Fabulous Monsters Dracula, Alice, Superman, and Other Literary Friends Alberto Manguel

Publication date:
23 Jul 2019
Yale University Press
256 pages: 197 x 152 x 24mm
38 b-w illus.
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An original look at how literary characters can transcend their books to guide our lives, by one of the world's most eminent bibliophiles

Alberto Manguel, in a style both charming and erudite, examines how literary characters live with us from childhood on. Throughout the years, they change their identities and emerge from behind their stories to teach us about the complexities of love, loss, and the world itself. Manguel’s favorite characters include Jim from Huckleberry Finn, Phoebe from The Catcher in the Rye, Job and Jonah from the Bible, Little Red Riding Hood and Captain Nemo, Hamlet’s mother, and Dr. Frankenstein’s maligned Monster. Sharing his unique powers as a reader, Manguel encourages us to establish our own literary relationships. An intimate preface and Manguel’s own “doodles” complete this delightful and magical book.

Alberto Manguel is a writer, translator, editor, and critic, but would rather define himself as a reader. His previous books include The Library at Night and Packing My Library.

“Dotted with droll little drawings by the author, Fabulous Monsters invites us to recall the intriguing, often tangential characters that we’ve met in literature and that, in certain cases, have accompanied us on life’s journey. . . . Readers will be glad to have revisited old acquaintances (Queequeg or Job) and shaken hands again with those (Heidi’s grandfather or Long John Silver) they may not know well.’—Meghan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal

“A charming and essential book.”—Greg Garrett, Spectator

“In art and words, a book lover honors the characters he can’t forget.”—New York Times Book Review

 “One could go on quoting Manguel for a long time. There's something eye-catching on every page. Literature, he tells or reminds us, can be simultaneously disturbing and consoling”—Alan Massie, Literary Review

“Alberto Manguel’s book Fabulous Monsters is designed to be charming”—Emma Smith, Times Literary Supplement

“In Fabulous Monsters, Alberto Manguel argues that imaginary characters portray our own lives. Yes, we say, this is how we are, this is what we do to one another, this is true. That, perhaps, is where literature can help most.”—Salman Rushdie