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Too Good to Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legendsby Jan Harold Brunvand
Synopses & Reviews
A fabulously entertaining book from the ultimate authority on those almost believable tales that always happen to a "friend of a friend." Alligators in the sewers? A pet in the microwave? A tragic misunderstanding of the function of cruise control? No, it didn't really happen to your friend's sister's neighbor: it's an urban legend. And no matter how savvy you think you are, you are sure to find in this collection of over 200 tales at least one story you would have sworn was true.
Jan Harold Brunvand has been collecting and studying this modern folklore for over twenty years. In Too Good to Be True he captures the best stories in their best retellings, along with their latest variations and examples of how the stories have changed as they move from person to person and place to place. To help you find your favorite, Brunvand has arranged the tales thematically. "Bringing Up Baby" is full of episodes of child-rearing gone wrong, including the grisly tale of the drugged out baby-sitter who mistakes the kid for a turkey. "Funny Business" showcases stories of infamous lapses in customer service, such as the story of the shockingly expensive chocolate chip cookie recipe. And "The Criminal Mind" features both brilliant — if they were real — scams, as well as the purported antics of the less mentally gifted. Whether you want to become an expert debunker or just have plenty of laughs, this book will surprise and entertain you. Illustrated throughout. 70 b/w illustrations.
"Brunvand has constructed not only an entertaining anthology, but an excellent introduction to the study of folklore itself." Publishers Weekly
"Collectively, this is the best gathering of urban legends extant....Thoroughly researched and exhaustive, this fascinating work is characterized by impressive scholarship. Unconditionally recommended for all audiences." Library Journal
"Resonant stories that express our hidden anxieties...make us laugh, [or] arouse our fascinated horror." San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
"Informative and entertaining....Brunvand has collected more than 200 of the most-repeated and best-known examples of modern folk-myth." Tampa Tribune
"A fun read....All the classics are here from the killer upstairs to the Kentucky Fried Rat." New City
Book News Annotation:
For those wary of being fooled, some 200 anecdotes—which circulate in various versions among the populace as "true"—are arranged in sections, roughly by category e.g. dog tales, cars, babies and baby- sitters, accidents, contaminations, the criminal mind, among others. Each is introduced with sources and a bit of history about its origins. The author (emeritus, U. of Utah) has written several other books on the subject.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Jan Harold Brunvand is the author of numerous books, including The Vanishing Hitchhiker, The Choking Doberman, Curses! Broiled Again!, and The Baby Train. He lives in Salt Lake City, where he is professor emeritus at the University of Utah.
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Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling
Humanities » Mythology » General
Humanities » Mythology » North American