Sleepy Hollow’s most famous supernatural phenomenon is the ghost of the Headless Horseman, said to be a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a cannon ball during the Revolutionary War. The Horseman is seen most often riding by the church, where local historians say he was buried. He is believed to be always in search of his head. Ichabod is fascinated by this story, being especially interested (and prone to believe) in tales of the supernatural.
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW Washington Irving, illus. by Michael Garland. Boyds Mills, . Full-page oil paintings illustrate this unabridged edition of the classic spine-tingler. All ages.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A classic short story that is overshadowed by its last 10 pages.
First, for those who are/were expecting a true horror story or close to the 1999 movie directed by Tim Burton and even the recent TV series, you will be disappointed. The focus of this story is not on the Headless Horseman, but instead on Ichabod, his character, and his rivalry with Brom Bones for the affection of Katrina Van Tassle. The horseman is mentioned several times throughout the story, but he is never the main character or the main focus. It’s actually more of a romantic drama in a sense than a ghost tale (which only comprises only about the last 10-15 pages of the book). The best adaptation of this story can actually be found in Disney’s animated version from the 40’s starring Bing Crosby since it stays the closet to the story and does not focus entirely on the Headless Horseman.
With that being said, here is my review.
The story itself seems to be broken into 3 parts: 1. Detailing the setting of Sleepy Hollow, and Ichabod Crane’s character, 2. Ichabod and Brom Bones’ rivalry for Katrina Van Tassels’ affection, 3. Ichabod’s encounter with the Headless Horseman:
One aspect of the story that I enjoy is I like how Irving describes Ichabod’s character from a 3rd person point of view, and you do get a sense of Ichabod’s character and what his goals are. You start to realize that he’s somewhat of schemer by not exactly wanting to marry Katrina because he loves her, but more for the fact that he wants her wealth. And although Brom Bones is portrayed as being a rough, and tumbling kind of person who reminds me of high school football jock that maybe he is the more admirable protagonist.
Irving goes into great detail to explain the setting, and the characters’ lives which a lot of people might find to be boring since there isn’t much action per say (or at least not what they were expecting). And I will admit that some of Irving’s descriptions can be somewhat difficult to understand. However, I appreciate his descriptions since they reflect an older period of time when he wrote his stories.
As stated before, I feel that most people will be disappointed if they only read it expecting it to be a true ghost story or similar to the movie. This seems to be the major qualm that I can find that most people seem to exhibit when expressing their criticism of the story in that it isn’t a full ghost story, and only the last part of the story is. However, I do not believe that warrants a good enough reason to give it a 1 Star review just because their expectations were different from the actuality of the story. As I said, Disney’s animated adaption is by far the best adaptation of the story.
A Good, Slow Burn
If you’re looking for a quick chill down your spine, you’ve found the right story. Probably makes for a good campfire story if you live in the East or Midwest USA.
Glad it wasn’t too long
Might be an unpopular opinion, but this was brutal. I found it tough to read but thankfully it only took a couple of lunch breaks to get through. Definitely picks up in the middle so if you start it, stick with it.