Large Print Reviews
Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms
By Dr. Bob Curran
Also available: 20 point Super Large Print edition
Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms
Sunken Continents, Vanished Cities, and the Kingdoms that History Misplaced
By Dr. Bob Curran
Illustrated by Ian Daniels
Read How You Want, (2009)
EasyRead Large Print, in 16 Point Font
(Originally Published in Standard Print by New Page Books: A Division of Career Press)
Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - May 24, 2010
Take a journey back into time, a time when anything was possible, where magic was real, and where legends were born. Dr. Bob Curran has written a guide book to assist you on your mystical journey. Entitled, Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms, this book will introduce you to mythological places, sunken lands, vanished realms, and subterranean worlds drawn from the myths and legends of a diverse range of people, including the Norse Vikings, the Tamil of Southern India, ancient Greeks, Bretons, Tibetans, Arabs, Native Americans, and many more.
Along the way you will visit Avalon, Atlantis, Lyonesse, El Dorado, Hyperborea, the Lair of Judaculla, the Lost Dutchman Mine, the Garden of Eden, Shangri-La, Lemuria, Irem, Agartha, and many other realms. Like any good guidebook, this one provides a brief overview of the history of each location, its people, how we came to learn of it, and where it might be located. Unfortunately, Dr. Curran, who is an historian from Northern Ireland, is not able to provide precise directions to each of these locations, but with a little imagination and wishful thinking, you should get a good feel for what each place was/is like, and where it might be located should you prefer to leave off from armchair travel and to pursue these mystical realms in the flesh. To help you to avoid trudging over ground already covered, Dr. Curran also provides telling exposés on the various efforts taken in the past to locate these mystical realms.
Dr. Curran also examines the various similarities that exist regarding the mythical realms and traditions found in many ancient myths - such as the various tree legends that abound. These include the Norse Yggdrasil tree. Should this tree be felled, it would signal the beginning of Ragnarok and the end of life as we know it. As well as other 'tree' myths, including the Irmimsul, a great oak that connected heaven to hell in Germanic myth.
Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms is a fun book to read, it also serves as a practical compendium of the various lost realms that can be found around the world and in virtually every mythical tradition. Dr. Curran's descriptions of these realms are informative and entertaining. He not only includes fascinating tidbits of information, but also explores how the belief in these various realms has helped to shape our cultural history. For example, he not only explains how Davy Jones's Locker got its name, but also the role that this mystical 'locker' played in the lives of sailors who believed in its existence. The 'locker' was the location where sailors, who drowned, where gathered together to spend eternity in ceaseless toil.
As with any traditional guidebook, this one is filled with entrancing illustrations. In this case, the illustrations were created by Ian Daniels, drawn from his imagination and the 'historical' record. Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms is an ideal book for anyone interested in mythology, mystical traditions, or who are looking for a little fodder upon which to jump-start your imagination or for writers who are looking for just the right 'realm' to add a little color to their next novel or short story.
Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms is available from Read How You Want, an on-demand publisher that makes books available in a variety of formats including Braille, DAISY, and five different large print formats. This range of formats makes this, and other books, available not only to visually impaired individuals, but also anyone with a reading or physical disability that makes reading standard print books difficult.
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- Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation, by Joseph Campbell.
In this collection of lectures delivered between 1962 and 1983, Campbell examines how myth can aid a person's journey toward fulfillment or bliss, and the psychological side of myth.
- The Greek Myths, Volumes I and II, by Robert Graves.
This is a massive book, and it is the standard reference book on Greek Mythology. It delves into the various creation myths, and births and lives of the various Greek gods, the role of the elemental forces in Greek mythology such as Chaos and Eros, as well as exploring the roles and stories of the Titans, the lesser gods, and other supernatural figures, such as witches.
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