Medusa's gaze and vampire's bite : the science of monsters /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Kaplan, Matt, 1977-
Edition:1st Scribner hardcover ed.
Imprint:New York : Scribner, c2012.
Description:x, 244 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Subject:Monsters -- History.
Animals, Mythical -- History.
Dangerous animals -- Folklore -- History.
Animals, Mythical.
Dangerous animals.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:9781451667981 (hardcover : alk. paper)
1451667981 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9781451667998 (pbk. : alk. paper)
145166799X (pbk. : alk. paper)
9781451668001 (ebook)
1451668007 (ebook)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (p. 221-233) and index.
Summary:"We all know 'there's no such thing as monsters,' but our imaginations tell us otherwise. From the mythical beasts of ancient Greece to the hormonal vampires of the Twilight saga, monsters have captivated us for millennia. Matt Kaplan, a noted science journalist and monster-myth enthusiast, employs an entertaining mix of cutting-edge research and a love of lore to explore the history behind these fantastical fictions and our hardwired obsession with things that go bump in the night. Ranging across history, Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite tackles the enduring questions that arise on the frontier between fantasy and reality. What caused ancient Minoans to create the tale of the Minotaur and its subterranean maze? Did dragons really exist? What inspired the creation of vampires and werewolves, and why are we so drawn to them? With the eye of a journalist and the voice of a storyteller, Kaplan takes readers to the forefront of science, where our favorite figures of horror may find real-life validation. Does the legendary Kraken, a squid of epic proportions, really roam the deep? Are we close to making Jurassic Park a reality by replicating a dinosaur from fossilized DNA? As our fears evolve, so do our monsters, and Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite charts the rise of the ultimate beasts, humans themselves"--Provided by publisher.
Table of Contents:
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Giant Animals-Nemean Lion, Calydonian Boar, Rukh, King Kong
  • 2. Beastly Blends-Chimera, Griffon, Cockatrice, Sphinx
  • 3. It Came from the Earth-Minotaur, Medusa
  • 4. The Mysterious Fathoms-Charybdis, Leviathan, Giant Squid, Jaws
  • 5. Of Flame and Claw-Dragons
  • 6. Hauntings--Demons, Ghosts, Spirits
  • 7. Cursed by a Bite-Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves
  • 8. The Created-The Golem, Frankenstein, HAL 9000, Terminator
  • 9. Terror Resurrected-Dinosaurs
  • 10. Extraterrestrial ThreatùAliens
  • Conclusion
  • Sources
  • Index