Summertime by Denis Mackail, 5/5
When I selected this unassuming novel from my stacks of unread vintage books, I didn’t know what to expect. Delightfully, it turned out to be a sweet little romance, full of naive characters, 1920’s charm and dialogue that is occasionally very witty. Author Denis Mackail may be unknown now, but he was popular when it mattered most (during his lifetime) and since he published one novel every year from 1920-1938, I’m optimistic that more of his works will eventually find their way into my collection.
Why I read it: Just one more step towards the goal of having read every book I own!
The story may be a little weak (especially at the end), but there is a beautiful bleakness to Lord Dunsany’s prose that reminds me of Tolkien’s Silmarillion; the most fantastic scenarios are presented with an earnestness that makes you believe for a magical second that you are reading history, not fantasy. I would place this tale in the same category as Mirrlees’ Lud-in-the-Mist and MacDonald’s Phantastes, but without their dizzying layers of allegory and meaning.
[Why I read it: Frustratingly, I can’t remember what led me to this book! All I recall is ordering it from the library for some reason…]