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Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy: Great Heroes and Bizarre Beings from Imaginative Literature

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Until now, many of the greatest creatures and characters from fantasy and horror have been seen only in the minds of their creators--and their readers. At last these bizarre and beautiful beings have been brought magnificently to life by acclaimed artist Wayne Douglas Barlow, who has often been called the "Audubon of the Otherworld". This book is a sequel to the bestsellin Until now, many of the greatest creatures and characters from fantasy and horror have been seen only in the minds of their creators--and their readers. At last these bizarre and beautiful beings have been brought magnificently to life by acclaimed artist Wayne Douglas Barlow, who has often been called the "Audubon of the Otherworld". This book is a sequel to the bestselling Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials. 50+ four-color illustrations.


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Until now, many of the greatest creatures and characters from fantasy and horror have been seen only in the minds of their creators--and their readers. At last these bizarre and beautiful beings have been brought magnificently to life by acclaimed artist Wayne Douglas Barlow, who has often been called the "Audubon of the Otherworld". This book is a sequel to the bestsellin Until now, many of the greatest creatures and characters from fantasy and horror have been seen only in the minds of their creators--and their readers. At last these bizarre and beautiful beings have been brought magnificently to life by acclaimed artist Wayne Douglas Barlow, who has often been called the "Audubon of the Otherworld". This book is a sequel to the bestselling Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials. 50+ four-color illustrations.

30 review for Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy: Great Heroes and Bizarre Beings from Imaginative Literature

  1. 5 out of 5

    K.T. Katzmann

    Almost as perfect as the first, except when you get a case of . . . While Barlowe does what he sets out to do, he created a book I can't quite love as much as Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature. His choice of title is pretty key here: "Great Heroes and Bizarre Beings." In the Guide to Extraterrestrials, each page focused entire on the alien in question. Hell, sometimes you didn;t know whether the species in questions was a bit character or the ba Almost as perfect as the first, except when you get a case of . . . While Barlowe does what he sets out to do, he created a book I can't quite love as much as Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature. His choice of title is pretty key here: "Great Heroes and Bizarre Beings." In the Guide to Extraterrestrials, each page focused entire on the alien in question. Hell, sometimes you didn;t know whether the species in questions was a bit character or the backbone of the story. Narrative importance was ignored in favor of "Lookit! Lookit!" Not so much here. Each subject is a representation of its story. The information page may actually spend most of its space explaining the source material before it even details the creature or person. The creatures I know are rendered perfectly. I look at her and instantly hear drunken skeletal Constable Odo screaming in my head. Gug! A Gug! It's one of H.P. Lovecraft's smegging gugs! I have a plush one. And . . . this dude. That's my main complaint. With the GTE, even if you didn;t know the story an alien came from, you could lose yourself examining the bizarre biology it represented. With this volume, it's more . . . Don't get wrong; I love the amazing variety of sources Barlowe uses, from the story of Grendel to Jewish legend (I'm positively biased towards golems, y'know. I did write a mystery about them. Still, the inclusion of heroes make it less enjoyable than Extraterrestrials on a flip-through. Still, it's an amazing piece of work. You can judge your interest for yourself by the table of contents. It ends with Barlowe's wonderful sketches, as always, many of them showing scenes from the life of the painting subjects. Guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs! :Cough: Okay, I'm better now. Last note: I unfortunately cannot keep this in my classroom, as I do Extraterrestrials Yes, BGTE may contain lion-centaur vagina, but few middle schoolers understand the import. There's one or two more humanoid instances of female nudity, in case that affects your intended use.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Rosas

    After reading "Gods Demon" from Wayne Barlowe I just had to see what else he's done, which is how I ended up finding this book. What's great about this guide is that accompanying the beautiful paintings of each creature, character, etc. is a physical description of each, plus a little something about the world they live in, and the books they derive from. On top of everything else this book has introduced me to so many more books now, for that I can't thank Wayne enough.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    If you have always wondered what some of the critters in your favorite Fantasy book looked like here is the art book for you. Great reference book, Barlowe does an excellent job rendering these monsters of popular fiction. Recommended

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    I discovered a few fantasy novels to add to my want to read list in this short yet fun and informative book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    B.

    I love this book and I wish more artists would do this sort of thing. Seriously, I wish Barlowe would do more books...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott Martin

    One of my sons favorite monster books!

  7. 4 out of 5

    flannery

    Bought this for my 12 year old son! He got a real kick out of it! Hahaha.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Stuart

    50'50 on whether these work. Many of the more monstrous and animalistic images are the strongest. The hero's are not that great. Even accounting for the fact that a lot of fantasy heros are perhaps a little done and cookie cutter, here they are "correct" but many of them feel static and of the ones I'm familiar with, many of the mild asethetic choices in armour, weaponry, accessories, posing and expression all feel a little.. eh? There are sketch-plans towards the end of the book sowing Barlowes 50'50 on whether these work. Many of the more monstrous and animalistic images are the strongest. The hero's are not that great. Even accounting for the fact that a lot of fantasy heros are perhaps a little done and cookie cutter, here they are "correct" but many of them feel static and of the ones I'm familiar with, many of the mild asethetic choices in armour, weaponry, accessories, posing and expression all feel a little.. eh? There are sketch-plans towards the end of the book sowing Barlowes development and nearly all of the sketches are more interesting versions of the human heroes than the final pictures. The faceless monsters seem to be feeling and expressing more than many of the human figures. And the monsters are really good, gradually getting better and better the stranger and more monstrous they are. Strangeness, intensity and otherness seem to set Barlowe free and he can command much greater energy through the raw construction of flesh than through its fine subtleties in face and feature.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ray Otus

    Surprisingly, I found the text of this book as valuable as the paintings, perhaps more so. There is no doubting Barlowe's talent and I have enjoyed some of his other books, like Expedition, greatly. This one however ... I found myself "disagreeing" with a lot of his visualizations. Some of them contained errors that, knowing the source material well, I had trouble getting past. The Gug, for instance, was missing it's characteristic doubled forearms. And Grendel's page depicts some sort of expand Surprisingly, I found the text of this book as valuable as the paintings, perhaps more so. There is no doubting Barlowe's talent and I have enjoyed some of his other books, like Expedition, greatly. This one however ... I found myself "disagreeing" with a lot of his visualizations. Some of them contained errors that, knowing the source material well, I had trouble getting past. The Gug, for instance, was missing it's characteristic doubled forearms. And Grendel's page depicts some sort of expandable dragon-hide glove? Where's that from? Even so, the paintings were wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the griffin, which builds its illustrative veracity on the findings of old beaked dinosaur fossils (protoceratops) that inspired the legend in the first place. So, about the writing. The cool thing about the write-ups for these creatures is that they serve as a pretty cool introduction to a bunch of fantasy worlds, some of which I have never read. I enjoyed that quite a bit and marked half a dozen down for further exploration.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This book is fascinating, and it made me write down titles for other books I might want to read, but overall was a disappointment compared to his Guide to Extraterrestrials. The art here often seemed to not mesh with the story summary, and the write-ups were not as interesting as the previous books. The Guide to Extraterrestrials read like a believable exobiology text, giving you an immersive sense of the creatures and worlds it explored, and bringing with it the sense that you might see one of This book is fascinating, and it made me write down titles for other books I might want to read, but overall was a disappointment compared to his Guide to Extraterrestrials. The art here often seemed to not mesh with the story summary, and the write-ups were not as interesting as the previous books. The Guide to Extraterrestrials read like a believable exobiology text, giving you an immersive sense of the creatures and worlds it explored, and bringing with it the sense that you might see one of those creatures at any time. I read that book for fun at least once or twice a year! This book, oddly, felt more like an illustrated book report. Not bad, and the art is still very skilled, but a definite let-down for me compared to the excellence of the first book. Would rate it closer to 2.5 stars; would not re-read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diana Toole

    There is no doubt that Barlowe is a talented artist. My brain just disagreed with some of his renderings. . .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Pyles

    Not as great as the SF version, because these are more fantasy characters rather than creatures. Some of them listed here were just straight up humans too. Kinda disappointing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Bennett

    Enjoyed this book. It was full of wonderful illustrations. With each illustration is a bit of a description and from what the picture was drawn from. A lot of these drawing are from books. I ended up going through this book and whatever creature caught my eye, a book was put on my list that I wanted to read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Even better than glimpsing Barlowe's artistic imaginings of some of the most famous fantasy beings created in literature: taking a peek at different fictional worlds and passionately adding to your to-read list.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dereck

    It's a fun book, and whether you're into fantasy books or not, the art and character design is amazing. He really brings characters to life, and he picks up on nuances that many people just run over.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adam Vine

    One of my favorite books when I was a kid.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beverly Warner

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lola Nelinson

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Lutz

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lucasthegray

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chris Youngblood

  22. 5 out of 5

    Neil Shelley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Riftmann

  24. 5 out of 5

    James Bowman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Davis

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Driscoll

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brad

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Sipila

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joe Bush

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amul Kumar

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