A thorough examination of the disappearance of the three lighthouse keepers at Eileen Mor in the Outer Hebrides in 1900, this book is divided into sev A thorough examination of the disappearance of the three lighthouse keepers at Eileen Mor in the Outer Hebrides in 1900, this book is divided into several parts:
The first, and longest, part looks at the life of lighthouse keepers and the history of the NLB.
The next section covers the missing men and reconstructs a possible scenario for the day they went missing.
The author then looks at the immediate aftermath of the disappearance, including provisions made for the keepers' families.
The chapters discuss various theories, both probable and more unlikely scenarios.
Although I bought this in the hopes of reading something on the eerie side, by far the most interesting part of the book was the chapter on the history of the NLB and the realities of being a lighthouse keeper. I found this part extremely fascinating, and if you have ever had any interest in this topic this would be a great book to read.
The book bogged down for me when the author got into the Giant Wave theory. This seems like the most likely cause of the disappearance, and he states the case well, but we then are given more details about giant waves than might seem absolutely necessary. Normally I enjoy following an author off onto little tangents, but for some reason this part didn't hold my attention, and I never really regained my focus throughout the rest of the book.
Sadly, the supernatural explanations -- which I have to give the author credit for exploring in a decent amount of detail -- just seem silly. Is this how normal people feel when they read about the stuff I love? I don't want to live in that world!
All in all, a great historical look at lighthouses, but disappointing if you come to it in search of a chilling supernatural mystery....more
I'm really unsure how to rate this book, and I guess I'm really not even sure how to review it. My copy was the 1996 Second Edition,**spoiler alert**
I'm really unsure how to rate this book, and I guess I'm really not even sure how to review it. My copy was the 1996 Second Edition, which is important in a couple of ways. The 1996 edition is composed of the original 1992 book, with an additional forward by the author (which includes some extremely brief updates on some of the people discussed in the first edition) -- this section seems to have been added between the author's update and actual publication -- and a more substantial section of newer material at the end of the book. The notes at the beginning are so rushed, there aren't any real details, which is very frustrating. About half of the new material added at the end of the book doesn't have anything to do with the Franklin scandal, as far as I can tell. It's interesting in its own way, but I think it would have been better to present it in another book, rather than including it here. Because the book was originally published in 1992, it is severely out of date at this point (2016). While it's interesting to take a step back in time to the early 90s, it's also somewhat disconcerting -- there are a lot of ideas and attitudes that would have been perfectly normal then that really stand out as being completely unacceptable now. Yea for progress! I do have to commend the author for being very even handed -- he doesn't pull any punches, regardless of which side of the aisle a particular politician is on. In this day, very refreshing. As to the content of the book -- wow, where to start? This is a non-fiction account of what was initially an investigation into banking irregularities, as well as embezzlement. This part of the story is fairly cut and dried. In the course of the investigation, details emerged that seem to indicate the people involved (wealthy, powerful people) were also involved in a lot of very unsavory things -- drugs and blackmail, as well as child abuse and pornography. These passages are very difficult to read. Again, even though very few people were actually prosecuted for these acts, it seems to be pretty well established that these things did happen. But then we enter the realm of Satanic Ritual Abuse. I don't know. I think the witnesses here probably believe these things happened. Maybe they really did. But jeez, it all seems so far fetched. The McMartin trial is mentioned in passing, and all I could think was "wasn't all of that debunked?" I know, I know -- didn't I just post a review on another book about this kind of thing? (The Ultimate Evil: The Truth about the Cult Murders: Son of Sam and Beyond) Well, yeah. And that book does seem believable to me. I'm not sure why this one seems so out there -- perhaps it's in the way the story is told. Or maybe I just don't want to believe what these kids say happened to them. I suppose it's up to each reader to decide for himself. My final thoughts on this book: The author really grew on me, especially in the final update at the end. I'm still undecided on the rest of it, but it seems like John DeCamp truly believes in this cause....more
It's obvious Quan Barry writes poetry -- this book is filled with poetic imagery. Once I started it, I could barely put it down. It reminds me of "One It's obvious Quan Barry writes poetry -- this book is filled with poetic imagery. Once I started it, I could barely put it down. It reminds me of "One Hundred Years Of Solitude", with flashes of magical realism, as well as how it follows the characters through time. The author references the Buddhist Wheel Of Life, and the book's structure reinforces this idea. A truly incredible book about a topic many westerners haven't given much thought to -- highly recommend. ...more
An absolutely gorgeous fairy tale, I am tempted to call this a perfect book -- and I honestly cannot recall feeling that way about any other book I ha
An absolutely gorgeous fairy tale, I am tempted to call this a perfect book -- and I honestly cannot recall feeling that way about any other book I have ever read before. I picked this up around midnight or so, and literally could not put it down. It's a very fast read -- I finished in just a few short hours. I don't want to say much more for fear of ruining this beautiful story. Please, read this one....more
As a fan of Jim Marrs, I was interested in reading this. I would love to rate this book higher, based on a lot of interesting information within it. H
As a fan of Jim Marrs, I was interested in reading this. I would love to rate this book higher, based on a lot of interesting information within it. However, Marrs lost me at the end when he quoted a nauseating rant against those who receive some form of welfare. Obviously based on only a very superficial understanding of how public assistance works, the demographics of those receiving assistance (as well as the societal failings that lead to a cycle of poverty), and the extremely fragile nature of ANYONE'S financial security, this indicates a mindset that makes me question the author's intent throughout the entire book. I cannot say that I "liked" this book, and have rated it accordingly. ...more
Bear in mind that no two people will read any anthology and have the same feelings about each story!
Nearly all of thes**spoiler alert**
Bear in mind that no two people will read any anthology and have the same feelings about each story!
Nearly all of these stories are interesting, and most are well written. My criticisms would be the uneven editing -- a couple are so poorly proofread that reading them is irritating. Thankfully, most of the errors are minor. I am disappointed that not all of the tales seem to adhere to the Lovecraft/Grimm guidelines. Granted, I wouldn't necessarily recognize EVERY fairy tale within this book, but I'm fairly certain "Winnie The Pooh" wouldn't be considered one of Grimm's fairy tales. However, these are pretty minor complaints about a book that is well worth reading.
My only other note would be that I wish the GoodReads listing would be updated to show the cover art on my edition -- it might be a special edition for Kickstarter participants, which would be a real shame, as the artwork is quite good.
Anthology combining the Mythos of Lovecraft with Grimm's Fairy Tales:
"The Arkham Town Musicians" by Christine Morgan Based on "The Bremen Town Musicians", this one was well written with a very "fairy tale" feel to it, but it left me a little cold, probably because I'm not a fan of the original story. The author does give the story a funny twist towards the end, which I really enjoyed.
"The Magical Fruit" by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy I loved this one! "Jack And The Beanstalk" retold in a very creepy manner -- the writer doles out the details sparingly, which adds to the suspense. I'm very anxious to see what else this author has written!
"Ginger Snap" by Michael Wentela A retelling of "Red Riding Hood", I loved the premise here, with the predator/prey dichotomy turned on its head. It fell apart for me at the ending, however, with the introduction of the Mythos elements. There were a fair amount of typos in this one.
"A Wisdom That Is Woe, A Woe That Is Madness" by E. Catherine Tobler Moody and atmospheric take on what I believe is the story of Rapunzel. Very interesting.
"I Am . . . " by John Claude Smith Bluebeard's wife seeks her fate within the locked room she must never enter . . . This story scares the bejesus out of me, as she is subjected to an ordeal out of my darkest nightmares -- and that's BEFORE the Lovecraftian elements kick in.
"The Apprentice, The Muse, And The Mancer" by Michael Griffin I didn't really understand this story -- I didn't recognize what fairy tale it's based on. The narrator in this one strives to prove to his master and his master's muse that he's ready for bigger and better things.
"L2RH" by B.A.H. Cameron This is another one that's based on a story I'm not recognizing. I clearly saw the Lovecraft influences in this one, but I didn't really care for it. Set in space -- just not really my kind of thing.
"The Lost Book Of Grimm" by Michael M. Hughes Another favourite! This one is written in the style of an academic paper submitted for publication -- I love when writers play with form, especially when the work is presented as nonfiction. Another author I will be looking for in future.
"The Hound Of K'n-Yan" by Jeff C. Carter Another really fantastic entry in this anthology. This one seems to be based on Irish folk lore, wherein a mighty warrior is both more and less than he seems. I found the Irish names difficult to even imagine how to pronounce, but that's a very minor quibble.
"The Case Of Virgin Mary Smith" by L.K. Feuerstein Unicorns and Mythos -- this was very densely written and difficult for me to connect with.
"The Lost Town" by Nick Nafpliotis Another fairy tale that was unfamiliar to me. This story is very firmly planted in Lovecraft's world, set in Dunwich and Arkham. This has the feel of a "between the wars" British mystery.
"The Witch's Library" by Tracie McBride Extremely successful pairing of Mythos with "Hansel & Gretel". One of the most full realized of the stories I've read so far.
"Boots Of Curious Leather" by David J. Fielding Very eerie -- I like the premise of this one. It has a wonderful blend of Lovecraftian elements, although the fairy tale was unfamiliar to me. My apologies to the author, but I thought the writing was a bit clunky, doing a disservice to a very interesting idea. This was another story that needed a lot more proofreading.
"Donkeyskin" by Brian Kaufman Initially a fairly straightforward telling of "Donkeyskin", the author adds a twist toward the end. Well done, but it lacks an emotional element that would have made it more compelling.
"The Batrachian Prince" by Robert M. Price At this point I'm starting to wish there was an index or introduction that would give some clues as to what each story was based on! Yet again, I have no idea what fairy tale this is -- and I think my appreciation for it is hindered by that fact. Based completely in Lovecraft's world, there are many elements one would expect to find in a Mythos-based story.
"The Orthometrists Of Vhoorl" by Pete Rawlik Well, I was all set not to like this one -- it's very much the sort of thing I wouldn't normally read, with a slightly "John Carter Of Mars" kind of vibe. The fairy tale here ("Goldilocks And The Three Bears") is presented as a tale-within-a-tale, which was a neat way of handling it. The final line of this story brings it all together, and is probably the best I've read so far. A lot of fun.
"The Hundred Years' Sleep" by Mary SanGiovanni A very well done take on "The Sleeping Beauty". This is told from a male perspective, but written by what I assume is a female author -- I found the voice to be very believable. Another great story.
"The Wonderful Musician" by William Meikle A man goes too far in his quest to release the music he hears inside his mind. Didn't care for this one, and really didn't see the fairy tale elements.
"When Light Returned To Karakossa" by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. & Tom Lynch This was the story I was most looking forward to, having read some of Pulver's previous work. Sadly, I didn't like this one at all. While the concept of a tale combining Mythos with Chinese (I'm assuming) folk lore sounds interesting, there was too much style and not enough substance for me. There were also obvious proofreading errors, which were distracting and annoying. Very disappointing.
"The Sovereign Of Fear" by Richard Gavin I really loved this one. Not sure what fairy tale it's meant to be based on, but it has a wonderful almost Hawthorne-ish vibe to it.
"The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot" by Desmond Reddick "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" with a Native American twist. There is a definite Lovecraftian feel to this one.
"Sticks and Stones, Skin and Bones" by Morgan Griffith Haunting story of two brothers -- has the feel of an old Appalachian folk song. I really liked this one.
"The House Of The Sleeping Beauties" by Jason Andrew Oh my gosh, this story is so tense, so disturbing -- I think this one will stick with me for quite a while.
"The Piper In Yellow" by Brett Talley A fantastic spin on "The Pied Piper Of Hamelin" -- as a side note, the original "Pied Piper" is a fascinating story, supposedly based in fact, the true nature of which is still being debated today. This one is extremely well written. One of the best in this collection.
"In The Details" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia A short but chilling take on "Beauty And The Beast" -- another favorite.
"Black Goat Of The Hundred Acre Woods" by James Pratt Oh no! What has James Pratt done to "Winnie The Pooh"?! I'm truly horrified, but I have to admit it's a very well done story that provoked a lot of questions on the nature of stories, as well as leading me to ponder the "lives" of beloved characters when their stories aren't being read . . .
"The Dunwich Ball" by J.F. Gonzalez A retelling of "Cinderella" -- very poorly proofread, with characters' names changing and even sentences repeated one after the other. Very very sloppy. What a disappointing end to this overall terrific book. Looking at the author bios, I see that this author died last year. I can only assume that this work was finished but not polished at that time, and apparently no one made the effort to hone this one before publication. What a shame. This version is very rough, and reads like bad fan fiction. Easily the worst of the collection....more
The fifth in the Missing 411 series by David Paulides, this is possibly the most disturbing of these books, due to the fact that there really is no waThe fifth in the Missing 411 series by David Paulides, this is possibly the most disturbing of these books, due to the fact that there really is no way to discount the connections between these cases. Again, the author does not reveal his theories as to what is happening here, he just presents the facts of each case, calling the reader's attention to the relevant details. I'm hopeful that this book will spur new ways of investigating these "accidental drowning" cases, specifically with the testing for GHB in the bodies. Something very strange is going on -- this time in cities and on college campuses. It's time for us all to start paying attention. As with all the Missing 411 books, highly recommend....more
This is a very interesting analysis of emerging zoonotic diseases, focusing on SARS, HIV, and Ebola, among others. There are so many facts here, it's
This is a very interesting analysis of emerging zoonotic diseases, focusing on SARS, HIV, and Ebola, among others. There are so many facts here, it's a little overwhelming -- I learned so much that I'd never even thought of before, including the fact that HIV can actually be traced back to, wait for it . . . 1908?! Yeah, I didn't believe it at first, either, but the author clearly presents this in a way that is easy even for a non-scientist like myself to understand.
After reading this, I can tell you for sure that I will NEVER go anywhere near a bat again -- these beautiful animals are apparently THE virus clearinghouse, for reasons that are explored in depth in this book.
Ever wonder why we were able to effectively eradicate smallpox, but can't seem to put an end to malaria? Yep, it's in here.
Here are a couple of quotes from the end of the book that I found interesting:
"So before we respond either calmly or hysterically, either intelligently or doltishly, we should understand in some measure the basic outlines and dynamics of the situation. We should appreciate that these recent outbreaks of new zoonotic diseases, as well as the recurrence and spread of old ones, are part of a larger pattern, and that humanity is responsible for generating that pattern. We should recognize that they reflect things that we're DOING, not just things that are HAPPENING to us. WE should understand that, although some of the human-caused factors may seem virtually inexorable, others are within our control."
"That's the salubrious thing about zoonotic diseases: They remind us, as St. Francis did, that we humans are inseparable from the natural world. In fact, there IS no "natural world," it's a bad and artificial phrase. There is only the world."
" . . . Dwyer's models have shown that heterogeneity of behavior, even among forest insects, let alone among humans, can be very important in damping the spread of infectious disease. . . . individual effort, individual discernment, individual choice can have huge effects in averting the catastrophes that might otherwise sweep through a herd. An individual gypsy moth may inherit a slightly superior ability to avoid smears of NPV as it grazes on a leaf. An individual human may choose not to drink the palm sap, not to eat the chimpanzee, not to pen the pig beneath mango trees, not to clear the horse's windpipe with his bare hand, not to have unprotected sex with the prostitute, not to share the needle in a shooting gallery, not to cough without covering her mouth, not to board a plane while feeling ill, or not to coop his chickens along with his ducks. "Any tiny little thing that people do," Dwyer said, if it makes them different from one another, from the idealized standard of herd behavior, "is going to reduce infection rates." "
So why only three stars? David Quammen -- I wanted to add his author link right there, but GR won't let me, but go look him up because he's written a ton of interesting books -- is more than capable of writing a non-fiction book that would hold anyone's interest, yet he insists on inserting some extremely long passages of pure fiction as he speculates on the exact circumstances leading to the emergence of HIV-1. My husband will tell you, I'm more of a "just the facts" kind of person -- I neither need nor want speculation, especially when the facts are compelling on their own. If that kind of thing doesn't bother you, you may rate this one higher.
Even with that, I would still recommend this. ...more
I'd like to rate this one higher, simply on the basis of there being so few books available on the subject. It's written decently well, and the author
I'd like to rate this one higher, simply on the basis of there being so few books available on the subject. It's written decently well, and the author includes numerous cases, apparently gleaned from his website on the subject.
The very nature of this subject somewhat necessitates the use of anecdotal evidence -- I'm not sure there are any scientific tests to measure spiritual or psychic activity of this nature -- but the stories included were a bit . . . less than believable. Which is not to say that I don't think the people involved believe these things happened. I just have a lot of trouble believing people who claim to interact with demons, see ghosts, and tell the future are entirely all there.
My apologies to these folks, of course -- I don't mean to belittle anyone's experiences, and I do wish I found them more believable.
Just OK, and I'm still on the hunt for another book on the subject that suits me better.
Usually don't review books I haven't finished, but I know without a doubt that I will not be finishing this one, EVER -- and the problem (unlike many Usually don't review books I haven't finished, but I know without a doubt that I will not be finishing this one, EVER -- and the problem (unlike many books I don't finish) isn't simply because I couldn't get into it.
Sometimes I run into a problem with reading a book at the wrong time -- for whatever reason, it doesn't grab my attention or I want a different genre or whatever. Unfortunately this wasn't the problem here. I really actively disliked this book. It's . . . dour. Unrelentingly grim. A little dull. And far too graphic for my taste.
Great premise, but didn't live up to my expectations....more
This one was more like 2.5 stars for me -- probably would have been higher if I was a major fan of horror, as there are plenty of re**spoiler alert**
This one was more like 2.5 stars for me -- probably would have been higher if I was a major fan of horror, as there are plenty of references to other works that I think someone more familiar with the genre would have enjoyed more.
My favorite parts were a couple of references to the author's own works, as well as a character's name that even I recognized as a contemporary horror writer.
The story follows Merry Barrett as she recounts her family's experiences while filming a reality show focusing on her possibly mentally ill, possibly possessed older sister. We alternate between events set at that time (which are Merry's recollections while being interviewed by an author writing a book about those experiences), the older Merry interacting with the writer, and blog posts deconstructing "The Possession" (the reality show featuring the family.)
The most effective, in my opinion, were chapters written as blog posts -- I really enjoyed the analysis of the TV show, and the tone is immediate and somewhat cheeky.
I also liked the parts where Merry is an adult, looking back at her life -- these parts were somehow more frightening to me than the flashbacks to when Merry was a child living within a disintegrating family. I think because we're seeing Merry at a time that we understand to be unfolding, rather than already established via recordings/recollections, these moments felt dangerous to me -- like Merry could do or say anything to blow the whole thing apart. I'm sure that says more about me than it does about the book . . .
There were a few things that kept me from really enjoying the book, however. I found eight-year-old Merry to be annoying. The author includes a lot of traits that should have made the character more childlike and real, but it read more like a jumble of quirks rather than pieces forming a coherent personality.
The family interactions are uncomfortable and disjointed -- probably intentionally, as the family depicted is fractured, but still made for unpleasant reading.
The handling of the older sister -- age 14 -- during her "episodes" was grotesque. I think these types of depictions must be a standard for the genre that I'm just not aware of, but (particularly as the parent of three teen girls) I didn't like them at all.
I didn't buy the father as both religious fanatic AND skeptical debunker.
Some things I did like: the brief examination of men who kill their families, the blog posts dissecting the show and reality television/horror tropes in general, the revelation of the family's ultimate fate. I would have rated this book much higher if the author had allowed the analytical and yet more playful part of his brain free rein. Not sure if anyone else would have enjoyed it, but I really loved the more cerebral aspects of this book.
As a whole, I didn't really understand the meaning here -- and perhaps there isn't some big revelation that the author is striving for? But I would have preferred for there to be a bigger picture to the whole thing.
I will probably regret burning through this series so quickly -- hopefully David Paulides is hard at work on the next Missing 411 book.
This book conta
I will probably regret burning through this series so quickly -- hopefully David Paulides is hard at work on the next Missing 411 book.
This book contains a couple of more well-known disappearances, such as that of Keith Reinhard, who went missing in Colorado in 1988. Mr. Reinhard moved to Silver Plume, Colorado, after taking a sabbatical from his job as a sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. He was primarily interested in working on a novel, as well as running a small antiques shop, but after renting a storefront that had been formerly leased by a man named Tom Young (WHO DISAPPEARED MONTHS EARLIER!?!) Reinhard became interested in investigating Young's disappearance. Same town, same building, same landlord . . . same fate? There are various theories as to what happened to Keith Reinhard -- as well as Tom Young -- which the author explores in this book.
Another odd case is the disappearance of Megumi Yamamoto -- she became separated from her boyfriend during a hike in the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico. Ms. Yamamoto was able to use her cell phone to dial 911 for help -- however, her calls were routed SEVEN times to the nonemergency dispatcher, who was incapable of triangulating her cell signal in order to find her. After her calls were finally routed to the correct dispatcher and they were able to locate her, emergency services sent a helicopter to pick her up -- which was then hindered by various events, such as rescue team members refusing assignments and the necessary permission for landing in the Santa Fe National Forest not receiving approval from forest managers. By the time rescuers reached her, Yamamoto was in poor condition, and snow has begun to fall. During liftoff, the helicopter crashed, killing Yamamoto and one of the two rescue personnel on board. From start to finish, this poor woman seemed doomed.
There are more cases of people being found alive recounting seeing "bad people" hiding in bushes -- so strange and chilling -- as well as stories about searchers hearing people calling for help, but being unable to locate them. (Some people are then found deceased in a different area -- so this isn't an issue of someone being lost down a hole and remaining hidden to searchers.)
One of the more perplexing stories was that of Joe Carter, who disappeared on Mount St. Helens, Washington, in 1950. A member of the National Ski Patrol, Carter would have been an experienced skier and outdoorsman. While on a ski trip with a group of friends, Carter went ahead of the party in order to take photos of the other skiers. When no one saw him on their way down the mountain, they assumed he had gone ahead to the bottom. After the group realized he wasn't there, a search party was formed. Here is the description (from an article in the Longview Washington Times) on what they found:
" . . . Carter evidently took off down the mountain in a wild death-defying dash, 'taking chances that no skier of his caliber would take, unless something was terribly wrong or he was being pursued,' says Lee, who was the first searcher to reach Carter's ski tracks. He jumped over two-three large crevasses and evidently was going like the devil. When Carter's tracks reached the precipitous sides of Ape Canyon, the searchers were amazed to see that Carter had been in such a hurry that he went right down the steep canyon walls. But they did not find him at the bottom of the canyon as they expected. 'We combed the canyon, one end to the other for five days.' "
Joe Carter was never found.
The author includes several interesting charts at the end of the book, analyzing many of the common elements throughout this series.
More baffling stories about disappearances, this time including some outside of North America. Here are just a couple of highlights:
On May 17, 1951, 9
More baffling stories about disappearances, this time including some outside of North America. Here are just a couple of highlights:
On May 17, 1951, 9 year old Roger Shaddinger disappeared while on a family fishing trip to Adler Creek in Truckee, CA. After a 28-hour search, a S&R volunteer found the boy (alive) -- Roger said he had been hiding from "The People" who he thought were going to hurt him. While some articles at the time implied the boy was hiding from searchers, this is a theme that has been mentioned in other cases when missing persons are found. Very peculiar.
Linda Arteaga (age 53), who disappeared from a wooded area near St. Joe, AR, on September 22, 2012, while out walking with her brother, was missing for 5 days. When finally found, an article on her disappearance had this to say: "She claims that she wasn't the only one out there. I would see people. I'd ask for help and they'd act like they didn't even hear me, says Arteaga. She says she remembers them looking right at her and not saying a thing. These people were hiding in bushes. They were weird people, very weird, Arteaga says. I supposed she could have had some toxic ingestion that may have caused, a hallucinogen, in other words, but you know, she's been very consistent with that story, and today in her mental examination, she seems very oriented and appropriate in conversation, says Dr. John Sorg of North Arkansas Medical Center."
I found this story particularly disturbing, especially after reading the two previous Missing 411 books -- it brought to mind the young woman who went missing while hiking the Appalachian Trail who claimed that she was hiding because men who meant her harm were chasing her.
Perhaps these are all cases of people hallucinating after eating berries or mushrooms while lost? But perhaps there is something much stranger happening out in the woods than we are aware of . . .
I would also like to address reviews of the authors' other books that take him to task for his analysis of the facts in missing person cases -- one mentioned that it was "obvious" Mr. Paulides was not Search and Rescue personnel, based solely on his interpretation of common factors such as people being found partially or completely nude, or being without one or both shoes. Mr. Paulides mentions in this book that he was invited to speak at the North America Search and Rescue Association (NASAR) conference in South Lake Tahoe in June 2012 -- it seems unlikely to me that Search and Rescue personnel would be interested in hearing him speak if they disagreed with what he had written in his books and on his website, and it seems as though the reviewers making those statements have probably not actually read these books.
Another thought provoking book in the Missing 411 series -- I have no theories on what is happening in these cases, but it makes for a very interesting read....more
This is somehow even MORE bizarre than the Eastern U.S. & Canada book I recently reviewed. Although a very few of the disappearances listed in thi
This is somehow even MORE bizarre than the Eastern U.S. & Canada book I recently reviewed. Although a very few of the disappearances listed in this book seem to have what could be a fairly mundane explanation, the vast majority are so strange that you wouldn't believe them in a work of fiction.
Here are two of the more peculiar listings:
On July 4, 1955, 2 year old Ida May Curtis disappeared from a logging camp within the Kootenai National Forest in Libby, Montana. Her 9 year old brother claimed that a bear took Ida from the tent where she was sleeping, carrying the toddler with one leg while running away on the other three. Unbelievable, right? But the children's grandfather stated that he had in fact chased a bear that did appear to be running on three legs while carrying something with the fourth! As if this wasn't strange enough, when they did locate the little girl (alive, thank goodness) -- inside a shelter of cedar slashing -- she told her parents that she was held by a "mother bear" that comforted her throughout the night and kept her warm. Really?! A BEAR?? Having read Night of the Grizzlies a while ago, I'm finding that idea extremely hard to believe!
05/15/1934, Moosehorn, Manitoba -- 4 year old Betty Wolfram vanishes after being put down for a nap. Five days of searching produced no results, then a farmer in the area "took a walk, hoping to find Betty". Which he did.
Now, certainly there would be questions about this farmer -- and the RCMP did interview him extensively, but no details were released. (He was apparently not believed to be responsible for Betty's disappearance.) A newspaper article published about the story had this to say: "Furthermore, when queried by the newspapermen on the scene Monday, he [Rosin] admitted that he had not told all. He did say that when he went on his successful quest for Betty, 'I did not expect to come back alive, or if I did come back I would be all broken up.' "
But wait, there's more!
"A neighboring farmer..., told authorities that the last three days prior to Betty being found, one of his cows had returned from deep in the bush MILKED on each of those days. He stated that this had never happened before but that it was obvious to him that someone had been milking the cow."
Now, don't get all excited -- the parents confirmed that 4-year-old Betty was not able to, nor did she ever learn to, milk a cow.
After Betty returned, she told her parents that she had met a "mother and daughter while she was gone". Presumably she was with them while she was missing, as she said that "on the morning she was found, a man had pointed for her to walk in the direction that would lead to her farm, which she was doing when she was found." Bear in mind that this was an extremely rural area, where the locals all knew each other. A family living in the woods that was unknown to the community must have been unsettling, I would imagine -- let alone a family where one would be concerned about meeting an unpleasant fate if confronting them . . .
As truly bizarre as that is, there are other stories like this in both the Western and the Eastern U.S./Canada Missing 411 books. I really don't know what to make out of any of this, but I can say that I doubt I will be going into the woods any time soon. One thing I WILL be doing is reading David Paulides next book!
Apparently the second of David Paulides four "Missing 411" books, didn't realize I was reading out of order -- however, because I'd already listened t
Apparently the second of David Paulides four "Missing 411" books, didn't realize I was reading out of order -- however, because I'd already listened to many of the author's interviews I didn't have any trouble understanding the ideas and details presented in this book.
Primarily a listing of information in specific missing persons cases, this sort of book could be very dry, but this one isn't. The strangeness of the disappearances Paulides highlights in his works are compelling, even as you see the same scenarios repeated -- part of the weirdness in these cases is how the same bizarre details show up over and over again.
The author -- a former police investigator -- presents the facts of each case, sometimes stopping to raise questions about the various details or in the handling of the search and rescue operation. He doesn't really speculate on exactly WHAT is going on in these disappearances. Obviously, I would love to have him state outright what he thinks is going on, but Paulides leaves room for the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.
When I bought these books, I wondered if the repetition of facts would prove a bit dull, but I'm excited to read the rest of the series -- even if it is all much the same as this book, I find it interesting enough to read more.
Just as a side note, a previous reviewer mentioned how expensive these books are -- not so. They are only expensive if purchased through a well known large online retailer. The author's own site sells them at a reasonable price....more
Not gonna lie -- this book is a brutal read. I had to keep putting it down, and even grabbed another book to alternate with whenever this one got too rough. But I believe it is essential reading.
There is no doubt that sexual assault is under-reported and under-prosecuted. While there are the very rare occasions where someone is falsely accused of rape -- and even more rarely convicted -- the vast majority of victims do not receive justice for the crimes committed against them. As a society we are naturally reluctant to "ruin someone's life" by pursuing a judgement against them, too often forgetting that those victims have had their lives ruined. The punishment inflicted on the perpetrator is a result of his own actions -- those dealing with the aftermath of those actions must be our only concern.
Krakauer explores these topics in depth, interweaving the often heartbreaking accounts of women assaulted by men they knew. (Men can also be victims of sexual assault, although the author focuses on women in this book.) Reading about these women, and how they are often victimized again during the criminal investigation and trial, made me ill.
I can only say that there is a small glimmer of hope that police response and criminal prosecution might be changing for the better in terms of how victims are treated -- although public response to victims is truly horrifying. Not surprising, I suppose, given what we know about how women have been treated historically, but shocking nonetheless, and disheartening.
Throughout the book, I kept wondering what prompted the author to pursue this story -- in the final chapter he does address that issue, and the answers are not surprising, but still very sad....more
The problem is that this is one of those books where nearly anything you say about it could be a spoiler. Wha
Okay. Where to start with this one . . .
The problem is that this is one of those books where nearly anything you say about it could be a spoiler. What's a girl to do? I want to rave about this book and explain in minute detail why you should be reading it RIGHT NOW -- instead of reading this review -- and yet, I so desperately do not want to ruin it for you so I can't say anything!
James Renner -- who, full disclosure, sent me this book -- is kind of scary, in that I'm pretty sure he literally looked into my brain and wrote this book using all that twisted information. And geez, how lucky is that?! So I finally get to read a book that combines all of the kooky nonsense I love, combined with alternative history -- which is my favourite kind of history -- in a big ball of unputdownable craziness. The only thing it needed was some sasquatch -- oh wait, there's that, too.
Seriously. The man is a genius. A frightening, mind reading genius.
And the references -- all the lovely lovely references, so much fun! Some of them are just little throw away nods to other books and writers. Some of them are deeper references that give your brain a little push, a "hey what do you think about this" kind of thing. And some are super gigantic enormous plot spoilery things that might make you a bit emotional. And it's all awesome.
I want to shift gears here just a bit to address the women in the book. There are two main female character -- there are others, but they're not as involved throughout the story -- Sam, the former love interest, and Jean, the sister. Writing it that way makes them seem very peripheral to the story, but they really aren't. What I found very interesting was that the author resisted the temptation to make them saintly. These are flawed characters, but ultimately . . . heroic. (As an aside, you could say the same about all of these characters.) Renner had me worried initially, as he described Sam's hair as "cinnamon" -- and I thought, here we go, another gorgeous woman who is more dream than human, when will you men stop doing that?! And then we find out that Sam has done some not so nice stuff, the biggest one being leaving our man Jack for his best friend -- and that simple fact kept me guessing about where her loyalties really were and whether or not I could trust her. Eventually we're given some more information that helps us see Sam in a different light -- I thought it was all very clever. Jack's sister, Jean, has a similarly troubled past, and battles her demons throughout the story as well. I wasn't really sure that Jean would be there for the group when she needed to be.
The author's book The Man from Primrose Lane: A Novel is one of my favourites -- I've read it multiple times. Pretty sure I'm going to be re-reading this one several times as well, just to catch all of the details I missed the first time around.
Final word -- you need to read this book! Highly recommend!
This book is an odd one, in that it makes it very clear that the protagonist is a despicable person -- he'**spoiler alert**
Wow -- what a page-turner!
This book is an odd one, in that it makes it very clear that the protagonist is a despicable person -- he's not killing "bad guys" or people who "deserve" to be killed, he kidnaps and kills women. He's every woman's nightmare. And yet the author makes him likable -- not just charming in a facile way, but truly likable. So is he a horrible person who sometimes does nice things? Or a nice person who sometimes does horrible things? Even after finishing the book, I'm really not sure! But against my own better judgement, I was still hoping everything would work out for him in the end.
There are some really great, strong female characters here, too -- somewhat surprisingly.
Definitely recommended for fans of twisty stories with a creepy vibe....more