Brad Steiger, |
The Werewolf Book:
The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings
(Visible Ink, 1999)
The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings is a heavy book. At 397 pages, it will take you a while to read it, but you will be entertained during every minute of the reading! I keep it handy for reference work during my writing, but also enjoy reading it for pleasure. It is the type of book that allows you to learn each time you open it.
The topics are listed alphabetically and include everything relating to shape-shifters. You will find all the typical creatures from the folklore of the world with descriptions and historical data. There are listings for famous actors and movies that involve shape-shifting, including one my favorites, Ssssss. There is a full color photograph section in the center that includes a photo of the poor guy that took the cobra serum in this movie. (If you are not familiar with this movie, it was a cult classic from 1973 that created mass insomnia among all age groups!) This one section is worth the price of the book!
A foreword by Dr. Franklin Ruel tells us that it is actually feasible that a man could "morph" into a wolf. He traces the history of the man-wolf back to a cave drawing and says the first written account of werewolfism was in the Bible in the Book of Daniel (4:15-33). He tells of some of the causes, cures and ways to kill werewolves. He highlights some of the movies and goes into much greater detail about how the idea has brought a wave of "halflings" of a wide variety: snakes, lions, dogs, panthers and many more.
Brad Steiger begins his encyclopedia with an introduction titled "We Have Met the Werewolves and They Are Us!" He maintains that werewolves are real and supplies supporting evidence for his case. He will convince you that we humans have a genetic capacity for undergoing transformation into wolves. He follows his introduction with a chronology of werewolves.
Steiger has included an extra section: "Werewolf Resources." It lists movies, books and websites, breaking them into divisions of fiction and nonfiction. There are roughly 250 entries in this book, with photographs and illustrations scattered heavily throughout. From the orang pendek to the kappa, you will find all your favorite creatures in this book.
If you have an interest in the shape-shifting folklore of the world, this is a book to buy and read often. It will make you sleep with a light on and jump at every "bump in the night."