All right, so we have Ichabod Crane, who is not a member of the judiciary but is merely a humble schoolteacher. So humble, so insecure, and so clumsy. And he's not really the hero of the story as it will turn out. By the end of the story, Ichabod Crane is just one more casualty. Was he a victim of the Headless Horseman? Or was he just an unfortunate character who's fallen prey to a prank by Brom Bones. Brom and Ichabod are both wooing the town beauty, Katrina Van Tassel. It's really not made clear though if Katrina has directly denied Ichabod her hand. All we know is that at the end of the party, Ichabod leaves with very low spirits.
What caught me off guard was how humorous the story can be. Somehow, we feel that Irving is making light of the people of Sleepy Hollow. He loves them, make no mistake. But it's as if he's inviting the reader to see that these are people who tell creepy stories to amuse themselves. I'm amused as well. I'm amused at the brilliant way that Irving shows us how a town's beliefs, its superstitions, can influence the lives of the locals. And that despite these superstitions, they make do.
Read this book if:
- You love short creepy stories.
- You've seen the movie, and now it's time to read the book.
- Headless Horseman! Headless Horseman! Is there really any other reason for reading this?