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

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

by Diana Wynne Jones

Paperback(Revised and Updated Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142407226
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 10/05/2006
Edition description: Revised and Updated Edition
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 296,497
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones was the multiple award-winning author of many fantasy novels for children, teenagers, and adults. Her book Howl's Moving Castle was made into an Academy Award-nominated major animated feature by Hayao Miyazaki. She received the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Married to the medievalist J. A. Burrow, with whom she had three sons, she lived for many years in Bristol, the setting for many of her books. Diana Wynne Jones passed away in March 2011, after a long illness.

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From the Publisher


"This brilliantly written satire perfectly celebrates and skewers the clichés of the fantasy genre. It is a highly recommended purchase…." —VOYA

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Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
ranger_maiden More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My friend recently showed me this book and we were cracking up as I read some of it. We are both writing fantasy stories, and it was fun to see exactly how many fantasy stereotypes we followed. I did want to slap myself in the end. It's truly amazing how many constants there are in the world of writing. Even so, this book is too fun not to read. Any fan of fantasy will love it, and I absolutely can't wait to get my own copy. From swords to mentors to horses, The Tough Guide has everything you wanted to know about Fantasyland. Or maybe you already knew.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say I adored this book. Its hilarity came from how familiar so many of its entries were, especially the ones like 'HORSES' and 'BATH' and 'STEW'. I highly recommend this book for anyone who reads fantasy -- a lot of the jokes are a little 'inside' if you don't read fantasy, but then again, if you don't read fantasy this isn't the sort of book you'd probably be reading. I keep this book on the end table beside my bed.
Homechicken on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book was amusing at first, but seemed to get slower and slower. Not written in the novel-fashion, it¿s more of a dictionary of fantasy cliche. Just about everything is covered. This would be a great reference book for someone writing a fantasy novel so they don¿t take the ¿normal¿ path all the time.The most annoying thing is the author religiously uses she/he instead of he/she or just switching the two back and forth between entries.
andreablythe on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This mock travel guide gives the reader advice on how to "tour" Fantasyland, a generic world based on all the tropes and cliches from numerous fantasy novels. The result is part criticism, part loving tribute, and more often than not a humorous poking fun at cliches of the genre the author clearly loves. As much as this book will be enjoyed by readers of fantasy, it is also rather invaluable to writers of fantasy, as its a rather thorough list of all the things that have been done before, done so often, in fact, that they can be easily compiled into a guide on how to navigate such an imagined reality. As a writer myself, I would use this book as a way to think about how I write, as in "Am I including this just because it the default trope for fantasy, or am I including it because it's the best available option for this story?"
Kellswitch on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A mildly interesting and amusing book.Not something you would try to read as a regular book, rather hunting for the amusing anecdotes.For some reason, even thought it was revised in 2006 and that was the version I read, it felt dated, like she was using the fantasy concepts of the 70's and early 80's and not so much what has been currently written, though I'm sure she had. For some reason I just kept flashing to Bored of the Rings...It was worth skimming through, but I'm glad I took it out of the library vs. buying it.
juliayoung on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is quite a delightfully humorous guide to fantasy tropes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it . . . it was a bit like being able to peek inside an actual copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide, only for a fantasy land. If Jones' other books have the same wit, I'm eagerly looking forward to reading some of them.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The essential guide for every fantasy lover, and those that aspire to write fantasy - covers most plot devices, characters, magical elements, and terrain that is to be found in the traditional fantasy book. Great humor, great writing, an enjoyable read. Also, don't read this all at once - it can be a bit overwhelming.
m.c.wade on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A send-up of tired cliches and tropes from decades of fantasy novels. It's written as a tourist guide, if tourists could go to the world where all fantasy books are set. And if that world were a single place run somewhat like Disneyland, only deadlier.It's cool to see Jones developing the ideas that would later lead to her two novels set in a Fantasyland-type world--The Dark Lord of Derkholm and Year of the Griffin.Both of those books, as well as this one, are highly recommended.
meggie on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A full representation of satire and cynicism at their very bust, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland serves as a guidebook to authors and readers alike as they progress deeper into the realm of fantasy. Part guidebook, part encyclopedia, the Guide introduces the stereotypical "Hero's Journey" characters, races, and situations that are found in most fantasy novels, movies, television series, plays, and games with a helpful dose of acidic humor. Authors should consider using the Tough Guide to Fantasyland as a source of inspiration and as a warning to stay away from paths that have been traveled too frequently, while fans of the genre can appreciate the guidebook's humorous approach.
idanush on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This books feels like you're reading every single generic fantasy book at the same time.The protagonist is always has to make a tough decision. he is always forced into saving the world and the world is always on the brink of disaster.Tolkien established this great genre and it has been relentlessly copied ever since. A great and funny stab at how cookie-cutter this can get.
Mendoza on LibraryThing 11 months ago
It was a lot of fun reading through this book. The silly thing is how much the author was able to pigeon hole the genre. It was hilarious to read and I thought almost entirely true of high fantasy novels. Just the part that disects the ever present map in fantasy novels. I pulled out some of my novels to compare and the book had them down pat.Just alot of fun.
HollowellTheForgottenRoom More than 1 year ago
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is full of wit and wisdom. Diana Wynne Jones has identified common patterns in science fiction / fantasy books and created a sturdy framework. Most sci-fi / fantasy book will fit quite comfortably into this frame; that's how good it is. Still, there are some surprises left. The Tough Guide lists key terms in alphabetical order. For example,"dwarves" and "elves" usually make good allies, although dwarves may be rather surly and the magical lands of elves are initially hard to find. Wynn Jones also advises leaving all rings alone, especially ones inscribed with runes (shades of J.R.R. Tolkien, here). Bands of brothers & sisters embark on quests, also known as "tours," and they typically include heroes & heroines, a bard, and an elusive stranger. They generally fight the dark lord and his armies of minions until they save the world. This guidebook is even applicable to our modern-day situations. Drones and satellites are a ready-substitute for archetypal "leathery winged avians." Mercenary contractors are running amok, and "weather modification" is indeed possible with cloud seeding and aerosol geoengineering. Finally, readers must be aware that there is omnipotent behind-the-scenes leadership. Wynne Jones refers to this simply as "The Management." She has kindly provided us with an uproariously funny, supremely useful, and timeless guidebook.
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Firannion More than 1 year ago
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.
Rosalind39 More than 1 year ago
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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Sora_Kuraiika More than 1 year ago
This book was hilarious. I honestlsy love this book;I love it so much you don't even know. It brought to light trends and cliches in Fantasy novels that I didn't even know existed. For anyone who's trying to write fiction, or just wants a good laugh, this is an excelent choice.
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