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Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The…
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Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters (utgåvan 2012)

av Matt Kaplan (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
222591,918 (3.37)6
"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.… (mer)
Medlem:tebyen
Titel:Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters
Författare:Matt Kaplan (Författare)
Info:Scribner (2012), 256 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:to-read, finished-but-won-t-reread

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Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters av Matt Kaplan

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» Se även 6 omnämnanden

Visar 5 av 5
Interesting at first, then it got tedious. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
I love to read books like this. I am a fan of Matt Kaplan now! Old Hag Syndrome and sleep paralysis is the most interesting parts for me!
  persiva | Mar 1, 2018 |
In this entertaining look at beliefs in monsters of various sorts, as with his more recent book on magical powers, Science of the Magical, Matt Kaplan explores the ways in which science (and culture) create the background for belief in things fantastic. Kaplan's argument, that monsters serve an important purpose by representing deeply held fears and allowing people to “practice” facing those fears in a safe way, is hardly original, but he writes with cheerful, sometimes flippant enthusiasm, and, while bringing in plenty of real science and history, he rarely takes his imaginary subjects or his imaginative theories too seriously.

Kaplan's premise, that monsters are created due to specific and identifiable human fears combined with observable phenomena works better with some monsters than others. The link between Old Hag Syndrome and sleep paralysis is quite convincing, while the idea that the Golem of Prague was a vigilante seems, generously, a stretch. Most of Kaplan's proposed explanations for beliefs in monsters, ranging from Hercules's Nemean lion all the way to sparkly modern vampires and UFO's, fall somewhere in between these extremes of “sure, that seems plausible” and “ha!” Most often his proposals seem not unreasonable, but also, often, not fully convincing either. I'm inclined to give more credit to the wild imaginations of storytellers, who will create exuberantly hideous monsters even without needing the prompt of evolutionarily helpful fears, than Kaplan seems inclined to. Still, Kaplan's speculations are inventive and fun, and he wanders off down some interesting rabbit trails. I particularly enjoyed the story he tells about the scientific evidence for zombies, involving poison worms, Bufo toads, and puffer fish. Also, his footnotes are extensive and amusing.

I would recommend this to readers who enjoy exploring the “whys” behind belief in monsters and would give it 3 ¾ stars , rounded up to 4. ( )
  meandmybooks | Jun 12, 2016 |
Casey recommends this: "It's called Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite: The Science of Monsters, and it traces the scientific origins of monster myths (including Frankenstein!). Anyway, I haven't read it yet, but it's at the top of my TBR, since it sounds pretty awesome (also, I chatted with the author for a bit, and he was really cool). "

Some other dude says it combines literature, history and science and that's okay with him, and you know what THAT'S OKAY WITH ME TOO.
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
Utter and absolute nonsense from beginning to end. Kaplan treats monsters as basic manifestations of human fears, and then acts as though they can be explained rationally (and dismissed of with sufficient rationalization, too). ( )
1 rösta jen.e.moore | Mar 30, 2013 |
Visar 5 av 5
Too often, Medusa's Gaze and Vampire's Bite seems to be so focused on scientific investigation as to overlook universal experience--the possibility that monsters arise out of human fears and fantasies. By preferring empirical causes, however obscure or speculative, the author [Matt Kaplan] loses the chance to explore the vast territory of the imagination, the source of so much legend and lore.
tillagd av sgump | ändraWall Street Journal, James Romm (Oct 31, 2012)
 
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"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.

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