This new title in the vastly expanded program of Salem Press digests provides analytic descriptions of over 4000 important characters in 1,437 works covered in the 22-volume Masterplots II sets-- Ameri can Fiction, British and Commonwealth Fiction, World Fiction , and Drama --and 20 novellas from the Short Stories series. Titles, authors, and characters are indexed. One could quibble over inclusions and exclusions, but the selections are generally reasonable. The descriptions themselves are of the usual Salem Press quality, clearly and accurately supplementing the information found in the indexed sets. Libraries that make use of Masterplots II and/or Cyclopedia of Literary Characters (Salem Pr., 1963) should acquire this set; those that do not should put it on hold. This reviewer's suspicion is that some costly and massive super-cumulation of all these sets will appear one day.-- Peter Dollard, Alma Coll. Lib., Mich.
A companion to the Masterplots II series, the 1437 articles cover all the titles in the American fiction series, British and Commonwealth fiction series, Drama series, and World fiction series, as well as selected titles from the Short story series. The articles include ready-reference top matter and information on some 5,000 characters, with descriptions of 100 to 200 words for main characters and 25 to 75 words for lesser characters. The characters are arranged in order of importance, with full name, aliases, nickname, maiden or adopted name given, along with descriptions of their physical features. The emphasis is on the character's personality and motives, and its importance in the plot. Indexed by author, character, title. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)