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Giants, Monsters & Dragons - an Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend & Myth Paperback – 8 Jan 2002


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Giants, Monsters & Dragons - an Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend & Myth + Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins: An Encyclopedia + Breverton's Phantasmagoria: A Compendium of Monsters, Myths and Legends
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (8 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322118
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 0.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

This illustrated encyclopedia not only identifies and describes individual beasts in their cultural context, but also groups them together across cultures and discusses common mythological strands and conceits. An extensive bibliography and useful appendixes assist further learning for students of all levels. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tysha Dopson on 25 Oct 2003
Format: Paperback
Anyone who wishes to study mythology, and in particular the creatures of mythology, should own a copy of this book.
Its one of those books you can just pick up, open anywhere, and just read. Each entry is well written and you can't help reading the next, and the next! A great starting point for studies and also as an aid for finding little facts you might not have known before.
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By Kirsten on 14 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book met my expectations and then went way above them! I got it for my boyfriend, who is an illustrator and is doing an alphabet book of mythical creatures. Not only is there creatures from every corner of the world, it's alphabetised like a big index, which was VERY useful to him. We also love all the illustrations. He takes it everywhere with him and spends hours looking through it, constantly calling me over so that he can read me some.
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Format: Paperback
Another great collection, to go with the Encyclopaedia of Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns and Goblins. A brilliant book to keep on hand. Saves me having to sift through dozens of others!
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By J. D. Willett on 26 Sep 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived with the other book on monsters a bestiary so well packaged and very prompt delivery, well pleased
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Really fun text 16 Aug 2002
By Dorothy Lamb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Books of this type are nothing new. There are probably dozens of encyclopedia-style texts out there dealing with magical creatures and mythical beings, but this one is easily one of the more enjoyable volumes I've had the pleasure of reading. As has been pointed out in another review, this is not a book for those who are longing for visuals over text. This is not one of Froud's Fairy books or one of the Gnome texts. As fun as those books are, there is a heavy if not predominate focus on their original illustrations. Carol Rose's book is focused instead on textual descriptions and summaries. There are plenty of great illustrations in the book, mostly woodcuts from Rose's own private collection, but these are not the key focus of the book. But I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a good, searchable reference guide to creatures of myth and magic.
60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Fantabulous! 3 Jan 2002
By John J Clements - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Carol Rose has done it again! The companion to her much-acclaimed Spirits, Faeries, Gnomes, and Goblins: an Encyclopedia of the Little People, Giants, Monsters, and Dragons provides the same thorough lexicon of the fantastic. More of less everything her previous book left out (ie. the large mythical creatures) that I complained about in my review of the said book, this book covers. Got a question on Qanekelak? Wondering about Wendigo? Tired of asking about Asipatra? Just plain curious about the Cockatrice? Well this well-documented book provides all the answers to the questions you might ask (and even answers to wuestions you might NOT have asked).
Not only does it include the traditional monsters, Griffins, Dragons, Ettins, etc. but it also includes folklore monsters from the American Old West (Fearsome Critters). Also, some of the more popularized monsters like Werewolves and vampires are carefully restrained within the pages of this book.
Anyone who's had bad experiences with so-called encyclopedias of beasts-that-aren't, need not fear this book. It is not, repeat, NOT a re-telling of old folktales. This book states the physical description of each creature, in a clear, concise manner, and goes about with helpful information about it. If your trying to find their countries of origin, simply turn to the back for a thorogh cross-index of all the creatures.
So why does it recieve four-stars from me? The artwork is sub-par. Rather than original pictures, which, I admit, can rapidly become tacky, she has chosen to reprint old drawings and wood-prints from ancient texts and her private collection. Not that I'm against old-school pictures, but I prefer a more modern-touch. Maybe I'm just being picky. Before this book, I had just purchased a Monster Manual, mistakenly believing that it was a serious encyclopedia of monsters. Carol Rose's book certainly throws the Dungeons and Dragons book on their tails in the way of sheer informative value, but falls rather short in the visual department.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book! 1 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a well written book, which focuses on just about every monster from ancient history to modern times - and from just about every culture from the Far East to the Americas. On a few of the more odd or unusual entries there is a short synopsis of the specific legend associated with it, or an explanation of the creature's probable origins - for instance, St. Christopher, who is sometimes depicted as a giant with a dog's head got that way because of a spelling error in the early church - he was designated as a "Canine" rather than a "Canaanite". These and other facts are sure to entertain and delight anyone looking into monsters and the like.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A cross-reference-heaven for researchers 29 Jan 2001
By "nukapai" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book will not entertain; instead, it is like manna from heaven for anyone taking their research into the mythical beasts seriously.
A GIANT of a volume, this encyclopedia offers exactly what the title suggests - a refreshing change from some other books claiming to offer reference material.
All the monsters are listed alphabetically. Furthermore, everything is cross-referenced several times over. Want to find mythological beasts on regional basis? Or based on the type of monster? This is your book. One of the best parts is the bibliography section, should you wish to follow in the footsteps of the author and expand your reserach.
Hats off to the exhaustive research, but thumbs down for lack of elaboration in some instances. Most of the information acts merely as a pointer to the right direction, the extracts of folklore, legend and myth are very lean indeed. This is understandable for an encyclopedia - the book could have spanned several volumes if the author had decided to include more material.
I would strongly recommend this title as the best reference guide of it's kind.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Fun -and- educational. 5 Oct 2006
By Wanna-Be Buddha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one for both the scholar who needs a quick reference and the casual enthusiast looking to impress friends with mythical trivia (not that many people have friends who are so easily impressed).

If you have any interest, academic or casual, in the mythical beasts of yore, I highly recommend Rose's encyclopedias (this, and the "sequel," which contains more benign beings). It's fascinating to see icons from ancient Mesopotamian myth, Japanese legend, Native American religion and contemporary American folklore all on the same page.

In addition to thorough explanations of the origins and significance of each beastie, Rose goes one step further by explaining parallels to other cultural icons, common heritages and even manifestations in modern popular culture (for instance, there are numerous entries about creatures from J.R.R. Tolkien's world, which, while not strictly mythical themselves, do draw their inspiration from real-world mythology).

There are a number of similar cyclopedic works available, but this one differs from the masses in that it is both thoroughly academic (unlike many of the recent pop-culture anthologies), -and- thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommended.
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