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Curious Men

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  58 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Ever hear of the man who walked upside down? The guano mummy? The four-ton Chinese giant? The disembodied singing head of Anthropoglossos? Whenever a mysterious curiosity arrived in Victorian London, people knew there was one man who would always be at the scene: Frank Buckland. A barrel-chested surgeon chomping an ever-present cigar, Buckland was one of the most outsized ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by McSweeney's (first published 1880)
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Moira Fogarty
Aug 04, 2013 Moira Fogarty rated it really liked it
Shelves: victorian
I enjoyed this little book of curiosities and strange tales from Victorian England. The writing was clever and engaging, and presented with educational footnotes and an unselfconscious pseudo-scientific approach to purported mermaids made of sewn-together fish and monkey parts, giants, two-headed Siamese twins, gadgets, skeletons, petrified top hats, and all manner of other freaks of nature and manufactured sideshow displays. Definite source material for Doctor Who and/or X-Files episodes, deliv ...more
Stephen Theaker
A diverting little book, but it's the point of view that's interesting, the what-they-don't-know, more than the actual subject matter, much of which is fairly pedestrian. If, like me, you didn't find the people here quite curious enough, I'd recommend the excellent Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions.

Buckland writes very well, though; you could often think yourself reading the opening of a story by Lovecraft, Poe or Conan Doyle. In fact, it's easy to imagine his "nondescript" as having inspired
...more
Kiowa
Apr 01, 2009 Kiowa rated it liked it
A fun time machine into 18th century England. Buckland plays Sherlock, as he uncovers the mysteries of freaks, curiosities, automotons, and the occasional mummified corpse. What drew me to this book is the editing by Paul Collins, still one of my favorite explorers into the world of "insignificant histories" (if you haven't read "Banvard's Folly", do so post haste!)
cassie
Oct 02, 2010 cassie rated it did not like it
i didn't finish the book because i read to the last page, but because i was finished with the book. it's about as victorian as you can get - fascination with things i would give a paragraph here find a few pages.

kind of fun, but nothing to jump up and down about.
Darcy
Dec 21, 2010 Darcy rated it liked it
Definitely "curious" - a nice look into Victorian England and the strange fascination (that remains today!) about all "abnormal" things and people. Really cool to see some of the "tricks of the trade" that were used in these traveling shows
Mark
Jan 19, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it
Too short, but interesting. Paul Collins is the person you want to have in your book club, if you go for book clubs... Rec. if you like Ricky Jay's books.
Matt
Jan 21, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is a charming look at some historical oddities of 19th-century England. I enjoyed reading about the strangeness...
Marissa
Mar 22, 2012 Marissa rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, non-fiction
I kind of hate the whole McSweeney's thing, but this book was a fun, quick read about sideshow freaks back in the day.
Greg
Mar 29, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it
True vignettes from a Victorian collector of human oddities. Built for me. Why not five stars? Too short.
Della Baines
Aug 10, 2015 Della Baines rated it really liked it
Victorians sure are rambly, but subject matter was interesting.
Laura
Jan 07, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction
An interesting little thing. Very good for a laugh or a gift.
Matt
Mar 30, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
A fun book. The language is fun.
Jason
Oct 07, 2014 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Quaint and quirky.
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Jan 25, 2016
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Nov 17, 2015
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Jan 15, 2016
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Jan 19, 2015
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Francis Trevelyan Buckland, better known as Frank Buckland, was an English surgeon, zoologist, author and natural historian.
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