Another RIP VII selection down! Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was very different than I had imagined. While I didn't think it was going to much like the movie, I didn't think it would be so completely different from the adaptation. A story I watched before reading, I can safely say (and still maintain my credibility) that watching the movie is really all you ever need to do in this case.
Ichabod Crane is a poor school teacher living out of a suitcase in the homes (or barns) of his pupils' parents. Fervent about his career, and certainly about tales of the supernatural, Ichabod lives a seemingly content life. When the hand of a local lady, who's just reached the ripe age of 18 and is as "plump as a partridge" (oh yeah), is in need of a husband, Ichabod jumps at the chance to woo her. There's also a pesky headless horseman to contend with and so goes the story.
Ichabod's physical appearance is fun to think about. The sing-songy style that Irving weaves just makes me think he's a little silly looking, with long legs and arms that appear to defy the presence of bones and joints and things that make one human, bounding along. Perhaps a goofy grin with gem-like eyes and a droopy costume that's dirty from all the barn living. His lady friend, Katrina Van Tassel, is a certified knockout with boundless hips and a bust to match. Add hair the color of milk, or honey, or a little of both and suddenly you've got Marilyn Monroe+, but maybe a little more homely. We know what Irving was after... The passage is oozing with sexuality in the best way. We get it. This is Ichabod's chance for a life of love and abundance (in more ways than one).
But all wouldn't be right in the world if Ichabod didn't have some stiff competition. His rival, Abraham "Brom Bones" van Brunt, just proves that fratitudes have always existed. Ok, I know, I'm relying on stereotypes here, but it's completely appropriate. Some things never change. The guy's got guns and I don't mean the type that you purchase with appropriate identification. No, I'm talking big, muscly arms and a bad boy reputation to match. He should be wearing a ripped, black tank with long, healthy locks. That's the caricature I created in my head anyway.
Note: I'll give it to Irving, for a reader that doesn't get lost in the language often, he had me conjuring up so many different things.
To avoid spoilers to those that will be reading this title in the future, I'll just say that the conclusion was possibly the most disappointing ending I've ever read in my entire life. Ok, maybe that's an overstatement because I wasn't too invested in the story, but he could have created a million other endings that would have been infinitely better than what was published.
It has elements of the supernatural that probably would have been great as stand alone stories, perfect for the approaching holiday, but the short story on the whole was more silly than spooky.
RIP VII: 3 of 7 completed.
Classics Challenge: 2 of 50 completed.