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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 1999
This book could have been so much more. It is flawed by a very odd writing style---deadpan and stilted. The format is so odd as to make it almost unreadable at times---two blocks of print on each page, at very different levels, as if one is meant to be a caption, yet it isn't! The author doesn't seem to know whether she wants to be a book for the curious, or a book condemning you for being curious. A fascinating subject, which is why this book can be interesting at all, but really not handled well here---don't bother with this one.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 1999
The illustrations are spectacular in Special Cases, and many of the anecdotes are vividly written. But the author also omits much of the subject matter's historical and scientific context, leaving the "special cases" looking more like simple freaks. As well, this book is poorly organized and poorly edited, so that by the end I was completely frustrated with Ms. Purcell.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2000
Visually, the book is rewarding. The author has photographed her specimens imaginatively, compelling the reader to look twice to identify the subject matter. The text, however, is a great disappointment. Not only is the format confusing (as some reviewers have already pointed out), but with a writing style so disjointed and without an appreciable sense of structure, the book leaves us readers floundering in a fishpond, desperately seeking the shore.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 1998
This book was very hard to read, the format was confusing. The material reads like it came from magazine captions. The pictures are mostly line drawings.
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Not what I'd hoped for.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2004
I got the feeling he wrote a book around some vacations he took. He references the Mutter Museum multiple times, so if you're really interested in a book on anomalies, look into the Mutter Museum book. Don't waste your money on this one!!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2006
If you get this used, you won't mind so much that it repeats itself too often and runs out of steam halfway. I think I am much swayed by the photos, this is a coffee-table book, not a reference book. I am boggled at the typography decisions, I suppose someone has been reading too much WIRED and thought it looked avant garde. It does reek.

If you are much into the subject I'd say you will find something to enrich you here, esp if you can get a good deal on the book somewhere.
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 1998
This is really one of the most exciting books to have come out in recent times. The photographs are extraordinary and the text intelligent and insightful. A must buy!!
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