26 July 2009
An Entertaining and Educational Read
One of the books I find myself opening again and again, is The Supernatural Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons, and Ghouls.
I consider myself a casual fan of the series "Supernatural". I catch it when I can, but it's no biggie if I miss an episode or have to catch up on the various story arcs. I normally avoid "reference" books or "guides" associated with entertainment. Mainly because they tend to modify or loosely interpret subject matter to make it fit the particular milieu. (that's my two-dollar word for the day, I would try to work oeuvre in there somewhere, but there's no point in trying to be too flashy!) For example, I wouldn't waste my time reading about what the "Buffy" creators have to say about vampires, since the show is a radical departure from traditional lore. Nor would I bother to study what the "Star Trek" writing team have to say about alien races if I'm studying the "grey alien/abduction" phenomenon.
But, the "Supernatural" guide is a surprising departure from typical "fan-oriented" entertainment books. It's amazingly well-researched, and while the series itself may take some dramatic license with traditions, the "Guide" itself is a refreshingly accurate guide to the monsters, demons, angels, and ghosts encountered in the TV series, as well as the actual historical folklore behind them. There are even some interesting appendices listing angel lore, demonological information, even material on hoodoo and the use of herbs, crystals, rituals, etc.
Even if you aren't a fan of the series, if you have an interest in the subject matter, this book is well worth a read.