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The Unending Mystery: A Journey Through Labyrinths and Mazes
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The Unending Mystery: A Journey Through Labyrinths and Mazes

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  44 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
According to legend, anyone who wandered into the labyrinth in Ancient Crete never came out again. Some labyrinths may have offered patterns for an erotic spring dance. Those on the floors of Medieval cathedrals represent mathematical perfection–and walking their paths was a symbolic approach to the divine. From ancient Mediterranean coin patterns to the great French cathe ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 8th 2005 by Anchor (first published October 26th 2004)
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Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Like so many of the non-fiction books I enjoy, McCullough goes off on tangents all over the place. There is history and current news, the personal and the universal, the sacred and the secular, the facts and the mystery.

Labyrinths and mazes--which are different though related (although for further confusion they are sometimes used interchangeably)--seem to be a phenomenon that has occurred spontaneously throughout cultures and times. They bear a resemblance to both the brain and the womb, and ha
Suzanne Singman
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Not very well organized. There weren't enough sections in the chapters so many things blended together. I would have liked a list of labyrinths to visit. The history was helpful and useful, but overall it just didn't have the level of integration of history, modern day sensibilities and how to walk a labyrinth that i was looking for
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A charming book which seeks to try and unravel the mystery of the labyrinth which proves to be both a perplexing and fascinating symbol that has captured the interest of people throughout the world and across time. Even today people still flock to walk the labyrinth.

The author explores the earliest roots of the labyrinth imagery, and how it has evolved over time to eventually become the modern maze a beloved game and puzzle for many people today. He seeks to uncover the truth beyond one of the
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love labyrinths. I enjoy mazes, both the pencil/paper kind and those like Hampton Court where you actually walk between hedges. Rather, 20 years ago I enjoyed Hampton Court's Maze; I think I'm developing some claustrophobia of late, and the thought of high walls doesn't really do much for me.

Anyway, I thought this book would be fun. It's ... interesting, not exactly fun. There are plenty of details about the history of labyrinths, which are older than Minos and scattered throughout the world.
Algirdas Brukštus
Jan 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Skaitau ir neapleidžia jausmas, kad autorius aprašinėja labirintus kaip prietaisą, priemonę, skirtą nežinia kokiam darbui atlikti. Išsinagrinėjo visą esamą literatūrą, aplankė ir išvaikščiojo daugybę labirintų ir jokio nušvitimo, kaip jis pats sako, nepajuto. Nežinau ar turėjo. Išsamus, kruopštus ir gana geras labirintų tyrimo aprašymas. Tačiau ir toliau neapleidžia jausmas, kad tas aprašymas panašus į tokį, lyg būtų žmogus prieš save pasidėjęs siuvimo mašiną, ir ją smulkiai ištyręs, susipažinęs ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nifty history of labyrinths and mazes (and the differences between them). That some version of labyrinths have been constructed by humans, for so long, and across so many cultures is cool in and of itself and suggests, to me anyway, some deep connectivity. Yet the reasons, aesthetics and uses for them is quite varies and speaks, I think, of the wonderful creativity of human beings.

Another bonus is the author's droll sense of humor which occasionally show itself. It's also a relatively short boo
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
The book traces the labyrinth from the earliest rock carvings and cave paintings though the modern new age movement. I enjoyed the first two thirds of the book more. Those chapters were focused on the history and the changed over time. The last few chapter were more about the 'new age' power of the maze and I found my attention wandering.
Jody Mena
A very thorough historical and cultural examination of the phenomenon of the labyrinth. It was interesting to see the ways in which the pattern of the labyrinth was worked into different cultures. Since it was a history, it was occasionally pretty dry, but if you're interested in this sort of thing, it was really informative and intriguing.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A history of the labyrinth and its symbolism ......takes you through time and around the world, discussing the history and types of labyrinths found as well as their meaning to humanity.

Interesting but after a bit, I got tired of it and didn't find the modern ones as interesting as the historical ones.

Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Fascinating easy to read book covering the history of labyrinths and mazes. Touches base on the neolithic sites up to modern times, and the relatively recent phase that's happening now.
Apr 27, 2007 marked it as didntfinish-yet
I probably should have seen this coming, but this book is really boring. Such fascinating subject matter, though! Hopefully I'll try it again some time....
Mark Lacy
Dec 12, 2013 marked it as abandoned
Tons and tons of speculation by historians about labyrinth-related things. Got to the point where I just couldn't swallow one more unfounded speculation.
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