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The seas are folded over us, above our heads, the lower sea becoming the upper sea and yet still blue when not girt with sea mist, which is grey and melancholy Some men when they look up see birds, but I see only a kind of fish, sometimes in great shoals These fish are beaked and feathered So begins the true tale of Robyn Hodd, recounted by an aged monk of Whitby, whose forgotten Latin manuscript is rescued from a ruined church during the Battle of the Somme, but subsequently destroyed WeThe seas are folded over us, above our heads, the lower sea becoming the upper sea and yet still blue when not girt with sea mist, which is grey and melancholy Some men when they look up see birds, but I see only a kind of fish, sometimes in great shoals These fish are beaked and feathered So begins the true tale of Robyn Hodd, recounted by an aged monk of Whitby, whose forgotten Latin manuscript is rescued from a ruined church during the Battle of the Somme, but subsequently destroyed We are offered an abridged translation by the rescuing officer, proofed yet never published, complete with copious footnotes It s a strange and promising start for Adam Thorpe s novel, but unfortunately Hodd never lives up to initial expectations We follow the monk s life story, from childhood in the company of a crazed sea cave hermit, boyhood in a monastery, and youth in the thrall of the visionary robber Hoddbut the style complete with flashbacks is popular historical, heavy on the squalor and ordure and general mediaeval atmosphere, whilst the language is an awkward mix of modern and mock Middle English Didst thou enjoy this Nay, not much The doubly distanced narrative is made little use of and the footnotes are just footnotes Post modernists lament Hodd does tell a tale, I suppose, and you could certainly read worse But after the tour de force which is Ulverton, I would have expected something a bitambitious from Adam Thorpe s interpretation of an archetypal English legend I have yet to have a book that I have not finished reading, Hodd threatened to be the first The original thought of a book written by a monk who was truly in the presence of Robin Hood was very compelling for me Only to learn that the author set in so many side tracking foot notes and foot notes upon those foot notes that the original narrative feel of the book is lost in what instead feels like a text book one is forced to read Around page 150 I stopped reading and no longer had an int I have yet to have a book that I have not finished reading, Hodd threatened to be the first The original thought of a book written by a monk who was truly in the presence of Robin Hood was very compelling for me Only to learn that the author set in so many side tracking foot notes and foot notes upon those foot notes that the original narrative feel of the book is lost in what instead feels like a text book one is forced to read Around page 150 I stopped reading and no longer had an interest to pick it up ever again However, not to have my record tarnished I agreed to finish the book If only I had made it to page 175 or so to begin with The true excitement and feel of the Robin Hood narative returns and finally stitches together several side stories followed by the narrator It sweeps along with you no longer wanting to stop reading to the sweet reminissent end Definetly a book I am happy to have read now and glad that a stubborn will compelled me to pick it up again Dear readers, do not become frustrated by a book that seems to have no lusterkeep reading and you will find it This tale presents a postmodern, hyperbolical Robin Hood, who actually looks realistic enough, very different from the mythical hero we are all familiar with.The story is told in 1305 by a 90 year old monk who spent a year in his company, initially against his will, in 1225, during the minority of king Henry III.Hood called Hodd, Hode, Hodde, in the text is described as being then a guy handsome enough until he spoke then his mouth moving in a curious way over uneven teeth, it seemed as thou This tale presents a postmodern, hyperbolical Robin Hood, who actually looks realistic enough, very different from the mythical hero we are all familiar with.The story is told in 1305 by a 90 year old monk who spent a year in his company, initially against his will, in 1225, during the minority of king Henry III.Hood called Hodd, Hode, Hodde, in the text is described as being then a guy handsome enough until he spoke then his mouth moving in a curious way over uneven teeth, it seemed as though its lips were sucking on a plum or a sloe, not forming words His eyebrows were thick and dark, meeting in the middle beneath a blemish of the skin, and the balls in his sockets were as if swollen Hood is in the habit of cursing priests, the institution of the church, the political system of his day, all kinds of authorities and offices his philosophy is a mix of half baked pantheism, of mystical and anarchist beliefs behaving usually as someone we would call today a quack of fake He is highly addicted to hallucinogens mushrooms , and commands over a large group of hardened outlaws and felons, who form a kind of a community or mini state in the middle of the forest not far from Nottingham , robbing, assaulting and or killing any travelers who happen to pass by the neighboring roads When I started this book, I was confused for a minute I thought the book was historical fiction, a retelling of the Robin Hood myth If so, who then was this Francis Belloes and how come there where tons of footnotes Of course, this is the central conceit of the novel it is a translation by the aforementioned Francis Belloes of a far older manuscript This manuscript is the autobiography of the monk mentioned in the blurb So it is historical fiction, just done in a very clever way.Before get When I started this book, I was confused for a minute I thought the book was historical fiction, a retelling of the Robin Hood myth If so, who then was this Francis Belloes and how come there where tons of footnotes Of course, this is the central conceit of the novel it is a translation by the aforementioned Francis Belloes of a far older manuscript This manuscript is the autobiography of the monk mentioned in the blurb So it is historical fiction, just done in a very clever way.Before getting to the meat of the novel, I want to focus on the framework for a bit This framework consists of the translator s preface and the footnotes I really thought these were well done They made this book not just a historical novel of medieval times, but of World War I too And the further the novel progresses, theWWI intrudes into it through comments inserted into the footnotes by Belloes The footnotes were the main reason I was confused at first I looked some of them up and they all came out as existing titles, some of them even available from the library where I work The amount of work that must have gone into researching not just Robin Hood and the medieval life, but into pre Interbellum publications on Robin Hood related texts and also WWI soldiers, is mind boggling.The story of Hodd isn t so much about Robin Hood as much as it is about how the legend of Robin Hood was born The novel s narrator, a monk whose real name we never learn, was a minstrel before taking the cloth and through circumstance ends up part of Hodd s gang The novel is divided in four parts, much as our monk s life was influenced by four masters Only three masters are explicitly named, the hermit, Brother Thomas and Hodd, but one could name the Church as his final master under whose guidance he spent most of his days Interspersed into the story of the monk s time as Muche in Hodd s band are his recollections of his previous masters There are also sometheological contemplations, though never to excess as Belloes has excised the largest part of these The recollections provide an explanation of why he fell in with Hodd They show how the monk felt himself superseded as first in his masters affections by new boys and feared abandonment Hodd first makes him his first disciple and this lure proves too much for Muche.While religion figures greatly in the story, it never becomes preachy The religious outlook of the main character isn t just due to his vocation as a monk in the Middle Ages religion was the linchpin of most people s existence The book also shows the long overlap between Christianity and paganism in medieval times and the way people were still searching for what Christianity was exactly, resulting in various heresies, some of which are referenced in the book s footnotes.At the end of the book, the monk has come full circle and we ve seen the birth of the Robin Hood saga as we know it I truly enjoyed this book While not a fast read, despite its slim 305 pages, it s an engrossing one It s a fascinating look at how history can become legend and at the Middle Ages in all their rough, bleak glory Pretty good book in an interesting era, with an interesting perspective but some of the descriptive language does go on a bit. I really enjoyed this, although I found it difficult to follow in parts due to the footnotes.A really fascinating way to tell a story and full of vivid imagery and connections with nature and death So realistic and descriptive of life in the middle ages I felt like I should wash my hands after reading And a surprisingly satisfying end, too. This wasn t an easy read and I didn t always enjoy it, but the overall imaginative concept was awesome, and that s what I remember it for most of all. Robin Hood is one of my favorite stories, from when I was a kid to now So any book about him will draw me in Hodd does have a unique way of telling this story The actual author Adam Thorpe writes it as an academic in the 1920 s translating on old medieval manuscript written by a monk telling his own story of meeting Robin Hood as a sort of autobiography confession So it s a real author writing as a fake one translating an imaginary document Got it So it s written in the first person in a Robin Hood is one of my favorite stories, from when I was a kid to now So any book about him will draw me in Hodd does have a unique way of telling this story The actual author Adam Thorpe writes it as an academic in the 1920 s translating on old medieval manuscript written by a monk telling his own story of meeting Robin Hood as a sort of autobiography confession So it s a real author writing as a fake one translating an imaginary document Got it So it s written in the first person in a weird mix of old English and modern, and as it s an academic translation has footnotes explaining certain phrases I d say the way this is written is very awkward, for me anyway It was hard to read easily, where many times I had to re read sentences to get a proper grasp of it, the footnotes also broke up the flow of reading, making it very kind of stop start It didn t help with my reading experience The idea of the story is good though, on how an elderly monk retells how he met Robin Hood, when the monk was a teenager minstrel for a priest It say s how Robin Hood, wasof a heretic, and this conflicting hard with the young boy s faith and general attitude at the time Giving Hood this crazy preacher air about him was nice touch, with him leadingof a robbing cult against the church than a bunch of rebels fighting against the king The story is supposed to be based on the oldest Robin Hood story Robin Hood and the Monk, and this account was inspiration for it The main problem I have is that Robin Hood isn t in it enough More is spent of the childhood of the monk, talking about as a boy he was taught by a crazy hermit living in cave, Robin Hood is barely in a third of the book In a book called Hodd, about Robin Hood I wantthan that, especially as this preaching insane heretic does seem a compelling character The narrator of the story was nicknamed Moche Latin for adventure and was a minstrel, so Moche the Minstrel became Much the Miller s son, which I guess, is clever But the whole idea of the book comes across as being a bit too clever, the old style of English, the use of Latin, the footnotes and constantly using different mis spelling of words I get it that there was no dictionary or correct spelling then, but still The story end s quickly, with no real mention let alone Robin Hood being there The story is muchabout Moche and his inner conflict between his religious teachings and Hood s heresy of there being no sin So calling it Hodd, seems a bit of a cheat, as the while the parts with Robin s gang are a bitexciting, this is only a small part of the book While a different way of telling a story, and some of the footnotes about medieval words and customs were interesting, the way it s written and the leaving Robin Hood out for so much yet having some much about the hermit in the cave made itof a slog than an enjoyable read.If you re looking for an exciting book about Robin Hood, I d suggest Outlaw by Angus Donald In some ways there a bit similar on Robin Hood s character, but Outlaw is justfun of a read, while Hodd isof an interesting way of reading {DOWNLOAD BOOK} Ï Hodd Æ Who was Robin Hood Romantic legend casts him as outlaw, archer, and hero of the people, living in Sherwood Forest with Friar Tuck, Little John and Maid Marian, stealing from the rich to give to the poor but there is no historical proof to back this up The early ballads portray a quite different figure impulsive, violent, vengeful, with no concern for the needy, no merry band, and no Maid Marian Hodd provides a possible answer to this famous question, in the form of a medieval document rescued from a ruined church on the Somme, and translated from the original Latin The testimony of an anonymous monk, it describes his time as a boy in the greenwood with a half crazed bandit called Robert Hodd who, following the thirteenth century principles of the heresy of the Free Spirit , believes himself above God and beyond sin Hodd and his crimes would have been forgotten without the boy s minstrel skills, and it is the old monk s cruel fate to know that not only has he given himself up to apostasy and shame, but that his ballads were responsible for turning a murderous felon into the most popular outlaw hero and folk legend of England, Robin HoodWritten with his characteristic depth and subtlety, his sure understanding of folklore, his precise command of detail, Adam Thorpe s ninth novel is both a thrilling re examination of myth and a moving reminder of how human innocence and frailty fix and harden into history As the rediscovered printer s proof of a translation of a lost copy of an original Thirteenth Century manuscript, this novel presents with over 400 scholarly footnotes as well as mediaeval marginalia and Latin apparatus criticus what is claimed to be the earliest historical record of the brutal felon later known as Robin Hood Thorpe s novel isconcerned with identity and anonymity than with Robin Hood The anonymous narrator of the original manuscript is a very aged and repentant old mon As the rediscovered printer s proof of a translation of a lost copy of an original Thirteenth Century manuscript, this novel presents with over 400 scholarly footnotes as well as mediaeval marginalia and Latin apparatus criticus what is claimed to be the earliest historical record of the brutal felon later known as Robin Hood Thorpe s novel isconcerned with identity and anonymity than with Robin Hood The anonymous narrator of the original manuscript is a very aged and repentant old monk, who retells the story of a few years in his childhood and youth.Here is a lonely boy searching for a father, hopelessly human and dreadfully flawed, conscious of sin as only the product of mediaeval society could be, expectant of everlasting flame of Hell when life finally will end He cheats his first father figure, an old hermit who has taught him to read and write and play the harp he helps murder his second, a lax and effeminate priest and he flees the third, the deluded and sadistic Robert Hodd, the felon in the wood There are no admirable characters here all are flawed, creatures of their unforgiving age Never previously have I read such a sustained and convincing picture of the mediaeval mind and world The central conceit of rediscovered manuscript is wholly convincing, so much so that this novel is not in any sense an easy read, filled as it is with Biblical and theological references, discussion of Latin usage and disregard for consistent spelling, which may have contributed to the book s comparative lack of popular success and lukewarm critical reception when published.One of the most fascinating aspects of the old monk s tale is the effect it has on later writers, the translator, Francis Belloes, as well as the mediaeval copiest with his cryptic interpolations Finally, the novel impresses with its humanity and the real pity the reader feels for the unnamed narrator, as well as for battle scarred Francis Belloes, hoping to regain a purpose in life through his scholarly exposition and failing