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Wood Nymph Seeks Centaur: A Mythological Dating Guide Hardcover – September 29, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Block's fiction is famous for its fascination with magic, mythology, and love in all its myriad aspects. So it comes as no surprise that this self-styled 'love obsessive'... should have created the first 'mythological dating guide.' Her intriguing premise is that peoples' romantic personalities can be classified and described as mythological creatures... Charming and inventive...” ―Booklist

About the Author

Francesca Lia Block is a bestselling author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for all ages―from the groundbreaking Weetzie Bat young adult series to a collection of magic-realist erotica. Her numerous awards include the Margaret A. Edwards lifetime achievement award, and her work has been published around the world. Born in Los Angeles, she lives there still with her two children.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596916222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596916227
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Francesca Lia Block, recipient of the prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award. has been publishing novels, short stories, essays, memoirs and poetry since 1989. Her work has been translated into many languages. Ms. Block lives in Los Angeles where she teaches writing workshops that are also available online.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
maybe it's because i live in a small town and the amount of young people with a lot of money is different here, but i had a lot of trouble relating this book to people i know... there were some people who jumped out at me immediately, such as my ex-boyfriend (classic werewolf!) but i couldn't find my boyfriend in here, and although there were a couple types that seemed like me, none of her types or mixed types felt completely right to me. the quizzes weren't much help, since they're full of references to stuff that's either too expensive or too city oriented to touch my current life, stuff that doesn't translate well.

the thing that bothered me most was how many descriptions of types, especially men, who seem un-dateable for most people, where the author basically says they may grow as a person later. i'm not talking "you and this person probably won't work out because you're so different." i'm talking "this male-type is pretty much only capable of hurting women until he matures and becomes a different type." while i do know some people who're like that, my experience has always been that they're not a majority.

it also bugs me how sex-negative this book comes off, which is weird, because most of block's work doesn't read that way. most of the male types either seem to read "bad in bed, but really nice" or "good in bed, likes sex, is a jerk." maybe i'm naive, but i've always believed that, while there are jerks out there who're good at sex because they practice, people who genuinely want to make the people they love happy and enjoy being with them are better in bed... because they listen to what you like. because they'll be happy to kiss you for hours. so that just bothered me.

i wouldn't say it's a waste of money, but i was really looking forward to a dating book by the person who writes the most wonderful love stories i've ever read, and this kind of fell flat for me.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a fan of FLB's writing and was really looking forward to her flowery fantastical take on the dating world, but overall I found this book pretty lacking. As written in other reviews, the different archetypes are not very relatable and the descriptions she gives for each are so brief! I was hoping for something a little more detailed and poetic...
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Format: Hardcover
I feel bad rating this two stars--I would have given it another half star if half stars were allowed--but I couldn't bring myself to give the three-star "it's okay" rating because I didn't honestly think it was that okay.

The most obvious thing about it that I didn't care for was the lack of relevance to actual people I know. The types seemed so odd to me--when you have twelve types for men and twelve types for women, and specify that some people's type won't match their gender, I expected to see a pretty good variety in the personality paint swatches. Instead, so many of them were modified versions of each other, with the criteria for their difference from each other being based on something somewhat insignificant like physical activity or even physical appearance. It would have been helpful for the exercise of finding one's "type" if a definitive characteristic or set of characteristics had been presented for each type. Instead, they seemed convoluted and so fixated on appearance that it was off-putting. The descriptions are inundated with specific references like what music the types like (she names bands/artists!), what clothing designers they like (nearly every one of my friends pretty much says "huh?"), and what books they read or movies/directors they like. I took the abbreviated descriptions and showed them to my friends on Facebook, and asked them to tell me what they thought they were. Not a single one was able to find a type that suited them, and most of them side-eyed the entire thing and said "Does anyone actually know people like this?" It's pretty clear that either Ms.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am happily paired, but purchased this book because I am a huge fan of Block's. I always found it fun to read astrology books, but was never all that into it. This book really captures a lot that I felt was missing in astrology. The "types" are very very very well done, and as another reviewer said, you will start to "see" them all around you immediately! I think this may be because astrology forces you into one category whereas Block takes into consideration the make-up of the whole individual, including physicality, drive, sexual appetite, passions, style, and everything else you may find important when you're trying to find your match! There is even a section for mixed types and pairings of the same sex!
Not only do I think this book will help my writing (it is so imaginative and I think that the "types" will help me to round out my characters,) but I think I discovered why I crave attention so much. My mother is clearly a Banshee, and yes, her marriage to my "Hob" father is definitely a strange match! Block hits it on the nose every time. I completely recommend this book!
Another plus: the awesomely beautiful illustrations by Fumi Nakamura!
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Format: Hardcover
Let me start off by saying that Francesca Lia Block has been a favorite author of mine for the past decade and, being a personality-typing junkie, I was thrilled when I heard she was coming up with her own system. How intriguing! I immediately began typing the people in my life: one sister is a total Urban Elf, another sister and my mother are Tesses (short for "giantesses"), another sister a Brownie, my father a Hob (short for Hobgoblin). I, on the other hand, was not so cleanly defined--a decent amount of Wood Nymph with heavy tendencies from almost every other type.

Of course, personality typing is not a science, and Francesca does not pretend that this system is. However, she does base her research for the "match-making" part of the book on her friends' relationships and her own past experiences with dating different "creatures." Not perfect, but not without some merit.

If you're a fan of either personality typing or of Block's other works (or in my case, both), you should definitely check out this book. This is a unique take on match-making that also includes same-sex couples and allows for fluidity between the genders as well. This inclusiveness is a welcome touch to a very intriguing book. You'll start finding Woodsmen, Pixies, Garden Elves, and other "creatures" all around you.
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