The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

This is considered a “kid’s book.” But much like with The Hobbit, it’s written so much better than a lot of adult novels today. Sign of the times, I suppose. But as a kid’s book, this puts aside the grim and gritty of today’s fare and gives the reader something fun and truly wonderful. I’ve grown up reading this book, and to go through it again is a treat.

Each chapter is a self-contained event, often with the next chapter building making a callback to the previous ones as a reminder. This means that while it’s essentially a group of short stories, there is a continuity for those who appreciate such things.

Readers who are familiar with Robin Hood in his many multimedia incarnations will probably be quite surprised to learn both Robin’s “origin story” and some of the other tidbits here and there. Just because it’s fun, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a bit of “dark” thrown in for added weight. Pyle doesn’t talk down to the reader, and as the title suggests, there’s more comedy and farce than anything else. This book is a classic, and it holds up. Highly recommended. It’s a great read for anyone of any age.

4 stars


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