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Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia…

Giants, Monsters & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth

by Carol Rose

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280262,667 (4.1)1
This illustrated encyclopaedia not only identifies and describes individual imaginary beasts in their cultural context, but also groups them together across cultures and discusses common mythological strands and conceits.

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“There has always been a fascination for the monstrous, and depictions of monstrous beings have been known from the earliest times. What actually constitutes a monster depends on the cultural values in which the image is depicted. That which is deemed to be monstrous is against the natural order of what is acceptable, and this is usually the image of nature and human natural forms. Consequently, even some being that is of an abnormal size may be regarded as monstrous yet still be acceptable. It is, however, those beings that constitute a supernatural hybrid mix of other forms that bring the most revulsion and are most likely to be considered monstrous...” pg. 253

My home state of Missouri boasts its own monster
“This is the name of a river monster in the traditions and beliefs of the Teton Native American people of Missouri in the United States. Mi-Ni-Wa-Tu is described as a vast body with red fur, having an enormous head with a single eye and horn projecting from its forehead, and a long tail flattened vertically with tooth-like projections on its upper ridge. The Mi-Ni-Wa-Tu was said to move swiftly through the water, creating a wave before it and an iridescence on the water behind. In the spring it was his activities that were said to cause the enormous cracks across the frozen Missouri River. To see this being was terrifying as a sight, and the experience was said to bring about convulsions and even death.” pg. 248
  Mary_Overton | Jun 29, 2013 |
This is an excellent book for reference or aimless browsing, but not recommended for people who like to read through their bestiaries. Unless you like reading through encyclopedias, because that's precisely what this reads like. Still an awesome reference for writers of fantasy and those curious about the beasts of lore. ( )
  serpentkills | Jan 10, 2009 |
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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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