Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: The Mythology of Grimm (Nathan Robert Brown, 2014)

About a year ago, I received an uncorrected proof for a book called The Mythology of Grimm: The Fairy Tale and Folklore Roots of the Popular TV Show (The Berkley Publishing Group, 2014) from my good friend and author Nathan Robert Brown for review. I have always loved Nathan's books and his writing style, which combines liberal amounts of humor with thorough, scholarly research. When I found out that Nathan was looking for bloggers and volunteers to review the book, I naturally jumped at the chance! A couple of weeks later, an uncorrected proof arrived at my door. Although I had never actually seen a single episode of Grimm (2011 to present), I had a basic idea of what the show was about. However, I had absolutely no idea how much information Nathan had packed into a three hundred and forty-nine-page book, nor did I know how much fun reading this magnificent tome would be.

In The Mythology of Grimm, Nathan has not only covered the TV show and its mythology, but he also covers the legends, folktales, and the mythology behind the show with an enormous amount of detail. Each major type of Wesen gets their own chapter, along with a retelling of the specific fairy tale that they're associated with, as well as a deeper look into the meanings behind the fairy tale, comparisons between the Wesen in the show and the creatures in the folktales, the historical background of the stories, and the historical events that may have inspired the fairy tales to begin with. Nathan covers every type of Wesen seen in the first two seasons (which is all that the book covers), including Blutbaden, Fuchsbau, Jagerbars, Geiers, Siegbarste, Reinigen, Damonfeuers, Ziegevolk, Bauerschwein, Hexenbiests, Lowen, Murcielago, Musai, Wendigo, La Llorona, Skalengeck, et al. There's even a chapter on the weapons found in Grimm, not to mention a very helpful Glossary of Wesenology and a Glossary of Grimm Terminology. Both of these glossaries include the pronunciation of the terms (very useful if you don't speak German), an English translation of the term, and a short description of the term, as well as the name of the episode and the particular season that it can be found in. A brief biography of Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm can be found within these pages (although "brief" is a very relative term here), as well as information on Charles Perrault and Joseph Jacobs, both of whom expanded and added to the Grimm universe with their works. In short, this book is a must-have for all Grimm fans!

Overall, The Mythology of Grimm is fantastic!! I have spent many nights reading this tome, pausing only to laugh at Nathan's inimitable sense of humor. If you've never seen the show, you'll want to after reading this book! I honestly cannot recommend the book enough. The only problem that I have with it is that the book itself only covers the first two seasons of Grimm. But then again, that's still a lot of material to cover, even for just two seasons. You may purchase a copy from Amazon here. I strongly recommend that you buy a copy, and soon. Now, I wonder if there will ever be a sequel...?

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