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Rip Van Winkle (Classic Illustrated Edition)

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* Beautifully illustrated with delightful illustrations from early editions, Rip Van Winkle is set in the years before and after the American Revolutionary War. In a pleasant village, at the foot of New York's Catskill Mountains, lives kindly Rip Van Winkle, a colonial British-American villager of Dutch ancestry. Van Winkle enjoys solitary activities in the wilderness, but * Beautifully illustrated with delightful illustrations from early editions, Rip Van Winkle is set in the years before and after the American Revolutionary War. In a pleasant village, at the foot of New York's Catskill Mountains, lives kindly Rip Van Winkle, a colonial British-American villager of Dutch ancestry. Van Winkle enjoys solitary activities in the wilderness, but he is also loved by all in town—especially the children to whom he tells stories and gives toys. However, he tends to shirk hard work, to his nagging wife's dismay, which has caused his home and farm to fall into disarray. His life is turned upside-down after he drinks some moonshine with mysterious mountain men and falls asleep for twenty years. * Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's readers as it would have been when first published, the novel is one of the great works of American literature and continues to be widely read throughout the world. * This meticulous digital edition from Heritage Illustrated Publishing is a faithful reproduction of the original text and is enhanced with images carefully selected by our team of professional editors.


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* Beautifully illustrated with delightful illustrations from early editions, Rip Van Winkle is set in the years before and after the American Revolutionary War. In a pleasant village, at the foot of New York's Catskill Mountains, lives kindly Rip Van Winkle, a colonial British-American villager of Dutch ancestry. Van Winkle enjoys solitary activities in the wilderness, but * Beautifully illustrated with delightful illustrations from early editions, Rip Van Winkle is set in the years before and after the American Revolutionary War. In a pleasant village, at the foot of New York's Catskill Mountains, lives kindly Rip Van Winkle, a colonial British-American villager of Dutch ancestry. Van Winkle enjoys solitary activities in the wilderness, but he is also loved by all in town—especially the children to whom he tells stories and gives toys. However, he tends to shirk hard work, to his nagging wife's dismay, which has caused his home and farm to fall into disarray. His life is turned upside-down after he drinks some moonshine with mysterious mountain men and falls asleep for twenty years. * Just as accessible and enjoyable for today's readers as it would have been when first published, the novel is one of the great works of American literature and continues to be widely read throughout the world. * This meticulous digital edition from Heritage Illustrated Publishing is a faithful reproduction of the original text and is enhanced with images carefully selected by our team of professional editors.

30 review for Rip Van Winkle (Classic Illustrated Edition)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    "Rip Van Winkle" is considered by some critics to be one of the finest early American short stories. Almost everyone knows the basic story, but I'd guess not all that many people have actually read Washington Irving's original story. **Warning: if you're one of those vanishingly rare people who's not familiar with this story, there are major spoilers after the next picture below.** It took a little digging to find the full original version of this old story online; it turns out that it's "Rip Van Winkle" is considered by some critics to be one of the finest early American short stories. Almost everyone knows the basic story, but I'd guess not all that many people have actually read Washington Irving's original story. **Warning: if you're one of those vanishingly rare people who's not familiar with this story, there are major spoilers after the next picture below.** It took a little digging to find the full original version of this old story online; it turns out that it's included in a collection of stories by Washington Irving called The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., available for free at Gutenberg here. Rip van Winkle is a villager living in New York state, just before the American Revolution in the 1770s. He's also a layabout who likes hunting and hanging out at the tavern with friends, but not so much working on his farm. I had never realized how totally useless as a husband Rip Van Winkle was, and how extremely shrewish his wife was. Rip is willing to help anyone else but is a complete failure at providing for his own family; his wife spends every waking moment nagging and yelling at him. They make each other completely miserable. So it's almost for the best when one day Rip goes walking in the mountains and meets up with a group of outlandish men playing nine-pins and drinking from a flagon. Rip helps himself to their liquor, and eventually falls into a drunken sleep. Twenty years later he wakes up and makes his way back to his village, to find that America is now independent from Britain, his children have grown, his wife has died, and he can now sit around and be lazy in peace, respected as a patriarch of the village and a symbol of the old times. I've looked at some critics' analyses of "Rip Van Winkle," and there are some intriguing ideas about what this story means: * A symbol of America's escape from British rule, with Britain playing the role of the mean, despotic wife. * A commentary on how the more things change, the more they stay the same. * A cautionary tale about people who live irresponsible lives and rely on other people to take care of them:Rip's daughter took him home to live with her; she had a snug, well-furnished house, and a stout cheery farmer for a husband, whom Rip recollected for one of the urchins that used to climb upon his back. As to Rip's son and heir, who was the ditto of himself, seen leaning against the tree, he was employed to work on the farm; but evinced an hereditary disposition to attend to any thing else but his business.It is interesting how Rip's passive personality doesn't really change over the course of the story. The news that his wife has died affects his life much more than the news of the American Revolution. The character of the shrewish wife is one-dimensional, but the more I think about Rip Van Winkle and how he reacts (or fails to react) to life and the events around him, the more I'm intrigued with this story. In fact, the process of writing this review convinced me to up my rating from 3 stars to 4. There's more here than initially meets the eye. It's an interesting character analysis as well as a fun story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 of 5 stars to Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. In Washington Irving’s short story “Rip Van Winkle,” Rip’s wife Dame constantly nags her husband because all he ever does is sleep, put off his chores, and play with his dog Woof. The other women in the village are tolerable to him only because Rip doesn’t have to listen to their hassling all day long. He isn’t married to any of them but Dame. Irving's satire is a humorous attempt to display wives as barbaric slave-drivers who Book Review 4 of 5 stars to Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. In Washington Irving’s short story “Rip Van Winkle,” Rip’s wife Dame constantly nags her husband because all he ever does is sleep, put off his chores, and play with his dog Woof. The other women in the village are tolerable to him only because Rip doesn’t have to listen to their hassling all day long. He isn’t married to any of them but Dame. Irving's satire is a humorous attempt to display wives as barbaric slave-drivers who are better off being dead than being tyrannical women, who exist only to burden their husbands. YIKES! It's a good thing this was written over a century ago... or Irving would be rightfully slaughtered in today's world. The next few paragraphs are considering when this was written, and not my personal opinion... just cutting an excerpt from a paper I wrote years ago on this story, reflecting on how men treated women in fiction during that time period. Washington Irving’s story makes some women out to be horrible creatures who are always torturing their husbands. However, there are some women who are basically good-natured and acceptable creatures. In Irving’s short story, Rip Van Winkle is “a great favorite among all the good wives of the village” (Lauter 1296). These women, who are not made out to be the old hags, even go as far to blame Dame Van Winkle for all the fighting that goes on in the Van Winkle house. Irving tells his readers that men see their own wives as shrews who love to fight with their husbands. Other women are tolerable though. “The women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them” (Lauter 1296). Rip would do any work that someone else asked him to do, but if it was his own work that his wife flogged him about all the time, he would shrug it off. Dame, his wife, was too shrill and bothersome to want to do work for and she showed no mercy on him. Rip simply wants to be free to live his life in the way that suits him, not in the way that suits someone else. “If left to himself, [Rip] would have whistled life away in perfect contentment; but his wife kept dinning his ears about his idleness, his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing on his family” ( Lauter 1297). He doesn’t want to have a meddlesome and annoying wife around to tell him what to do all the time. Dame Van Winkle is such a barbaric woman that she has the ability to frighten almost anyone, including Rip’s dog, whose name, coincidentally, is Wolf. “The moment Wolf entered the house his crest fell, his tail dropped to the ground, or curled between his legs, he sneaked about with a gallows air, casting many a sidelong glances at Dame Van Winkle, and at the least flourish of a broomstick or ladle he would fly to the door with yelping precipitation” (Lauter 1297). Dame Van Winkle expects too much out of her husband and Rip is too busy in his own world. Dame Van Winkle is being used as a symbol for the many women in real life who were feverishly nagging wives and annoying slave-drivers. Irving doesn’t say that all women are annoying slave-drivers though. He simply states that as wives, women are meddlesome and overbearing. When they are not married to them though, men, Rip in particular, find less problems with women. When Rip returns and learns that his wife died during those twenty years when he fell asleep in the forest, Rip comments on how “he had got his neck out of the yoke of matrimony, and could go in and out whenever he pleased, without dreading the tyranny old Dame Van Winkle” (Lauter 1297). He is happy and free from the old nag now. The narrator also tells us that “whenever her name was mentioned, however, [Rip] shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and cast up his eyes; which might pass either for an expression of resignation to his fate, or joy at his deliverance” (Lauter 1297). Once Rip’s wife is out of the picture, he becomes a care-free happy man again. “Having nothing to do at home . . . he took his place once more on the bench at the inn-door . . .” (Lauter 1297). In fact, Rip lived with his daughter, a woman other than his wife, and was at his happiest. He no longer had to contend with Dame’s nasty attitude and arrogance. Irving has shown that men are better off without wives since they are so rudely insolent. Through “Rip Van Winkle,” Washington Irving is able to show how women in general were considered "tolerable creatures," who can even make you laugh and take care of you. However, once you are married to them, it is a different story. Wives, specifically Dame Van Winkle, are constantly demanding things from their husbands and treating them poorly. Perhaps, Irving is commenting more on matrimony, but the basic view he shows is that women become overbearing heathens once they marry a man. Wives exist only to torture men and the men are better off without them according to Irving’s story. I'm not sure how he got away with publishing this one... couldn't it just have been a story about a men who fell asleep for a very long time, and when he wok up, life was different!? YIKES! About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Candi

    An entertaining short story by Washington Irving, this was a pleasure to read! I am dating myself here, but as a child we had a record player in our living room, and I was the proud owner of an LP titled “Rip Van Winkle”. I would sit with my little sister and listen in pure bliss to this classic tale over and over again. The narration and the sounds effects had something of a dream-like feel to it. Lazy, ‘hen-pecked’ Rip being constantly berated by his wife, the surreal echo of his name An entertaining short story by Washington Irving, this was a pleasure to read! I am dating myself here, but as a child we had a record player in our living room, and I was the proud owner of an LP titled “Rip Van Winkle”. I would sit with my little sister and listen in pure bliss to this classic tale over and over again. The narration and the sounds effects had something of a dream-like feel to it. Lazy, ‘hen-pecked’ Rip being constantly berated by his wife, the surreal echo of his name resounding through the valleys of the Catskill Mountains by some unknown entity, and the curious roll of thunder in the distance all brought this delightful legend to life for me. Now, ahem, decades later, I reacquainted myself with Rip in printed form. I am happy to say that the story still holds the same enchantment it did so many years ago! Perhaps this is partly due to my sense of nostalgia while reading; but nevertheless, there is a reason it remains a classic and one which merits revisiting from time to time. Irving’s writing is so vibrant, and I am always left with a satisfying, light-hearted feeling when I have finished.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Rip Van Winkle is one of those stories we seem to recollect from childhood but perhaps are not sure exactly how. It feels like a traditional folk tale; as though its origins have been lost in antiquity. Indeed the name “Rip Van Winkle” now seems synonymous with the idea of someone going to sleep, meeting up in his dreams with fairy folk, and waking to discover that many years had passed in the interim. Yet the idea of the story is present in many cultures. The short story Rip Van Winkle was in Rip Van Winkle is one of those stories we seem to recollect from childhood but perhaps are not sure exactly how. It feels like a traditional folk tale; as though its origins have been lost in antiquity. Indeed the name “Rip Van Winkle” now seems synonymous with the idea of someone going to sleep, meeting up in his dreams with fairy folk, and waking to discover that many years had passed in the interim. Yet the idea of the story is present in many cultures. The short story Rip Van Winkle was in fact first published in 1819, and written by the American author, essayist, biographer and historian, Washington Irving. This review is for a large edition of his story with beautiful reproductions by Arthur Rackham, now revered as a major artist of the “golden age” of children’s illustration. It was first printed in 1905, and these 34 illustrations he lovingly created for it, established his reputation as the leading decorative illustrator of his time. It is sometimes said that Washington Irving was America’s first great author, and that Rip Van Winkle was the first successful American short story. Rip Van Winkle is similar in feel to the English literary works of the time, and was written while Washington Irving was actually living in England, in Birmingham, although the story is set in New York’s Catskill (or “Kaatskill”) Mountains. The action takes place around the time of the American War of Independence, in a small, very old village which was founded by some of the earliest Dutch settlers, at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. It tells the story of a “simple good-natured fellow”, Rip Van Winkle. Although he is descended from gallant soldiers, he is a kind, peaceful man, well known for being popular with all his neighbours in the village. But he has one flaw: “Rip Van Winkle … was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever can be got with least thought or trouble, and would rather starve on a penny than work for a pound.” He is not exactly lazy; in fact, he is perfectly willing to spend all day helping someone else with their jobs. But he seems to be completely unable to do any work which could help his own household, or make any money. He is continually berated by his wife, and Dame Van Winkle has no problem shouting insults after him, and tracking him down in the village to scold him in public. He is forced to suffer in “the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation”. Yet he maintains his gentle, carefree demeanour, and as a consequence all the women and children in the village love him, and side with him against his wife. Even the dogs do not bark at him. Rip Van Winkle takes to avoiding his wife more and more, and escapes from her presence whenever he can. But to his chagrin, this does not improve matters but seems to make them worse: “Times grew worse and worse with Rip Van Winkle as years of matrimony rolled on; a tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use.” Sometimes when he tries to console himself, he frequents a sort of club of other dreamers and layabouts, who meet on a bench outside a small inn. The landlord of the inn and the leader of this “philosophical or political” group is Nicholaus Vedder. He never speaks, but everyone understands his opinions by the manner of how he smokes his pipe. The group of men gossip, maybe discussing “current” events when they find an old newspaper, and tell each other stories to pass the time. But even here, Rip Van Winkle cannot escape from his wife’s scolding. What is he to do? As time goes on, things continue to get worse. His wife is convinced that the farm’s bad luck is because of his indolence, so she nags him morning, noon, and night. Rip spends more and more time in the outdoors, with his one companion — his dog Wolf — who for some reason is just as badly treated by Dame Van Winkle. On one of his trip to the woods, Rip Van Winkle finds he has wandered to one of the highest points in the Catskill Mountains. He knows he will not be able to get home before dark, and feels even more sorry for himself as he sits down to rest in a ravine. Then he hears a voice call out his name, and sees a shadowy figure in need of help. Willingly he approaches the strange-looking fellow: “On nearer approach, he was still more surprised at the singularity of the stranger’s appearance. He was a short, square-built old fellow, with thick bushy hair, and a grizzled beard. His dress was of the antique Dutch fashion — a cloth jerkin strapped around the waist — several pair of breeches, the outer one of ample volume, decorated with rows of buttons down the sides, and bunches at the knees.” Together they lug a heavy keg higher and higher, until they reach an amphitheatre in the woods. Here are gathered a collection of similarly quaint-looking men, all mutely playing nine-pins. Oddly, although it seems as though they should be enjoying themselves, they are silent and grim. Rip Van Winkle is very puzzled. His strange companion starts to serve drinks from the keg they have carried, and eventually Rip Van Winkle has one for himself: It tastes so delicious that he keeps going back for more, until he is quite drunk and falls into a stupor. When he wakes up in the morning, he beings to worry about what Dame Van Winkle will say to him. He gets up and is surprised to find that he feels quite stiff. Reaching for his gun, he discovers another one which is rusty and worm-eaten. Perhaps the strange men have tricked him and swapped his gun? His dog Wolf mysteriously is nowhere to be seen, and does not respond to Rip Van Winkle’s calls. Worst of all, when he tries to retrace his steps, the amphitheatre seems to be an impenetrable wall of rock. Even some of the natural features and landmarks of the area seem to have changed. By now the reader, if they do not recognise Rip Van Winkle’s name, has a fair idea of what must have happened, from all the myths about fairy folk and their mischief common to so many cultures. Rip Van Winkle makes his way back to his village: “As he approached the village, he met a number of people, but none whom he knew, which somewhat surprised him, for he had thought himself acquainted with every one in the country round. Their dress, too, was of a different fashion from that to which he was accustomed. They all stared at him with equal marks of surprise, and whenever they cast their eyes upon him, invariably stroked their chins. The constant recurrence of this gesture induced Rip, involuntarily, to do the same, when, to his astonishment, he found his beard had grown a foot long!” The children shout after him, and the dogs bark. He no longer recognises the village as it once was, as it seems to be far larger. Is he going crazy? The only thing he can recognise is the natural scenery. The wine must have made him lose his mind. Surely when he gets home it will be alright? But his house is now in complete disrepair and abandoned. Where are his wife and children? The inn where he used to meet his friends has disappeared too. Rip Van Winkle is totally confused, but we have final proof of the passge of time, from his interesting description: “A large rickety wooden building stood in its place, with great gaping windows, some of them broken, and mended with old hats and petticoats, and over the door was painted, “The Union Hotel, by Jonathan Doolittle.” Instead of the great tree which used to shelter the quiet little Dutch inn of yore, there now was reared a tall naked pole, with something on the top that looked like a red nightcap, and from it was fluttering a flag, on which was a singular assemblage of stars and stripes … he recognized on the sign, however, the ruby face of King George … but even this was singularly metamorphosed. The red coat was changed for one of blue and buff, a sword was stuck in the hand instead of a sceptre, the head was decorated with a cocked hat, and underneath was painted in large characters, GENERAL WASHINGTON.” This “George Washington” sign hangs where there used to be a picture of George III. None of his old ruminating drinking companions are there either; the inn is full of completely different people, and they seem very argumentative rather than companionable: “The very character of the people seemed changed. There was a busy, bustling, disputatious tone about it, instead of the accustomed phlegm and drowsy tranquility.” The people crowd around him demanding to know what political party he belongs to. Worried, Rip Van Winkle protests that he is a loyal subject of the king. This of course is now the worst thing he could have said. The people declare him to be a traitor, and a Tory. When he asks about his friends, he is told that Nicholaus Vedder has been dead for eighteen years and Van Bummel is now in Congress. In desperation, Rip Van Winkle asks if they know anyone called Rip Van Winkle, and the townspeople point out a different lazy-looking man - the image of himself: “His son Rip, an urchin begotten in his own likeness, promised to inherit the habits, with the old clothes of his father” When a vaguely familiar woman approaches, he questions her and realises that she must be his daughter, now also grown to an adult. She tells him that her father went out with his gun one day twenty years previously, and had never been heard of since. Yet Rip Van Winkle insists that for him it has only been one night, so all the townspeople think this tottering old man is crazy. The one piece of good news Rip Van Winkle decides, is that Dame Van Winkle has recently died. Eventually the town’s oldest inhabitant, Peter Vanderdonk, vouches for Rip Van Winkle. He says that he has heard tell of the ghosts of the explorer Hendrick Hudson, and the crew of the “Half Moon”, who all vanished without trace many years before, and now appear once every twenty years. They would play at ninepins, bowl and keep an eye on the Catskill Mountains. Rip Van Winkle is convinced that this is what happened, and he contentedly goes to live with his daughter, who is now married to a “cheery farmer”. He is much happier than he ever was with Dame Van Winkle, and nobody minds him being lazy now, because he is so old. So he returns to the inn and again becomes well-loved, as a patriarch of the village chronicling the times “before the war”. With his dog Wolf he sits: “in the shade through a long lazy summer’s day, talking listlessly over village gossip, or telling endless sleepy stories about nothing”. Rip Van Winkle does eventually learn about the important events which had happened in America’s history, but he does not care about any oppressors, or about any Revolutionary War. The only government that he cares about having thrown off is the “yoke of matrimony … and the tyranny of Dame Van Winkle”. Diedrich Knickerbocker adds a postscript to emphasise the truth of the story, and gives a brief history of the magic and fables associated with the Catskill Mountains. This structure of a story within a story now feels as if it dates from an earlier time. It was a popular style in this early part of the 19th century, and a little later too. The “travel essays” of an American in England were deliberately written in a style which would appeal to English tastes. This meant that Washington Irving became the first American literary author to be widely read abroad, and his “sketches” remind one of the work of Charles Dickens, who also wrote travel essays in this style. An elaborate sort framing was common in American fiction up to about the middle of the nineteenth century; another author who used it was Nathaniel Hawthorne. Presumably it is designed to add an air of authenticity to the work. Washington Irving chose a pseudonym for much of his early writing. At the age of nineteen he wrote newspaper articles under the pseudonym, “Jonathan Oldstyle”, and in 1809, he published “The History of New York”, purporting to be the work of “Geoffrey Crayon, Gentleman”. Rip Van Winkle is part of a collection entitled “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent” which he published in 1819; another famous story from that collection is “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Even this is not straightforward as there is a headnote which claims that the story is a posthumously discovered work of “Diedrich Knickerbocker, an old gentleman of New York”. This made me laugh, and at this point I suspected that Washington Irving might have his tongue firmly in his cheek. As an English reader I did not know that New Yorkers were referred to as “Knickerbockers”, but only that the name was used as a term for baggy female undergarments of the last century. “Knickers” to this day means female underwear to English people. It is of course additionally used to mean a very old Dutch garment, but in England those knee-length baggy trousers would be called breeches”, or a bit later plus fours”. It is of course this latter meaning which is now understood, as after Irving’s story Knickerbocker” became an accepted name for a descendant of the Dutch settlers of New York. Apparently Knickerbocker” literally means toy marble-baker”, and Irving borrowed this pen-name from his friend, Herman Knickerbocker. Still, it made me giggle. The story is very droll and enjoyable, addressing timeless issues, although firmly set within a traditional rural family set-up within a Western society. These caricatures of a henpecked husband and a petticoat tyrant of a wife, or alternatively viewed, an overworked resentful drudge and a layabout husband, are still with us today. Shakespeare wrote his famous play “The Taming of the Shrew” about such a relationship, and it was common fare in music halls, and is still present in the repertoire of stand-up comedians today. Since modern relationships are now far more diverse, it is interesting that this seems to be such a recurring theme. “But what courage can withstand the ever-during and all-besetting terrors of a woman’s tongue?” Rip Van Winkle is an escapist fantasy. It has an ineffectual male protagonist who cannot support his farm or family, as is expected in the community where he lives. He just runs away and sleeps for twenty years. In the end he is so old that nobody cares any more about his laziness. Moreover, although he has slept through the defining moment of American history, he is not interested. This is at odds with American ideology, as he takes no part in the country’s founding or history. He does not embody the American dream, but quite the reverse. He has no ambition to better himself, and he does not work hard for himself and his family. All he wants to do is to chat inconsequentially with his friends. In a way, this is more fitting as an Old World story; one which the Dutch settlers would like to retell. Washington Irving writes in a colloquial and familiar style, using simple and straightforward dialogue. It does not seem to be imparting any profound truths. This apparent simplicity is quite deceptive, because he does seem to suggest more than he seems to say. We see that great historical events are often less important to an individual than the daily happenings in their life. By the very act of passing over a significant event in American history, the story draws attention to it. On his return, Rip Van Winkle finds people talking of the heroes of the late war, including one of his friends. He hears of the new form of government, including in something called “Congress”, and discovers that there are new national political parties, immediately being challenged to declare whether he is a Federalist or a Democrat. Yet Rip Van Winkle does not care either about George III or about George Washington. The only oppressor he cares about having overcome, is his tyrannical wife. Rip Van Winkle achieves universal significance because of its simplicity. For all our progress, and our increasingly complex society, people have a kernel of romantic nostalgia, and may yearn for pastoral contentment. The price Rip himself paid for this of course, was to never achieve full manhood and maturity. He lost any opportunity to participate in the great events of his lifetime, and slept away much of his adult life. George Washington was to become known as “the Father of his country”, but Rip Van Winkle has denied himself his own status as a father. He has become dependent on his daughter, and “overnight” turned into an elderly citizen with far fewer opportunities and no responsibilities. It is tempting to wonder whether there was an element of the author himself in Rip Van Winkle. The reader is clearly amused by both the husband and the wife, who are drawn with a very light touch, yet perhaps more lassitude is given to Rip Van Winkle. We have little sympathy really for Dame Van Winkle, and the only viewpoint we see is that of Rip Van Winkle. He wins through in the end, simply by outlasting his wife. After all, on his return he is lauded and happy, whereas we are left to construe that his wife became increasingly poverty-stricken and embittered. In fact Washington Irving, like Rip Van Winkle, was away from home for many years. He spent seventeen years in England, during which he wrote “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent”. Washington Irving was a nostalgic, conservative man who enjoyed the old ways. He was happiest when he juxtaposed old and new; tradition and change. He was encouraged by his friend Sir Walter Scott to explore European folklore, and both these famous stories are based on German tales. Washington Irving admitted later: “When I wrote the story, I had never been on the Catskills.” But he realised that by adapting the stories, maintaining a romantic feel, focusing on the individual, including local traditions, and setting them in the natural environment of the Hudson River Valley, he could create a distinctively American fiction. Although simply written and amusing, this fantasy is a salutory tale. Rip Van Winkle’s night in the woods is symbolic of escape through fantasy, or through one’s imagination, which is a form of storytelling. In the end Rip Van Winkle is freed from his duties to his family, and he becomes the town storyteller. He has lost a big part of his life. Ironically it is this story which has freed him from his domestic duties — he has both literally and figuratively dreamed them away. Dame Van Winkle too has lost what she most desired. She did not gain a hardworking husband or an efficient well-run farm, and suffered an early death. It is strange, that such an entertaining slice of humour can be so bitter, when reflected upon. Such is the wisdom of Washington Irving. Statue of Rip Van Winkle in New York

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Oh Magoo, you've done it again! I read Rip Van Winkle when I was a kid at some point in time, and yet I remembered it best from the Mr. Magoo animated version. I couldn't find that old nearsighted thespian's take on the Irving classic, but here's his rendition on Frankenstein. Bloody masterpiece! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWlDZ... Perhaps basing your knowledge of literature on a super-condensed, 20 minute version of a novel hundreds of pages long isn't a sound idea, but in the case of the Oh Magoo, you've done it again! I read Rip Van Winkle when I was a kid at some point in time, and yet I remembered it best from the Mr. Magoo animated version. I couldn't find that old nearsighted thespian's take on the Irving classic, but here's his rendition on Frankenstein. Bloody masterpiece! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWlDZ... Perhaps basing your knowledge of literature on a super-condensed, 20 minute version of a novel hundreds of pages long isn't a sound idea, but in the case of the quite short Rip Van Winkle it actually was just fine. Having reread it and matching it up with my recollection of the cartoon, which admittedly I haven't seen in about 30 years, I think it holds up well. Hahaha...wouldn't Washington Irving be proud to be reading this review if he could? To have his enduring work reduced to its questioned quality in condensed cartoon form; "My god," I imagine him saying, "what an honor!" This story of a wastrel (quite familiar to me in the form of folks I've known) gone off the reservation only to return bewildered to an unfamiliar home is a great piece of European folklore carried over to America. Bewitching beings beyond the fringe (yes, I'm stealing the phrase from Cook & Dudley) played a big role in the faerie stories of "the old country". It's nice to see them transplant so well to the wooded reaches of colonial (on the cusp of post) America.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*

    i, is for Irving 3 Stars When I was a child I always thought the story of Rip Van Winkle was harmless; some guy gets really tired and falls asleep on a mountain only to wake up 20 years later, the end. That’s not entirely accurate. This is a story about a man who is so busy doing everything for everyone else that he doesn’t have time for repairing or maintaining his own home. He’s always busy …. Doing stuff. And he has an evil wife who is always nagging him to do bothersome things; like come i, is for Irving 3 Stars When I was a child I always thought the story of Rip Van Winkle was harmless; some guy gets really tired and falls asleep on a mountain only to wake up 20 years later, the end. That’s not entirely accurate. This is a story about a man who is so busy doing everything for everyone else that he doesn’t have time for repairing or maintaining his own home. He’s always busy …. Doing stuff. And he has an evil wife who is always nagging him to do bothersome things; like come home, get a job, be useful. How horrible! So he ventures up a mountain one day, and falls asleep for those same 20 years. And after he awakes, all the world is better and he can go about being a now useless old man who no one expects anything from except stories and pipe-smoking... The end. I don’t really have any definitive feelings about this short story. Although the writing is lovely, the description ranges from overly long to non-existent. Beyond that, I found the end of the story a bit rushed feeling and I wished it had carried on to explain a bit more of what exactly had happened to the town in those twenty- years.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    Rip Van Winkle lived in a village of Dutch colonists at the foot of the Catskills, described as the fairy mountains, when New York was a colony of Great Britain. Rip was a kind neighbor, and a friend to all the villagers. But he was also a hen-pecked husband who avoided doing any work around his farm. One day he goes into the mountains for a walk with his dog. He encounters a strange looking man carrying a keg, and Rip helps him carry it into a ravine to a drinking party. After tipping back a Rip Van Winkle lived in a village of Dutch colonists at the foot of the Catskills, described as the fairy mountains, when New York was a colony of Great Britain. Rip was a kind neighbor, and a friend to all the villagers. But he was also a hen-pecked husband who avoided doing any work around his farm. One day he goes into the mountains for a walk with his dog. He encounters a strange looking man carrying a keg, and Rip helps him carry it into a ravine to a drinking party. After tipping back a few, Rip falls asleep. He awakens with a long gray beard, and finds that everything has changed when he returns to the village. His wife has died, his house is in ruins, and a picture of George Washington has replaced the painting of King George III at the tavern. He had been asleep for twenty years. The short story of "Rip Van Winkle" has a lot of humor, as well as touches of the magic of Indian fables about the Catskills. Washington Irving's story was originally published with other stories and essays in "The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon" in 1819. This particular edition of the story is wonderful because it contains 51 full page illustrations by Arthur Rackham--the villagers, the troll-like mountain men, the magical creatures in the forest, and Rip Van Winkle with his dog. It's a beautiful book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Wonderfully vivid tale of a man who loses 20 years of his life overnight in the Catskill Mountains. Irving is a delightful narrator, who employs some irony and humor along with his powerful sense of place, to enthrall his reader. I had, of course, read this long ago in my youth. I found it was a bit different than I had remembered and well worth taking the time to read again.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Rip Van Winkle, however, was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever can be got with least thought or trouble, and would rather starve on a penny than work for a pound. If left to himself, he would have whistled life away, in perfect contentment . . . It's good that ole Rip was a happy-go-lucky sort, because the knowledge that he passed out on a mountainside, and woke twenty years later might have killed a more Rip Van Winkle, however, was one of those happy mortals, of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever can be got with least thought or trouble, and would rather starve on a penny than work for a pound. If left to himself, he would have whistled life away, in perfect contentment . . . It's good that ole Rip was a happy-go-lucky sort, because the knowledge that he passed out on a mountainside, and woke twenty years later might have killed a more cautious man. This is a story told so many times it seems almost folklore, though it was published by Irving in 1819. Rip is a man who is well liked by his fellow villagers, but doesn't do much to help out around the house. Is it because he can't stand his nagging wife, or is it his laziness that made her a scold? We're never quite sure, though since Irving himself never married, you may draw your own conclusions as to the author's intent. Irving based his tale in the Kaatskill Mountains, describing with loving detail how the mountains in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory. The old trickster admitted later that he had never been to the region when he wrote the story. I'm sure you've heard some version of this tale - how Rip, to escape his wife's badgering, heads to the highest part of the mountains accompanied by his faithful dog, Wolf, intending to do a bit of squirrel-shooting. After partying heartily with some oddly dressed gentlemen, he wakes to find his dog gone, his gun rusty, and his whiskers nearly a foot long. He stumbles into the village, where he is unrecognized by the townsfolk. Even Wolf now snarls at him. (I've always been amazed at the longevity of this canine, and wished my beloved pets had such long lives.) Though there are countless children's books available that tell Rip's bizarre story, I urge you to read Irving's original classic - a uniquely American fairy tale undoubtedly based on ancient legends. Kaatskill Serenade by David Bromberg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72w13... A life-size bronze statue of Rip Van Winkle, located in Irvington, NY.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This is still a wonderful story dealing with the fair folk.

  11. 5 out of 5

    عماد العتيلي

    Poor Rip Van Winkle! Is this the only way to escape your nagging wife? sleeping for twenty years?!! I know you didn't mean to, you just wanted to take one day off and it lasted for a very long time!! I think Rip represents America, and his wife represents Britain! When he finally woke up, Britain (Dame Van Winkle) was defeated (dead!!) and America (Rip) was finally independent! It's a very cool image, isn't it?! The representation of the idea of getting free is truly impressive! But, you know, it Poor Rip Van Winkle! Is this the only way to escape your nagging wife? sleeping for twenty years?!! I know you didn't mean to, you just wanted to take one day off and it lasted for a very long time!! I think Rip represents America, and his wife represents Britain! When he finally woke up, Britain (Dame Van Winkle) was defeated (dead!!) and America (Rip) was finally independent! It's a very cool image, isn't it?! The representation of the idea of getting free is truly impressive! But, you know, it just occurred to me that: did Rip really get free? He didn't do anything to earn his freedom! He just slept for 20 years and .. Voila -- his wife is dead and he's free! Does that kind of 'freedom' count? In my opinion he didn't really get free! You know, after he learned what happened and after his grown daughter took him in, he resumed his usual idleness! He didn't even change! That's not freedom, right? Dame Van Winkle wasn't his true prisoner. His true prisoner was actually ..... himself! His own idleness and self worthlessness! I really enjoyed reading this story. I recommend it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    This is a cute but strange story that is probably more important to American readers than this ignorant Aussie. I've heard the name Rip Van Winkle but knew nothing about the story, so this was an interesting experience for me. I loved the description of this old guy who is loved by everyone except his overbearing wife, and how he spends his idle days. It must be said though: I'm not entirely sure this story would be nearly as entertaining without the illustrations. I read this version online and This is a cute but strange story that is probably more important to American readers than this ignorant Aussie. I've heard the name Rip Van Winkle but knew nothing about the story, so this was an interesting experience for me. I loved the description of this old guy who is loved by everyone except his overbearing wife, and how he spends his idle days. It must be said though: I'm not entirely sure this story would be nearly as entertaining without the illustrations. I read this version online and I'd be curious to see the pictures on the page. I'm pretty sure I'd be staring at them for a while. They're so detailed and, honestly, kinda creepy. But it really encourages the imagination, which I loved. I don't understand the point/subtext of the story, that I'm certain has something to do with the independence of the USA, but on its own its an interesting, whimsical sort of story that's written well.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    The feminist in me really hated this story. I wonder if everything I ever remembered about this short was from actually reading it, or because it's a New York folk-tale. I thought - oh yes, this is the very fun story about the guy who falls asleep and when he wakes up his beard is long! But really, it's the story of a lazy ass man named Rip who is unhappy because his wife is mean (because he's so freaking lazy the family has actually lost a considerable amount of wealth because he can't seem to The feminist in me really hated this story. I wonder if everything I ever remembered about this short was from actually reading it, or because it's a New York folk-tale. I thought - oh yes, this is the very fun story about the guy who falls asleep and when he wakes up his beard is long! But really, it's the story of a lazy ass man named Rip who is unhappy because his wife is mean (because he's so freaking lazy the family has actually lost a considerable amount of wealth because he can't seem to bring himself to work his land). He gets lured away by the ghost of Henry Hudson and some other Dutch ghosts, drinks their Dutch wine, and falls asleep for 20 years. When he wakes up, the colonies are no longer under English control and everybody is free and American. Also, Rip's wife is dead. So, essentially, Rip's wife represents the domineering and oppressive Britain and Rip represents the kind American folk who long to be free. When he wakes up, that all comes about. Great. Awesome. Woo-hoo for symbols. But why does Rip get to live a lazy, carefree life both before and after the war, having done not a GD thing EVER, except fall asleep for a super long time. Poor Dame Van Winkle.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    Rip Van Winkle was a chronically lazy asshole. This concludes today's edition of "Ellen Gail bitches about boring, sexist classics."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use. 2.5 I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow last year, and I quite disliked it, and now that I finally had to read Rip Van Winkle for university, I've got to say, even though I did like it a bit better than The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I still couldn't get into this story. The writing style was quite dull, and the characters were forgettable. I liked the idea of this story, but I didn't A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use. 2.5 I read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow last year, and I quite disliked it, and now that I finally had to read Rip Van Winkle for university, I've got to say, even though I did like it a bit better than The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I still couldn't get into this story. The writing style was quite dull, and the characters were forgettable. I liked the idea of this story, but I didn't like the execution. I did enjoy second half of the story (after he woke up), a lot more than the first half, so that's why I have it 2.5 stars. All in all, even though I do respect Washington Irving and what he had done for American literature, his work are just not my type of literature.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    A fun little story with hints of magic and history of the Catskill Mountains. I have to say I like the legend more than the writing. Or maybe I just remember the way my dad told it, and will always like that best.

  17. 4 out of 5

    A. B. Neilly

    I found the story funny because of the characters but somehow I remembered his adventure in the mountains better that it really was, so that part was a bit of disappointing. The tone in general is very witty, and that saved the story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Nicole Wagner

    This is quite an emotional read. I cannot imagine waking up in the state that Rip wakes up in. This packs a punch and delivers a heartbreaking plot, conflict, climax and resolution. Great read! xo, Rach

  19. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Brister

    Rip Van Winkle is a short story by 19th century American author, Washington Irving. What I like best about this story that, though it can be taken as a children's story, it is actually a complex satire that Irving is best known for (actually...kind of like Gulliver's Travels, now that I think about it). Rip Van Winkle is an British colonist living in American before the Revolutionary war. He ends up drinking some magic liquor and wakes to find the world he knows completely different. Rip is lazy Rip Van Winkle is a short story by 19th century American author, Washington Irving. What I like best about this story that, though it can be taken as a children's story, it is actually a complex satire that Irving is best known for (actually...kind of like Gulliver's Travels, now that I think about it). Rip Van Winkle is an British colonist living in American before the Revolutionary war. He ends up drinking some magic liquor and wakes to find the world he knows completely different. Rip is lazy as can be, and it shows throughout the story. His marriage is loveless at best, and overall, it is hard to root for the man. But the thing I like best about this story is the way Rip handles himself when he realizes that he's been asleep for twenty years. I like reading Irving because he gives characters that are very flawed (i.e. The Devil and Tom Walker). Irving is not exactly the easiest author to read, which is why I would not recommend this story to the casual reader. His use of satire throughout the text is one of my favorite things about Irving, but it can be frustrating at a first or even second read-through. This is not a simple story about a guy who falls asleep for awhile (before I read this story, that's actually what I thought). Although one can find an entertainment value in reading the story, one of the main aspects that I love about this story is the contrast between pre and post-Revolutionary war America. I recommend this story to those who enjoy early American writing like I do (sometimes I think it's an acquired taste because I HATED it in college). And when you're done with this one, pick up The Devil and Tom Walker. :-) Also, I'm a literature geek.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The short story opens with a beautiful description of the Catskill Mountains (which Irving never saw in person), at the foot of which is the village where the Rip Van Winkle lives during the late 1760s/ 1770s (while the area is still a colony of Great Britain under the rule of King George III.) Rip Van Winkle is a ‘‘simple, goodnatured fellow'' with a faithful dog Wolf, a son, a daughter, and a domineering wife. Rip is a favorite of the village community, and a group of men at the local tavern The short story opens with a beautiful description of the Catskill Mountains (which Irving never saw in person), at the foot of which is the village where the Rip Van Winkle lives during the late 1760s/ 1770s (while the area is still a colony of Great Britain under the rule of King George III.) Rip Van Winkle is a ‘‘simple, goodnatured fellow'' with a faithful dog Wolf, a son, a daughter, and a domineering wife. Rip is a favorite of the village community, and a group of men at the local tavern to argue about politics, but he is not as welcome in his own family due to his laziness. He is "ready to attend to anybody's business but his own.’’ His nagging wife never lets him forget his responsibilities. One day he climbs the mountain and falls asleep for 20 years. He wakes and descends the mountain to discover everything has changed, the death of his wife, and a new nation. Rip Van Winkle is a short story (among 34 essays/ short stories) in the book "The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon" published in 1819 and serialized through 1820. This is Irving's first use of the pseudonym "Geoffrey Crayon." The Sketch Book & James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, were the first widely read American literature in Great Britain and Europe.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Last night at supper we were talking about the various kinds of fey characters of human folklore, and the Spouse said Rip had spent his twenty years (relative) among hairy gnomes. I didn't remember that at all, so it seemed I'd have to read the story again. At thirty years remove from the original reading, all I could recall was the simplest plot: that Rip drinks among the fey, comes back to town 20 years later. I'm glad I re-read it, because there's much more to the Irving telling. Kind of Last night at supper we were talking about the various kinds of fey characters of human folklore, and the Spouse said Rip had spent his twenty years (relative) among hairy gnomes. I didn't remember that at all, so it seemed I'd have to read the story again. At thirty years remove from the original reading, all I could recall was the simplest plot: that Rip drinks among the fey, comes back to town 20 years later. I'm glad I re-read it, because there's much more to the Irving telling. Kind of horrifically so, because the whole point of the story is that Van Winkle's wife is horrible. Really horrible. Such a shrew. I had no recollection of the fact that Rip was running away from her. Nor did I recall that the men he went among were so very hairy, nor that they were supposed to be Hendrick Hudson and crew. Nor did I notice the time the story was set: before and after the Revolutionary War, with the heroism of his former friends recounted. The Spouse complained that Irving took a traditional story and nailed it to a specific time and place and made it such a very Catskill story. That didn't bother me, but oh, that wife! I feel suitably chastened on behalf of all my gender. The nerve of that woman, trying to make her husband provide for the family. She deserves the harshest punishment imaginable (view spoiler)[and stroking out while yelling at a peddler is pretty harsh (hide spoiler)] .

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erich Franz Linner-Guzmann

    A very interesting story indeed, I'm sure for adults and children a like. There's a reason that this book has been so popular, even to this day. So, if you haven't given it a shot by now, then it's definitely time. It won't take up too much of your time and even the time it does take it'll definitely be worth it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    3,5 actually - fun to read, Rip is such a lazy ass, he slept for 20 years in order to escape from his wife. Nice children's story, loved descriptions, works well as some kind of a cautionary, kinda fairy tale. I couldn't help myself and hated that he cost his family so much money, and still blamed his wife for being nagging, boring, annoying person who stood in a way of his laziness.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Binibining `E (of The Ugly Writers)

    I like the name Rip Van Winkle very catchy. Love the illustrations here.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    This short story by Washington Irving is familiar to every American and has become part of our national mythology. Rereading it after many years was fun and also raised a number in thought-provoking issues. The changes that Rip experienced after his twenty-year sleep were profound but would be minimal to us over a similar period today, change has so markedly accelerated. Think of twenty years ago today, in 1990. In “information age” changes are only one example – consider computer technology. And This short story by Washington Irving is familiar to every American and has become part of our national mythology. Rereading it after many years was fun and also raised a number in thought-provoking issues. The changes that Rip experienced after his twenty-year sleep were profound but would be minimal to us over a similar period today, change has so markedly accelerated. Think of twenty years ago today, in 1990. In “information age” changes are only one example – consider computer technology. And extrapolating forward, what will be different twenty years from now? “Progress” as a concept is such a part of our culture that we rarely question it, although political and economic events of the past few years may be challenging our confidence. Another interesting issue is the character of Rip himself. He goes from being an irresponsible young man before his sleep – shirking all the duties demanded by society and preferring the company and play of children - to being, after his sleep, an elder of whom nothing is expected or demanded. He is in some sense a Peter Pan-like figure, a person who opts out of society and, in a sense, refuses to be “generative.” Thus, he fails at the developmental tasks suggested by Erik Erikson. Yet in our culture such a life trajectory has been strangely seductive, and our literature is filled with characters who have “dropped out” and refused or failed to shoulder the burdens expected by society. In Rip’s case, this produces a figure who is benign and passive, impotent and undeveloped. Whether, or to what extent, we find this attractive is an interesting question.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hana

    when I first read this story-which was a long time ago- i thought it was harmless, funny story. A guy who everyone loves because he helps them in everything. But his wife was a little evil, so he ran away from her and slept in the mountain. When woke up it was over 20 years. See? Harmless. But then when I read it again, I realized it wasn't as harmless as I once thought it was. Rip Van was a lazy man. But he liked to help others because they would praise him. So busy in that he didn't had time for when I first read this story-which was a long time ago- i thought it was harmless, funny story. A guy who everyone loves because he helps them in everything. But his wife was a little evil, so he ran away from her and slept in the mountain. When woke up it was over 20 years. See? Harmless. But then when I read it again, I realized it wasn't as harmless as I once thought it was. Rip Van was a lazy man. But he liked to help others because they would praise him. So busy in that he didn't had time for his own family. His wife-who I once accused of being evil- wasn't evil. She just wanted her husband to do his duties toward their family. But the story isn't about that. It's about the mysteries mountain and it's surrounding. And it delivers it. For that it get's the 4 & half point.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Inkspill

    I read this years back, reading it now conflicts with my memory of how this story goes. My previous impressions were a comical supernatural tale of a dreamer who falls into a very long sleep. Now there is definitely comedy here, the nagging wife pitted against the lackadaisical husband, but I now read the supernatural as the moral part of this tale. In my previous reading I had also missed the ending is an open one, so this story is not as straightforward as I remember it. This is not the first I read this years back, reading it now conflicts with my memory of how this story goes. My previous impressions were a comical supernatural tale of a dreamer who falls into a very long sleep. Now there is definitely comedy here, the nagging wife pitted against the lackadaisical husband, but I now read the supernatural as the moral part of this tale. In my previous reading I had also missed the ending is an open one, so this story is not as straightforward as I remember it. This is not the first story I have reread and have a completely different impression of it. So, I was pleased to have read this again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Topolovec

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Rip: I’ve been asleep for 20 years. What did I miss? People: Well there was this whole big revolution and we have a new government now- Rip: Ehh, don’t really care. People: Also your wife is dead. Rip: ... Rip: Aw hell yeah.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Author-ization

    This was an interesting story, and I got excited at the part when Rip woke up and was wandering through his neighborhood after 20 long years. The writing was embellished with details, which I liked, but overall this short story for school was likable.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paula W

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Okay, so.... Are you trying to tell me that this thing I have always heard about but never read is ACTUALLY about: A.) A lazy ass husband who is tired of his ‘nagging’ wife (she is sick of your BS, dude) B.) During a work-avoidance trek, he helps some magic people carry a barrel up a mountain, and C.) They reward him by putting him to sleep for 20 years, and D.) He wakes up to find he is in a much better place, where 1.) His nagging wife is dead 2.) He slept through the American revolution and is Okay, so.... Are you trying to tell me that this thing I have always heard about but never read is ACTUALLY about: A.) A lazy ass husband who is tired of his ‘nagging’ wife (she is sick of your BS, dude) B.) During a work-avoidance trek, he helps some magic people carry a barrel up a mountain, and C.) They reward him by putting him to sleep for 20 years, and D.) He wakes up to find he is in a much better place, where 1.) His nagging wife is dead 2.) He slept through the American revolution and is now a free citizen 3.) He has grown children willing to support him, because 4.) He is now considered old enough to rightfully be a lazy ass? The American dream right here, you guys. I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING.

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