Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Golden Bough by James George Frazer

The Golden Bough

by James George Frazer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
751412,377 (3.87)13



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 13 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
Thank you for the abridged edition, Sir James. Even the abridgment contains a confounding amount of information and examples. Like any attempt to shoehorn a large portion of human behavior into one theory, the book has its problems. While a classic of its time it is no longer considered authoritative in the field. I wouldn't consider it a "must read" but it certainly illustrates the amazing complexity of magical and religious customs around the world. ( )
  ritaer | Feb 19, 2017 |
The Golden Bough describes our ancestors' primitive methods of worship, sex practices, strange rituals and festivals. Disproving the popular thought that primitive life was simple, this monumental survey shows that savage man was enmeshed in a tangle of magic, taboos, and superstitions. Revealed here is the evolution of man from savagery to civilization, from the modification of his weird and often bloodthirsty customs to the entry of lasting moral,... ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Tutter | Feb 20, 2015 |
The 756-page single volume abridged by Frazer himself ,
published in 1922, includes a 42-page index with entries that make one long to read the text.
  KayCliff | Jan 6, 2009 |
So this is the condensed version, only about a thousand pages, but still full of fascinating tidbits of folklore and culture, and some very incisive theorizing about human belief patterns and theories of culture to link it all together. Very much a product of its times, but if you can get past the (generally mild) period imperialism, the meat of the book is still good.

It's very obviously condensed, though, and therefore I find it best dipped into in small portions. I've no idea how the 12-volume version compares - even the one up in Preject Gutenberg is the condensed edition, as far as I can tell - but I'd like to put down the book's tendency to list a bunch of apparently unrelated facts, then a bald theory, then some more random facts, to the abridging process. Unfortunately it's a style that was picked up by a lot of less rigorous researchers into the liminal spaces (erikvondaniken *cough*), with unfortunate results.

But if you're at all interested in magic or folklore or myth or culture, this is a classic, the basis of a lot of fiction and all later theoretical work (even the works that have partially overturned it) and, for all my caveats, still suprisingly readable - a great bedtime book. ( )
2 vote melannen | Jul 26, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Unknown whether these editions are full-length or abridged. Please do not combine.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio

Popular covers


Average: (3.87)
1 1
2 2
3 17
3.5 3
4 27
5 17

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 117,014,330 books! | Top bar: Always visible