A Natural History of the Unnatural World: Discover What Gryptozoology Can Teach Us about over One Hundred Fabulous and Legendary Creatures That Inhabit Earth, Sea and Sky

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There is no Cryptozoological Society of London, nor are there (as far as science knows) unicorns, kobolds, sphinxes, werewolves, batlike Japanese demons or man-eating horses, which the society purports to study. Since there isn't, and aren't, Levy and his band of photographers, artists and library researchers have produced a profusely illustrated coffee-table hoax, one that doubles as a multicultural reference book about mythical creatures. Levy and friends' achievement amounts to great fun, full of documents, detailed sketches and inventive reports of legendary fauna. Take, for example, the basilisk (Ophidiogallus basiliscus), whose mere glance kills all animals except weasels: "Everyone who observed the basilisk perished, so its appearance has always been in dispute." Men wearing suits made of mirrors freed Europe of the beasts in the 16th century, we're told, and its present-day range is confined to the Near East and Africa. Reproduced field notes show how the society teamed up with the "Balkan Werewolf Committee" to find Lyc-V, the HIV-like retrovirus that causes lycanthropy; a two-page article from Science Today explains how both HIV and Lyc-V work. The authors devote a few pages to amazing, but actual, animals, such as the giant squid, treating them just as they treat leprechauns, and many more pages to arguably more legitimate cryptozoological quarry, such as Bigfoot and living dinosaurs. Present and future zoology buffs may learn plenty of real science from the farfetched essays: folklore fans will learn even more. The volume's appeal may well prove wider still: think of this as the illustrated text from Harry Potter's biology class. (Jan.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312207038
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/24/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.86 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2003

    A reviewer

    This book was colorful and exciting. The humor of the field researchers and the magazine articles (particularly the one on gremlins), as well as the superb drawings, gave the book a light tone. An excellent guide to writers of fantasy seeking myth to add depth to their works. The 'artifacts' and 'relics' gave new light to mundane items.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2002

    The Ultimate Book

    I am a big crypto fan. I haven't read tis book but I bet it will be great! I hope I get it soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2002

    Forget the headaches of long books with boring layouts...

    An amazing book on cryptozoology, filled with detailed drawings, supposed encounters, and interesting facts about monsters. from Chupacabras to Onis, (with the usual fairies and dragons thrown in) this spectacular book even shows the evolution of giants and goblins. It says how werewolves might transfigure, a virus called Lyc-V! Not one of those books that gives you a headache from reading, but full of lively stories, colorfull pictures, and strange monsters. Highly recommended (but skip the pages on harpies and mermaids).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2000

    Fake doesn't equal boring.

    Just because these are mythical creatures and they haven't been proved to exist doesn't mean that they don't exist, at least in our imagination. It's always nice to take a trip off of Reality Lane and plunge into the depths of your imagination.

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