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Werewolves: A Field Guide to Shapeshifters, Lycanthropes, and Man-Beasts Paperback – September 1, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Bob Curran was born in County Down, Northern Ireland. After leaving school, he held down a number of jobs and travelled extensively in several countries. Returning to Northern Ireland, he went to University before becoming a teacher and lecturer. He now works as a writer and broadcaster, as well as in a cultural and educational advisory capacity for a number of governmental organizations. Curran is the author of numerous books including the popular Vampires, Zombies, and Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms. He currently lives in the very north of Ireland with his wife and young family. He appears frequently on Coast to Coast AM and other radio programs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: New Page Books (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601630891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601630896
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Curran has done it again. He has written a book about a fairly obscure subject, one that not too many people know the truth about. In this book, he examines the Werewolf's ancient origins, shapeshifting monsters from other cultures, tales from medieval times (many of them coming from France), and the true nature of the Werewolf. Although not a field guide as we know it, Dr. Curran has done a more than adequate job. He reflects on the symbolism behind the Werewolf, perceived and known causes of lycanthropy, the morals behind the stories, and the very nature of the beast that lurks inside each one of us. I love the book, and it is sure to bring me hours of entertainment and learning for my research and my own enjoyment. Anyone seeking information on Werewolves in folklore should check out this book. You won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book and cannot say how disappointed and angry I am. Never mind the illustrations which distract the reader away from the substance of the text (when there is any), as they are quite good. This book offers nothing new: no new perspective or analysis, no new interpretation, no new material. The classic references (mythology, Roman and Greek times for instance) can be found in countless other books (medieval authors in particular and contemporary academics). So Dr. Curran repeats what we already know. However, what is unacceptable is to publish material as fact, when it is clearly not the case. Dr. Curran may know some good Irish tales, since that is his native country, and I do not have time to trace his sources to see how accurate they are. But he clearly should spend more time in libraries. One example: his chapter on France. It is such rubbish, it is shocking, to say the least. Let's mention Jean Grenier's story: we do have a transcription of his trial, word for word (Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale). There is NO excuse to come up with facts and notions which are absolutely NOT true, and to mention people who had nothing to do with it. Same for Jacques Roulet's story, which is well documented. He cannot even spell a place mentioned in another story (Gévaudan) correctly! How pathetic is that? Anyone who does not consult the original material cannot be taken seriously as a researcher. I certainly expected far more on the subject and I have to question not only the author's sources but also his interpretations. This book might be fun as an introduction to the subject for werewolves for those who have no idea about them. However, it cannot be used as a reference. Dr. Curran should be ashamed of publishing such poor material and pretending to be an expert on the subject. Thank God there are academics who respect history and facts, and can do a better job.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Bob Curran's writing and usually his name on the spine of a book is enough for me to grab it up but I'm afraid with `Werewolves' he drifts badly off the mark.

Curran has a very real talent not only for finding creepy stories on the topic he's following but also the truth behind them. His writing style is so good that even when he exposes the truth behind a story he still manages to leave the reader with a wonderfully spooky feeling towards the original story whether he's writing about haunted houses, evil faeries, lost lands or manmade monsters he strikes the happy balance between the truth in a story and enjoying a good tale.

Indeed he does that in "Werewolves" but the problem is he doesn't stick to the topic. Although he follows stories of men turning into beasts through the ages and details the evolution of the story as church and social order changed, but then he goes off into long dissertations about people with animal like behavior such as cannibalistic bandits and the Donner party. Actually fascinating stuff but way off the topic of wolf/man legends. In his chapter of french werewolves he declares the last real trial of one as in 1603 but recounts at great length how French magistrates were executing hundreds for witch craft in 1610 and publishing new discourses on them in 1613-long after he says the werewolves were out of...fashion. Sabine Baring Gould, whom Curran said he is updating, was able to write a much longer and better book just following wolf legends.

In the end Curran is still a wonderful writer. A good researcher, a brilliant thinker and a wonderful teller of tales. This IS a good read, but I have to rank it so low because like the protagonists in some of these tales, he wandered from the well set paths he planned to follow and became lost
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book about werewolves and other shape shifters. I like the author, Bob Curran and his extensive knowledge of these monsters. I like how he talks about the different types of werewolves found in different parts of the world and history. I also like his illustrations as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. The history on the legends was very interesting and makes me want to research more on some of the stories. The title is a little mis-leading as it is not so much a guide, but an explanation of what brought about the myths on Werewolves, but is is still a good book for those interested on this subject.
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It's rare that an author of a paranormal guide book can impress me. I'm a little bit of a snob when it comes to my occult reference guide books. In the last few hours I have grown to appreciate the work of author Bob Curran. Bob really knows his stuff. If I had known how impressed I would be by him I would have bought more than just his werewolf book and Dark faeries book.
First he impressed me by actually bringing up the Lykaon (Lycaon) myth which few werewolf books actually talk about even though it's the source for the terms Lycanthrope, Lycanthropy and the more modern Lycan. Then Bob actually knew the ingredients of the chains that held Finris. That caught my attention. He really knows what he's talking about. He's actually reading his books. I read a negative review of his vampire book by someone who wanted to use his work as a reference guide but got bored while reading it. That's because it's an actual text book, honey. I'm sorry facts and the myths bored you.
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