I don't know how a book that claims to be a comprehensive treatment of monsters (of all kinds) can go 300 pages and not even mention Mao TseDong or Josef Stalin. At least Adolf Hitler gets a cameo appearance, but he is 1/8 the murderer Mao was, and "only" half so bad as Stalin.
Entering "monster" into the Princeton WordNet search page, we find:
- an imaginary creature usually having various human and animal parts
- giant: someone or something that is abnormally large and powerful
- freak: a person or animal that is markedly unusual or deformed
- a cruel wicked and inhuman person
- (medicine) a grossly malformed and usually nonviable fetus
- Ancient monsters (mostly chimeras and wild take-offs of human types such as headless men with faces in their chest)
- Medieval Monsters, seen as divine messages
- Scientific Monsters, including deformed fetuses and more-recently-produced chimeric creatures
- Inner Monsters, such as mass murderers, serial killers, and the monstrous impulses that can be found in any of us.
I don't really have much more to say about the book. Though well enough written, it is a bit more scholarly than I'd have expected for a popular treatment. It took longer to read as a result. I already know that the real monster is in me, and under which circumstances I'd conclude "there is a fellow I'd cheerfully bump off." Those who really need such insight, however, never seem to find it.