Critical Survey of Mythology & Folklore: World Mythology Review

“This work organizes world mythology by geographic area. Within each geographic area, traditional literature is arranged alphabetically. The sustentative part of each entry consists of a plot summary, the significance of the literature, and a bibliography. Although the table of contents has the tales listed by region (as they appear in the book), the appendixes have them listed by country and by era, making it easier for readers to search the entries…The main entries provide a bare-bones outline of the story, which is then followed by a half-page of discussion on its significance…The bibliography at the end of each entry is short but generally provides good references for further study. This reference is recommended for high-school and college students and for storytellers looking for inspiration for their stories or performances.”
- Booklist

“This introduction to this well-planned and methodically organized collection points an interesting contrast between myth as a culture and mythology as an academic study. Both aspects are represented in this book which selects and presents myths and legends from around the world and discusses each of them in both cultural and academic contexts...The editors readily admit that ‘A broad collection of this kind of necessarily based on subjective choices of tales, themes and national literatures. […] This book does not pretend to present a comprehensive coverage of world mythology and folklore. Nor is the distinction between myth and folklore strictly defined within any given chapter. At best, offering more than two hundred tales, this volume attempts to be inclusive of the mythological character of many major regions across the world.’

The result is that traditions which must be included in any such survey are to be found here, but cultures which are traditionally less well-represented are also accorded their due place…

The contents are well-enough selected that they give a good overview of myth and legend across the world, from the familiar to the almost unknown. The entries themselves are clear and helpful both in re-telling the stories and in explaining them within their various contexts. The whole book is well-planned and arranged in a rigorously uniform pattern and in a clear and elegant presentation. Each copy carries a sticker with a unique code which allows the purchaser to access the text as an e-book; those who wish to purchase the e-book instead of the printed volume will find the price is the same. Still, as I have said elsewhere on (probably too) many occasions, the book still has a lot going for it. This title is written and marketed as primarily an educational tool; it will serve very well as such in many classrooms, or for private study, but it is also worth a place in many library collections: primarily academic for schools or universities, but in others too. Myths may be fascinating area for study, but they also remain stories which have entertained people for thousands of years, and continue to do so.”
-Reference Reviews