Review: The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges


Publication: March 30th 1957
Publisher: Vintage Red Spine
Pages: 172 pages
Source: Birthmas Gift (Thanks Ashley!)
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology, Classics
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤⛤

I stumbled upon this book in a used book store many years ago and didn’t end up buying it, convincing myself that I would find it the next time I visited. Well, I visited and it was gone and I’ve learned my lesson about making purchases in used book stores.

But my friends know me very well and when one of my friends was visiting the U.K. she got me this book as a present because it reminded her of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling) and she thought it was something I would like, and she of course was right.

I’ve always loved mythical creatures, since my first love of unicorns it’s just evolved into different creatures and different mythologies. Jorges Luis Borges does an amazing job researching and writing about various different mythical creatures from the unicorns, centaurs, and dragons we know of, the Minotaur and nymphs from Greek mythology, to creatures from North America we may not be familiar with like the Hidebehind, Teakettler, and Goofang. And of course Borges highlights other cultures creatures that we may be even less familiar with like the Kami (Japan), the Lamed Wufniks (Jewish), and the Remora (Greek). I wish I could pick a creature in this book that stood out for me but there was so much to learn I couldn’t help but fall in love with every creature.

The Book of Imaginary Beings is a fantastic read for anyone who loves mythical creatures and a book I will definitely return to so that my knowledge of these creatures can grow and someday I can name them off the top of my head. Who knows, maybe I could be a Newt Scamander someday?


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