This book is perfect. I've been thinking I had to write this book eventually, but now I don't have to because it exists and it'sDIE, HOMEOPATHY, DIE!!
This book is perfect. I've been thinking I had to write this book eventually, but now I don't have to because it exists and it's exactly as I imagined it. Now all I have to do is have a child and plant a tree.
It's a fact that otherwise smart people have a tendency to believe weird stuff. It's always there, right under the surface. My own mom just came in to tell me I have to be careful tomorrow (11/11/11), because the number 11 scares her. I don't understand it, but there it is. And being afraid of the number 11 probably won't hurt her, but there are people out there who will find ways to take advantage of her fear.
This is why this book is so important. People need to know why alternative medicine doesn't work, and they need to know how we can tell that it doesn't work. And if I had to write a book for non-sciency folks to understand how we've come to that conclusion, well, this is exactly the book I would write. (Except it's already been written. I'll have to find something else to do with my time).
The book is at the same time ruthlessly scientific and ridiculously accessible. It flat out refuses to make any assumptions, choosing instead to revise from scratch all the evidence we have on alternative therapies. Except you can't do that without first explaining the method you're using, so that's what the authors do - they intertwine all the acupuncture talk with scientific method talk.That is, they start out by laying out the origins of the clinical trial, and before you know it they're explaining the concept of publication bias and the Cochrane initiative.
The result is a rigorous, honest and well-researched book, and the fact that it's a little lightweight is probably its greatest strength. ...more
Gah, I hate rating anthologies. How are you supposed to do that? Do you just begin at the top and start substracting half a star for every lame storyGah, I hate rating anthologies. How are you supposed to do that? Do you just begin at the top and start substracting half a star for every lame story you find? It seems unfair. So I'm giving this 5 stars because I absolutely love the idea and because there were a more than a few stories in it that were great, either in concept or execution.
It was interesting that the ones I liked the most weren't always the ones inspired in tales I already knew (incidentally, how did I not know about Catskin? Its retelling is one of the best stories in the book, if only because it's the one that best brings back that dreamlike, suspended feeling of reading classic fairy tales).
Most of the The Wild Swans spinoffs were awesome, but not all of the Bluebeard references were. And I was only meh about both the Snow Queen and The Little Match Girl references, which sucked, seeing as those are probably my favoritest storiestest ever.
I didn't really care though, because half the fun of reading this book comes from working at reaching those conclusions. Tracing back the stories to their sources, pondering where exactly the twist is, carefully sampling the tone and whining at the result? That's what reading metafiction is all about.
Seriously though, there are far more great stories here than I dared to hope. And it also brought back a few tales I didn't even know I remembered, which was a nice bonus. Great fun....more