An interesting collection of make-believe worlds crafted by the minds of some of the globe's greatest writers. It is the kind of book that is filled with surprises. I read the work cover to cover but I can foresee others picking sections willy-nilly and enjoying the work that way.
Literary Wonderlands is organised into five major sections each based on a historical time period beginning with ancient myths and legends and ending with the computer age. Within each section are a range of chapters highlighting an author and one of their works (often mentioning other works by the same author that are related). The works chosen to fill this volume are ones where the author has created an imaginary world. There are famous ones like Tolkien’s Middle Earth and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe. There are also lesser known works for example Bernardo Atxaga’s Obabakoak and Vladimir Bartol’s Alamut. The chapters are short usually only a couple of pages to four pages long. Many of the chapters are illustrated and show either an image of the author or a scene from the work. It is all nicely packaged.
The value of this sort of work is in its readers advisory potential. There are many works and imagined places I had never heard of (Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright comes to mind). I also enjoyed the chapters about the works that I have read like Peake’s Gormenghast books—It is always interesting to read another person’s perspective on a book I like. In summation, I recommend picking this up because you will find something of interest in it, a path that will lead you to another great read.