Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Did Not Finish: Phantastes by George MacDonald

This post makes me sad. I like science fiction and fantasy books, the further back they go, the better, so I'm very disappointed that I'm not finishing this one. Phantastes dates from 1857, and when I was given a gift card to a Christian bookstore I gladly spent it on a copy. This is my third book of MacDonald's, as I've read both Lilith and The Light Princess in recent years. I enjoyed The Light Princess but found Lilith to be slow and confusing. Phantastes turned out to be like Lilith, only worse.
*Edit: Actually, I've also started MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind and The Gentlewoman's Choice and never finished those, either.*

The plot of Phantastes is meandering. I have no idea where it's supposed to be going. I'd be okay with this, though, if the entire story wasn't confusing. The importances of events and characters aren't explained, leaving everything seeming random. In a bad way. The two things that are kind of cool about it are that it's an 1857 fantasy novel and it seems to draw on Arthurian legend some (I was reminded of The Mabinogion at times).  But it's soooo slow, and right now I'm getting back into school and have a giant stack of books that I need to read. When I go almost a week without picking up this book, I know I should probably give up. Only for now, however; hopefully I can come back later, when I have more time to read, and devote myself to this one more.


  1. Sorry to hear that. I'm stubborn that way too and find it hard to give up on a book I've started.

  2. Ugh, I have some didn't finish it reviews to write too. I hate not finishing them, but if you aren't digging it or enjoying it, what's the point?