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10 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book on Urban Legends you'll ever need!
The movie "Urban Legend" sparked my interest in the topic, but the author in his book exceeded everything I ever wanted to learn about all the modern day "fables" I have heard all my life. I actually got red-faced reading stories that I had believed all my life because I heard it from a friend that heard it from "a friend that it actually...
Published on 21 July 1999

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
I bought this as a Christmas present for someone, but it was so awful I gave it to the charity shop. Really badly laid out, no narrative of any real interest, boring
Published 6 months ago by Mama Jo


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book on Urban Legends you'll ever need!, 21 July 1999
By A Customer
The movie "Urban Legend" sparked my interest in the topic, but the author in his book exceeded everything I ever wanted to learn about all the modern day "fables" I have heard all my life. I actually got red-faced reading stories that I had believed all my life because I heard it from a friend that heard it from "a friend that it actually happened to..."! Can't wait to see what the author has coming up next!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars in the Loo Reading category, 7 Dec 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Too Good to be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends (Paperback)
Urban legends are anecdotal yarns, sworn to be factually based, which become embellished to the point of being "too good to be true" as they percolate through society. Today's urban legends will become the future's fairy tales.
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE is an assemblage of over 200 such stories gathered by Jan Brunvand, who is an expert, perhaps obsessively so, on the subject. They cover a wide range of source topics: pets, criminals, cars, sex, accidents, babies, work, technology, human nature, mistaken ID, academia, food, the supernatural, wild animals, and more. They inspire laughter, horror, disbelief, or just plain "Oh, yuck!" Each story is followed by a paragraph, sometimes lengthy, on the times and places the anecdote, or some variant of it, has appeared. Some go back to the 19th century. After the first twenty-five or so, I decided to leave this last bit to the truly compulsive.
My favorite was the one about the American couple staying at the Moscow hotel during the bad old Soviet era. Obsessed with the possible presence of listening devices, the couple searched the room for "bugs". Finding only a metal plate under the carpet, they removed the screws from it. The next morning on checkout, the desk manager asked if they'd spent a pleasant night. He was concerned since the couple in the room below our intrepid travelers had the chandelier fall on them. My wife said she's never seen me laugh so hard.
The trouble with these stories is that they have no developing plot, no hero to love, and no villain to hate. Like eating popcorn, the experience, however delightful, ends with the last kernel/paragraph. Nobody ever exclaims, "Wow, I had a great bag of popcorn last week!" Similarly, I doubt this book will stay memorable for more than a minute. As reading for those contemplative moments in the loo, it stands out with a capital "L" for Light.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Interesting Subject!!!!, 9 July 1999
By A Customer
If you want to read about Urban Legends get this book!!! Unlike the Big Book of Urban Legends this one has alternate versions, explains how some came about or how long they have been around. The stories are very interesting even if they are untrue. Interesting because many are very plausible others so stupid its funny. Also interesting because you see how these stories travel around as truth. "I heard this one from my co-workers secretary's sister's boyfriend's cousin"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 15 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Too Good to be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends (Paperback)
I bought this as a Christmas present for someone, but it was so awful I gave it to the charity shop. Really badly laid out, no narrative of any real interest, boring
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5.0 out of 5 stars Full marks for supplier - item arrived in excellent condition & on time, 18 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Too Good to be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends (Paperback)
Full marks for supplier - item arrived in excellent condition & on time. As for the book itself, maybe could have been a bit shorter, or split into two volumes - I was skipping bits by the time I was two thirds through, and the serious nature of the research doesn't really suit the cover illustration. I believe e reprint has now been done with a more serious cover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 18 Mar 2013
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Saw this book on the side of a table in a cafe. Picked it up while I waited to pay my bill and couldn't put it down so went home to. Buy it
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind., 28 July 2012
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I have searched high and low for a decent book on this subject and was very happy when I found this as it ticked all the boxes I was looking for. It is an enjoyable read and I found it very hard to put down. All tales are given variants and explanations as well as lengthy theories where the legends could have originated. If you are interested in Urban Legends you will enjoy this. I can't wait to read more from this author.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, 31 Oct 2014
By 
JHE (Channel Islands) - See all my reviews
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If you want to read "The tedious history of the joke" then you have come to the right place...

Save you money and google "urban legends" one-by-one
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3.0 out of 5 stars If you love an urban legend then you will love this book, 30 Nov 2014
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J. Brazill "Juls" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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If you love an urban legend then you will love this book. Well written and some attempts at an explanation of where some of these derived from.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and fun!, 23 July 1999
By A Customer
A great read- debunks so many of the myths I've heard and SWORE were true.
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Too Good to be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends
Too Good to be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand (Paperback - 17 Oct 2001)
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