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Book review: Puck of Pook's Hill - Phil's Rambling Rants
May 3rd, 2008
12:03 pm

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Book review: Puck of Pook's Hill
Today's book review is Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling.

This story is a series of episodes about legendary ancient Britain, loosely stitched together with a little bit of "present day" (that is, Victorian era) stuff, plus poems interspersed between the chapters.  Several of the poems are familiar, since they've been set to music, and they do relate to the legends being recounted.  Several of the legends do fit together into a larger story which is actually told in the poem "The Runes on Weland's Sword" -- though before I'd read the book, the poem never made any sense, so I don't think that's much of a spoiler.  It's easy to read; the choice of words doesn't feel quite like 21st Century American writing, but it doesn't have any of the headache-inducing stuffiness that I still subconsciously expect any time I see the word "classic" printed on a book cover because of high school literature classes.  Since I know little of either real British ancient history or the traditional legendary treatment of those times, it's fairly fresh ground for me, and enjoyable, though I didn't feel that it was all that heavily infused with deep significance.

There's some material which may be objectionable to Jews.  I don't want to go into the issues much, but I feel that I should mention that as I was reading it I had the feeling that I was reading stuff that would make some people upset.

I don't think it was truly great, but it was fun and interesting enough that I think it deserves to be remembered a century after it was written.  8 out of 10.

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