The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel

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Overview

Imagine that all fantasy novels—the ones featuring dragons, knights, wizards, and magic—are set in the same place. That place is called Fantasyland. The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is your travel guide, a handbook to everything you might find: Evil, the Dark Lord, Stew, Boots (but not Socks), and what passes for Economics and Ecology. Both a hilarious send-up of the cliches of the genre and an indispensable guide for writers, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland has been nearly impossible to find for years. Now this ...

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Overview

Imagine that all fantasy novels—the ones featuring dragons, knights, wizards, and magic—are set in the same place. That place is called Fantasyland. The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is your travel guide, a handbook to everything you might find: Evil, the Dark Lord, Stew, Boots (but not Socks), and what passes for Economics and Ecology. Both a hilarious send-up of the cliches of the genre and an indispensable guide for writers, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland has been nearly impossible to find for years. Now this cult classic is back, and readers can experience Diana Wynne Jones at her very best: incisive, funny, and wildly imaginative. This is the definitive edition of The Tough Guide, featuring a new map, an entirely new design, and additional material written for it by Diana Wynne Jones.

World Fantasy Award Finalist

A Hugo Award Finalist (Nonfiction)

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Angela Semifero
If readers have ever found themselves trying to navigate the Forest of Doom or wondered what strangeness leads arctic barbarians to be half-naked while desert dwellers are always "swathed from head to foot in robes," this is the guide for which they have been waiting. Billed as the "Official Guide to Fantasy Travel," the book is a romp through genre conventions. This updated version of the Hugo Award-winning book contains alphabetic entries for people, places, and events in a fantasy world and information on how travelers can best find their way to the epic final battle. Icons conveniently identify lodging, food, and other necessary elements that travelers will need in their journey. Each chapter begins with wise or absurd quotes by a character with several apostrophes in his name. The highly amusing text is not something that can easily be read straight through as a narrative, but it is thoroughly enjoyable as a "reference" guide to fantasy novels. This brilliantly written satire perfectly celebrates and skewers the clichTs of the fantasy genre. Any reader who has gone through two fantasy trilogies will laugh at the tongue-in-cheek "Official Management Terms" such as the evil councilor's having a "reek of wrongness" and the spirited princess one can identify by the "scattering of freckles" across her nose. It is a highly recommended purchase for most school and public library collections.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Diana Wynne Jones, the British doyenne of fantasy, is a literate writer with a well-placed sense of humor. She makes the most of the latter attribute in this tongue-in-cheek guide to the traveler—or beginning writer—who would take on the fantasy genre. No, it is not a literary history. Classic authors and characters remain unnamed. What is offered instead is an "A" to "Z" encyclopedia of terms, jokes, plots, maps, etc., gussied up as one's standard Frommer's guidebook, complete with little identifying symbols—the best signifying "cliche"—and the occasional edifying sidebar such as, "How to interact with wizards." In short, Wynne Jones is having a jolly good time. Consider her take on "colour coding." "Hair. Black hair is Evil…Red hair always entails magical POWERS…Brown generally implies niceness. Fair hair always means goodness." ‘Nuff said. Enjoy the satire, while always remembering to keep clear of people with violet or golden eyes. That is, if you want a quiet life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142407226
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/5/2006
  • Edition description: Revised and Updated Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 246,293
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of the funniest books I've ever read!!

    I'm a huge fantasy fan who also loves to write fantasy. I do my best to avoid using cliches, and this book is helpful for that. Even better, the author has a really great and sarcastic sense of humor, so reading all the cliches was even more fun! Anyone who reads or writes fantasy should own a copy of this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2006

    Essential for fantasy lovers

    If you love fantasy, this book is for you. Everything, I mean everything, is covered, from coloring (you can tell how good or bad someone is just by the color of their eyes and hair) to quest, eternal (see: eternal quest). Add to it completely random gnomic utterences at the beginning of each section, and you have the perfect guide for visiting fantasy land.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2012

    If you're enough of a fan of fantasy to have a sense of the usua

    If you're enough of a fan of fantasy to have a sense of the usual tropes
    and cliches of the genre, this book is an absolute must-read. The first
    time I read it, my teenage son, who also devours fantasy fiction, kept
    running into the room to ask me what was so funny because I kept
    bursting out into fits of giggling. Wynne-Jones's observations are
    spot-on, lacerating and absolutely hysterical. Once you've read it, I
    guarantee that you will not be able to see 'stew' on the menu anywhere
    without laughing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2012

    Well Worth the Waiting and Searching, and One of the Best Books a Fantasy Writer Could Possibly Read

    I spent years searching for this while it was out of print, and was practically dancing for joy when I found out it was being re-printed. It was worth all of the searching and waiting to get my hands on a copy. The book is funny to read straight through for fun, but also incredibly useful to anyone who loves writing, especially in the fantasy genre because of its attention to details ranging from character tropes to settings, and various cliches that can be found in fantasy. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, and any aspiring fantasy author.

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