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The Hero with a Thousand Faces [Hardcover]

Joseph Campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 28 2008 The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell
Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell's revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In these pages, Campbell outlines the Hero's Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world's mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.

As part of the Joseph Campbell Foundation's Collected Works of Joseph Campbell, this third edition features expanded illustrations, a comprehensive bibliography, and more accessible sidebars.

As relevant today as when it was first published, The Hero with a Thousand Faces continues to find new audiences in fields ranging from religion and anthropology to literature and film studies. The book has also profoundly influenced creative artists-including authors, songwriters, game designers, and filmmakers-and continues to inspire all those interested in the inherent human need to tell stories.

Frequently Bought Together

The Hero with a Thousand Faces + The Power of Myth + The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
Price For All Three: CDN$ 53.15

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4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES Oct. 17 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is exhaustively researched, and full of rich detail. This said, I think Campbell could have summarized his points more often, and more effectively. Hence; it is easy to get lost in the minutiae. I would recommend the book for anyone interested in digging deeply into the psychological basis of mythology. On that score it is unparalleled

If the reader is interested in applying mythology to writing, Chritopher Vogler's book "The Writer's Journey" is more focused. This book covers the same territory, wihin a workable structure, showing how to apply mythology to contemporary writing. Then again, if you have the time, read them both. Cheers,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hero with a Thousand Faces Oct. 9 2008
The Hero with a Thousand Faces is the work that first introduced me to Joseph Campbell. It was then and continues to be one of my favorite books of all time. Each time I read this valuable resource, I uncover another layer of usefulness. This time, I was specifically looking at how the cycle of the Hero's Journey directly related to the cycle of healing.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces presents Campbell's Hero's Journey. By looking at mythology worldwide, he noticed some very significant similarities in the journeys taken by the hero or heroine of these stories, hence the cycle. In this work, Campbell presents a number of snippets from different myths showing that indeed such a pattern exists. Indeed, it is a template still used by the best pieces of fiction and some of the most memorable movies.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces is a must have for anyone the least bit interested in mythology as well as every psychologist, writer, and healer on the planet. This is one of those books that quickly becomes dog-eared with consistent reuse.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars Sept. 2 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are a writer, you should have this book on your book shelf.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  109 reviews
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanities Scholar Writing for the Layperson Jan. 10 2010
By P.G. - Published on Amazon.com
So what is "Hero?" Campbell is a comparative mythologist, and the original title was "How to Read a Myth." While scholarly in nature, "Hero" is not a formal scholarly paper and should not be read as such. Instead, it falls in the realm of literature. Campbell was awarded the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Contributions to Creative Literature for "Hero." As a scholar, he was particularly proud of this fact. While the book is not necessarily an easy read, it was written for the general public. It's difficulty may account for the "snooze factor" some reviewers attribute to it. "Hero" is a broad survey of what is similar about the world's mythologies, remarkable in breadth for its length. Rather than focus on what makes us different, as most comparative religion scholars do, he chose to focus on what makes us similar. If this interests you I suggest you read it. If after you are finished you wish for more depth, I suggest you try his four volume series "Masks of God."

If you read some of the negative reviews you will get the impression Campbell tries to provide you with answers to life's great mysteries. This is false. Instead, he borrows vocabulary from a staggering variety of the world's mythologies to describe that mystery. You will also get the impression that Campbell thinks he found the one and only way to interpret mythology. This is also false. On page one of the epilogue he says, "There is no final system for the interpretation of myths, and there will never be any such thing." You may also get the impression that Campbell was a mystic or part of the New Age movement. Again, false. When asked what method of meditation he practices, he once responded, "I underline sentences." In other words, he is a scholar.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading For Writers And Those Who Want To Know Stuff Oct. 31 2013
By Maryann Madsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Really? I have to say why I like this book and think it deserves five stars? Campbell spent a lifetime focused on mythology and shares his insights in language the rest of us can understand. This is the book that helped us awaken to our hard-wiring for story and how those stories are told. This is the book other how-to books are based on. This is the third time I've bought this book because someone either borrows it and doesn't return it, or I read the pages thin.

Highly recommended for anybody setting out on their own journey as a storyteller, those interested in mythology and comparative religion, and those curious about how the human condition expresses itself.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book with a capital "B." Feb. 12 2006
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on Amazon.com
_First of all, I feel inadequate and unworthy to review this book, but since Amazon has given me the chance, all I can say is that this is one of the greatest Books (with a capital "B") of my experience. I suspect that it shall be recognised as one of the single greatest products to come out of 20th century American letters. No, I'm not setting Campbell up as a prophet or anything like that, indeed, I suspect that this book's greatness lies in the eternal truths that transcend Campbell's individual personality. He just managed to tap into them- thank God.

_The entire work deals with the hero's journey. This is the Monomyth shared by all cultures- and indeed seems to be a direct inspiration from the cosmos itself by way of the collective unconscious. Here we have the eternal cycle of 1) the call to adventure; 2) the crossing of the threshold; 3) the tests, trials, and helpers; 4) the sacred marriage, apotheosis (becoming one with god), or elixir theft; 5)the flight 6) recrossing/ressurection; and 7) the return to society with hard won gifts. He examines all of these elements in depth with a wealth of cross-cultural examples. The first half of the book deals with this cycle on a more individual and personal level (the microcosm), while the second half deals with the greater cosmogonic importance (the macrocosm.)

_Now, the really amazing part of all this is that virtually all of it comes across as meaningful, interesting, and totally nonacademic. That's why many academic types hate Campbell, and his mentor Jung,- they know that Campbell's and Jung's works will endure and be read a thousand years from now, while their own monographs will be justly forgotten. There are a lot of mediocre Ph.D's out there that can never forget that Campbell never bothered to get a doctorate, because he considered such degrees to be a worthless and meaningless waste of time....
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic May 9 2013
By Deborah F. Baratti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ever wonder why Frodo and Harry Potter seem to have many of the same personality quirks, face similar self-doubts and challenges? Ever wonder why literally every civilizations has dragon myths? Joseph Campbell was the master of symbology and insight into mankind's quest to fashion for a road map through the journey of life on this planet.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Campbell June 18 2013
By K. E. S. - Published on Amazon.com
Campbell lived in another time, and so sometimes his vocabulary may not entirely translate. However the ideas and the careful, methodical thought he puts into his writing is priceless. It is clear that he wishes to help us all to "follow our bliss". Through the medium of mythology, Campbell truly explores the deepest need in us all...to live a meaningful and love filled life. Genius.
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