James's Reviews > The Trouble with Tom: The Strange Afterlife and Times of Thomas Paine

The Trouble with Tom by Paul  Collins
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's review
May 07, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in April, 2009

Although the title gives the impression this is a tale about Thomas Paine's remains, it isn't. Instead, it's about a sequence of Thomas Paine-inspired, eccentric free thinkers that were far ahead of their time in their respective fields. I found a lot of these individuals extremely interesting and like-minded, but, honestly, I can't believe this book was published. It's a very boutique topic and a bit erratically executed. The worst part of the writing is the author's ad nosium tendency to introduce a new person as if they're were mentioned ealier in the book, only to explain exactly who this person is and why they are important a page or two later. Maybe that's interesting one time, but fifteen? Twenty? The author must have some pretty high-level connections in the publishing world to have pulled off this one. Check it out only if you're interested in the legacy of Thomas Paine and/or rationalism in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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