Title: Monsters: A Bestiary of Devils, Demons, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Magical Creatures
Author(s): Christopher Dell
Published 2010 by Inner Traditions
ISBN: 1594773947
ISBN-13: 978-1594773945
Paperback, 192 pages
List: $19.95
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Reviewer: Mike Gleason

This book is picture heavy and word light. There are illustrations from many times and many cultures. You won't learn a lot about the various entities, god forms, and creatures within its pages, but you will have no trouble recognizing them, should you happen to bump into them (or them into you) in the dead of the night.

This book is PRIMARILY composed of artists' renderings of the monstrous and demonic, drawn from all ages (beginning with early cave depictions) and many cultures (both Eastern and Western). There are classic demons, anthropomorphic god-forms, dragons, unicorns and assorted other beasties and ghoulies, and things that go bump in the night.

This is a coffee table book guaranteed to raise eyebrows ( and possibly your most recent meal, if you are at all squeamish). Many of the illustrations are in color, which definitely increases the impact of the images themselves. A majority of them are full page (or more) illustrations.

I'm not sure how much appeal this book will have for the general reader. It is, in my opinion, aimed at a small group on individuals who find this subject fascinating. I have to say that, if you have small children (even Pagan children), I would not recommend leaving this book where they can find it (although some of the images would be useful for starting discussions about various god-forms or less- threatening creatures like unicorns and dragons), unless you enjoy sitting up all night dealing with nightmares and night terrors.

Despite its potentially small audience. Mr. Dell has done a superb job of assembling these images and making them easily accessible. There was a time (the Middle Ages come to mind), when such a book would have been considered invaluable; it would also have been out of reach for the average person (even if he was one of the lucky ones who could actually read), since it would have been the work of years for such a book to be assembles and then hand- colored. Thank the gods for Herr Gutenberg and his printing press.

On a scale of one to five (with five being top of the line, and one being worthless), this book is easily a four or four and a half. You could easily spend the price of this book for one with fewer illustrations and more descriptions, but this book is well worth its cost.

If any of the topics in the subtitle interest you, this book belongs on your bookshelf.


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