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The World of the Dark Crystal (The Dark Crystal)

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  3,410 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Jim Henson's fantasy film "The Dark Crystal", featuring the concept design of artist Brian Froud, has developed a big cult following over 25 years. This is a reissue of the work as a collector's edition. It contains all of the art and text of the original volume - plus a new essay by Froud, illustrated with never-before-published paintings, drawings and sculptures from the ...more
Hardcover, 132 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 26, 2015 Mackenzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read the entire book. It was very detailed, and I would have needed a lot of time and concentration. But I did enjoy what I did read. It was really interesting, and though I didn't understand some of it, I feel like I know the world of the dark crystal a lot better than I did before.
My favorite part were the illustrations. They were so beautiful, and detailed. The best one was on pages 88-89
Jan 26, 2013 Jewel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
this book is GORGEOUS and it took me forever to track it down. only one library in my state had it, and no copies were to be found at bookstores! now that I finally have The World of The "Dark Crystal" here with me on my bedroom floor, the wait has been worth it.

the art book starts with a little introduction that is similar to the "making of" documentaries about The Dark Crystal. the rest of the book reads as a study with various digressions into astrology, astronomy and anthropology, all of whi
Feb 11, 2017 Haley rated it it was amazing
This book is gorgeous and well-made, I love to flip through it every now and then.
Sarah Crawford
Jan 18, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 1981 book that contains illustrations by Brian Froud. It also contains photos and text. It contains a map showing the area around the Crystal Castle. In a chapter entitled The World of the Crystal and Aughra, there is a page that shows various symbols used in the movie and what they mean, including the triangular symbol that is so prominent.

The next chapter is The Darkened World and it has loads of illustrations of various creatures from Thra, partcularly those from the swamp area. Th
May 24, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book is an amazing tome for anyone who grew up in adoration of The Dark Crystal. Brian Froud’s illustrations and concepts are gorgeous and so incredibly creative. This book is delivered as a history of the World in which the film takes place. It is narrated by Aughra, “…the first and last,” who witnessed thousands of years of creation and destruction. She monitors the cyclical suns, a spectator of the conjunctions that bring the wise urSkeks, and their division a thousand years later into t ...more
I really loved the illustrations and some of the lore that was included in this book, but there were many aspects of that writing that were vague and hard to follow: such as clearer and more specifically outlined examples of what astrological signs and alchemical symbols meant and how they could used in the world of Thra. Even so, Froud's illustrations and even the premise of the writing itself being an "ongoing study of Thra archaeology" did make up for it. I do wish it had an Index though, but ...more
Lacey Louwagie
I can see how this book could be a real treasure to someone who adores "The Dark Crystal." Rather than simply being a "reference" book about Jim Henson's world, it's written as though it is documentation from people who are researching Thra's history, astronomy, and culture. It's put together around Brian Froud's artwork, which really takes center stage here, to the point that you could enjoy the book even if you didn't read any of the text. In truth, I think the text might be somewhat boring if ...more
Nov 21, 2013 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an odd, and magical little book. I thought this would be behind the scenes documents, drawings and details, but never could I have imagined the depth and work of the world that was created for the Dark Crystal film. The art is beautiful, the story is enormous, and an entire world is conjured from keen imaginations and modern science alike. While I don't usually get into backstory like this, I admit I have great respect for this one, being a lover of the film. I would recommend this to those ...more
Oct 19, 2014 Monique rated it it was amazing
I love this book and I was so happy that they published a new version of this fantastic book! The other version was much to expensive for me (and I guess for most of us). At the Elf Fantasy Fair 2003 Brian & his wife Wendy signed my copy. It was the second book from this new version he signed. The first one my sister have. Even he was very glad with the new version. For people who love the movie: this is a absolute must have!
Mar 21, 2007 Ben rated it it was amazing
Even if you've been living in a lightless subterranean hovel and never saw the Dark Crystal this is a book worth owning. Brian Froud's art and the background story add enchanting depth to a story already steeped in visual complexity and a deep sense of mythic importance. This book makes one appreciate the movie even more for the thought that went into it, but also stands alone as its own piece of art.
Liza LS
Mar 13, 2007 Liza LS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Henson fans who thought this movie should have been more popular
I am lucky to have two editions of this book. One of the original first issue paperback editions (thanks to my wonderful husband) and a hardcover re-issue. The book is full of amazing detail and gorgeous vellum overlays. Definitely a must for fans of the Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and the darker side of Jim Henson's vision.

Jan 08, 2016 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical
Notes In Brief: A must-read for fans of The Dark Crystal and for us strange sorts who adore a good narrative history. This book reads like an archaeology journal, lending a mystical depth to Thraa that is hard to come by in these days of grimdark realism that rears its head everywhere, even in our fairy tales.
Mar 14, 2011 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: illistrated
I finally sat down and actually read all of the content and didn't just look at the pictures.

Pretty fun. I think that Froud goes a bit deep into some of the scientific terminology, making me read and reread paragraphs and sometimes still not getting what he was talking about. However, the sections written in the voice of Aughra were great. And of course the art is top notch.
Dec 01, 2008 Kandice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a teenager I watched this movie every time I could on HBO!!! That was when they played the same 8 movies all month, so it was quite a lot of viewings. His work is like visual candy. I never get enough. The story, text, whatever seems almost inconsequential. It's what I SEE that draws me to his work!
May 07, 2016 Shenay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore this book- the one i read is my Mum's copy from when she was in uni! The detail that went into this film is incredible, and Brian Froud's work captured within is nothing short of genius, with detail and inside knowledge akin to Tolkien. 10/10 would recommend for anyone interested in the movie, Brian's work or any lover of fantasy or beautiful art.
Beautiful drawings by the amazing Froud, but I do wish he'd had a few more of the ethereally beautiful ones on the cover scattered inside: lots of Skeksis... though I have to admit, they are seriously cool-looking.
Jun 06, 2008 Jen3n rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, art
A collection of paintings, sketches, and models by or inspired by Brian Froud. Good stuff. I've enjoyed almost everything he's touched, from movies like this to the Pressed Fairy series.
Susan Barchard
Sep 14, 2011 Susan Barchard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you loved this movie, as I did, and you can still find a copy of this book - I believe it's out of print - then do yourself a favor and buy it! Brian Froud's artwork is awesome and this book brings back all the magic of the movie! Love it!
Sep 27, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. The artwork is incredible and its always interesting to see the imagination behind a good fantasy film. Brian Froud is a master at bringing imagination vividly to life. This book is a must for any fantasy or Dark Crystal fans.
Rebecca Ann
Dec 19, 2013 Rebecca Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-nonfiction, adult
This was a beautifully illustrated book packed full of world-building info for the dark crystal. I only wish I'd checked it out sooner!
Dec 04, 2007 wendy rated it it was amazing
haven't actually READ it but this book is sooo cool.
Allison Thurman
look for used
Apr 01, 2009 Jasmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BEAUTIFUL! The detail is fabulous!
William Tracy
Lots of very pretty backstory and worldbuilding to the film
Jul 05, 2014 Dawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book and wonderful art work.
Aug 30, 2010 Meiran rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautiful and amazing art books that you can imagine. Absolutely gorgeous, and a must have for anyone who likes Froud, Henson, or fantasy.
Margit Sage
A friend of mine had this and I drooled over it while drinking a cup of tea. It has amazing sketches from the movie. I would love a copy.
Larry C
Nov 26, 2013 Larry C rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just could not get into this, the journal of Aughra. I didn't read the description, expecting a behind the scenes book with drawings. I was less than thrilled.
Jun 01, 2008 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best character and visual compilations ever.
Jan 22, 2014 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved film and had to get book-brilliant
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Brian Froud is an award-winning illustrator, author, and faery authority. His books include the international best-sellers Faeries, Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book, Lady Cottington's Fairy Album, and The Faeries' Oracle. He also served as the conceptual designer on Jim Henson's films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Froud lives in Devon, England.

"I paint the spirit and s
More about Brian Froud...

Other Books in the Series

The Dark Crystal (4 books)
  • Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Volume 1
  • Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Volume 2
  • The Making of the Dark Crystal: Creating a Unique Film

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