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The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists

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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  366 ratings  ·  56 reviews
For lovers of Steampunk, Dark Fantasy, and Eccentric Contraptions! After the death of Dr. Lambshead, an astonishing cabinet of curiosities was unearthed at his house. Many of these artifacts and wonders related to anecdotes and stories in the doctor's personal journals, or the adventures of his friends. We are now proud to present highlights from the doctor's cabinet, reco ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Harper Voyager (first published July 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,613)
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Sarah
5/6 - This book is wacky. And I mean WACKY with a capital W!! It's like a 'choose your own adventure' books crossed with a non-fiction full of footnotes. Every paragraph or so I'm flicking to the contents to find the page number for the correct section that further describes the occult item that was just mentioned in passing in the main body of the text.

If you go by the page numbers I'm only up to page 23, but if you go by the number of pages I've actually read it'd be more like 33. I've had to
...more
Orrin Grey
I've had this fabulous tome for awhile now, and probably still haven't finished reading it, not really. This is not because of a defect in the book, but is rather because it is, as the editors say in the introduction (quoting Oscar Wilde), "a browsing experience, to dip into and to savor, rather than take a wild carriage ride through." And that's exactly how I've been approaching the book, reading an entry here and an entry there, not reading it from cover to cover. And I think it works best thi ...more
Katy
May 26, 2014 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of speculative fiction, clever storytelling
Book Info: Genre: Satire/speculative shorts
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Those who enjoy speculative fiction and clever storytelling

My Thoughts: I learned about cabinets of curiosities from reading the Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. One of the novels is actually titled The Cabinet of Curiosities and it explains what these are. Basically, a cabinet of curiosities is a private collection of interesting and odd things, which were quite popular in the 19th century. Wh
...more
Steven Cole
I really liked the *idea* behind this book. And I really liked what Ann VenderMeer wrote about the book on John Scalzi's blog, "Whatever". I really wanted to get a kick out of how this thing was done. But aside from a few fun stories, I felt really let down.

Here's the basic premise: Thackery T. Lambshead has a collection of eclectic oddities that he stores in his mansion in some ill-specified cabinet. Each of the contributors to the "Cabinet of Curiosities" anthology contributed words or artwork
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Chelsea Jennings
Very unique book. Fiction written as though it were non-fiction. Lots of big words and references to history, culture, physics, you name it-the book incorporated knowledge from all arenas and fields. I spent a lot of time looking up words and researching things and places I wasn't familiar with. I enjoy that learning experience. If you are a polymath this would be a funny and amusing read for you. If you're not, you will need to spend time finding definitions and background info. Although I enjo ...more
Douglas Summers-Stay
A group of science fiction authors made up Dr. Lambshead, an eccentric collector of the bizarre and macabre, and wrote a series of pseudo-scholarly essays describing items in his collection. It's a genre I really like but is pretty sparsely populated: fiction in the form of nonfiction. A lot of it is playing with the uncanny, things that are almost, but not quite, human; or straddle the line between animate and inanimate.
I don't know whether I've read the whole book, it's the sort of thing that
...more
Mitch
This eccentric collection of short pieces by a wide variety of writers and artists are united in that they all relate, in one fashion or another, to the fictional collection of a fictional personage; one Thackery T. Lambshead. The book itself is literally a cabinet of curiosities.

Most of the written parts dedicate themselves to describing an odd object, its obscure origin, its possible uses and ultimately, its disappearance due to an unfortunate (and fictional) fire set by an obsessing housekeep
...more
Thoraiya
Jan 28, 2012 Thoraiya marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"The Singing Fish" by Amal El-Mohtar is just wonderful. Now I want this book.
Mike
Maybe a cute gimmick: a book of short "stories" (or pieces, or whatever) by various name authors, each purporting to be about some weird curio from the collection of a demented collector. Most of it is unreadable garbage, hopelessly twee, or pretentious bullshit, but there were a couple of stories that caught my interest. Unfortunately, being short stories, they ended before anything much really happened and I was disappointed. If you are a bigger fan of short stories than I, you might enjoy thi ...more
Randolph Carter
Jan 18, 2013 Randolph Carter rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in weird fiction
How do you describe a book so strange and unique it defies genre? The Cabinet of Curiosities is like no other book. Probably closest to steampunk, that doesn't even begin to describe it. The illegitimate child of Monty Python and Umberto Eco.

Full of contributions from dozens of artists and authors, it's "entries" vary from stories inspired by, to descriptions of the items contained (or formerly residing, or related to) in the Cabinet, a sort of organic museum itself that defies description, lit
...more
Skuli Saeland
Þetta er ein af fáum bókum sem ég hef verslað mér vegna titilsins. Ástæðan er sú að furðuskápar eða Cabinet of Curiosities voru upphaf safna eins og við þekkjum þau í dag. Á síðmiðöldum kepptust ríkir hefðarmenn við að safna furðugripum og hlutum frá fjarlægum stöðum. Sjá mátti t.d. höfuðkúpu einhyrnings, síamstvíbura, einstök listaverk og gripi frá fjarlægum löndum sem varla þekktust í heimsmynd vestræns samfélags.
Thackery T. Lambshead, eða Lambshaus eins og við getum kallað hann, er persónuskö
...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

THE THACKERTY T. LAMSHEAD CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a unique compilation of bizarre object illustrations and stories about the fictional Dr. Lambshead’s collection of knick knacks, relics, and devices found in his massive cabinet. I was amazed at the detailed yet fictional history of Dr. Lambshead and his cabinet provided in the introduction. What follows this elaborate introduction is a massive and varied collection of stories about the cabinet and its
...more
AmandaSOTP
Thackery T. Lambshead. I didn't read reviews of this, but what I'd seen of it at various bookstores and events, I knew I wanted to read it. The concept of a cabinet of curiosities and the stories behind the items thrilled me, not only because I love a good story, but also because I am intrigued by unique and random items. Ripley's Believe It or Not stories were some of my favorite childhood reading and I expected something similar. However, I didn't realize that there isn't actually a Thackery T ...more
Aaron
Just started reading this thinking it was steampunk (it is marketed as steampunk). It is not. It is set firmly in the 20th Century. It is very Fortean though and entertaining so far - with one blaring exception.

Page 30: "...segmented body of the Turrilepus Gigantis was..."

ALL scientific names, ALL OF THEM, the genus is capitalized and the species name is lower case, AND it is either italicized or underlined. No exceptions. By not following this rule of nomenclature it tells me the editors are sl
...more
Amanda Makepeace
Reading The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities was like finding a chest your grandparents kept hidden in the attic and discovering it full of wondrous treasures and secrets. For me, it was my great uncles–obsessive readers, war veterans, and I’ll be honest–hoarders. When they passed away in the ’90s the family came together in Virginia to clean house. The house, over 100 years old, was like a museum. The experience thrilled me, like a child in a candy shop. The Cabinet of Curiosities d ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here: http://www.mybookishways.com/2011/09/...

I was so excited when I received this book for review! It’s only lately that I’ve begun to warm to anthologies,and I often look upon them to discover an author’s work that I’m not familiar with,with a minimum of commitment. Cabinet of Curiosities gave me that,and much,much more! The anthology is based upon the (fictional) story of Thackery T. Lambshead (1900-2003),a mad doctor of sorts,and his odd and vast assortment of re
...more
Marcus
Aug 19, 2011 Marcus rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Steampunks and people interested in weird fiction
The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities is by far the strangest collection of tales I have thus far laid my hands on. It is also one of the most fascinating.

Where to start? This whole book is one complete piece of art, within and without. The hardcover is beautifully designed and a gem in every bookshelf. The stories,tales, artwork, photographs inside are entertaining, inspiering and sometimes rather haunting. The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images,
...more
William Mansky
Magic. The framing narrative of the book tells the life story of an eccentric professor (mad scientist, really) with an awe-inspiring collection of objects that fit the word "curiosity" to a T. The introduction and filler bits work the various contributing authors into the narrative, so well that at times I wasn't sure who was a fictional character and who a real-life writer. And of course, I can't argue with any collection that includes not only a China Mieville story, but also a series of draw ...more
Amy
Okay, so there were some pretty boring, but also some pretty memorable stories in here. The ones I found compelling were:

"Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny" by Ted Chiang
"Threads" by Carrie Vaughn
"Relic" by Jeffrey Ford
"Sir Ranulph Wykeham-Rackham GBG, a.k.a. Roboticus the All-Knowing" by Lev Grossman
"Shamalung (The Diminutions)" by Michael Moorcock
"Pulvadmonitor: The Dust's Warning" by China Mieville
"The Book of Categories" by Charles Yu
"1963: The Argument Against Louis Pasteur" by Mur Lafferty
"19
...more
Isidore
Like the previous Lambshead book, this collection playfully blurs the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, in this case by inviting contributors to present outlandish, fantastic ideas and tales as if they were grave scientific accounts, or sober memoirs, or terse entries in a museum catalogue. The weird, or a sense of the uncanny, are difficult to evoke where abstraction and cleverness have displaced atmosphere and narrative drama, but Tad Williams and China Mieville manage to invent art ...more
Corey
As befits the fictional collection, Cabinet harbours a myriad of delights, along with gorgeous paintings, sketches, and photographs (the book itself is gorgeous). Luminaries such as Michael Moorcock, China Mieville, Mike Mignola, Alan Moore, Lev Grossman, Tad Williams, Minister Faust, and dozens beside contribute tales, descriptions, and more, resulting in an anthology of vastly differing styles and themes. The entries, bearing titles such as Dunkelblau's Meistergarten, The Electrical Neurheogra ...more
Victoria
This is in my view a case of Steampunk gone wrong. While having a few moments of interest the book managed to put me to sleep several nights in a row, I NEVER fall asleep reading. Cabinet of Curiosities is a collection of short stories and art presented as real events, a la Blair Witch, dealing with Thackery Lambshead and the fantastical, magical and downright odd artifacts in his collection. while featuring some of my favorite authors, ( Garth Nix, Carrie Vaughn and Tad William) I found it to b ...more
Angel
This book was a pleasure to read, and it is one to browse through. Pick the passages that appeal to you first, then come back and read others. The book combines a feel of nonfiction, kind of like like reading an exotic guide or even something like the 10th edition Brittanica combined with a good fiction collection. There is also a subtle sense of humor along with a sense of wonder in the collection. Since I borrowed the copy I read, I did feel a bit rushed, but this is a book I would not mind bu ...more
Derek Webber
Never read the first anthology that was the lead in to this but made it a point to pick this up as it included some of my favorite writers and one of my all time favorite artists. Obviously with an anthology the chances that all the short stories be stellar is most likely not going to happen. Although this was an anthology I would have loved if there was some sort of underlying cohesiveness or maybe a reference to another artifact in some of the stories. Of course that would have taken more plan ...more
Matt
A collection of a fictional collection. An impressive gathering of well-known and lesser-known authors contribute to this loose compilation defining Thackery T. Lambshead and the items stored in his cabinet. As is inevitable, some stories definitely rise above others. The first chapter on the Broadmore Exhibits sets the bar fairly high for the following chapters.

The cabal that gathered for this steampunk-infused anthology are leaders in expanding where speculative fiction will go in the future;
...more
Estott
Some of this stuff is great, and a lot of it is fun, but there are a lot of duds. I've got a complaint about the physical appearance of the book- it's cheaply bound and printed on thin off white pulpy paper: at first I thought I'd picked up a children's book. The poor paper gives the drawings and photographs a grainy murky appearance, which is a shame- the images of the items from the collection are (or could be) the best part of the book. The photograph entitled "Frog Resurrection" looks intrig ...more
BJ
Big fan of Jeff Vandermeer, and this collection of short stories all tied together with the same premise has some real gems. As with any collection, some stories are better than others.

From my view, Vandermeer appears to have frontloaded most of the good stuff, which made finishing a bit of a slog at the end.

As with the editor himself, some authors explore differnt forms of narrative. And the authors take the titular character and his odd and seemingly endless collection in all sorts of directio
...more
Eric
A clever compilation of very short works. Fictional descriptions of freaky fictional artifacts in the collection of a fictional person. All presented to be non-fictional. Loads of big names in here (Mieville, Kiernen, VanderMeer, Priest, Chiang, etc.), as well as unknowns and one or two first timers.

My favorite section was probably stories of visits with Dr. Lambshead.

This was a great book to pick up and read a couple entries when between books, or when I only had a few minutes to read.
Tim Hicks
Hmm. Some of this is four-star material, some is one-star.
Generally speaking the more story-like pieces worked better for me.
The descriptions of artifacts usually just didn't click for me. They were imaginative but somehow not engaging. Perhaps it's because that format doesn't draw you into Lambshead's world the way a story does.

Wherever you start dipping into this, don't judge it until you've hopped around a bit. You might love it; you might hate it.
Brad T.
This book looked amazing in the book store and if I had read an actual hard copy version it would probably have been amazing. In ebook format, its really not good. This really isnt a story as much as it is a fictionalized inventory of oddities that a collector put together over the years with strange histories. If you are looking for stories, you may want to look elsewhere. I didnt bother finishing this one.
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