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Alien Hand Syndrome Paperback – July 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; 1 edition (July 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761152253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761152255
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A compulsively readable collection, Alien Hand Syndrome brings together over 90 fantastic-but-true stories—absolutely mind-bending gems plucked from the annals of history. Selected and narrated by Alan Bellows—who can take the chaos of an event like the Lake Peigneur Disaster and retell it with harrowing step-by-step suspense—each entry opens a window onto a world where something’s gone terribly, yet fascinatingly, wrong. You can't get enough.

About the Author

Alan Bellows, aka "The Professor," is the writer, designer, managing editor, and marketing mastermind behind DamnInteresting.com. A software designer, he developed his fascination for the odd and unexpected while doing programming for the library industry. He lives with his wife in Orem, Utah.

More About the Author

Oh, hello. I'm Alan Bellows. I'm an author, designer, and professional programmer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. I established DamnInteresting.com in September of ought-five, and I'm the pixel-pusher, programmer, managing editor, and head writer there.

A few years ago Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) linked to one of my articles, and in the ensuing email conversation he offered to refer me to his literary agent. One thing led to another and nine months later (give or take) Workman birthed a collection of some of our best stuff (and a few book-exclusive articles) as "Alien Hand Syndrome". Scott Adams took some paternal responsibility by giving us a complimentary cover blurb. He's a sweet heart.

We continue to research and write our sciencey-history stuff on Damn Interesting, and we have additional ebooks available there.

Bonus fact: I was an extra in the 1980s blockbuster hit movie Footloose.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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You will definitely hear back a lot from him/her about it.
j
This book was a fascinating read, mostly stories that I had never heard before.
Stephanie Gates
This book is perfect intellectual beach reading (or bathroom reading!)
H. Hogan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By H. Hogan on June 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I love Mental_Floss magazine, and as a result a friend recommended me to the Damn Interesting page about a year and a half ago. I check it everyday! The website is great for picking up interesting conversation starters and little fun facts. I always felt like I learned something after reading the articles, and it's great they finally have a book out! This book is perfect intellectual beach reading (or bathroom reading!) The essays are about really interesting and obscure subjects, like ancient birth control methods and ne'er-do-wells who are sole survivors of volcanic eruptions. A lot of learning and a lot of fun!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C Winger on August 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's an excellent compliment to the [...] website. The book compiles (and in some cases expands or summarizes) many of the best online articles.

There are a few brand new articles containing subject matter not already published on the website (see below for a list).

Another thing I like about the book is that it has some articles that combine and summarize multiple similar web articles (like Cognitive Glitches).

Many of the article titles in the book are different than titles on the website.

I was going to buy this book even if the authors decided to only use the existing online content. It was an added bonus to see new material. Here are articles that I found to be exclusive to the book (at the time of this writing) :

*Animal Weaponry
*Cognitive Glitches
*Deep Water Mysteries
*Kowloon: The Walled City of Darkness
*The McCollum Memo
*Peculiar Parasites
*The Revelations of Restored Sight
*Sylbaris The Survivor
*Unanticipated Side Effects
*Walking Corpse Syndrome
*Weird Weaponry

Again, some of the above "new" articles contain pieces and summaries of existing online articles, but the writers added a fair amount of interesting fresh content.

Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bryan J. Lowder on July 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
(In the interest of full disclosure, I am a contributing editor).
The book turned out better than I even anticipated. (The cover has improved, for one thing.) I hadn't been keeping up with the site, and now I see what I've been missing-- and there's other stuff exclusive to the book, if you are a faithful follower. I seriously love it. This is Ripley's for the 21st century. Fascinating, funny, disturbing, awe-inspiring, all in rapid succession. And all in bite-sized chunks. (Dare I say it? It's good bathroom reading...) I've found the book itself is a conversation piece. People laugh at the title and then ask what it's about. And if you've read it, well, you'll have plenty of facts to mesmerize that girl at the cocktail party. And you'll be a better person for it. Moreover, the book is cheap! But why listen to me? See what Scott Adams said about it on the cover. Alan's writing (and everybody else's!) absolutely scintillates. So go find out what a megacryometeor is.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is obscure, intersting, and a great read. I'd recommend this highly to anyone that enjoys moments of fascination, disgust, horror, or tribulation. [...], this book is more than a pulp version of the site and looks great on the coffee table or toilet tank.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By World Nomad on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I cam across damned interesting in my never ending exploration of the internet in search of things that that which would make me more interesting. [...] provided me with what I always wanted: a database of interesting and unique stories that I could use to set me apart from the crowd, and women that my mother was right, I am a catch! The only problem was that i couldn't very well continue to take my computer to the bar. But all that has been remedied! Now, whenever I'm lacking in interesting conversation starters, i can just pull out my Alien Hand, and the odd and intriguing are at my fingertips!

This book really delivers, just like the website, without being merely a text iteration of the site. I love the obscurity of its stories, and the fact that even though i hate doing it, i always learn something after I'm finished reading. If the unknown and obscure is what tickles your pickle, this is the book for you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carissa Mcnamara on July 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Although the stories take only a few minutes each to read, set aside an afternoon, because you won't be able to put this book down! This book will make an great gift for any audience! It has its place in a camp trailer, road trip, coffee table, bathroom, guest bedroom, airplane, etc....It is totally entertaining. The fact that it is well written is just a bonus! I recommend reading it before an event....the stories make for fabulous conversation starters! There is much to be learned from the occurrences of the improbable!

Thanks!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hartman!! on July 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
My girlfriend and I have always been fans of the Uncle John's series. As a housewarming gift a friend gave us Alien Hand Syndrome and we love it!! I had heard of it before but felt I had my loyalty to Uncle John's so wasn't sure what to think. Now, Im hooked!! Uncle John's gets boring and predictable anyway. Alien Hand Syndrome is an awesome light read for bathroom reading, in the park, on the subway, before bed... Very thought provoking and the articles have become great conversation starters and ice-breakers.
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