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Urban legends-"true stories" that are passed on through oral tradition, by popular culture, or via the Internet-are the most prevalent and characteristic form of modern folklore. Far from being only a phenomenon exclusive to the western world, urban legends exist in many other cultures-hardly surprising, as everyone enjoys a good story, regardless of whether it's true or not.
Jan Harold Brunvand, PhD, is professor emeritus of English at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.
"The cross-referencing in the work is excellent. . . . This is an excellent beginning resource for students interested in the subject." - Booklist "Brunvand's work, which is considered a standard on the topic, is recommended for public, school, and academic libraries, especially those lacking the earlier edition." - Library Journal "This book is more than just a collection of urban legends-it also includes important folkloric concepts and topics. . . . Accessible enough for the casual reader yet scholarly enough for academic researchers, The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends is an invaluable and fascinating book that merits a place on the shelf of any skeptic and student of folklore." - Skeptical Inquirer "The first edition of The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends was a good general resource for legend study, and the revised one is even better. The number and extent of the emendations certainly merits the new edition." - Journal of Folklore Research "This outstanding reference title represents Brunvand's professional commitment to the preservation and study of urban legends. . . . This comprehensive resource, which contains urban legends found in the United States, as well as numerous foreign ones, should be in the reference collection of all libraries." - ARBA "This highly readable resource by Brunvand features variations from across the world on common themes such as animal infestations, crimes, academic legends, and celebrity rumors. . . . This will be a useful volume for public and school libraries and undergraduate academic collections. Summing up: recommended." - Choice "As well as an interesting examination of the folkloric origins of urban legends, their sources, permutations, and distribution, this encyclopedia is also tremendous fun to browse. Fans of urban legends will enjoy reading up on the classic stories as well as gaining some insight into legends from other countries and cultures. . . . This volume would be a good addition for humanities collections, but also a good individual purchase for personal use." - Reference Reviews