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The Book of Strange and Curious Legal Oddities: Pizza Police, Illicit Fishbowls, and Other Anomalies of the Law That Make Us All Unsuspecting Criminals Paperback – August 3, 2010

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nathan Belofsky is an attorney specializing in litigation. He has a bachelor of arts in politics from Brandeis University and a law degree from Cardozo School of Law. He lives in New York City. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Books; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535956
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #960,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amy M. Rosenthal on September 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a really fun, short read. Unlike a lot of of the legal trivia you can find the web, it's well-researched and accurate--the writer has certainly done his due diligence. People who enjoy trivia, legal info, or history would totally get a kick out of it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Simon on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
The title tells you exactly what you're getting here: an entertaining compilation of laws (and law-related trivia) from throughout history and around the world. The book is divided into thematic chapters, including one about laws and law enforcement throughout history, one dealing with animals, and another about "Life's Essentials: Food and Sex." As the author says in his introduction, you can read the book cover-to-cover, or you can skip around and read whatever sounds most interesting. This is essentially a bathroom book, and you lose nothing by reading little bits of it at random times.

Belofsky acknowledges other books that cover similar territory. He claims that his book is unique because he actually cites his sources, or mentions when a particular story is unsubstantiated. It's a nice touch and left me feeling satisfied that the author was avoiding urban legend and the distorted tales making their way through the Internet by way of forwarded emails.

This book met my expectations, though I was a bit underwhelmed. As you might guess, you'll find some humor, some weirdness, and some cases (especially the historical ones) that are amazingly atrocious and cruel! But only a few times in the book did I find something actually laughably funny; mostly, the content was just quietly amusing. Belofsky's writing muted my enjoyment a bit. I think that, in an effort to be clever, he made some strange choices in word choice or phrasing. Sometimes this resulted in awkward sentences, and once or twice it actually obscured what he was trying to say. It didn't happen often, but when it did, I was annoyed.

Oh, if you read this, keep a dictionary handy. (This is when I love having a dictionary on my smartphone.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Megan on August 15, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is entertaining and thought provoking.

It not only highlights some of the sillier laws throughout the world, it also prompts us to think about why we have laws and what causes governments to impose limitations on their population.

The writing is precise and humorous. Recommended reading for anyone looking to learn something and enjoy themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Personne on December 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
I would certainly agree with the word "underwhelming" for this work. One phrase, though, really irked me: "pizza police".

This is misleading in its tone.

Italy is the home of the "slow food" movement, which began in 1986 in protest against the opening of a McDonald's restaurant. Italians take their food, and by extension, their heritage, VERY seriously. (Italian readers, back me up here!)

There are laws in Italy governing what may or may not be called authentic products. Parmesan may only be made in a certain region, using certain milk, during certain months of the year.... Far from being a restriction, this guideline preserves a tradition, a heritage and a part of the culture, and adds value rather than taking away.

I wish someone would enact a law forbidding those tasteless, overblown California strawberries which are now available year-round. Or giant equally tasteless tomatoes with the consistency of wool...

In the meantime, I'd welcome a slice of authentic Naples pizza... brought to you by a nation that hasn't forgotten what food should be. Bring on the police!
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By Eve C. Brook on January 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are reasons laws are made and sometimes they seem funnier than sensible. My clients and I have fun reading and discussing the laws and their intent. It takes the bite out of hardcore behavioral therapy, and my clients can usually get through another day without poor behaviors. I recommend this text as I've been able to add another creative bend to counseling.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Evan Levine on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
A fabulous portrayal of both the silly and trivial parts of the legal system as well as the ultimate scams- particularly the area of Meso-Madness. It's an easy and sometimes whimsical read that I thouroughly enjoyed.

Dr. Evan S. Levine

Author of What Your Doctor Won't (or Can't) Tell You
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bought this on Amazon.com. As an attorney, had read other books about odd laws, etc., so took a look at this book as well. Adds a whole new slew of different laws and odd legal behaviors to the mix. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Hope you do, too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not what I had hoped. I have kids who like to look up dumb or strange laws like "it's illegal to sing in a public pool in Florida". Maybe I should have known by the title "legal oddities"?
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The Book of Strange and Curious Legal Oddities: Pizza Police, Illicit Fishbowls, and Other Anomalies of the Law That Make Us All Unsuspecting Criminals
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