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Each entry provides introductory information about a legend, including its presence in films and other creative works; the text of the legend; a list of works for further reading; and references to similar tales. The legends are grouped in thematic chapters, such as animals, city life, and horror. The volume closes with a selected, general bibliography and a detailed index. Students of literature will enjoy studying and analyzing these tales, while students in social studies courses will welcome them as a reflection of contemporary concerns.
"Studying urban legends may encourage students to think critically about information found in questionable resources such as the Web. Chapters include City Life beginning with the standard, Alligators in the Sewers, Horror, Accidents, Fate, and Chance, The Body and Diseases, Animals, Sex and Nudity, Merchandise, Murder, Death, and Burial and The Supernatural. Chapters have brief introductions and each legend is discussed with an example and suggestions for further reading. Appendixes include A Provisional List of Urban Legends in Film and Literature, further reading and online resources, the Urban Legend Title Index and three indexes, Urban Legends on Film, in Literature and a subject index. This provides excellent examples of carefully researched and reported information about tall tales."-
GALE Reference for Students
"This collection describes urban legends in nine themed chapters: city life; horror; accidents, fate, and chance; the body and disease; animals; sex and nudity; merchandise; murder, death, and burial; and the supernatural. The authors compiled stories from friends and colleagues, newspapers and magazines, folklore books and journals, compilations, and correspondence. Interpretation of the legends or explanations for their popularity is avoided, as is discussion of whether they are true. Instead, background on the story and examples of them are given. Criteria for urban legends include presence of a narrative structure, outrageous content in an everyday setting, anonymous origins, and multiple examples. The four indexes are organized by title, examples in film and literature, and subject."-
Reference & Research Book News
"This entertaining guide is suitable for a wide range of audiences and amply demonstrates for the students that academic scholarship can be quite fun."-
Lawrence Looks at Books
"Bennett and Smith's Urban Legends is a worthy follow-up to their earlier compilations and deserves a place in any reference collection on the subject….The on-line resources listed are crucial in this electronic age and go well beyond the standard (and invaluable) sources such as Snopes.com or About.com's urban legends Web site."-
Journal of American Folklore
Collects and annotates more than 150 urban legends from around the world.