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My world has come crasing down, my beliefs have been shatted, everything I held to be true has gone! :-( Is Mugabe a great humanitarian, is chocloate actually good for you, is Freddie Ljunberg actually gay, or worse, a transvestite? Thankfully none of the above are true (although I reserve the right to think of chocolate as a health food!) Remember the gory tales that were whispered in the school corridor or at sleepovers? The ones where the womans beehive hairdo contained a nest of earwigs which ate through to her brain, or the Kentucky Fried rat? Well I hate to tell you, so I will whisper it...they arent true! I know, I know, I hate to tell you this way. Who is responsible for this, Jan Brunvand is his name and he claims to prove they are false. This book is HUGE! It is divided into 23 chapters, each focusing on each type of urban legend including 'Jumping to Conclusion', Sexcapades, Automania, Strange Things Happen, Human Nature, Bogus Warning and my favourite, Creepy Contaminations. You dont know the Kentucky Fried rat story? Where have you been? Ok here it is: A lady went to to KFC. She sat in her car eating it and noticed one of the pieces tasted funny. She looked and it had a tail. Sha looked again and saw it had eyes and was a rat. She threw up, went crazy and was put into a mental hospital where she wont eat any food! Brunvand demonstrated that these actually come from all over the world, with different variations such as possums in Australia. Then we've all heard the car ones, the escaped murderer with a hook for a hand. A couple are smooching in their car when the girl starts getting really scared and insists they go home. The guy gets a bit narky at the thought of no nooky and speeds off. When she gets out the car she sees a hook hanging on the door. This is one of the oldest urban legends and has been adapted in films such as 'Meatballs' (I've never hea
rd of it either) and 'Candyman' There are many many others, the cat in the microwave, LSD tabs spiked with poison, the gerbil up the bottom, the murderer in the back seat and the mysterious big cats. Now what Brunvand tried to do is prove these stories arent true. How he apparently does this is by dating them, collecting variations of them and citing other peoples anecdotes, occasionally there is no explanations at all. And somtimes its the explanations that ring hollow There is also another strange unexplained fct. As enlightened readers may know I've also written a review on the Darwin Awards book and there are stories in there that also appear in this book. The most noticeable one is this: A chap appears in the ER with wads of bondages around his groin and an awul smell. It seems this man had been masturbating against a machine drive belt, he slips, setting it off and tears open his scrotum. Embarresed as he was, he stapled the wound together. This promptly got infected and the poor man ended up with one testicle! Now the Darwin Awards state that they have thoroughly researhed this case and found it to be true. It also appears in a medical journal, which Brunvand suggests is a hoax! That isnt the only story that appears in both books. The problem is that this book is completely flat, theres no humour at all. Brunvand, in what could be a witty and amusing book lists them like they are recipes in a recipe book. Although its a fascinating subject, this book wont capture your attention at all! And my biggest moan is WHY? Urban legends inject a bit of humour into an otherwise boring world. And you, Jan Brunvand, have destroyed all that I believed to be true. Shame on you Too Good to be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends. Norton & Co 1999 Sorry cant give you a price as it was a gift
A fabulously entertaining book from the ultimate authority on those almost believable tales that always happen to a friend of a friend. Alligators in the sewers? A pet in the microwave? A tragic misunderstanding of the function of cruise control? No, it didn't really happen to your friend's sister's neighbor: it's an urban legend. And no matter how savvy you think you are, you are sure to find in this collection of over 200 tales at least one story you would have sworn was true. Jan Harold Brunvand has been collecting and studying this modern folklore for over twenty years. In Too Good to Be True he captures the best stories in their best retellings, along with their latest variations and examples of how the stories have changed as they move from person to person and place to place.