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The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the…

The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Thirty-six (2009)

by Jonathon Keats

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1795866,229 (3.97)16
Title:The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Thirty-six
Authors:Jonathon Keats
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (no date), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Early Reviewers, read

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The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Thirty-Six by Jonathon Keats (2009)


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I'm not exactly certain how to describe this book. It's an odd collection of stories featuring persons unlikely to be called saints, but which, to some extent are. It is based on the idea there are 36 such persons. Some of the tales are disturbing. Others are easier to read. I read this because of a book club read. It's not something I would normally pick up. It's definitely a different sort of read and will appeal to those who don't mind some strangeness to their reading content. ( )
  thornton37814 | Apr 20, 2017 |
This somewhat non-descript looking trade paperback original is one of the best debuts I’ve read in a while. It's a wonderful and amazing collection of connected stories that are infused with folklore and mysticism. Each of the dozen-or-so stories is a quick portrait of a supposed one of “The 36 Hidden Ones” from previous generations… one of the only 36, truly-righteous people that exist at any one time.

These are inventive pieces that have timelessness, playfulness, and mysticism that reminds me of my favorite bits of Salman Rushdie and Italo Calvino.

By the time I had read the intro and the first story or two I realized this is a pretty exciting discovery... GREAT STUFF. ( )
  JohnHastie | Apr 5, 2013 |
So this was a collection of unconnected stories. It had golems, angels, demons, and miracle healers but it really wasn't a swords and sorcery fantasy collection. It tended more toward "magical realism". Some of the stories ended rather abruptly but most had a nice message about everyday people that could be considered saints. Sometimes the message was a bit subtle but I think I got most of them. ( )
  ragwaine | Jul 3, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an interesting premise for a collection of tales, but in the end, it wasn't really my thing. I even had a hard time making it through the "author's" preface -- the story of the scholar who studies lost Jewish traditions and communities -- which struck, I thought, a rather clunky tone.

I love the idea that there are 36 good people who are keeping the earth from being destroyed. If you're interested in modern fairy tales, this is probably worth checking out, and it's a quick read. ( )
  climbingtree | Feb 5, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A pleasure to read, poignant and captivating. I Highly recommended this charming work. ( )
  tobiejonzarelli | Jan 10, 2011 |
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Despise no man and deem nothing impossible, for every man has his hour and every thing its place.
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Destiny is an accident. (Author's Foreword)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Contains twelve short stories that describe twelve unlikely saints, featuring "Alef the Idiot," "Gimmel the Gambler," "Zayin the Profane," "Chet the Cheat," and others.

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