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Supernatural Literature of the World [3 volumes]: An Encyclopedia Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0313327742 ISBN-10: 0313327742 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1556 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (September 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313327742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313327742
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.2 x 4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,981,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Extensive and ambitious, this encyclopedia has nearly 1,000 entries packed into it and ranges through the work of about 600 writers, editors, publishers, critics, and magazines. Defining supernatural literature as "literature that is avowedly postulated to have expanded, refuted, or contravened the laws of nature as currently understood," the editors have drawn from the ranks of writers of science fiction, fantasy, psychological suspense, and other genres. In addition to covering supernatural elements in the works of canonical writers like Dickens and Shakespeare, they include modern authors like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan. There are writers from about 20 countries and from various time periods up to the present. More than 160 entries briefly discuss individual works. Children's and YA literature are represented in entries such as Children's literature (supernatural in) and Goose bumps. A number of topical entries treat common motifs, the influence of religions and philosophies, and various genres and other topics, beginning with Alien abduction and ending with Zombies, with stops along the way for Curses, Dreams and nightmares, Occultism, Southern Gothic, Urban legends, and Voodoo. Not included are "writers who have worked entirely in the realm of fantasy," such as J. K. Rowling. Also excluded is consideration of film and television.

Editors Joshi and Dziemianowicz have published extensively in the field of supernatural literature and are aided here by 64 other contributors, including Everett F. Bleiler, Richard Bleiler, Paula Guran, Stephen Jones, and Brian Stableford. Signed entries are generally analytical and evaluative and range from 250 to 3,000 words, with bibliographies for the more substantive ones. Cross-references within entries are in bold. The text is accompanied by occasional black-and-white illustrations and brief excerpts from works. Alphabetical and topical lists of entries begin each volume, and three indexes close the set--a general index, an index of fictional characters, and an index of motifs. A general bibliography alerts users to selected major indexes, guides, and studies of supernatural literature, although the editors specify that this encyclopedia is not designed to provide comprehensive bibliographies for the writers, works, or topics covered.

As the foreword by Ramsey Campbell promises, Supernatural Literature of the World provides a "generous scope" and a "wealth of critical insight." Previous bio--bibliographies and guides on the topic have generally been more limited in their coverage. The work is enthusiastically recommended for academic and large public libraries; since supernatural literature is popular with teens, high-school libraries might consider it, too. Joseph Thomas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"From alien abductions to vampires and zombies, the use of particular motifs is traced. The influence of religion on the supernatural elements of fiction is also explored. All told, some 973 topics are covered. While many illustrations depict film adaptations, the focus here is on writing. Discussion of horror film and television is excluded. Although the editors wrote the majority of the entries, the 66 well-published contributors include Mike Ashley, Brian Stableford, Stephen Jones and Everett F. Bleiler. Many entries include extensive bibliographies. An index of fictional characters allows readers to identify favorite figures from Diedrich Knickerbocker to John the Balladeer. Additional indexes include motifs, authors, book titles and general subjects. This detailed guide should prove popular in both public and academic libraries."

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Lawrence Looks at Books



"This reference covers authors and works from the ancient world to the present. The encyclopedia features nearly 1,000 alphabetically arranged entries including such major canonical writers as Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, and Oscar Wilde, along with popular contemporary authors like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and R.L. Stine."

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Library Media Connection



"[R]unning the gamut from film to fiction to theme entries to authors, and many entries are appealingly outfitted with illustrations or excerpts….[t]his reference work may be indispensable."

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Fantasy & Science Fiction



"Extensive and ambitious, this encyclopedia has nearly 1,000 entries packed into it and ranges through the work of about 600 writers, editors, publishers, critics, and magazines. Defining supernatural literature as literature that is avowedly postulated to have expanded, refuted, or contravened the laws of nature as currently understood, the editors have drawn from the ranks of writers of science fiction, fantasy, psychological suspense, and other genres. In addition to covering supernatural elements in the works of canonical writers like Dickens and Shakespeare, they include modern authors like Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan. There are writers from about 20 countries and from various time periods up to the present….The work is enthusiastically recommended for academic and large public libraries; since supernatural literature is popular with teens, high-school libraries might consider it, too."

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Booklist, Starred Review



"This expansive multivolume encyclopedia brims with over 1,000 alphabetically arranged entries. Canonical writers like Poe and contemporary writers like King are equally represented. Unlike E. F. Bleiler's biographically based Supernatural Fiction WriterS≪/i> (CH, Jul'03, 40-6151), this set also contains entries on seminal works, fictional elements, and subgenres. All entries are descriptive and analytic, and many conclude with a bibliography of critical works. Researchers will find the indexes to fictional characters and motifs particularly valuable….[a] welcome addition to libraries collecting or supporting research in this genre. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty."

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Choice



"[I]ts scope and quality make it the single most important reference work on its subject to date. Enthusiastically recommended for all but the smallest public and academic libraries."

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Reference & User Services Quarterly



"[T]o be recommended as a scholarly and well-produced source of all kinds of information about its subject."

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Reference Reviews



"This set would be useful in settings where the supernatural is often researched. The entries on motifs contain descriptions of titles that employ that motif. This could assist students who are looking for works with a particular theme."

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Library Media Connection


More About the Author

S. T. Joshi (Seattle, WA) is a freelance writer, scholar, and editor whose previous books include Documents of American Prejudice; In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice against Women; God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong; Atheism: A Reader; H. L. Mencken on Religion; The Agnostic Reader; and What Is Man? And Other Irreverent Essays by Mark Twain.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Sherman on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Supernatural Literature Of The World is an amazing set of books. Anyone with a serious interest in supernatural, weird, and/or horror fiction should make the financial sacifice and buy this set. Unlike most encylopedias, which I use when I need specific information, I plan on reading these books cover to cover. The only failing is one of design, not scholarship. The body text type face is difficult to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Connolly on April 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am surprised that there has only been one review of SUPERNATURAL LITERATURE OF THE WORLD. The three-volume set is easily the most comprehensive coverage of supernatural and horror fiction yet published. The many articles are intelligently written and accessible. All criticism (even when you don't agree with it) is well reasoned, and when the boot is put in, it is well deserved. S.T. Joshi's own articles in the book are so good that I am looking forward to his upcoming UNUTTERABLE HORROR: A HISTORY OF SUPERNATURAL FICTION, due out from PS Publishing later this year.
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