Too Good to Be True: The Colossal Book of Urban Legends

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W. W. Norton & Company, Oct 17, 2001 - Social Science - 480 pages
2 Reviews

"If you enjoy these too-good-to-be-true tales, Brunvand's new book will give you hours of pleasure."—Chicago Tribune

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. To help you find your favorite, Brunvand has arranged the tales thematically. "Bringing Up Baby" is full of episodes of child-rearing gone wrong, including the grisly tale of the drugged out baby-sitter who mistakes the kid for a turkey. "Funny Business" showcases stories of infamous lapses in customer service, such as the story of the shockingly expensive chocolate chip cookie recipe. And "The Criminal Mind" features both brilliant --if they were real --scams, as well as the purported antics of the less mentally gifted. Whether you want to become an expert debunker or just have plenty of laughs, this book will surprise and entertain you. Illustrated throughout.

"Informative and entertaining.... Brunvand has collected more than 200 of the most-repeated and best-known examples of modern folk-myth."—Tampa Tribune "[N]ot only an entertaining anthology, but an excellent introduction to the study of folklore itself."—Publishers Weekly "A fun read... . All the classics are here from the killer upstairs to the Kentucky Fried Rat."—New City "Resonant stories that express our hidden anxieties ... make us laugh, [or] arouse our fascinated horror."—San Francisco Chronicle Book Review "Informative and entertaining... . Brunvand has collected more than 200 of the most-repeated and best-known examples of modern folk-myth."—Tampa Tribune "[N]ot only an entertaining anthology, but an excellent introduction to the study of folklore itself."—Publishers Weekly
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nm.fall07jcrivella - LibraryThing

This book has got to be one of, if not, the best urban legend books out there. The author sets up the stories in catagories that pretty much tell what you are getting, for example one catagory is ... Read full review

Too good to be true: the colossal book of urban legends

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Brunvand (The Choking Doberman, The Vanishing Hitchhiker) is the dean of urban folklore--for 20 years he has collected and documented tall tales swapped at social gatherings. This anthology embraces ... Read full review

Contents

I
17
II
19
III
25
IV
28
V
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VI
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VII
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VIII
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CXVI
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CXVII
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CXVIII
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CXXI
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L
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LIV
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LVI
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LVIII
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LIX
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LXI
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LXXIX
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LXXX
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LXXXI
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LXXXIV
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LXXXVIII
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LXXXIX
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C
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CI
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CII
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CIII
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CIV
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CV
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CVI
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CVII
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CVIII
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CIX
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CX
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CXI
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CXII
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CXIII
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CXIV
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CXV
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CXXIV
257
CXXV
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CXXVI
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CXXVII
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CXXVIII
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CXXIX
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CXXX
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CXXXI
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CXXXII
275
CXXXIII
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CXXXIV
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CXXXV
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CXXXVI
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CXXXVII
283
CXXXVIII
285
CXXXIX
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CXL
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CXLI
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CXLII
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CXLIII
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CXLIV
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CXLV
299
CXLVI
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CXLVII
305
CXLVIII
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CXLIX
308
CL
309
CLI
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CLIII
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CLIV
314
CLV
315
CLVI
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CLVII
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CLIX
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CLX
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CLXI
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CLXII
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CLXIII
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CLXV
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CLXVI
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CLXVII
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CLXVIII
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CLXIX
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CLXX
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CLXXI
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CLXXII
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CLXXIII
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CLXXIV
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CLXXV
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CLXXVI
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CLXXVII
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CLXXVIII
353
CLXXIX
357
CLXXX
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CLXXXI
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CLXXXII
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CLXXXIII
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CLXXXIV
362
CLXXXV
364
CLXXXVI
367
CLXXXVII
370
CLXXXVIII
372
CLXXXIX
373
CXC
375
CXCI
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CXCII
378
CXCIII
381
CXCIV
385
CXCV
393
CXCVI
395
CXCVII
398
CXCVIII
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CXCIX
404
CC
407
CCI
408
CCII
411
CCIII
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CCIV
416
CCV
419
CCVI
420
CCVII
422
CCVIII
424
CCIX
425
CCX
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CCXI
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CCXII
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CCXIII
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CCXIV
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CCXV
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CCXVI
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CCXVII
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CCXVIII
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CCXIX
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CCXX
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CCXXI
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CCXXII
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CCXXIII
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CCXXIV
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CCXXV
451
CCXXVI
452
CCXXVII
457
CCXXVIII
461
CCXXIX
465
CCXXX
469
CCXXXI
473
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About the author (2001)

Jan Harold Brunvand lives in Salt Lake City, where he is professor emeritus at the University of Utah. He is the author of numerous books, including The Vanishing Hitchhiker; The Choking Doberman; The Baby Train; Too Good to Be True; and Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.

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