Urban Legends: A Collection of International Tall Tales and Terrors

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Gillian Bennett, Paul Smith
Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 349 pages
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Don't get in that car without looking in the back seat Everyone has heard the story about such-and-such, and while it sounds impossible, so-and-so swears that it must be true. Often gory, disgusting, shocking, and surprising, urban legends are central to everyday experience. From high schools and colleges to offices and organizations, urban legends are everywhere. This book collects more than 150 urban legends from around the world, such as The Mutilated Shopper, The Devil at the Disco, and The Thug in the Back Seat. The tales are grouped in thematic chapters, and each entry includes an introductory discussion of the legend and its presence in popular culture, the text of the legend, suggestions for further reading, and cross-references to similar tales. The volume closes with a selected, general bibliography and a detailed index. Literature students will welcome the opportunity to read and write about these legends, social studies students will value them as a reflection of contemporary culture, and general readers will enjoy browsing them and learning more about their background and significance.

Don't pick up that hitchhiker Don't get in that car without looking in the back seat If you knew what they put in that, no way would you eat it Urban legends are central to everyday experience. Everyone has heard the story about such-and-such, and while it sounds impossible, so-and-so swears that it must be true. These legends are everywhere, from high schools and colleges to offices and organizations. They appear in films, television series, and novels, and are now widely spread over the Internet. This book collects and annotates more than 150 urban legends from around the world and is a valuable resource for students, general readers, and anyone interested in contemporary culture.

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Contents

Smiley Gangs
34
The Assailant in the Back Seat
47
The HairyHanded Hitchhiker
62
Copyright

17 other sections not shown

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About the author (2007)

GILLIAN BENNETT is an independent scholar and the author of numerous works on ghost stories and urban legends. She has edited several works with Paul Smith and is also the author of "Alas, Poor Ghost!": Traditions of Belief in Story and Discourse (1999), and Bodies: Sex, Violence, Disease, and Death in Contemporary Legend (2005).

PAUL SMITH is Professor of Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Co-Director of the Institute for Folklore Studies in Britain and Canada. His work encompasses contemporary legend, traditional drama, and folklore and popular literature. With Gillian Bennett, he has edited numerous works, including Contemporary Legend: A Folklore Bibliography (1993), and Contemporary Legend: A Reader (1996).

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