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A fun fantasy "field guide", Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts was published in 1910, complete with lovely illustrations and Latin classifications. As in the tradition of all tall tales and folklore from the US and Canada, its stories are somewhat embellished and elaborated upon. Cox himself was a career writer of mystery novels, westerns, and short stories for the paperback and pulp fiction markets that were so popular during his prime. He was in the process of writing his 81st novel when he passed away in 1988 at the age of 87.
Meet the snoligoster, who feeds on the shadows of its victims. The whirling whimpus, who once laid low an entire Boy Scout troop. And the hoop snake, who can chase prey at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and then, with one sting of its venomous tail, cause it to turn purple, swell up, and—alas—die. These and 17 other fearsome creatures are among the most fantastical beasts in American folklore. Their stories, as narrated by one of the last surviving cryptozoologists, are best enjoyed while sitting around a campfire. If you dare.
A fascinating survey of the entire history of tall tales, folklore, and mythology in the United States from earliest times to the present, including stories and myths from the modern era that have become an essential part of contemporary popular culture. • Presents a compelling mix of some 500 entries drawn from traditional Native American and European American culture as well as Mexican American, African American, Chinese American, and other national traditions • Includes numerous primary documents that help readers to pinpoint and understand the origins of different myths and legends as well as how they evolve over time • Features a wide variety of entries drawn from newer traditions of science fiction, urban legends, and conspiracy theories • Supplies bibliographic references with each entry that include websites for further reading and research
While other cultures relish tales about fairies, kappas, jinn, and other mythological beings, mainstream folk culture in the United States prefers a comic mythology of "fearsome critters." We yearn about, identify with, hunt for, depict, extol, and chuckle over these critters," explains Richard M. Dorson. "Belief and dread are not wholly absent, but in contrast to the rest of the world, we engage in hoaxes, pranks, tall tales, and tomfoolery with our legendary creatures." -book jacket