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The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic [School & Library Binding]

A Manguel
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.25
Price: 24.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 2000
Throughout the ages, writers have created an astonishing diversity of imaginary places, worlds of enchantment, horror and delight. This monumental book, now more comprehensive than ever, unites them in a single volume.

A national bestseller when first published in 1980, this unique and endlessly entertaining guidebook takes readers on a tour of more than 1,200 imaginary cities, islands, countries, and continents, all invented by storytellers from Homer's day to our own. From Atlantis to Dracula's Castle, Middle Earth to Baskerville Hall, Utopia to Earthsea, here are worlds enough and more for every reader, fantasy fan, and passionate browser. And now it includes dozens of invaluable new entries and illustrations, including Eco's Abbey of the Rose, and Peter Carey's Etica. Among the lands are those of Lewis Carroll, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, L. Frank Baum, C.S. Lewis, John Lennon, Gilbert & Sullivan and Graham Greene. Written with wit and brilliance, the book is also a visual delight with more than 200 original illustrations and maps by Graham Greenfield, and James Cook, and new illustrations by award-winning artist Ken Nutt.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • School & Library Binding: 755 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books (1 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613563115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613563116
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 17.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description

About the Author

Alberto Manguel (born 1948 in Buenos Aires) is a Canadian Argentine-born writer, translator, and editor. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980) and A History of Reading (1996) The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008), and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991). Though almost all of Manguel's books were written in English, two of his novels (El regreso and Todos los hombres son mentirosos) were written in Spanish and have not yet been published in English. Manguel has also written film criticism such as Bride of Frankenstein (1997) and collections of essays such as Into the Looking Glass Wood (1998).


For over twenty years, Manguel has edited a number of literary anthologies on a variety of themes or genres ranging from erotica and gay stories to fantastic literature and mysteries.

^Eric Beddows illustrated the Zoom series, for which he has twice won Canada's Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award; the Newbery-winning Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, and Shadow Play, both by Paul Fleischman. He lives in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.  --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-done, but incomplete.... 15 July 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a delightful book. The entries are, on the whole, well written in a sort of "travel guide" fashion, with occasional snippets of advice for individuals visiting the places described. There are maps provided of many of the locations, which are universally excellent. Unfortunately, there are glaring gaps in the work's coverage, the reasons for which are never made clear. There's no sign of Moorcock's Melnibone, for example, nor any of Howard's Hyborian or Thurian kingdoms; Burrough's Pal-ul-don and Pellucidar are there, but not Barsoom or Amtor. Whilst there may be copyright issues in some cases, it is interesting that the authors have managed to cover Middle Earth, Narnia, Earthsea, Hogwarts, etc, with little difficulty.
An excellent guide as far as it goes, and very useful for tracking down all those places mentioned in the almanac at the back of the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", volume 2, the omissions take it down from five to four stars.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real beauty! 8 Sep 2004
By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This hefty tome is an absolute must for anyone with a love of the fantastical and bizarre in their reading matter. The authors have taken some of the most famous imaginary locations from classic fantasy fiction and described them as though they were real places you could visit, complete with maps and some very atmospheric line drawings. You get all the famous ones here, such as Tolkein's Middle Earth, Gormenghast Castle, Hogwart's School, plus the sinister town of Arkham used by H P Lovecraft in some of his stories, Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia, and Skull Island (home of King Kong). The inclusions are of an impressively broad scope, ranging from Noddy's Toy Town (!) to the Marquis de Sade's Chateau Silling in "120 Days of Sodom"! But this only serves to make the book even more of an unexpected delight, and one you will never get tired of dipping into. The authors have certainly done their homework well.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible refrence to all your fantasy needs! 20 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you've ever read Lord of the Rings and wondered where Dol Armoth or Rivendell are or gandered through Oz only find yourself bamboozled at the question: Is Mr. Yopp in Quadling Country? This book is the travel guide to all things imagimary. From Umberto Echo's Abbey of the Rose to Xanadu, this book quenches your thirst for adventure!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative but could be more fun. 27 April 2011
By RAMON
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a very good source of harmless amusement for those interested in fantastic places, and the consequences of the fantasy put on them by the writers of all ages.

The authors have made varied selection of imaginary places, and have even engaged an engraver to put face to many of them (very good drawings, that look very much like those one can find in a XIX century book). Thus, the reader can find very good excepta of places such as Utopia, Oz, etc. So far, so good. One can read no place upon place, their strange customs, their peculiar leaders, etc.

The less likable part is that the constraints set by the authors leave some good places. The authors don't include places that are clearly actual places (like Brideshead) or places not to be found on Earth (like those created by sci-fi authors). Thus, their collection is somewhat restricted to older authors, like Rabelais. There's also a very ample reference to Middle Earth, which I find somewhat too extensive, because any LOR fan surely know those places by heart. Some other modern references, then could be more expanded: there's a reference to Hogwarts, but very little else concerning the JK Rowling universe or the Mortal Engines or other sci fi classics like HG Wells, etc.

Good book, worth buying, but somehow I had expected something funnier from Mangel (his History of Reading is a true, delightful masterpiece)
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