Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Monsterology Handbook; A Practical Course In Monsters, by Ernest Drake

This fun "reference" book is divided into four sections; Beasts of the Earth, Beasts of Water, Beasts of the Air, and Semi-Human Beasts. It's presented as a field guide to Monsters of the world, lavishly illustrated and with information on the beasts' food, habitat, appearance, forms of attack or flight, and general notes.

The general idea, is of course, that the Beast of Myth are there for the study of the diligent Monsterologists, and this books will aid them in their pursuit and cataloguing of the Beasts. While most of the Monsters featured are from European Myth, there are also a few choice selections from Asian and modern North American Tales.

The facts and little stories about the beasts in this book were fun and informative. I didn't know that- for example- there were several varieties of unicorn from different parts of the world. However, it was the lovely illustrations that sold it for me. Having the unicorns all wonderfully laid out for perusal and comparison was what made me think wistfully of stories to write where the hero or heroine carried a book like this. I gave the book four stars out of five.

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