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The Official Godzilla Compendium
by J. D. Lees and Marc Cerasini

Random House, $16

Review by David Mandeville

Web posted on: Tuesday, June 09, 1998 2:47:58 PM EDT

(CNN) -- Godzilla is everywhere. And not because Hollywood finally made it's own version.

Since he first attacked Tokyo in 1954 Godzilla has become an icon of world culture.

Don't go back; you read that correctly the first time. His movies have been dubbed into dozens of languages. His name has become an adjective everyone uses. He's in the same league as Mickey Mouse and Superman.

J. D. Lees, publisher of G-Fan magazine, and Marc Cerasini, biographer and long-time lizard fan, joined to create the ultimate Godzilla book.


In it, you'll find a complete filmography of the Toho Films features, each with a synopsis, list of guest monsters, and alternate titles. Professional essays cover the rubber-suit titan's place in science fiction and our collective psyche, his dinosaur relatives, and how he can teach children about life. The book also profiles the actors, directors, and costumes that have given life to Godzilla over the years.


And there are monsters, of course. Stills taken from the movies or illustrations created by comic book artist Art Adams accompany each article. A bestiary of Godzilla's co-stars profiles each monster's size and motivation.

This isn't a book for kids, though they'll certainly enjoy it. It's a must for Godzilla fans, though it isn't just for them, either. It's a book you'll want so you can lay on the floor with your children and find out where Gigan came from while Godzilla rampages through Tokyo on a Saturday afternoon.

David Mandeville is a Senior Webmaster for CNN Interactive.

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