Sesana's Reviews > Weird Tennessee: Your Travel Guide to Tennessee's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Weird Tennessee by Roger Manley
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Dec 12, 11

bookshelves: folklore, ghosts, history, paranormal, travel, weird
Read in December, 2011

I've skimmed through any number of the Weird books, and they're pretty hard to describe. They're all a very mixed bag, covering everything from roadside attractions to ghosts to the local version of Bigfoot. Weird Tennessee is no exception. I read this one through because I live in Tennessee, and I did indeed see some local things.

As always, I really enjoyed the parts that were about strange places and people in the state. Those are usually pretty well-written, and respectful to some of the unusual characters that feel compelled to, for example, decorate a cemetary with concrete sculptures mimicking natural formations. This is, after all, a state that has a pyramid and a Parthenon. If the whole book was like this, it would be at least a four star book.

But then we have to get into the paranormal section of weird. These are usually the weakest parts of the book. As a whole, the Weird books tend to be so open minded that the authors' brains might fall out. Here's an example: there's a story in the book about a man that vanishes, naming the man, his family, and the witnesses who saw him vanish. The problem? None of the people named ever existed. The author will tell you that rather important piece of information about the story, then add another paragraph saying the legend might be true anyways. Repeat for virtually every paranormal story in the book, and it's all too credulous for my taste. Not to mention that the stories in these sections just aren't as good as the roadside attraction stories. And seriously, I could do without the hilariously fake stories written in to the website. A whole book like this might actually be a two star book.

So I'm compromising on three stars, mostly because I really enjoyed the stories about pink elephants and abandoned theme parks, and not because of the ghosts and cat people.
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