The Dictionary of Imaginary Places

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9780886191689: The Dictionary of Imaginary Places
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Throughout the ages, writers have created an astonishing diversity of imaginary places, worlds of enchantment, horror and delight. This guidebook takes the reader on a tour of more than 1200 imaginary cities, islands, countries, and contintents, from Homer to the late 1990s. Places visited include Atlantis, Dracula's Castle, Middle Earth, Baskerville Hall, Utopia, and Earthsea. The inspiration comes from writers as diverse as Lewis Carroll, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sir Arthur Conan doyle, L. Frank Baum, C.S. Lewis, John Lennon, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Graham Greene.

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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

About the Author:

Alberto Manguel (born 1948 in Buenos Aires) is a Canadian Argentine-born writer, translator, and editor. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980) and A History of Reading (1996) The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008), and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991). Though almost all of Manguel's books were written in English, two of his novels (El regreso and Todos los hombres son mentirosos) were written in Spanish and have not yet been published in English. Manguel has also written film criticism such as Bride of Frankenstein (1997) and collections of essays such as Into the Looking Glass Wood (1998).


For over twenty years, Manguel has edited a number of literary anthologies on a variety of themes or genres ranging from erotica and gay stories to fantastic literature and mysteries.

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Alberto Manguel, Gianni Guadalupi
Published by Key Porter Books (1987)
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Alberto Manguel; Gianni Guadalupi
Published by Key Porter Books (1987)
ISBN 10: 0886191688 ISBN 13: 9780886191689
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