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Tam Lin by Pamela Dean

Tam Lin (original 1991; edition 2006)

by Pamela Dean

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1,836707,126 (4.01)107
In this updated version of the sixteenth-century Scottish ballad set on a twentieth-century Minnesota college campus, Janet Carter, an English literature major, discovers that she must defy the Faerie Queen to rescue her own true love. Recommended.
Title:Tam Lin
Authors:Pamela Dean
Info:Puffin (2006), Edition: Reissue, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fantasy, urban, modern

Work Information

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean (1991)

  1. 100
    Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones (Aquila)
  2. 20
    The Wood Wife by Terri Windling (gwernin)
  3. 21
    Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey (bmlg)
    bmlg: common setting of the community of young women facing academic and personal pressures, in addition to an engaging genre plot
  4. 01
    A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer (bmlg)
    bmlg: in the midst of a fantasy quest, an engaging, lively, and realistic portrayal of the community of young female scholars

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» See also 107 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Was recently reminded of this one by [b:A College of Magics|382870|A College of Magics (A College of Magics, #1)|Caroline Stevermer|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1312062335s/382870.jpg|1407092] ( )
  VictoriaGaile | Oct 16, 2021 |
I read the first third of this book thinking it was Perilous Gard by Pope that I last read in junior high. This book is not that one. I'll be checking to see if PG lives up to my memory.

If one had attended college in Minnesota in the 70s or 80s I think this book would be a pleasant way to spend time. I found it too long, too heterosexual and too old fashioned in its English academic opinions.

Also the switching of boyfriends was unexpected and I never understood the appeal of the one true love. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Loved this all the way through but it really turned sharply at the very end. Set in a liberal arts university in the Northern United States, most of the story deals with an English major, her room mates, their oppressive course loads and their romantic entanglements. Their erudition and mastery of great writers in English, Latin and Greek is dazzling, and the detail of their daily lives is compelling. [SPOILERS] There is also a backstory of a ghost lobbing books out of a window at midnight, and a fairly strange set of teachers and students in the classics department, but this strand never quite takes centre stage, until it does very dramatically at the very end. Highly recommended. ( )
  Matt_B | Apr 4, 2021 |
'Tam Lin' is not the fantasy novel that the back cover text and the hideous art promises, it's a thousand times better. This is a nostalgic tale of a young woman's time in college, loving literature, and navigating her way to adulthood.

My days at college were different than Janet's. The story is set in the early 1970s and I was an Aughts college boy, but there are elements of the college experience that remain the same. Or, rather, they were the same until lately...but let's not touch the problem of the pandemic collegiate experience. I loved the leisurely pace ofthe story and Janet and her roommates scramble for the right schedule, meeting deadlines, and ROOM DRAW at the end of each school year. This was a comforting read for me, and much needed.

There are supernatural elements, but they can be almost completely bypassed without changing the story. Some readers will have a problem with that. Some readers should remember they're reading Pamela Dean and go read David Eddings if they have a problem with that. That seems harsh, but you guys, this book was a pure delight. My friends and I never quoted literature, I'm pretty sure I would have been thrown out a window if I had, but characters in books are allowed to be eccentric, especially in twee colleges of yore.

This book covers Janet's entire college career, but it is as suited to autumn as a tartan throw blanket, spiced cider and benign neglect of a lawn covered in leaves. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Oct 16, 2020 |
a small college involves heroine in faery
  ritaer | Jul 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pamela Deanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duewell, KristinaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, StevenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windling, TerriEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The year Janet started at Blackstock College, the Office of Residential Life had spent the summer removing from all the dormitories the old wooden bookcases that, once filled with books, fell over unless wedged.
Introduction: There is no satisfactory equivalent to the German word märchen, tales of magic and wonder such as those collected by the Brothers Grimm: Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Six Swans, and other such familiar stories.
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In this updated version of the sixteenth-century Scottish ballad set on a twentieth-century Minnesota college campus, Janet Carter, an English literature major, discovers that she must defy the Faerie Queen to rescue her own true love. Recommended.

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