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The Book of the Damned

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  307 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Time travel, UFOs, mysterious planets, stigmata, rock-throwing poltergeists, huge footprints, bizarre rains of fish and frogs-nearly a century after Charles Fort's Book of the Damned was originally published, the strange phenomenon presented in this book remains largely unexplained by modern science. Through painstaking research and a witty, sarcastic style, Fort captures ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Book Tree (first published 1919)
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Some people dismiss Fort as an unscientific crank, some people embrace him whole-heartedly as a reporter of the paranormal, others just love him as a champion of the ABnormal. I like his language - wch may generally go undercommented on as people pay more attn to the more spectacular "Fortean" phenomena described. I find Fort's language to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL in its attempt to NOT BE DEFINITIVE & it's in this that, for me, therein lies Fort's extreme importance. It's not just that he stress ...more
Here is my opinion of this book and Charles Fort in general :

I think the fact that everything written in here is true, recorded history is fascinating and frightening. His critiques of science and the modern scientific method are really very interesting and enlightening.

Our world is not as orderly and logical as we like to pretend it is - and Fort has the proof. And I do love that concept.

However, the fact is I hate him. It's all the same thing, and the mass of information is overwhelming. He
I'm actually surprised I managed to finish this book. It had a lot of potential, I thought - supposedly Fort's ideas inspired a great many writers whose work I enjoy, including H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Heinlein, and Stephen King. As soon as I started reading, though, I could tell it would be a slog to get through; the writing is dense and unorganized and frankly most of it is crazy. But some of the basic premises are thought-provoking: for instance, excessive trust in current scientific understand ...more
This is four books: Lo! Wild Talents, the Book of the Damned and New Lands.

Lo!: List of strange phenomenon with possible explanations. Postulates teleportation as a means to fill a void in a niche. Example: instects to where there are few or none, water to drought regions--in a response to prayer? Also postulates earthquakes and volcanos related to the appearances of new stars due to a stationary earth (?). Dislikes professional astronomers.

Wild Talents: Strange fires that only burn beds and no
I can't deny Fort's importance as a pioneer in the study of weird and inexplicable phenomena, but surely he was one of the worst prose stylists of his generation. His love for incomplete sentences is maddening, and when he does write a complete one, it is usually awkwardly constructed and poorly phrased. As for his philosophy of "Intermediateness" (or whatever it should be called), one can scarcely weigh its merits when it is set forth so murkily. Adding to the confusion, Tiffany Thayer (the fou ...more
Kaiser Penderschloß
A writer whose works and viewpoints are frequently misunderstood. Neither a crank nor some sort of prophet of Truth, Charles Fort brought wry humor to the usually dreadfully humorless process of questioning our most basic assumptions about reality and dealing with data that just doesn't 'fit'. His work can't properly be called "pseudoscience" or "pseudo-philosophy" because it's not meant to be a serious attempt at either. His own brazenly childish or primitive notions are put forward to illumina ...more
Swimming in the Super-Sargossa Sea

"In the topography of intellection, I should say that what we call knowledge is ignorance surrounded by laughter."

A beautifully researched book from the early 20th Century that posits what passes for truth and knowledge as espoused by scientists, especially Astronomers and Meteorologists, is simply what is convenient rather than what is truth. The basic theory is that if we continue to search and question, all things considered certain will melt away and it is v
Peenworm Grubologist
We're all bugs and mice, and merely different expressions of an all-inclusive cheese.
Anna Prejanò
Fortunatamente preso in biblioteca, date le quotazioni elevate nei giri di usato. Volevo leggerlo perché citato appassionatamente da Pauwels e Bergier nel "Mattino dei maghi". I "dannati" sono fatti esclusi dalla scienza ufficiale: "alcuni di essi sono cadaveri, scheletri, mummie che si contorcono, che camminano vacillando, animati da compagni che sono stati dannati ancora in vita. Ci sono giganti, profondamente addormentati, che passeranno vicini. Ci sono cose che sono teoremi e altre che sono ...more
Charles Fort had a lot of interesting ideas, as is evident from this book and his development of the “Intermediatist” philosophy of knowledge, but unfortunately, none of it comes off with any coherence in this maddening, opaque ode to open-mindedness.

Written nearly a century ago, in 1919, “The Book of the Damned” presents a lot of interesting
food for thought but, in the end, I found it all nearly incomprehensible. Charles Fort, the origin of much modern day studies and philosophies of the para
While he could have done with a fraction of the material and still driven the point across, this work is still filled with interesting questions concerning a number of what Fort calls "Damned" facts - facts destined to be rejected by science. He talks throughout of the mentality of science to reject "non-proper" facts such as these or to explain them away and shove them into the current knowledge, despite possible misplacement there.

Very interesting, but poorly written and rambling.

He talks ofte
Tom Stevens
I am half way through this and I have got two words to describe what I am reading:

"Bizarre" and "disturbing".

It is a shame that this book wasn't written by someone with a better writing style, as it was difficult to follow his train of thought. I have read few books that start so many paragraphs with the word "That".

And yet the citations of mysterious sky droppings certainly leave you scratching your head in wonder. Either the world is filled with cranks and pranksters, or what we think of real
Emily Hanson
It's not a bad read for around Halloween. However, there are scientific explanations for many of the things he writes about. Seriously, considering tornadoes as a supernatural occurrence or possibly caused by UFOs? I live in Minnesota. We get at least one or two every year.

And large hail? We get that, too. I'm thankful for having a garage that I can park in. Additionally, it is indeed possible that there were airborne spores and pollen that could've contributed to the colored rain. He doesn't p
The book is amazing, amazingly prescient, and almost incomprehensible! It is difficult to read, not really a story, but the information is something you will not find anywhere else. I would not read it for fun,
but for the idea that there are many things beyond science in the past, and still beyond it now.
This is a classic work that I read in the early 1970's and it opened my eyes to how much empirical evidence of unusual phenomena was simply ignored because it didn't fit with existing scientific orthodoxy.
Classic high weirdness as scribbled on a napkin then torn into bits and scattered while watching the skies for falling frogs.

Yeah, it's strange. Delightfully, maddeningly strange.
Matthew Conroy
Oh goodness, this was appalling.

I love the idea of a collection of unexplained events and phenomena. But Mr. Fort spends huge amounts of space complaining about scientists being disingenuous in their scientific pursuits. His evidence for this is not the fact that the events remain unexplained; rather, his evidence is that they have not en-masse accepted his preposterous conclusions regarding these events. For example, he attributes all unusual events of falling things (e.g. ice, leaves, frogs,
What a slog this is - I may not finish. Fort builds his arguments slowly and the narrative thread is thin; his method is to convince the reader by overwhelming with similar data points - it is tiresome at best. There are a few nuggets and his outrage is entertaining (I keep thinking of Vizzini in the Princess Bride - "Inconceivable!" - for some reason). Fort's POV is interesting & worth considering but reading this makes me want to watch early episodes of The X-Files (which owes a lot to For ...more
I feel like I know nothing after reading this.
Written in the early 1900s by Charles Fort who was a pioneer in the study of odd phenomenon. By "The Damned" Fort means "the excluded" - data that scientists excluded in their attempts to describe anomalous occurrences. This was a very difficult read because of Fort's writing style and his jumping from subject to subject before making a point. The book covers phenomenon such as UFOs, red rain, giants, organic matter falling from the sky etc. Interesting book filled with historical references but ...more
my head hurts:

The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo! (1931), and Wild Talents (1932). Charles Fort's four stranger-than-science books.

a procession of data, reports and the like that make your no longer need sleeping aids. :/

But strikingly the age of the work more seems to demonstate how little progress we've made in some fields of science.
Riker Mcduffy
Nothing short of amazing this book is a collection of the absolute strangest things to ever happen under human observations. Everything from lights in the woods so frogs and fish raining from the sky. This is a must read for anyone interested in paranormal and UFOs.
Christopher Sutch
Fort's philosophy of science (or of the nonexistence of science) is quite interesting, and is bolstered by his humorous prose and strange anecdotes. Kind of ends in the middle of things, though, like a good intermediatist should.
Strange and interesting mysteries from around the world, written by an eccentric adventurer at the turn of the century. I love this stuff...
I do not agree at all with the people complaining about Fort's prose style. It's one of the best things about the book.
Richard Corey (HMSH) Richard
Fascinating book, and very fun to read -- but it's also rambly, and kind of hard to follow at times.
Terrible awesome.
James Black
James Black marked it as to-read
Nov 27, 2015
Fernando Polanco
Fernando Polanco marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2015
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect Page Count for ISBN 1573926833 2 10 Oct 06, 2013 01:44PM  
  • Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld
  • The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings
  • Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds
  • Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth's Surface
  • From Atlantis to the Sphinx
  • The Morning of the Magicians
  • Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah
  • The Threat: The Secret Agenda What the Aliens Really Want and How They Plan to Get It
  • Marx and Satan
  • Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural
  • From the Ashes of Angels: The Forbidden Legacy of a Fallen Race
  • The Ra Material: An Ancient Astronaut Speaks
  • The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology
  • Mysterious Things in the Woods; Mysterious disappearances, Missing People; Sometimes Found...
  • Thirteen Cents
  • Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural
  • Angels, Demons & Gods of the New Millenium: Musings on Modern Magick
  • Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy
Charles Hoy Fort was a Dutch-American writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena.

Jerome Clark writes that Fort was "essentially a satirist hugely skeptical of human beings' – especially scientists' – claims to ultimate knowledge". Clark describes Fort's writing style as a "distinctive blend of mocking humor, penetrating insight, and calculated outrageousness".

Writer Colin Wilson describes Fort
More about Charles Fort...

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“It is our expression that the flux between that which isn't and that which won't be, or the state that is commonly and absurdly called "existence," is a rhythm of heavens and hells: that the damned won't stay damned; that salvation only precedes perdition. The inference is that some day our accursed tatterdemalions will be sleek angels. Then the sub-inference is that some later day, back they'll go whence they came.” 5 likes
“It's like looking for a needle that no one ever lost in a haystack that never was—” 1 likes
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