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The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists
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The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  555 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
“Some of the most interesting fantasist-fabulists writing today.”
Los Angeles Times

“A science-fiction symphony of strangeness....The Cabinet of Curiosities will give you a good jolt of wonder.”
Gainesville Times

You’ll be astonished by what you’ll find in The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. Editors Ann and Jeff Vandermeer have gathered together a spectacular a
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Harper Voyager (first published July 1st 2011)
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Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This book was very interesting and had some nice imaginative pictures. If you like things of the odd, then this book might be right up your alley.
Jun 01, 2016 Jonfaith rated it really liked it
This is a monster that shames but does not shamble, that bites but does not shit, that writhes but does not grasp.

This anthology succeeded as a perfect diversion. Premise is simple: fictional scholar/collector travels the world assembling the merely odd and the paranormally affected. Nothing too ghastly. Just weird. I bought it for the heavy-hitters, Moore, Chiang, Negarestani and especially Miéville, and they did not disappoint. Most of these collections are typically hit-and-miss, this one was
Orrin Grey
Aug 24, 2011 Orrin Grey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mignola
I've had this fabulous tome for awhile now, and probably still haven't finished reading it, not really. This is not because of a defect in the book, but is rather because it is, as the editors say in the introduction (quoting Oscar Wilde), "a browsing experience, to dip into and to savor, rather than take a wild carriage ride through." And that's exactly how I've been approaching the book, reading an entry here and an entry there, not reading it from cover to cover. And I think it works best thi ...more
5/6 - This book is wacky. And I mean WACKY with a capital W!! It's like a 'choose your own adventure' books crossed with a non-fiction full of footnotes. Every paragraph or so I'm flicking to the contents to find the page number for the correct section that further describes the occult item that was just mentioned in passing in the main body of the text.

If you go by the page numbers I'm only up to page 23, but if you go by the number of pages I've actually read it'd be more like 33. I've had to
Jul 30, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of speculative fiction, clever storytelling
Book Info: Genre: Satire/speculative shorts
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Those who enjoy speculative fiction and clever storytelling

My Thoughts: I learned about cabinets of curiosities from reading the Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. One of the novels is actually titled The Cabinet of Curiosities and it explains what these are. Basically, a cabinet of curiosities is a private collection of interesting and odd things, which were quite popular in the 19th century. Wh
Steven Cole
Aug 03, 2011 Steven Cole rated it liked it
I really liked the *idea* behind this book. And I really liked what Ann VenderMeer wrote about the book on John Scalzi's blog, "Whatever". I really wanted to get a kick out of how this thing was done. But aside from a few fun stories, I felt really let down.

Here's the basic premise: Thackery T. Lambshead has a collection of eclectic oddities that he stores in his mansion in some ill-specified cabinet. Each of the contributors to the "Cabinet of Curiosities" anthology contributed words or artwork
Jun 14, 2015 Abbie rated it liked it
Interesting enough.
Randolph Carter
Sep 12, 2011 Randolph Carter rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in weird fiction
How do you describe a book so strange and unique it defies genre? The Cabinet of Curiosities is like no other book. Probably closest to steampunk, that doesn't even begin to describe it. The illegitimate child of Monty Python and Umberto Eco.

Full of contributions from dozens of artists and authors, it's "entries" vary from stories inspired by, to descriptions of the items contained (or formerly residing, or related to) in the Cabinet, a sort of organic museum itself that defies description, lit
Buck Ward
I got this anthology to read the piece by Ted Chiang. I was interrupted by another book, an inter-library loan, that arrived the day after I started Thackery Lambshead. It was a quick read and I got back to this one a few days later. I found myself unable to sit and read for long, arising at the smallest interruption. Before I had reached a quarter of the way through, it was obvious that I had no interest in finishing the book. I can't say why, really. I just had no interest. The stories, little ...more
Chelsea Jennings
Apr 20, 2014 Chelsea Jennings rated it really liked it
Very unique book. Fiction written as though it were non-fiction. Lots of big words and references to history, culture, physics, you name it-the book incorporated knowledge from all arenas and fields. I spent a lot of time looking up words and researching things and places I wasn't familiar with. I enjoy that learning experience. If you are a polymath this would be a funny and amusing read for you. If you're not, you will need to spend time finding definitions and background info. Although I enjo ...more
Douglas Summers-Stay
Jan 01, 2012 Douglas Summers-Stay rated it really liked it
Shelves: borgesian, fantasy
A group of science fiction authors made up Dr. Lambshead, an eccentric collector of the bizarre and macabre, and wrote a series of pseudo-scholarly essays describing items in his collection. It's a genre I really like but is pretty sparsely populated: fiction in the form of nonfiction. A lot of it is playing with the uncanny, things that are almost, but not quite, human; or straddle the line between animate and inanimate.
I don't know whether I've read the whole book, it's the sort of thing that
Barbara ★
I admit to having difficulty with this book. It's fiction but is presented as non-fiction which totally threw me little mind. There were a few stories I enjoyed but the majority were just too strange for my tastes. Not something I would recommend to anyone.
Jan 28, 2012 Thoraiya marked it as to-read
"The Singing Fish" by Amal El-Mohtar is just wonderful. Now I want this book.
Weird shit A sprawling museum of impossible things, of magical and mechanical oddities straddling the real. The postmodern enthusiast with a fantastical imagination will find much to wonder at. The objects are as fascinating as the stories created around them, drawn from an arensal of speculative subgenres: clockwork inventions, Tesla's dabblings, modern sculpture, artefacts of mysterious possibly occult origin, and others too weird for any adequate explanation. I liked the latter-most best, sho ...more
Mar 05, 2017 Toria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Out of dozens of pieces, there were only a few I really enjoyed. My favourite was the gallows-horse.

The theme of cataloguing strange objects led to what felt like a writing exercise, and while it's fun to read familiar author's attempts at a piece in the theme, it was by and large meh to me.
Sep 29, 2016 StrangeAttractor rated it liked it
It's a shame I have an electronic copy for a physical copy is mandatory to appreciate the encyclopedic nature of this amazing anthology.

As any anthology, when the story is good, it's bewildering. When the story is average, it drags the whole concept with it.

So there's a little bit of both, no surprise there.

Yet, the overall concept, the fictional conceit and the stories that work make this a must have book.
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

THE THACKERTY T. LAMSHEAD CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a unique compilation of bizarre object illustrations and stories about the fictional Dr. Lambshead’s collection of knick knacks, relics, and devices found in his massive cabinet. I was amazed at the detailed yet fictional history of Dr. Lambshead and his cabinet provided in the introduction. What follows this elaborate introduction is a massive and varied collection of stories about the cabinet and its
Aug 19, 2011 Marcus rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all Steampunks and people interested in weird fiction
The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities is by far the strangest collection of tales I have thus far laid my hands on. It is also one of the most fascinating.

Where to start? This whole book is one complete piece of art, within and without. The hardcover is beautifully designed and a gem in every bookshelf. The stories,tales, artwork, photographs inside are entertaining, inspiering and sometimes rather haunting. The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images,
Aug 19, 2011 AmandaSOTP rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Thackery T. Lambshead. I didn't read reviews of this, but what I'd seen of it at various bookstores and events, I knew I wanted to read it. The concept of a cabinet of curiosities and the stories behind the items thrilled me, not only because I love a good story, but also because I am intrigued by unique and random items. Ripley's Believe It or Not stories were some of my favorite childhood reading and I expected something similar. However, I didn't realize that there isn't actually a Thackery T ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

I was so excited when I received this book for review! It’s only lately that I’ve begun to warm to anthologies,and I often look upon them to discover an author’s work that I’m not familiar with,with a minimum of commitment. Cabinet of Curiosities gave me that,and much,much more! The anthology is based upon the (fictional) story of Thackery T. Lambshead (1900-2003),a mad doctor of sorts,and his odd and vast assortment of re
Dec 21, 2011 Aaron rated it liked it
Just started reading this thinking it was steampunk (it is marketed as steampunk). It is not. It is set firmly in the 20th Century. It is very Fortean though and entertaining so far - with one blaring exception.

Page 30: "...segmented body of the Turrilepus Gigantis was..."

ALL scientific names, ALL OF THEM, the genus is capitalized and the species name is lower case, AND it is either italicized or underlined. No exceptions. By not following this rule of nomenclature it tells me the editors are sl
Amanda Makepeace
Reading The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities was like finding a chest your grandparents kept hidden in the attic and discovering it full of wondrous treasures and secrets. For me, it was my great uncles–obsessive readers, war veterans, and I’ll be honest–hoarders. When they passed away in the ’90s the family came together in Virginia to clean house. The house, over 100 years old, was like a museum. The experience thrilled me, like a child in a candy shop. The Cabinet of Curiosities d ...more
Skuli Saeland
Mar 29, 2013 Skuli Saeland rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Þetta er ein af fáum bókum sem ég hef verslað mér vegna titilsins. Ástæðan er sú að furðuskápar eða Cabinet of Curiosities voru upphaf safna eins og við þekkjum þau í dag. Á síðmiðöldum kepptust ríkir hefðarmenn við að safna furðugripum og hlutum frá fjarlægum stöðum. Sjá mátti t.d. höfuðkúpu einhyrnings, síamstvíbura, einstök listaverk og gripi frá fjarlægum löndum sem varla þekktust í heimsmynd vestræns samfélags.
Thackery T. Lambshead, eða Lambshaus eins og við getum kallað hann, er persónuskö
Apr 17, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
Okay, so there were some pretty boring, but also some pretty memorable stories in here. The ones I found compelling were:

"Dacey's Patent Automatic Nanny" by Ted Chiang
"Threads" by Carrie Vaughn
"Relic" by Jeffrey Ford
"Sir Ranulph Wykeham-Rackham GBG, a.k.a. Roboticus the All-Knowing" by Lev Grossman
"Shamalung (The Diminutions)" by Michael Moorcock
"Pulvadmonitor: The Dust's Warning" by China Mieville
"The Book of Categories" by Charles Yu
"1963: The Argument Against Louis Pasteur" by Mur Lafferty
Jan 23, 2012 Isidore rated it liked it
Like the previous Lambshead book, this collection playfully blurs the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, in this case by inviting contributors to present outlandish, fantastic ideas and tales as if they were grave scientific accounts, or sober memoirs, or terse entries in a museum catalogue. The weird, or a sense of the uncanny, are difficult to evoke where abstraction and cleverness have displaced atmosphere and narrative drama, but Tad Williams and China Mieville manage to invent art ...more
William Mansky
Aug 20, 2011 William Mansky rated it it was amazing
Magic. The framing narrative of the book tells the life story of an eccentric professor (mad scientist, really) with an awe-inspiring collection of objects that fit the word "curiosity" to a T. The introduction and filler bits work the various contributing authors into the narrative, so well that at times I wasn't sure who was a fictional character and who a real-life writer. And of course, I can't argue with any collection that includes not only a China Mieville story, but also a series of draw ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Mitch rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This eccentric collection of short pieces by a wide variety of writers and artists are united in that they all relate, in one fashion or another, to the fictional collection of a fictional personage; one Thackery T. Lambshead. The book itself is literally a cabinet of curiosities.

Most of the written parts dedicate themselves to describing an odd object, its obscure origin, its possible uses and ultimately, its disappearance due to an unfortunate (and fictional) fire set by an obsessing housekeep
Jun 22, 2011 Corey rated it it was amazing
As befits the fictional collection, Cabinet harbours a myriad of delights, along with gorgeous paintings, sketches, and photographs (the book itself is gorgeous). Luminaries such as Michael Moorcock, China Mieville, Mike Mignola, Alan Moore, Lev Grossman, Tad Williams, Minister Faust, and dozens beside contribute tales, descriptions, and more, resulting in an anthology of vastly differing styles and themes. The entries, bearing titles such as Dunkelblau's Meistergarten, The Electrical Neurheogra ...more
Derek Webber
Aug 01, 2011 Derek Webber rated it really liked it
Never read the first anthology that was the lead in to this but made it a point to pick this up as it included some of my favorite writers and one of my all time favorite artists. Obviously with an anthology the chances that all the short stories be stellar is most likely not going to happen. Although this was an anthology I would have loved if there was some sort of underlying cohesiveness or maybe a reference to another artifact in some of the stories. Of course that would have taken more plan ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Mike rated it it was ok
Maybe a cute gimmick: a book of short "stories" (or pieces, or whatever) by various name authors, each purporting to be about some weird curio from the collection of a demented collector. Most of it is unreadable garbage, hopelessly twee, or pretentious bullshit, but there were a couple of stories that caught my interest. Unfortunately, being short stories, they ended before anything much really happened and I was disappointed. If you are a bigger fan of short stories than I, you might enjoy thi ...more
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