Saturday, February 18, 2006

Winter's Tales

by Isak Dinesen

Though I loved Out of Africa (its opening paragraph is among the all-time best paragraphs ever written) and Shadows on the Grass but this book wasn't as good. The collection includes: "The Young Man with The Carnation," "Sorrow-Acre," "The Heroine," "The Sailor-Boy's Tale," "The Pearls," "The Invincible Slave-Owners," "The Dreaming Child," "Alkmene," "The Fish," "Peter and Rosa," and "A Consolatory Tale" and most are strange with somewhat supernatural occurances which remain without explanation or purpose.

The best of the stories are "The Invincible Slave-Owners," "The Dreaming Child," "The Heroine" and "Alkmene" which have the most navigable plots, but nonetheless left me wondering what I'd read. The best part of the book is that my 1942 hardback was a "Random Wartime Book" and full of interesting reminders of World War II--a logo for war bonds on the back flap and a call for books for U.S. servicemen followed by an address of where you could mail the copy after you had finished reading it so it could be read by a G.I. Only thing is, I don't they'd appreciate such an odd collection of stories as this.