Amy Caudill‘s review
In his Amazon Prime series, Aaron Mahnke offers an overview of the “lore” from numerous cultures created by our ancestors in an attempt to explain the unknown workings of the world around them. For example; how did a deadly disease contribute to a belief in the existence of vampires? What geological features as said to be the home of fairies?
Now the writer, producer, and narrator of the series Lore has released an anthology titled The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures, which includes some of the most interesting encounters from the popular show as well as a wealth of additional stories and background information about the evolution of the myths, folklore, and campfire tales of “things that go bump in the night.”
The author uses historical accounts and descriptions of known “sites” of supernatural and unexplained phenomena to describe how a lack of scientific knowledge and fear of the unknown culminated in a belief in numerous supernatural creatures and phenomena. Then he shares examples of the tales of happenings in a “story-telling” manner consistent with the scripts of the television series.
I found the scholarly portion of the book to be very informative but a little dry, despite attempts by Mahnke to inject humor and current events into his explanations of the supernatural. By comparison, his accounts of the “events” read like very engaging short stories of horror and the paranormal.
After reading a large portion of the book, I decided I needed to watch some of the episodes of the show for comparison purposes. I found that the podcast featured some of the same stories in the book, heavily dramatized and enacted, but seemed to focus more on one particular example instead of the multiples given in the manuscript. While both were interesting, the dramatization of the show drew me in much more quickly than the volume, if only because the length of the episode was longer than each encounter narrated in the book.
Still, I found the book interesting enough to give it four stars and would recommend it to anyone who wants not only to get a chill out of a story of the paranormal, but also an understanding of why the story could make the reader feel fear in the first place.