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Book Title: Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, and Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea|
The author of the book: Varla Ventura
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 34.62 MB
Edition: Weiser Books
Date of issue: January 7th 2013
ISBN 13: 9781578635450
Read full description of the books Among the Mermaids: Facts, Myths, and Enchantments from the Sirens of the Sea:Very rarely whenI go to my local mythology section in the bookstore do I ever encounter anything to do with mermaids and selchies and the like. It also carries into my favourite genera, paranormal romance, where still very few novels are written about these elusive creatures. So you can understand I was quite excited when I saw this thinking it would be a lovely edition to my collection of mythology books.
However, after opening the book and reading the first few pages that is where the excitement stopped. So what were my issues:
To begin with the way this book is written is more a collection of random thoughts in some cases mariginally related to mermaids plus stories from other works relating to mermaids. In some parts of the book we would get a brief description of what the story was going to be about, then the story and then with no real bridge into the next part a few intersting facts that rarely if ever had anything to do with the story we just read.
Now it is worth pointing out that while some of the stories were nice additions to the book and I had not previously read them some of the old language that the stories were originally formatted in made them rather difficult to read and in some cases understand. There was no reason that I could tell as to why the author couldn't have adjusted these for a modern reader.
Now for my next major issue, as lovely as it was to have illustrations right through the book, and it did give the book a fairy tale charm, very few of the images actually ever related to the text. Therefore why are they there???
In one particular section Ventura goes through a list of the top 10 mermaid statues and proceeds to describe why she was delighted with them, however, there are no images to accompany these supposed works of art even if it was only of a select few. That would have been an appropriate time to add pictures!!
As the book progressed it apperead as though a little more thought was added to the arrangement of sections, including the section relating to real life mermaids and mermaid encounters, however, I hardly think it was appropriate to include the websites of businesses that sold both mermaid tails and other merchandise, this should have been left to the appendices.
Finally, what on earth was going on in the 9th Chapter regading the Aquarium, it is lovely that the author was able to find this unique description of an aqaurium built years ago, however, was it really neccessary to include the full article?? Especially when it really didn't have much or anything to do with mermaids at all.. In fact I think the original writer was more enamoured with the sea anemones than anything else. It also followed one of the better stories in the book about the Merrows, however, the article writer rehashed exactly what we just read les than 20 pages ago in enough detail that it was infuriatingly repetitive.
All in all while I did enjoy portions of the book and was interested in some of the facts I thought that this was a very poorly executed account of mermaid history. There was so much room for expansion of ideas, refinement of sections, what sounds like many further stories which could have been added to the collection. I mean at one point Ventura even mentions the more recent excietment regarding mermaid sightings and exisistence and then the documentary(mockumentry) proving they dont exsist, I mean that would have made a really interesting addition to the book if it had been further discussed.
As to the editor who let this book through to publication in the current state, it was a promising idea but it needed a hell of a lot more refinement before it should have been printed.
I'm sure some people will find this book charming, but I was not impressed.
Read information about the authorAuthor of THE BOOK OF THE BIZARRE and BEYOND BIZARRE (Weiser Books). Curator of the MAGICAL CREATURES and PARANORMAL PARLOR e-book collections.
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