The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land

The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land Since the publication of The Hobbit in the Management of The Tough Guide has helped tourists explore and survive Fantasyland by providing the most up to date information necessary for a successf

  • Title: The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land
  • Author: Diana Wynne Jones
  • ISBN: 9780575075924
  • Page: 470
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Since the publication of The Hobbit in 1937, the Management of The Tough Guide has helped tourists explore and survive Fantasyland by providing the most up to date information necessary for a successful Tour.FEATURES INCLUDE Detailed overviews of the fascinating people and animals you will encounter, from your Tour Companions to Dragons to the Dark Lord Thorough coveragSince the publication of The Hobbit in 1937, the Management of The Tough Guide has helped tourists explore and survive Fantasyland by providing the most up to date information necessary for a successful Tour.FEATURES INCLUDE Detailed overviews of the fascinating people and animals you will encounter, from your Tour Companions to Dragons to the Dark Lord Thorough coverage of Fantasyland s weather, terrain, economics, and industry, including a detailed map The lowdown on Magic the difference between an Amulet and a Talisman, how to wield an enchanted Sword, what to do when under a Curse, and much Expert tips on what to pack, what to leave home, and what to order at an innThis revised and updated edition of The Tough Guide includes insightful new entries from the quintessential Fantasyland traveler, Diana Wynne Jones.

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    About " Diana Wynne Jones "

  • Diana Wynne Jones

    Diana was born in London, the daughter of Marjorie n e Jackson and Richard Aneurin Jones, both of whom were teachers When war was announced, shortly after her fifth birthday, she was evacuated to Wales, and thereafter moved several times, including periods in Coniston Water, in York, and back in London In 1943 her family finally settled in Thaxted, Essex, where her parents worked running an educational conference centre There, Jones and her two younger sisters Isobel later Professor Isobel Armstrong, the literary critic and Ursula later an actress and a children s writer spent a childhood left chiefly to their own devices After attending the Friends School Saffron Walden, she studied English at St Anne s College in Oxford, where she attended lectures by both C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien before graduating in 1956 In the same year she married John Burrow, a scholar of medieval literature, with whom she had three sons, Richard, Michael and Colin After a brief period in London, in 1957 the couple returned to Oxford, where they stayed until moving to Bristol in 1976.According to her autobiography, Jones decided she was an atheist when she was a child.Jones started writing during the mid 1960s mostly to keep my sanity , when the youngest of her three children was about two years old and the family lived in a house owned by an Oxford college Beside the children, she felt harried by the crises of adults in the household a sick husband, a mother in law, a sister, and a friend with daughter Her first book was a novel for adults published by Macmillan in 1970, entitled Changeover It originated as the British Empire was divesting colonies she recalled in 2004 that it had seemed like every month, we would hear that yet another small island or tiny country had been granted independence Changeover is set in a fictional African colony during transition, and begins as a memo about the problem of how to mark changeover ceremonially is misunderstood to be about the threat of a terrorist named Mark Changeover It is a farce with a large cast of characters, featuring government, police, and army bureaucracies sex, politics, and news In 1965, when Rhodesia declared independence unilaterally one of the last colonies and not tiny , I felt as if the book were coming true as I wrote it Jones books range from amusing slapstick situations to sharp social observation Changeover is both , to witty parody of literary forms Foremost amongst the latter are The Tough Guide To Fantasyland, and its fictional companion pieces Dark Lord of Derkholm 1998 and Year of the Griffin 2000 , which provide a merciless though not unaffectionate critique of formulaic sword and sorcery epics.The Harry Potter books are frequently compared to the works of Diana Wynne Jones Many of her earlier children s books were out of print in recent years, but have now been re issued for the young audience whose interest in fantasy and reading was spurred by Harry Potter.Jones works are also compared to those of Robin McKinley and Neil Gaiman She was friends with both McKinley and Gaiman, and Jones and Gaiman are fans of each other s work she dedicated her 1993 novel Hexwood to him after something he said in conversation inspired a key part of the plot Gaiman had already dedicated his 1991 four part comic book mini series The Books of Magic to four witches , of whom Jones was one.For Charmed Life, the first Chrestomanci novel, Jones won the 1978 Guardian Children s Fiction Prize, a once in a lifetime award by The Guardian newspaper that is judged by a panel of children s writers Three times she was a commended runner up a for the Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year s best children s book for Dogsbody 1975 , Charmed Life 1977 , and the fourth Chrestomanci book The Lives of Christopher Chant 1988 She won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, children s section, in 1996 for The Crown of Dalemark.


  • If you have read at least a handful of traditional fantasy books, no doubt that most of the tropes found in this mock A-to-Z Fantasyland encyclopedia/travel guide will be familiar to you. You can read this book in a traditional way - front to back cover, or just pick up any entries at random - it's just as entertaining. It's hilarious and so true, and yet not condescending or malicious, and does not ever degenerate into ridicule.The Guide touches on everything you expect to see in your generic f [...]

  • In The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, Diana Wynne Jones doles out such indispensable advice as how to tell whether a PERSON is good or evil by their COLOR CODING, what to expect during the various stages of your TOUR, the importance of NAMES (if you don't have one, you will always be killed sooner or later. Probably sooner.), what sort of PEOPLE makes the best companions (at least one or two LITTLE PEOPLE are reccommended- they tell jokes- though the most likely candidates would probably be FEMALE [...]

  • This handy guide will be an immense help on my journey into Fantasy Land! And it's a small little hardcover gem that can easily be kept in one of my numerous pockets and possibly used as a backup weapon if I need to get away from anything quickly.It's written in a witty style reminiscent of Terry Pratchett, and my respect for this author has grown a great deal knowing she created this. It's a parody, yes, but a fine piece of entertainment as well, and it clearly takes a great deal of knowledge o [...]

  • DWJ Book Toast, #5Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite fantasy authors, growing up and now, and I was saddened by the news of her death. I can't say I'm overcome with emotion - as personal as some of her work is to me, its not like I knew her after all - but I wish I could put into words how I feel about her no longer being out there, writing new adventures and laughing at all of us serious fans thinking so hard about her words when we should simply get on with the business of enjoying them.A [...]

  • Jones was working on a fantasy encyclopedia with some other guys, and they kept making jokes about fantasy tropes. One of them said she should write her own encyclopedia. So she did. And then, after that, she used the idea of other-world fantasy tourism as the basis for the two Derkholm books, which amused me no end.So I like the ideas here (Food: it's always stew, never a steak, never an omelet), and I agree with Gaiman that if one were to write a work of fantasy it'd be a good idea to go throu [...]

  • Absolutely hilarious. The bit about the pollinating horses is probably my favourite. (No, I will not spoil it for you. You'll have to read it to see what I mean)

  • This is a wonderful, wonderful book. It’s the perfect antidote to all those terribly solemn tomes full of wizards speaking portentously, hidden heirs to the kingdom, the sort who instantly become amazingly adept with a sword, and tediously earnest quests for magic McGuffins. In the guise of a guidebook (with a map - naturally), it’s actually an encyclopedia of fantasy tropes. Instead of a proper review, I can’t do better than to give some examples:[Quote]ENDLESS QUEST: See QUEST, ENDLESSNN [...]

  • This is hilarious, an absolute must for every fantasy writer. The book is a mock A to Z guide of the tropes of fantasy. Now and then, I just open it randomly for a dose of laughter, read a few entries starting with different letters, giggle, and close it again, till next time. As I writer, I can say that if you write fantasy, you can't avoid at least some of the clichés described in all their ridiculous details in this book. It's up to you to use them in an original way, if at all possible. Of [...]

  • I'm cheating. I'm moving this book to my read shelf and giving it a rating even though I haven't finished it. I don't think you can finish reading this book any more than you can finish reading a dictionary, an encyclopedia, or a tour guide. I can't even tell you how much of this book I have read. This is like a mini-dictionary of fantasy concepts. You'll be reading an entry and it will refer to other entries. You'll read those entries and jump to yet other ones. The next thing you know, you've [...]

  • I just got this and I've only read a couple paragraphs (not even a full page mind you) and I can't stop laughing. And I'm talking about what LOL means not what you actually do. This is literally an A to Z reference book, or even more specifically, a dictionary. No chapters, unless you count the breaks between letters. I've just gone from one thing that was mentioned at the beginning and read a couple "definitions" that were semi-interrelated (as in one definition mentioned a word that I looked u [...]

  • At its best this is hilarious, piercing and painfully accurate. All of our favourite (and least favourite) fantastical tropes are impaled, pinned to the ground and ruthlessly ridiculed for the repetitive and overused cliches that they are. But it's also a little too much of a good thing. Hard as it is to believe, even laughing at bad fantasy gets tired after a while. Definitely one to dip into every now and again.

  • A Tough Guide to Fantasyland is a wry, fun look at fantasy tropes, which any aficionado of the genre with a scrap of awareness should have noticed by now. It's not the sort of thing you can sit down and read from cover to cover, generally -- it's a reference book. It's the sort of thing you dip into, and spend a half hour here and there perusing.I miss Diana Wynne Jones, I really do.

  • As I mentioned while reading this book, I'm not sure how this is Dark Lord Approved as it says on the cover, but it's definitely Sarah-approved. Essentially, this "fantasyland guidebook" lists a massive variety of fantasy cliches and tropes iin the format of an A-Z tourist's guide. It's highly funny in a sarcastic, laughing-at-itself sort of way that reminded me of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. It's also a must-read for fantasy writers, both to more or less directly show you what to avoid a [...]

  • "City of Wizards is normally quite a GOOD thing, since only Good WIZARDS seem able to live together. . . .There have been cities of EVIL Wizards in the past. You will occasionally come across the sites of these, reduced to a glassy slag during the ultimate disagreement."Any reader of epic fantasy or sword and sorcery will find it hilarious. Any would-be writer of epic fantasy or sword and sorcery should probably regard it as required reading. Indeed, in an online discussion, one writer told how [...]

  • You'd never get the impression from reading her other books that Diana Wynne Jones could possibly write anything like this - not in the humorous element, because that's evident from everything she does, but in the viciousness with which she attacks and brilliantly dissects everything that's wrong in "fantasy"; even the acknowledged classics come in for a little bit of a subtle beating here.I understand that the genesis for this book arose from research she did for the wonderful Encyclopaedia of [...]

  • Any book that cracks me up, repeatedly, during the midst of a terrible black depressive episode gets five stars from me. A number of my Jones-fanatic friends don't like it, which surprised me. I think you have to have the right sense of nasty humour to truly appreciate it.

  • This joking encyclopedia of fantasy tropes is filled with good jokes, and is really funny to browse through. However, like many works which rely upon a simple parody premise, the joke gets a little tired sometime before the end. As such reading it quickly is not encouraged.

  • This book is a must-read for anyone who reads fantasy books, especially of the Lord of the Rings/"let's go on a quest" type. Written as though it's a tourist guide to "Fantasyland", it hilariously lampshades the genre's recurring tropes and character types. Because of its format, it's not really the sort of book that you read from start to finish -- I tried that initially and kept getting sidetracked by the cross-references, so eventually I gave it up and chose entries at random. It would be mor [...]

  • Hilarious! This is a wonderful book. I loved the section on Ecology (hey, it works out so prettily) and in general, it's very clever and post-modern and what have you not in a bad "look how clever I am" sense but a "look how cliched things have become" sense. To me the latter is always good (though I have my stances on the irony, but that's another matter, isn't it?)

  • Finally came across a copy [2006], but not really my sort of thing, I'm sorry to say. Has moments, but DNF. Another example of the unpredictable nature of (alleged) humor. Sigh.

  • I love thumbing through this book in my spare time and imagining Derk in some of the more outlandish themes. Derk of course being from ‘Dark Lord of Derkholm’ it does make me wonder, with Mrs. Jones’ evil imagination, why or how did he ever survive being a Dark Lord? :)In any case this book seems to be written much like I imagine the actual ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ would be written. It’s full of Mrs. Jones’ wry humor and it’s extremely hard to put down once you’ve pick [...]

  • The end is near - for clichees and overdone elements of fantasy that seem to be reoccuring in every second novel or RPG. Be it the omnipresent stew - because from Dragonlance to Name of the Wind, people only ever eat stew! to invisible but barking dogs in towns or rusty, nasty traps in hundred-years-old dungeons, mysteriously working without the slightest problems when our heros enter the place - in this hilarious lexicon you will find them all. Not only a good read that leaves you wiping your t [...]

  • Diana Wynne Jones provides a humorous, tongue-in-cheek guide for Tourists of Fantasyland, a generic fantasy world incorporating every element of every fantasy novel ever The guide gives and advice on and reveals pertinent information about all sorts of topics (from Adepts to Zombies) as well as describing how any circumstance will likely turn out. (Will you die during the Pirate Attack? Will you lose a Tour Companion in the incident involving Leather-Winged Avians? Is the red-haired girl in your [...]

  • Uma enciclopédia de A a Z com os maiores clichês da fantasia. Deveria ser leitura obrigatória para todos os escritores do gênero, mas também recomendo para os leitores afim de se divertirem com os tropos mais genéricos que a fantasia tem pra oferecer.

  • As always, Jones is clever and pulls no punches, and the end result of reading her work is that you feel delight, inspiration, and preparedness to face boring tasks. This book is more nonfiction than fiction, and is essentially an alphabetical list of tropes in high or epic fantasy novels (still today, I found, while reading) marketed as a tourist's guide to a journey in another world, Fantasyland. It's a wonderful companion piece to her novels "Dark Lord of Derkholm" and "Year of the Griffin", [...]

  • Indispensable for fans and writers alike, this guide to the tropes, clichés and peculiarities of classic fantasy is both funny and scathing. It would be hard for an author to avoid all the traps the book outlines, and no matter how knowingly they think they've tried, I'd bet this book has at least one entry that will catch them out

  • A satirical dictionary of fantasy cliches with some snarky side notes on things like how to write a (bad) ballad. It might be possible for someone who's humor impaired and with no knowledge of fantasy to write a really creaky and cliched fantasy novel.It would probably sell millions.A great bathroom reader.

  • Fun idea, but it’s hard to just sit down and read a dictionary cover to cover. What I’d really like to see is a fantasy book where the main character has a copy of the Tough Guide and uses it throughout his/her travels!

  • This book picks fun at the fantasy genre, it should probably be read after or while reading The Dark Lord of Derkholm as that novel takes place in Fantasyland.

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