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The New York Grimpendium: A Guide to Macabre and Ghastly Sites in New York State Paperback – October 1, 2012
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In the 18th and 19th centuries, authors would go on extensive journeys and notate all of their experiences. Those unfortunate enough not to have the means to travel would be inspired by and learn from these travel journals. One such person who found his muse in them was an Irishman by the name of Bram Stoker. He would go on to pen THE vampire novel, Dracula.
Moving through the extensive New York Grimpenmdium by blogger/author J.W. Ocker, one wishes that Stoker were alive today. The stories he could glean from the Ocker's travel journal would make Dracula seem like Twilight.
Ocker created and maintains the Odd Things I've Seen website where he and his intrepid photographer and wife, Lindsey, travel to remote locations to find things, well, odd. Ocker's comfortable tone and gee-whiz approach to the most baffling and entertaining artifacts makes the site a daily stop--particularly around Halloween when he posts every day on the celebration of the 31st.
Ocker carries that same friend-telling-you-a-tale-in-a-bar tone for the second grimpendium. Focusing on the 11th state added to the union, the author searches through packed cities, pastoral graveyards, and abandoned buildings to demonstrate just how strange this world, and the state of New York, really is.
I have read some of the "Weird" books that also focus on a particular state and all the eccentricities to be found in its borders. What I have noticed about those books is that they have a layout that looks to be done by an overenthusiastic graphic artist. Where the "Weird" books have the feel of a turnpike rest-stop brochure, Ocker keeps things simple and organized.Read more ›
I've long been a fan of Ocker's writing, through his blog O.T.I.S. (Odd Things I've Seen), and in this book, as there, he has this smarmy touch that borders on "I can't believe I'm writing about this." A classic approach-avoid conflict, like the patron at a horror movie peeking between the fingers they're using to cover their eyes. He uses parallelism wonderfully, coupled with the 1 punch, the 2 punch, and 3, boom, the hay-maker. His vocabulary and his allusions make this a never-boring roller coaster a joy to read.
I haven't read it all, but I've read a good chunk and skimmed more, and learned about places I knew about as well as parts about Brooklyn I never knew at all.
The book is a lot of fun. Seriously.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fantastic work of research. I live in New York, and there are so many great places I can visit on my own. It's fun to read Mr. Ocker's descriptions, too. Thank you!Published 9 months ago by S. B. Scott
Ocker writes about obscure and odd sites and happenings. and i like reading about odd sites and happenings. great book JWPublished 13 months ago by L Brown
*New York Grimpendium* grew on me like ivy on a forgotten headstone. J.W. Ocker has the uncanny knack of luring readers into the twisted world of New York macabre with a narration... Read morePublished on March 26, 2014 by Dean Squared
this book is amazing,the first book was awesome but this one is even better! cant wait to see what he comes up with next!Published on November 3, 2012 by Melissa