Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Mythology Of Supernatural - Nathan Robert Brown


The Mythology Of Supernatural
Nathan Robert Brown
Berkley Boulevard Books
 
Nonfiction/TV Tie-In

The first thing you should probably know is that “this book is not authorized” by anyone at “Supernatural.”  That would explain the not-Sam-or-Dean silhouettes on the cover art.  Come on, you have to know that even non-hardcore fans of the show are going to wonder who the bald guy and the kid on the cover are.  (I like to think that it’s Lex Luthor and Ralphie with his coveted air rifle, but that’s just my personal delusion.)

All that aside, this book works very well as a World Mythology-101 primer for fans who want to know a bit more about myths and beings referenced in the show.  For example, if you ever wondered why Bela’s last name was Talbot, or why salt works, or the Enochian alphabet, this book has the answer.  There’s even a nice index at the back to help you find various subjects.
 
The book is divided into chapters including “The Winchester Arsenal,” “Demonic Possessions and Exorcisms” and “Lilith Is One Scary Bitch.”  Clearly, the tone of the writing follows that of the show (the author says he’s become a fan since beginning work on this book) and the author does a nice job at relating various incidents/characters on the show to various world mythologies.  The main characters are clearly part of the hero archetype in fiction; and other characters (a wise and bearded older mentor; a blind seer) and scenarios fit into various myths as well.
 
If you’re not a fan of the show, a lot will be lost on you.  If you’re looking for an overall world mythology survey, viewed through the lens of the show, this is your book: Never pedantic or overbearing; just the facts about a whole lot of different lore.  For those who want to delve deeper, there’s a nice bibliography at the end.  My advice?  Start with Joseph Campbell.
 
Rating: will depend entirely on your interest in the show and subject matter
August 2011
SBN# 978-0-425-24137-0 (trade paperback)

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