Friday, April 5, 2013

The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived by Allan Lazar, Dan Karian & Jeremy Salter

This fun book looks at the influence of the most famous imaginary characters - like Nancy Drew and Barbie for instance.  It is (as it admits), very America-centric, so there were characters that I either didn't know or didn't think should have been included in the first place. But overall, I think the choices were interesting and appropriate.

While they do provide a list of the greatest 101 characters, the book is actually organised by genre. This may make it a little counter-intuitive (I expected it to be by rank). but I suppose it's easier to introduce the characters by genre rather than by "top 10", "places 11 to 20" and so on.

Of course, I know a lot of the characters (Barbie? Please, who doesn't know her? Nancy Drew? Can I squeal?), but there were some I didn't know. Those however, were mostly brand mascots, like Marlboro man (I'm hoping I spelt his name right!). But, I think character mascots are very country specific - for example, who here has heard of Singa the courtesy lion? (From Singapore)

Every now and then, there's a tidbit of information in a side bar, and for a few characters (like Nancy Drew), there are book recommendations! It's given me a lot of books to put on my TBR list.

All in all, I think this is an entertaining and informative book. It's written in fairly short chapters, so it's something you can dip in between books.

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