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Goblins! A Survival Guide and Fiasco in Four Parts Hardcover – October 13, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The conceit of renowned fantasy illustrator Froud’s latest book (after The Runes of Elfland; Lady Cottington’s Faerie Album; Faeries; etc.) is a clever one. The title page announces that, after working on the text and illustrations, Froud and his colleague Berk disappeared, leaving behind the dangerous fruits of their research into the goblin world. In a letter marked with suspicious red scribbles, they beg the publisher not to print their work, but the publisher decides to go ahead and release the book "as is"—which means that Froud’s drawings and Berk’s notes appear mussed up by dirty goblin fingerprints and scrawled with indignant goblin commentary. For example, next to Froud’s drawing of a very grubby goblin named the Royal Lady Empyreuma Frouzy, the authors’ goblin informer writes: "nonsense this is sardine sallie she olde girrlfriend." The whole book is pretty delightful, even for—or perhaps especially for—those who couldn’t stand Froud’s pretty, ethereal faeries.
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About the Author

Brian Froud is an award-winning illustrator, author, and faery authority. His books include the international best-sellers Faeries, Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book, Lady Cottington's Fairy Album, and The Faeries' Oracle. He also served as the conceptual designer on Jim Henson's films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Froud lives in Devon, England. Ari Berk is a folklorist, poet, and scholar of literature, ethnography, iconography, and comparative myth. He is also the author of popular titles for children, as well as The Runes of Elfland with Brian Froud. Berk is associate professor of English at Central Michigan University.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (October 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810949415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810949416
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.8 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The book is HILARIOUS.
Annie
Along with "The Runes of Elfland," these two books are an exquisite fusion of Froud's deeply evocative art and Berk's incredibly clever and literate prose.
Nancy Berman
I would recommend this to anyone that is a fan of fantasy art or folklore.
Jesse Burton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Berman on November 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Purchased and read at great personal peril, I am glad that I took the risk to obtain this book as it is the ultimate weapon against anxiety, stress, and general bad moods caused by life in urban America. One need only pick up "Goblins!" and open it to any page to be granted a glimpse into the special world of these creatures, thanks to the brave efforts of Fraud-face and Berk-head, I mean Brian Froud and Dr. Ari Berk. This deliciously irreverent book is a must-have for anyone who has ever read a fairy tale, watched a scary movie, had the water gone cold during the shower, lost a sock and found a wire hanger, swallowed sour milk by mistake... in short, lived through the normal trials of daily life.

The book is chock-full of details about goblins -- not just biographies of the devious creatures -- but a deeper look at their culture (holidays, games, personal relationships, guilds and social structure); in short, the collaborators have done their homework and shine forth as the leading ethnographers of the faerie world. Along with "The Runes of Elfland," these two books are an exquisite fusion of Froud's deeply evocative art and Berk's incredibly clever and literate prose.

P.S. Dis nice reevue but dat's not troo wot she say bout Fraud-face 'n Berk-head. Dey not gud pitures dey not gud wurdz. ok mebbe some pitures ok. Oh. dis not dat pop-up booke dat Fraud-face did long time ago. Eat cheeze when reeding dis booke. Make marks on da pages. dis gud ting to do.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Secara on February 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With a scientific rigour that is second to none and only matched in enthusiasm, perhaps, by the Muppet Labs, Ari Berk and Brian Froud set out to unearth the truth about the goblins (err, Goblins!) that infest our refrigerators, our pets, the spaces between our sofa cushions and in fact, our very lives. Yes, it's a lofty undertaking but who better than Professor Berk (latest in a distinguished if somewhat squelchy line of curators of the Lady Cottington archives) and the artistically forceful if not yet forcibly restrained Froud to narrate and illustrate the effort. They may not be Holmes and Watson, but they're a lot funnier.

Among the contents so minutely examined are the goblin's holiday Almanack; a field guide to goblin types, with portraits and principal characteristics; and vast amounts of ill-assorted notes about goblins at play and, uh, play. There are also a few astonishing photographs (realized in the end by the long-suffering Mme. Froud) presented with date, time, and cheese conditions; a partial transcription of the ancient and largely apocryphal Codex Goblinensis; and the pearl beyond price: how to know if you have goblins (you do).

If you're looking for the delicate mysteries of "The Runes of Elfland", you're on the wrong page. If you're looking for fun and more surprises than you expect to find even in a completely mad, outrageously well-illustrated and delightfully written large-format volume, you're totally in the right place. Oh, and don't mind the cover. It's a little sticky. Some of the pages are upside down, and goblin graffiti is everywhere. But that's all right. As soon as you're willing to leave the house in their care, it will get worse. But at least you'll know why!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By POTLOS on April 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My daughter loves this book. She giggles at the descriptions and spends lots of time staring at the illustrations. Her favorite is a goblin named Follimal, the Grim Crimper, who "[p]rides herself in the ability to make any mortal's hair look absolutely ridiculous by morning." My daughter likes sharing books with friends, hoping that they will laugh at all the places she does, and Goblins is the perfect book for her - plenty to share and plenty to laugh at, whether you are 10 or 45. I like to give books as birthday gifts and this one is going to the top of my list for nieces, nephews, and the children of all of my friends. This book is funny and friendly (with just a dash of mischief and a fart joke or two), and I recommend it highly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
At first reading, it's more of what Froud has done so well, so often. His delicate, dangerous caricatures take on little eldritch lives of their own. His palette tends to the gray, brown, and olive, with delicate pen strokes for outlines and emphasis. A little story goes with each, and larger story ties them all together.

There's a larger story still, outside of the story here. Glimpses of that create the spell that lifts the hairs at the nape of your neck - knowing that something is going horribly awry, but never knowing quite what. The basic idea is clever enough idea. The book as a whole, though, is a brilliant vehicle for that idea. It suffers from a few small flaws, but only a few and only small. I recommend this to anyone who loves the faerie (and not just the fey or fairy), or who loves fantasy art.

//wiredweird
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elphaba's Sister on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my daughter a long time ago as she loves the Frouds and anything Faerie. We had Brian and Wendy (and Toby) sign it when we saw them at a Faerie Festival! Neat book, not as "foo-foo" and "frilly" as his Faerie books (it's Golbins after all) but so hysterical! The Goblins all have personalities and their own likes and dislikes. Great guide to keeping your personal Closet Goblin Happy!
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