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The Vanishing Hitchhiker:
The noted folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand has written the first book about one of the most common forms of contemporary folklore -- the urban legend. All of the major legends are fully discussed, from teenage horror stories like 'The Hook' and 'The Boyfriend's Death' to spoofs of adult foibles like 'The Solid Cement Cadillac' and 'The Nude Surprise Party.'
Each of the eight chapters is followed by an extensive bibliography. To aid the beginning folklore student, the author also provides a glossary of terms in urban legend study and an appendix of detailed suggestions on how to collect and analyze legend texts.
"Perhaps the most widely known folk narratives in America today are the stories Brunvand has brought together in this new book -- bizarre, macabre, scary, funny, embarrassing stories which the tellers believe to be true accounts of real·life experiences but which the trained folklortst will reognize as well-traveled, frequently-told hales .... It 1is in tracing the history, dtvelopment, and distribution of these themes, and especially of the stories which underpin them, that Brunvand is at his best. We leave the book with a clear understanding of the life history behind each of the major stories." ~ William A. Wilson, Utah State University[via]