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Gary R Varner

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Category: 

Natural History

Publisher:  Algora Publishing ISBN-10:  0875865453
Pages: 

224

Copyright:  March 1, 2007

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Gary R. Varner's newest book exploring the mysteries of the Earth, its Folklore and Mythology. Illustrated.

From the publisher: Bringing together a medley of stories, myths, and folklore Gary Varner shares a fascination and respect for humankind's early and contemporary cultures and wonders at similarities across the board. Here, he focuses on "Little People" and giants, animals and were-creatures, and the odd, helpful or threatening ways imputed to our earthly companions including dogs and cats, bats and spiders, and the stories people have told each other about them since time immemorial. Gary Varner has performed a valuable service in these books. [Presenting] lore from about the world, a collector's hoard of traditions rich and strange...     website metrics   

 

Professional Reviews

Library Journal Review (8/15/07 issue)
Varner, Gary R. Creatures in the Mist: Little People, Wild Men and Spirit Beings Around the World; A Study in Comparative Mythology. Algora. Aug. 2007. 208p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-0-87586-546-1. $29.95; pap. ISBN 978-0-87586-545-4. $21.95. FOLKLORE

Varner (The Mythic Forest, the Green Man & the Spirit of Nature) has published another volume in a series of works comparing legends and beliefs from cultures around the world. This latest covers mythological beings including fairies, giants, mermaids, horned creatures, harpies, werewolves, and vampires as well as the folklore of animals and insects. He provides an overview of creatures from ancient times to the present, incorporating examples from European, Asian, African, and Native American traditions. This global comparison emphasizes shared customs and illustrates a universal belief in these mythic beings. Though not a comprehensive look at folklore themes, this book is unique in its focus on the magical creatures of our collective imagination. It is appropriate not only for popular reading collections but also for academic research collections, as sources are cited throughout and a bibliography of resources is included. -Eloise R. Hitchcock, Western Carolina Univ. Lib., Cullowhee, NC


Book News
Eons before corporations began globalizing and quasi-visible people began slipping across national borders following survival, there seem to have been nations and races spanning the earth that shared characteristics too closely not to have been related to one another. At least that is one way of reading the evidence, says Varner, an American specialist in folklore and early religion. He presents accounts from native America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and invites readers to have their own go at a theory. --BOOK NEWS, Inc.


Review of Creatures in the Mist by Darrell Pursiful in Into the Wonder
One of my Christmas presents this year was a copy of Gary R. Varner’s Creatures in the Mist: Little People, Wild Men and Spirit Beings around the World, A Study in Comparative Mythology. At less than 200 pages, the book is only slightly longer than the title, and I’m finding a very good read about faeries, mermaids, giants, and other mythological creatures and their striking similarities across many lands and cultures.
Although Varner is an academic type, this book is written at a very accessible level. Despite a few editorial miscues, I’m finding it to be a very enlightening read. Varner highlights broad themes–for example, the connection between faeries and children, both positively via their associations with childbirth and negatively because of the whole child-stealing thing–that keep showing up in myths from all over the world.
I’m less than halfway through, but I can definitely see this being the sort of book I keep coming back to as I wonder about mythological creatures and their cultural significance.
(12/31/13)


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