracts are taken from the three volumes of "Unspoken Sermons." My own debt to this book is almost as great as one man can owe to another: and nearly all serious inquirers to whom I have introduced it acknowledge that it has given them great help-sometimes indispensable help toward the very acceptance of the Christian faith." Mark Twain, who initially disliked George MacDonald, also later became his friend and was influenced by MacDonald's theology as presented in "Unspoken Sermons." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Poorly Printed
This has nothing to do with the quality of the Unspoken Sermons, which anyone can freely read (e.g. Project Gutenberg) or listen to (Librivox) since they are in the public domain: the publisher saved paper costs by printing the book in footnote sized characters and narrow margins. I did not notice this when I looked at the excerpt on Amazon, but when I began to read the printed book I noticed that I had to turn my head to read each line. I now wish I would have just paid to print the Sermons myself in two columns per page.

4-0 out of 5 stars Much to be gained here, but exercise discernment as always
MacDonald is one of the few writers that I return to again and again. At his best he is nothing short of brilliant and inspiring. If in the course of a two-week period you were to read John Owen on the Mortification of Sin (the first 86 pages of Vol VI of his Works) together with MacDonald's "Self-Denial" (in Series Two of these Unspoken Sermons), I daresay you would be thinking about your Christian walk in a whole new way. Whereas Owen will warn you against "self-maceration" (p. 82) and "sundry self-vexations" (p. 17), MacDonald will give you the key to understanding the difference between godly mortification of sin and unbiblical asceticism. And the key is this: not to torment the body or to deny it pleasures - which God intends for us to receive with all gratitude - but rather to deny the self entirely as a motive to action! Receive from God blessings with joy; receive also pains and trials cheerfully. Don't worry your head about finding ways to discipline your flesh, except insofar as to resist sin. (Your own synthesis of these two great teachers will probably vary a bit from mine, but I do think you will agree that they are wonderfully complementary.)

A word of caution is in order with respect to MacDonald. He is passionate and has a palpable love for the Lord, but like his pupil, C. S. Lewis, he is prone to make assertions which (to me, at least) do not appear to be exegetical. That is, he will sometimes make statements - glorious, soul-raising assertions - which are not clearly derived from Scripture, or which seem to go beyond what the text itself says. For example, I love what MacDonald says about the White Stone of Revelation, and the secret name that God has for each believer. I hope that it is true, but MacDonald seems to know more about it than one could possibly know apart from special revelation.

My final word of advice is this: purchase and read Lewis's anthology of MacDonald first. If you find yourself yearning for more, then get a hold of the Unspoken Sermons. Reviewer DHB cautions that this particular one-volume edition was produced from a scanner in conjunction with optical character recognition (OCR) software, and the output was not carefully edited, with the result that there are numerous typographical errors. My copy, produced by J. Joseph Flynn Rare Books in association with Sunrise Books, was published in Eureka, California in 1989. It is a photographic facsimile of the original 1889 edition in three paperback volumes. The font is quaintly old-fashioned, but large and legible.

3-0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for Content,2 or less for Edition
The others reviewers are right, George McDonald's understanding of the true Christian life is unmatched by anybody else I have read or heard. It is much greater than mine and I have learned and am still learning a lot from him. If this is the only edition you can find, buy it by all means! But look for another one. Avoid the "digital" press editions (like this one) which result from the printing of poorly edited OCR scans on poor paper and generally in poorly readable characters and format. This edition is superior to most such, but if you can buy another edition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unspoken Sermons
I have read hundreds of books dealing with every aspect of Christianity, religion, theology and philosophy. I also have a degree in theology. In my opinion this book has had more impact on my life then the sum of the others I have read combined! C.S. Lewis considered MacDonald his master and I never understood why until I read this collection. It is the best, most impacting book I have ever read. It can be a hard read at times but don't let that stop you because it's well worth it! I never write reviews on anything; I have been impacted so strongly by this book I had to let everyone know how great it is and is a must read for anyone! If you are a seeker of truth and are ready for real answers in your life than this is the book for you. This is by far the best collection I have ever read. It changed my life and would wager any amount of money you will find a similar response. Don't even think about it; Just get it!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Remove the yoke of Religion
If you are seeking the true Christ, read these sermons.MacDonald wrote as one filled with the Spirit; with the motive/desire to remove the yoke of man's made religion while pointing to the truth of the risen Lord.My life has been changed, in part due to MacDonald's obedience to write the truth in the Spirit.

His writing style is deep and thoughtful, and always well worth reading and re-reading until the truth of what he is saying sinks in.I would also highly recommend his fictional works-especially those written for children. He was the original JRR Tolkien (Tolkien and CS Lewis were both greatly influenced by him both in style and faith), so if you enjoyed the Lord of the Rings, you will find more to enjoy in MacDonald's fiction. ... Read more

16. The Christmas Stories of George Macdonald (Chariot Classics)
by George MacDonald
Hardcover: 96 Pages (1981-10)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$67.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0891914919
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic from the 1800 in Scotlan
This book is well worth the reading for children of all ages; especially age 10 years and up.However, children in our day are likely too immature to appreciate or even understand the language or situation these children faced.It is well written and if parents were to pre-read each story then help the child to read these stories it would be a fine.The art work is lovely.The hard bound edition is grand and worth every penny.These stories simply do not ever go out of style.Our kids read this book in their teens.We read each chapter together as a family and still talk of those lovely evenings now part of our family history.There are several separate stories in this book so it makes for several nice adventures each completed in a few days at the most.

George McDonald was a contemporary of Mark Twain but lived in Scotland.They actually were acquainted and while they wrote to children quite often the stories are suitable for any age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Christian without being preachy while lovely stories :)
Someone should make a movie of the main story here because it would be a classic! Simple enough for the very young child but with heart enough for the older reader who has a heart to feel with. I like to read it to myself if I can't find a child to read it to every Christmas. ... Read more

17. The Musician's Quest (MacDonald / Phillips series)
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 264 Pages (1984-08)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0871234440
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A Master of Character Development!

Robert Falconer, who appears briefly in The Tutor's First Love, is the main character in this compelling story of a young man's search for meaning to life and spiritual reality.

Robert's mother had died when he was very young. His father, overwhelmed with grief and responsibility, eventually disappeared, leaving Robert to the care of his austere, very strict grandmother. In her sincere yet misguided devotion to God, she is constantly on guard against any weak characteristics from her wayward son which might appear in her young grandson. Will his sensitive nature be permanently marred by the harsh realities of life under her domination?

His friendship with Mary is one of the bright spots in his life during those dark years. The dim memory of his father continues to haunt Robert. Is he still alive? Will Robert ever know for sure?

The Powerful Story of Robert Falconer, George MacDonald's Favorite Character!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book.
The main character in this book is thought to be patterned after the Author himself. It's the story of a young man who was raised by his Grandmother. Her narrow Calvinist beliefs nearly drive him away from her.The pure love of God in his heart gives him patience and understanding forher, and endears him to others he meets as he grows into manhood. This bookalso provides a glimpse into Scottish life in the late 1800's. ... Read more

18. The Golden Key and Other Stories (Fantasy Stories of George MacDonald)
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 176 Pages (1980-10-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802818595
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
George MacDonald (1824-1905), the great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, influenced not only C. S. Lewis but also such literary masters as Charles Williams and J. R. R. Tolkien. Though his longer fairy tales Lilith and Phantastes are particularly famous, much of MacDonald's best fantasy writing is found in his shorter stories. In this volume editor Glenn Sadler has compiled some of MacDonald's finest short works-marvelous fairy tales and stories certain to delight readers familiar with MacDonald and those about to meet him for the first time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Story stands Out
The short story, The Gift of the Child Christ was so moving and beautiful that it should be a Christmas time classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Geo MacDonald stories are awesome!
These stories are outstanding for anyone who loves fantasy tales about kings, queens, magic, nobility, and romance. I loved these stories and can't wait to read more from Goerge MacDonald.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Warm-hearted Fantasy
This is a wonderful book, containing four beautiful and soul-touching stories.But now it's out of print!I had lent the book to a friend, who mislaid it -- but thankfully he found it, and returned it to me today!Thestories are classic and universal, and I am deeply disappointed withEerdmans for discontinuing this title. ... Read more

19. Unspoken Sermons: Series I, II, III (Greek: Epea Aptera)
by George MacDonald
Paperback: 414 Pages (2006-09-27)
list price: US$26.99 -- used & new: US$17.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1426433778
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Of this passage in the life of our Lord, the account given by St Mark is the more complete. But it may be enriched and its lesson rendered yet more evident from the record of St Matthew. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Unspoken Mastery: A Key to Deeper Meanings
I was first introduced to these Unspoken Sermons by way of C.S. Lewis' almost insane fascination with the authors fairy-based fictional writing (Phantastes, more specifically), which I am currently investigating. If you are interested in a different kind of preaching that is nearly unheard in our times - these lessons cannot be overpowered. You will go away with an unwavering convection that this is the Christianity that was preached by Jesus in the synoptic gospels. The entire center of George Macdonald's sermons are specific embodiments of the life and teachings of Jesus. Even when George goes into the epistles and Old Testament writings, he always used them as to unveil a deeper way of understanding who Jesus is in his eternal suchness. Giving a mystical interpretation of the gospel of St. John, which is missing in the books of christian authorship, whose aim is to explore deeper meanings.

3-0 out of 5 stars Margins too narrow hard to read near binding edge
These are profound lessons by George MacDonald but if you want an easy to read large print, look for another edition. First it's a wide format paperpack (I should have checked the dimensions). But worse than that, the margins are too narrow so that it's difficult to open the book wide enough to read the text near the bound edge of the pages. Maybe one would do well to steer away from books by its publisher: Bibliobazaar.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Heart of Christ
I have read a lot of Christian writing - not only Theology in basically all it's manifestations (Catholicism, various forms of Protestantism, Orthodoxy), but Literature as well (Paradise Lost, The Confessions of St. Augustine, The Pilgrim's Progress, The Divine Comedy). I am intimiately familiar with C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, Tolkien, etc. I've also read thoroughly very talented Christian poets like John Donne, William Blake, John Milton, Edmund Spencer, etc.

And there is not a single writer like George MacDonald. His writing has the closest feel to the Gospels as anything I've ever read. He addresses Christianity in so many ways - logically, emotionally, practically, humanly. He portrays Christ in such a different way than anyone else I have ever read. He portrays a Christ that truly speaks to your soul.

There are truths in these sermons that cannot be found anywhere else. If you're feeling the flimsiness of "church" faith - if you want to get a better sense of what real, deep faith in God is about - I suggest you read these sermons. They have changed my life in ways I cannot express, as MacDonald expresses more of the heart of Christ than anyone I have ever read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ
I have read hundreds of books dealing with every aspect of Christianity, religion, theology and philosophy. I also have a degree in theology. In my opinion this book has had more impact on my life then the sum of the others I have read combined! C.S. Lewis considered MacDonald his master and I never understood why until I read this collection. It is the best, most impacting book I have ever read. It can be a hard read at times but don't let that stop you because it's well worth it! I never write reviews on anything; I have been impacted so strongly by this book I had to let everyone know how great it is and is a must read for anyone! If you are a seeker of truth and are ready for real answers in your life than this is the book for you. This is by far the best collection I have ever read. It changed my life and would wager any amount of money you will find a similar response. Don't even think about it; Just get it!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars George MacDonald
I love Macdonald's novels so I purchased this book. It is deep reading at times because of the translation but well worth the time. His insights into God are terrific at times. ... Read more

20. The Light's on at Signpost
by George MacDonald Fraser
Paperback: 352 Pages (2003-05-19)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$8.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0007136471
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From the author of the ever-popular Flashman novels, a collection of film-world reminiscences and trenchant thoughts on Cool Britannia, New Labour and other abominations.In between writing Flashman novels, George MacDonald Fraser spent thirty years as an "incurably star struck" screenwriter, working with the likes of Steve McQueen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cubby Broccoli, Burt Lancaster, Federico Fellini and Oliver Reed. Now he shares his recollections of those encounters, providing a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes.Far from starry-eyed where Tony Blair & Co are concerned, he looks back also to the Britain of his youth and castigates those responsible for its decline to "a Third World country ! misruled by a typical Third World government, corrupt, incompetent and undemocratic".Controversial, witty and revealing -- or "curmudgeonly", "reactionary", "undiluted spleen", according to the critics -- The Light's on at Signpost has struck a chord with a great section of the public. Perhaps, as one reader suggests, it should be "hidden beneath the floorboards, before the Politically-Correct Thought Police come hammering at the door, demanding to confiscate any copies". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Like an embarassingly drunk uncle at a tea party...
I genuinely enjoy reading Fraser's fiction and think "Quartered Safe Out of Here" is one of the great memoirs of World War II. However, this book is just one extended rant and ends up making Fraser look silly. The few times he scores points it is on easy targets.Most of the time he is simply trying too hard to be a curmudgeon. There is something pathetic about a wealthy white male feeling victimized by modern politics and one wonders, for all his railing against political correctness, if he doesn't have his own sacred cows that he never examined.Still, his anecdotes are funny and, as always, he writes beautifully.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Flashman, but undeniably Fraser
This is the only one of George MacDonald Fraser's books that I have read (20 to date), that does not merit a 5 star rating.Still, I highly recommend it.

Do not expect Flashman to come running to the rescue after cowering behind a bush.These are the personal reflections of a marvelous author and screen writer.GMF's chapter on political correctness entitled "Angry Old Man 5 - The Truth That Dare Not Speak It's Name" is worth the purchase price by itself, and is truly hysterical, though sadly, spot on.While I did not agree with all GMF's rants, delivered in his distinctive style, it is impossible to take offense.

The book is liberally (forgive the word choice, George), sprinkled with personal anecdotes of some of the biggest names in entertainment and elsewhere.

For those wishing to sample Fraser's work for the first time, Pyrates or any of the Flashman novels will serve perfectly.

4-0 out of 5 stars good, for fans
The book is in three interwoven threads, Fraser's screenwriting experiences, 'interlude's, and 'angry old man', a series of essays about what's wrong with the world.Much has been made of one of the latter, a short rant by an old soldier opposed to Britain's involvement in the 'Fourth Afghan War,' but these essays cover a range of topics, and there is plenty of scorn to go around.The book should be uniformly interesting for fans of Fraser, but not strongly recommended for others.For me, the revelation that he is not done with Flashman was worth the price of admission.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Real Breath of Fresh Air
Mr, Fraser has written a really good book, which makes a lot sense and was fun to read. One gets tired of hearing from the P.C. and the "Caring Brigade", so when I started reading this text it really was a joy to these tired old eyes.
Not that I don't agree with everything with the Author. For example his oppostion to the 4th Afghan War. But Mr. Fraser has earned his right to opposed that war. (Anyone who fought under Slim in Burma has my respect) He also put forth ones of the best arguements against the EU that I have ever read.
I also liked reading about Mr. Fraser's movie career especially about the Musketeers series in this tome. All in all it's one of his better books that I have read of his since "Flashman in the Great Game. I am really looking forward to "Flashman on the March" and just hope that he will get Flashy's involvement in the American Civil war edited soon!

4-0 out of 5 stars With ineffable cheek
"I write as a convinced Imperialist - which means that I believe that the case for the British Empire as one of the best things that ever happened to an undeserving world is proved, open and shut ... We did what we did, and it was worth doing, and no one could have done it better - or half as well."

Bravo! Well, said.

George MacDonald Fraser, author and film screenwriter, has delighted fans for decades with his Flashman series, his Private McAuslan series (THE GENERAL DANCED AT DAWN, McAUSLAN IN THE ROUGH, THE SHEIKH AND THE DUSTBIN), his history of the Anglo-Scottish border brigands (THE STEEL BONNETS), and his autobiography of his World War Two soldiering with General Slim's 14th Indian Army in Burma (QUARTERED SAFE OUT HERE). For those acquainted with these works, THE LIGHT'S ON AT SIGNPOST presents a Fraser not before seen.

This book's thirty chapters are assorted, ten each, into three categories: "Shooting Script", "Angry Old Man", and "Interludes". In the first, Fraser reminisces about script writing for such films as the Musketeers trilogy, PRINCE AND PAUPER, SUPERMAN 1 and 2, FORCE TEN FROM NAVARONE, OCTOPUSSY, and RED SONJA. In the second, the author is at his outraged and irascible best as he rails against Britain's participation in the post-9/11 Fourth Afghan War, the contemptible incompetence of Members of Parliament in general ("government from the gutter") and the New Labour government in particular, the abolition of the death penalty, political correctness, women in the armed forces, the race relations industry, unrestricted foreign immigration, the dismal state of British print journalism and television, greed and dishonesty in professional sports, and Britain's membership in the European Union. Finally, in chapters headed "Interlude", Fraser ruminates on such diverse topics as the Act of Settlement, which bars Roman Catholics from the throne, boyhood trips to Scotland in the family caravan (trailer), the Anglo-American "special relationship", a trip to Russia, the British Empire, and ...

"... the modern craze for garlic and peppers is symptomatic of Britain's decline. Time was when both were unknown here, and the atmosphere was not rendered hideous by a stench reminiscent of an inferior Paraguayan bordello. (I have never been in Paraguay; I merely surmise.)"

For me, the best parts of THE LIGHT'S ON AT SIGNPOST are Fraser's political and social commentaries. Indeed, he uses such language that would cause Liberals to gnash their teeth and rend their robes.Luckily, I'm not a Liberal, so enjoyed his rants immensely. Less absorbing were his remembrances of the film industry, perhaps because I only saw one of the movies mentioned, although his descriptions of the personalities of Burt Lancaster, Oliver Hardy, Edward Fox, Robert Shaw, Harrison Ford, Steve McQueen, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were enlightening.

The book's title refers to the grandstand scoreboard which monitors the Isle of Man's annual Tourist Trophy cross-country motorcycle race. As each contestant passes Signpost Corner, about a mile from the finish line, a light illuminates next to his slot on the scoreboard. Fraser recognizes that his life is coming to its natural end, and he's perhaps just passed his personal and last milepost.

Fraser's books, particularly the McAuslan trilogy, occupy a place of honor on my mental shelves. He's one of the most enjoyable authors I've ever come across, and I salute him as he approaches his finish line. And it's good to know beforehand what a Paraguayan bordello smells like. ... Read more

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