The Penguin Book of Mermaids

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

"The Penguin Book of Mermaids" is a lot of fun. I always look for the Penguin collections; they never disappoint.
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The Penguin Book of Mermaids is a collection of Mermaid stories from various cultures.  I loved reading this one and cannot wait to own a copy of my own.  I had no idea that there were so many cultures with Mermaid Lore.
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Disclaimer: I received the Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My opinions remain respectfully my own. Huge thanks to Penguin Classics for approving this book even when it was requested a month past the publication date.

----My Thoughts----

The book is packed with legends, folktales, fairytales, etc. about the mermaid and other water creatures. Not a lengthy volume and can be easily finished in a few hours for the typical book enthusiast.

Some of the fairytales are dark in nature, portraying the mermaid as a symbol of great beauty and misfortune.

Tales were collected from all around the globe and there were many that I hadn’t heard of.

The Little Mermaid’s tale by Andersen was perhaps one of the most tragic, heavily intermixed with Christianity.

Some fairytales spoke of hungering sea creatures that were dramatically different from the innocent portrayal we are used to.

A little background information is given in regards to the legend or anecdote along with what to expect from it, what version was chosen, etc.

Kurahashi’s parodic rewriting of the Little Mermaid wasn’t one I was particularly familiar with but it was certainly a bizarre read.

Specially eerie were some oral tales where the narrator chose to omit names such as the village where it originated as well as the water deity involved.

“Abyssus Abyssum Invocat.” was a story that was downright chilling with modern elements mixed in. The mermaid is portrayed as a strange but alluring creature capable of feats of deadly seduction.

This book gets a 4.5/5 from me. I expected a book about mermaids, water deities and monsters either by a collection of legends, myths, folktales, etc. and this book met all my expectations. It left me fulfilled but with a subtle craving of wishing it was a longer read.
Who would enjoy this book?
I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys reading about water deities, monsters and mermaids. It would also suit the folklore and legends enthusiast or someone seeking a change from their typical nonfiction literature.
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