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Urban Legends: A Collection of International Tall Tales and Terrors
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Urban Legends: A Collection of International Tall Tales and Terrors

by Gillian Bennett
 

Don't get in that car without looking in the back seat! Everyone has heard the story about such-and-such, and while it sounds impossible, so-and-so swears that it must be true. Often gory, disgusting, shocking, and surprising, urban legends are central to everyday experience. From high schools and colleges to offices and organizations, urban legends are everywhere.

Overview

Don't get in that car without looking in the back seat! Everyone has heard the story about such-and-such, and while it sounds impossible, so-and-so swears that it must be true. Often gory, disgusting, shocking, and surprising, urban legends are central to everyday experience. From high schools and colleges to offices and organizations, urban legends are everywhere. This book collects more than 150 urban legends from around the world, such as The Mutilated Shopper, The Devil at the Disco, and The Thug in the Back Seat. The tales are grouped in thematic chapters, and each entry includes an introductory discussion of the legend and its presence in popular culture, the text of the legend, suggestions for further reading, and cross-references to similar tales. The volume closes with a selected, general bibliography and a detailed index. Literature students will welcome the opportunity to read and write about these legends, social studies students will value them as a reflection of contemporary culture, and general readers will enjoy browsing them and learning more about their background and significance.

Don't pick up that hitchhiker! Don't get in that car without looking in the back seat! If you knew what they put in that, no way would you eat it! Urban legends are central to everyday experience. Everyone has heard the story about such-and-such, and while it sounds impossible, so-and-so swears that it must be true. These legends are everywhere, from high schools and colleges to offices and organizations. They appear in films, television series, and novels, and are now widely spread over the Internet. This book collects and annotates more than 150 urban legends from around the world and is a valuable resource for students, general readers, and anyone interested in contemporary culture.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This entertaining guide is suitable for a wide range of audiences and amply demonstrates for the students that academic scholarship can be quite fun." - Lawrence Looks at Books

"This collection describes urban legends in nine themed chapters: city life; horror; accidents, fate, and chance; the body and disease; animals; sex and nudity; merchandise; murder, death, and burial; and the supernatural. The authors compiled stories from friends and colleagues, newspapers and magazines, folklore books and journals, compilations, and correspondence. Interpretation of the legends or explanations for their popularity is avoided, as is discussion of whether they are true. Instead, background on the story and examples of them are given. Criteria for urban legends include presence of a narrative structure, outrageous content in an everyday setting, anonymous origins, and multiple examples. The four indexes are organized by title, examples in film and literature, and subject." - Reference & Research Book News

"Studying urban legends may encourage students to think critically about information found in questionable resources such as the Web. Chapters include City Life beginning with the standard, Alligators in the Sewers, Horror, Accidents, Fate, and Chance, The Body and Diseases, Animals, Sex and Nudity, Merchandise, Murder, Death, and Burial and The Supernatural. Chapters have brief introductions and each legend is discussed with an example and suggestions for further reading. Appendixes include A Provisional List of Urban Legends in Film and Literature, further reading and online resources, the Urban Legend Title Index and three indexes, Urban Legends on Film, in Literature and a subject index. This provides excellent examples of carefully researched and reported information about tall tales." - GALE Reference for Students

"Bennett and Smith's Urban Legends is a worthy follow-up to their earlier compilations and deserves a place in any reference collection on the subject….The on-line resources listed are crucial in this electronic age and go well beyond the standard (and invaluable) sources such as Snopes.com or About.com's urban legends Web site." - Journal of American Folklore

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313339523
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Gillian Bennett is an independent scholar and the author of numerous works on ghost stories and urban legends. She has edited several works with Paul Smith and is also the author of Alas, Poor Ghost!: Traditions of Belief in Story and Discourse (1999), and Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease, and Death in Contemporary Legend (2005).

Paul Smith is Professor of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His work encompasses contemporary legend, traditional drama, and folklore and popular literature. With Gillian Bennett, he has edited numerous works, including Contemporary Legend: A Folklore Bibliography (1993), and Contemporary Legend: A Reader (1996).

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