The Legend of Sleepy HollowThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is. DEFINITELY not your Jonny Depp Sleepy Hollow. This is not horror. This is not mystery. This is…a foul let down.

Honestly, this story was dull. The author spent entirely too long describing everything. Everything from Van Fleet’s land to Ichabon’s shallow character and dubious finances to Katerina’s idiocies. For a shorter story there was a lot of describing and not a whole lot of actual story. Boring.


As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled his great green eyes over the fat meadow lands, the rich fields of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn, and the orchards burthened with ruddy fruit, which surrounded the warm tenement of Van Tassel, his heart yearned after the damsel who was to inherit these domains, and his imagination expanded with the idea, how they might be readily turned into cash, and the money invested in immense tracts of wild land, and shingle palaces in the wilderness.

This is not the horror mystery that we are lead to believe it is instead this is a novel avarice and cunning.

Ichabod Crane is a school teacher without a penny to his name. He is greedy, superstitious, conniving, and unattractive. He uses the children of the community for free meals and to flutter the hearts of the ladies. And, Ichabod has set his sights on the our Dutch community’s heiress.

He is not the only one who has his sights set on the Van Tassle girl. A heroic young figure with a handsome countenance and a noble heart also wants to sweep the prize off her feet.


The chief part of the stories, however, turned upon the favorite spectre of Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman, who had been heard several times of late, patrolling the country; and, it was said, tethered his horse nightly among the graves in the churchyard.

(view spoiler)

I am shocked. Truly shocked. Who could the horseman possibly be? (hide spoiler)]

In this tight knit community men and women in the settlement like their legends. Legends that Ichabod believes to be factual. And as Ichabod draws closer to Katerina, so to does the Horseman draw closer to him…sort of. Really it only ever appears to Ichabod who then myseriously disappears!


The mysterious event caused much speculation at the Church on the following Sunday. Knots of gazers and gossips were collected in the church yard, at the bridge, and at the spot where the hat and pumpkin had been found. The stories of Brouwer, of Bones, and a whole budget of others, were called to mind; and when they had diligently considered them all, and compared them with the symptoms of the present case, they shook their heads, and came to the conclusion that Ichabod had been carried off by the galloping Hessian. As he was a bachelor, and in nobody’s debt, nobody troubled his head any more about him, the school was removed to a different quarter of the hollow, and another pedagogue reigned in his stead.

The story ends rather abruptly as it seems that like myself, the townspeople could not give a rotten fig as to what happened to our school teacher.

Honestly, you could take the Jonny Depp movie and ask yourself what the exact opposite of the plot would be, and it would be this book.

I have seen many versions of the Sleepy Hollow story and have been highly intrigued. This book was a major disappointment.

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