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The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic
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The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,235 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
From Atlantis to Xanadu and beyond, this Baedeker of make-believe takes readers on a tour of more than 1,200 realms invented by storytellers from Homer's day to our own. Here you will find Shangri-La and El Dorado; Utopia and Middle Earth; Wonderland and Freedonia. Here too are Jurassic Park, Salman Rushdie's Sea of Stories, and the fabulous world of Harry Potter. The hist ...more
Paperback, 776 pages
Published November 2nd 2000 by Mariner Books (first published 1980)
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Jan 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rob by: John; Creighton
More of a novelty than anything else, the Dictionary of Imaginary Places is just that... a big fat alphabetized compendium of places that exist only in legends and myths and novels and other stories. It's the kind of book that aspiring novelists put on their coffee tables to impress other aspiring hipster novelists.

"What's with all those sticky notes and penciled in remarks?"

"Oh, you know. Research. Annotations."

"And this whole sheet stuffed in there?"

"I was trying to see what it would look like
Megan Vaughan
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
This is an absolutely fabulous book for anyone of any age. If you're capable of letting your mind wander to far off and completely fictional places, you'll be entranced immediately. Its the kind of thing you read a few pages of before bed to ensure charming and enchanting dreams.
I fell upon this book when it was first published like a punter attacking an ice-cream during the interval in an over-hot theatre. Just the title had me drooling, and once inside the book I was in seventh heaven. First of all it took places described in a range of literary works as literally true by giving each a Baedeker-style travel guide entry. Then, like any good Baedeker it provided maps and charts giving visual aids to familiar and unfamiliar locations. There have been at least two revised ...more
Artur Coelho
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nesta era em que cada milímetro quadrado do planeta está mapeado com rigor, observado pelo olhar lenticular dos satélites em órbita, cada recanto registado pelas suas coordenadas no espaço abstracto dos meridianos e paralelos, fotografado nos espectros do infravermelho ao ultravioleta, calcorreado por exploradores, aventureiros ou servos de gigantes tecnológicos apostados em digitalizar o planeta, traçado em atlas e mapas pixelizados, precisamos talvez mais do que nunca de espaços desconhecidos, ...more
Alexandra Paiva
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In our progressively shrinking world, it is no small feat to map the mysterious nor to put to paper, as much as one can, the lands that only a small group of people dared to tread. There were so few of these folk and so wild were the stories that reached us, that any person of sensible, rational persuasion can only but doubt and lay aside these tales as the (not so) simple work of fanciful creativity and wild imagination. Some voices might even call out – with that shrill, grey voice boring peop ...more
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first got the 1987 edition of this book as a gift from my uncle in the mid-nineties, and it has since been one of my favorite volumes to idly peruse. Though it contains lengthy entries on the most frequently visited of imaginary places, such as Middle-earth, Earthsea, and Oz, its entries on less familiar regions such as Sylvia Townsend Warner's Kingdoms of Elfin are welcome, and this updated edition includes such recently-explored places as Hogwarts and Neverwhere.

This work was my first introd
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so tickled by the existence of this book. The title pretty much sums it up - this is an encyclopedia of imaginary places ranging from the fantastical (Middle Earth, Narnia, Wonderland) to the more realistic (Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe's island, Xanadu). In fact, this dictionary is worth looking at just for the extensive descriptions of Middle Earth and Narnia.

The authors treat every location as though it actually exists, which is part of the fun of reading it. There are also some wond
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any one who has an imagination.
Shelves: fantasy
One of my favorite books for browsing. An inexhaustible index of imaginary lands in literature from The Grand Duchy of Fenwick to Burrough's Pellucidar to Carroll's Wonderland. Many entries are illustrated with maps and all come with detailed descriptions of the lands. The fact that the writers treat these entries like they are real places that you may travel to, simply lends a delightful air in the enjoyment of this book. I've had this book since its first publication in 1987 and I never fail t ...more
Douglas Summers-Stay
It's not really a dictionary; some parts are written like a tour guide, others more of an atlas. The entries describe locations from fantasy novels, from Gulliver's travels through Harry Potter. I noticed it included a few of Calvino's invisible cities, and some lands that Borges described, which is appropriate for such a Borgesian enterprise. The maps and illustrations are well done. It's a fun way to browse for new things to read. If you're willing to put up with an older edition (no Hogwarts) ...more
Js Absher
A vast and entertaining encyclopedia of invented places, from Homer to the Marx Brothers' movies and Borges' Urnland, where the whole of literature and language "consists of one word, undr, which means 'wonder' and is sometimes represented by a fish and sometimes by a red pole and a disc. In that word, each and any listener will recognize his labours, his loves, his secret acts, the things he has seen, the people he has known - everything." With detailed maps and drawings.
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Alberto Manguel (born 1948 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine-born writer, translator, and editor. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980) and A History of Reading (1996) The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008), and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991). ...more
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