books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Body Snatcher and Other Tales (Dover Thrift Editions)The Body Snatcher and Other Tales by Robert Louis Stevenson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a collection of three very different short stories by Robert Lewis Stevenson. The first is a story about medical students and the grim work of the resurrectionists. It is set in the 1800's in Scotland and involves the action of young medical students and their secret work of digging up fresh graves to provide corpses for dissection. The very action of learning often compromises their own morality when the cause of death is suspiciously opportune and the identity of the corpse is known. It reminds me of Burk and Hare trials in 19th century and I think it has been the basis for several movies.

The second tale is completely different and reminds me of something out of Grims' Fairy Tales. It deals with the greed of an old woman and the results of her choices for her family. Like most old tales, there is a strong sense of morality and justice in it.

The last is also a folk story about a shaman/magician and the greed of his son-in-law. The old shaman needs his son-in-law's help and reveals the source of his wealth to be a magic island. The son-in-law returns to the island to steal the money and becomes ensnared in the magic of the island. Again, there is a strong sense of morality and revenge.

All of these tales are similar to those of Hawthorne and feel like they are based in true legends and morality tales. Each is complete and I could feel like I was sitting around a fire listening to an old sage reveal the legends of the ancestors.

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