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The Beast Within: A History of the Werewolf Hardcover – June 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square (June 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855925745
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855925748
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,527,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Going beyond Hollywood's silly silver screen werewolf, Douglas recaptures the rich and varied legends of wolfpeople that have potently haunted generations through the ages. This comprehensive history benefits from the tools of anthropology, mythology, and psychology and begins in the paleolithic era when men dressed in wolf skins to gain predatory prowess. It continues into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when suspected werewolves were burned at the stake and concludes with clinical accounts of modern lycanthropes. Although the work only teases at broad cultural analysis, it is very readable and a virtual encyclopedia of werewolf lore. Doyle Quiggle

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TylerTanner on September 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is essential reading for anyone who likes unconventional history like I do. Adams takes you through examples of lycanthropy in all cultures and all signifigant time periods. No stone is left unturned. He even touches on a chapter on how feral children figure into the myth of the werewolf. Citing mythology, medieval history to current medical cases, this book is a delight to read. I highly recommend this to anyone. Historian and non-historian alike will find it nothing short of fascinating.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Carpenter on June 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have to say that I have found this book to be interesting with regard to the large number of historical, mythical, folkloric and legendary references that Douglas employs. He definitely did his homework and it shows in every sentence of the book.
But therein lies the fault I find with the book. With the exception of a few brief moments where Douglas manages to smirk at himself, his writing style is largely (and annoyingly) pedantic. He approaches the subject seriously, but he takes it to the point of stuffiness.
I also found that a lot (and I mean A LOT) of the information Douglas spends page after page running into the ground had little or nothing to do with the subject of werewolves. His interest seemed much more focused on displaying his copious (albeit only indirectly relevant) research and knowledge than in writing a digestible book about werewolves.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is a shame that this title has gone out of print, whole so many terrible werewolf books remain in print. This mythological/folkloric/sociological study of the relation ship between man and werewolf is one of the most imformative books I've ever read.
I am hard pressed to find problems with this book, and I think you would be, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Gooch on August 5, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
almost too much information for the average joe. i have always been a horror fan and when i saw a show called The Real Wolfman on the history channel, it piqued my interest. so i thought this book would give me more information. boy, did it! it goes way back in history to show where the theory of wolf- people came from.
it's an interesting book but very, very detailed.
this would make an excellent textbook for anyone studying this for high school, college, etc.
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