Dr Bob Curran
Man-Made Monsters: A Field Guide to Golems, Patchwork Soldiers, Homunculi, and Other Created Creatures.

Review Brought to you by OBS staff Member Karolina

Excerpt: Life exists all around us, in forms that we can readily and easily identify. But what if there were, lurking in the shadows, other forms of life that are not so familiar, creatures created not by Nature, but by Man? We know their names–Frankenstein, the Golem, the homunculi of the ancient alchemists; they exist in our stories and myths.

But just what are these mysterious creatures, and do they actually have some basis in reality?

In his fascinating and wide-ranging new book, Dr Bob Curran explores man-made monsters and the truth behind the myths.

You’ll learn fascinating details about:
The 19th century scientist who tried to bring the dead back to life – the model for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

The Man of Clay who lumbered through the streets of medieval Prague at the command of early rabbis

Tales of robots that may have existed in the ancient world and threatened Greek and Roman warriors.

Cloning and the artificial creation of life, and what strange and mysterious areas they may be heading into.

Man-Made Monsters is essential reading for anyone who wants to explore artificial beings and peer into the dark recesses of the human mind…where they may indeed be hiding. Source

Review: As someone who adores Ancient history (and has studied it), myth and legend, and who has studied psychology – I adored this book. The excerpt delivers exactly what it promises. Dr Curran combines really compelling narrative with myths and legends around popular monsters, such as Frankenstein, Golems and as well as looking at artifacts such as ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian texts and discusses what it means for people for these things to exist. From suspicious doctors playing god (Giovanni  Aldini and the story of George Forster, as well as the legend and connection of Johann Dippel to Frankenstein) to Ancient Chinese texts, this book is a great way to explore creation myths and people’s fascination with life and death.

My favorite exploration of Mythology and legend that appear in Dr Curran’s book, being the ancient history geek that I am, is probably chapter 3, “ the thing in the jar” , which combines ancient historical texts, religious beliefs, and the ancient art of alchemy to discuss the mysterious works of the mysterious knights Templar and the secrets experiments done. This particular chapter also briefly speaks of things such as mandrakes, which of course now appears in popular culture such as Harry Potter.

I’d definitely say this was an enjoyable read for anyone who wants to delve into creation myths and the history behind them, and even those who consider themselves quite well versed in these topics. The art in this book, done by Ian Daniels, is also phenomenal.