Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Cryptopedia Review

Cryptopedia: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange, and Downright Bizarre
Buy it @ Barnes & Noble
I'm a resource book junkie. Back in the day, my parents had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica and I loved just looking through them and seeing everything the world had to offer. Since then though, my tastes have changed. While I can still sit down and thumb through a normal encyclopedia, I'm much happier checking out the world of myth and legend.

I'm a huge Jonathan Maberry fan, so I decided to pick up, The Cryptopedia: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange & Downright Bizarre.

The Good
Jonathan Maberry and David Kramer did a lot of research and organized an amazing amount of help in compiling this dictionary of the more bizarre myths and lore.

Researchers included members from:
  • HWA (Horror Writers Association)
  • MWA (Mystery Writers Association)
  • ITW (International Thriller Writers)
  • GSHW (Garden State Horror Writers)
  • SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
And their research is fairly comprehensive. From cryptozoology to modern New Age philosophy and everything in between. Beasts of every kind and the lore that spawned them. The mythology section alone is worth the price of admission because of the large listing of various culture's pantheon of gods.

The Bad
There is a LOT of nudity in this book (a lot being four or five pictures). Maberry & Kramer include artwork from almost twenty artists. And some are pretty good.

Now I don't know about you, but when I think about angels, I never picture them naked. Some artists on the other hand... Don't get me wrong, I understand the succubus' (succubi?) and nymphs are one with nature and their raw desires. But angels nude? Please...

And I did find one glaring mistake. The artwork on the cover, which is also used inside, is labelled as the Angel of Fertility despite the text indicating that it is clearly the Angel of Prostitution.

Either way, the artwork and some of the content makes this book one I wouldn't let my kids pick up until they're much older, which is sad because it's such a great resource. But if a kid accepted a tenth of this book as fact, their heads would be spinning.

The Spin
The Cryptopedia is a great resource for those rare bits of information on myth and the mythical world. You won't spend a ton of time reading it, but it's a great reference book.

Still, be aware that some of the images are not suitable for younger readers.

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