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The Dictionary of Imaginary Places [Paperback]

Alberto Manguel , Gianni Guadalupi
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 15 2002
Throughout the ages, writers have created an astonishing diversity of imaginary places, worlds of enchantment, horror and delight. This monumental book unites them in a single volume and takes readers on a grand tour of more than 1,200 imaginary cities, islands, countries, and continents, all invented by storytellers from Homer’s day to our own. Written with wit and brilliance, this updated classic includes dozens of new entries and is a visual delight with more than 200 original illustrations and maps, and new illustrations by award-winning Canadian artist Ken Nutt.

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From Amazon

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places is best described as a guidebook of the make-believe. A good way to understand what Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi set out to do with their book is to imagine that you want to travel to a place like Oz, as in The Wizard of. What you remember from watching the classic movie and what you would want to know as a traveler are two very distinct things. What you'll earn in this book is that Oz is a large rectangular country where everyone works half the time and plays half the time, one that is divided into four smaller countries: Munchkin Country, Winkie Country, Quadling Country, and Gillikin Country. Flip through more of the book's alphabetized listings and you'll discover Fuddlecumjig, a town in Oz's Quadling Country whose inhabitants, the Fuddles, are among the most curious people in Oz. The main peculiarity is that they are made of many pieces, rather like jigsaw puzzles, and literally fall apart when strangers approach, and have to be reassembled with skill and patience. A travel tip for readers with vivid imaginations: put Fuddlecumjig's cook together first if you want a meal. And so go the descriptions of more than 1,200 worlds invented by storytellers throughout history, from Homer's Wandering Rocks in the Odyssey to Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. But there's more here than just the worlds of literature and film. You can learn more about John Lennon's Nutopia from his album Mind Games. Nutopia is a country with no land, no boundaries, no passports, and no laws other than cosmic laws. And the Beatles' Pepperland from Yellow Submarine is described as a country 18,000 leagues beneath the Sea of Green, where inhabitants dress in bright colors and rainbows are frequent. Written with rich descriptions that bring places to life, The Dictionary of Imaginary Places is a wonderful, magical reference book perfect for fiction lovers. --John Russell

From Library Journal

Since the publication of the first Dictionary in 1980, Manguel (A History of Reading) and Guadalupi, a translator and editor, have accepted suggestions from readers and continued their own research. The result is this updated version--a book that includes imaginary terrains from ancient Greece to Harry Potter's Hogwarts. The authors have set a few limitations for inclusion: "no heavens or hells, no places in the future, none outside the planet Earth, no pseudonymous places such as Wessex or Manawaka." Even with those seemingly extensive restrictions, however, the dictionary runs over 700 pages. Each place is described in detail as if it physically existed outside the reader's imagination. Entries are cross-referenced and See references are provided, as well as illustrations and maps that are difficult to locate elsewhere. A valuable reference source to accompany fiction collections, this new edition is recommended for all school, public, and academic libraries.
-Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure and a Treasury May 30 2000
Format:Hardcover
A trove of wonders, many familiar, many not. It's still nice to browse through the various lands of Oz (with an excellent map to guide me), or to refresh in my mind where the Tombs of Atuan lie in the Islands of the Earthsea Archipelago. It's also wondrous to find Selene, the city of the Vampires where I "without fear, must sprinkle them with vampire's heart-ash; the vampires will then explode in a bluish flash." This is not, and cannot be, a comprehensive encyclopedia of all lands fantastic, but it is an extensive collection of wondrous places. Of note, readers of Science Fiction will find no familiar planets to peruse. These are the locales of Terrestrial imagination, of Middle Earth and Narnia and Atlantis and their ilk. My only personal complaint and frustration is how difficult it will be to retrieve many of the source works used by the authors. Paul Feval's LA VILLE VAMPIRE (Paris, 1875) is typical of the kind of treasure I would like to read in full, but can only find a couple of French language copies at the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library. Alas, I'll settle for a fantasy of escape to Iffish, that quiet island in the Earthsea Archipelago where if I'm very still, I might catch a view of a rare harrekki, chasing wasps and foraging for birds eggs. Wistful sighs all around.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very fun book Nov. 7 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I thought this was a wonderful book, both for reader and for writers. I am going to buy one for my brother now! And as for the imaginary places they left out, my guess on that would be that the people who own the copyrights on those imaginary places would not allow the author or publisher to include them in this book. I noted that although Xanth is not there (Piers Anthony), Neverwhere is (Neil Gaiman); they are both contempory authors and I think that just boiled down to permission. It seems that everything that is no longer copywrited is included.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad...but could be better Dec 29 2000
Format:Paperback
I like the maps, and the entries, but I found this book to be extreamly limited. I mean, granted there is a lot of fantasy out there, so they had to have some guidelines, but maybe next time they could expand to books that don't have a location here on earth. Another thing that bothered me was how they left out books like Redwall series, and Madeline LEngle's books. Both of these follow the rules set by the author, but neither of them can be found in The Dictionary of Imaginary Places.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, the Places You Can Go! June 13 2000
Format:Hardcover
This is the perfect companion for anyone who loves to daydream and go to imaginary places. The Abbey of the Rose would easily be the setting for a great romance and one of my favorites is Exopotamia, that vast deserted land "that because of the total lack of air, the atmosphere seems very healthy." Cloudcuckooland is another fav, a place I know well in my daydreams. Buy it, read it, over and over again. Sheer pleasure!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strange, but Amazing Oct. 11 2001
Format:Paperback
I recieved this book for Christmas from my paternal grandparents, who always give me tight stuff. I was crazy about this book, which covers every imaginery place in any book from Prospero's Island in "The Tempest" (great play, by the way) to Thomas More's Utopia. It was an amazing book. If you have ever loved any fantasy book, get this book! It has something to satisfy every interest.
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By peterb
Format:Hardcover
A very enjoyable overview of an immense number of imaginary worlds; I was most pleased by the copious line drawings and maps of various realms. I highly recommend this for anyone who likes to read.
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