What I kept thinking - there is modern fantasy that has its origins in this book. Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising kept coming to mind; "the wolves are running" has the same scan and feel to it, both books are set at Christmas, have mysterious figures. The Dark is Rising is a superior book - Masefield (to me at least) didn't seem to know where to take this, and unlike modern fantasy, didn't have predecessors to fall back on to guide him.
I finally skimmed the last fourth of the book - I'm ready to move on to something else.
The Box of Delights by John Masefield
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Beautifully written, poetic language - but what a confusing, kitchen sink plot. A magic box, gangsters, time travel, a flying car, fairies, talking animals, witches, a nanny... the list goes on and on. I enjoyed the feel of the book, and I enjoyed how the book reminded me of other books (The Dark is Rising most of all; it's obvious this book was part of Susan Cooper's writer's pysche; apparently it's one of C.S. Lewis's favorites as well); but in the end, it's not going to be a favorite of mine. Interesting, to say the least.
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