Dictionary of Imaginary Places

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9780025793101: Dictionary of Imaginary Places

Throughout the ages, writers have created an astonishing diversity of imaginary places, worlds of enchantment, horror and delight. This monumental book, now more comprehensive than ever, unites them in a single volume.

A national bestseller when first published in 1980, this unique and endlessly entertaining guidebook takes readers on a tour of more than 1,200 imaginary cities, islands, countries, and continents, all invented by storytellers from Homer's day to our own. From Atlantis to Dracula's Castle, Middle Earth to Baskerville Hall, Utopia to Earthsea, here are worlds enough and more for every reader, fantasy fan, and passionate browser. And now it includes dozens of invaluable new entries and illustrations, including Eco's Abbey of the Rose, and Peter Carey's Etica. Among the lands are those of Lewis Carroll, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, L. Frank Baum, C.S. Lewis, John Lennon, Gilbert & Sullivan and Graham Greene. Written with wit and brilliance, the book is also a visual delight with more than 200 original illustrations and maps by Graham Greenfield, and James Cook, and new illustrations by award-winning artist Ken Nutt.

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Product Description:

From Atlantis to Tolkien's Middle-Earth, this Baedeker of the imagination takes readers on a tour of more than 1,200 realms invented by storytellers from Homer's day to our own. And now, brought up to date with dozens of invaluable new entries and illustrations, such as Umberto Eco's Island of the Day Before, Salman Rushdie's Sea of Stories, and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, this volume is even more authoritative and comprehensive. Profiled within are lands drawn from Lewis Carroll, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, L. Frank Baum, C. S. Lewis, Jorge Luis Borges, and more. Written with the wit and insight that has made Alberto Manguel a bestselling authority on literature, the book is also a visual treat: more than 200 original illustrations and maps reveal the lay of the land in Oz, Lilliputia, Narnia, and elsewhere. Here are worlds enough and more for every reader, fantasy fan, and passionate browser.

Review:

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places is best described as a guidebook of the make-believe. A good way to understand what Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi set out to do with their book is to imagine that you want to travel to a place like Oz, as in The Wizard of. What you remember from watching the classic movie and what you would want to know as a traveler are two very distinct things. What you'll earn in this book is that Oz is a large rectangular country where everyone works half the time and plays half the time, one that is divided into four smaller countries: Munchkin Country, Winkie Country, Quadling Country, and Gillikin Country. Flip through more of the book's alphabetized listings and you'll discover Fuddlecumjig, a town in Oz's Quadling Country whose inhabitants, the Fuddles, are among the most curious people in Oz. The main peculiarity is that they are made of many pieces, rather like jigsaw puzzles, and literally fall apart when strangers approach, and have to be reassembled with skill and patience. A travel tip for readers with vivid imaginations: put Fuddlecumjig's cook together first if you want a meal. And so go the descriptions of more than 1,200 worlds invented by storytellers throughout history, from Homer's Wandering Rocks in the Odyssey to Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. But there's more here than just the worlds of literature and film. You can learn more about John Lennon's Nutopia from his album Mind Games. Nutopia is a country with no land, no boundaries, no passports, and no laws other than cosmic laws. And the Beatles' Pepperland from Yellow Submarine is described as a country 18,000 leagues beneath the Sea of Green, where inhabitants dress in bright colors and rainbows are frequent. Written with rich descriptions that bring places to life, The Dictionary of Imaginary Places is a wonderful, magical reference book perfect for fiction lovers. --John Russell

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