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Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous owner's name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends: The Strange Stories Behind Tall Tales Paperback – February 5, 2013

2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Albert Jack is the bestselling author of Red Herrings and White Elephants, Pop Goes the Weasel, Black Sheep and Lame Ducks, and What Caesar Did for My Salad.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1 edition (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399161538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399161537
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,462,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Happy Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was given this book as a gift by someone who knows I love trivia of all kinds. I had one chapter left to read in "Phantom Hitchhikers" and was waffling between giving this book three or four stars. Albert Jack's folksy writing style makes for an easy enjoyable read. And Albert Jack's folksy writing style masks poor writing habits and abysmal scholarship.

In the beginning, Jack tells us that in one of his stories he gave a character a name, and it was the name of the friend who told him the story. Throughout the book he occasionally gives names and locations and dates, etc., and there is no way to know how much of it he's making up. It should be one way or the other. Either he is a storyteller telling urban myths, or this is a nonfiction book about urban legends. The latter calls for more scholarship and openness.

Jack's writing style includes humor, although it can be heavy-handed. In his section on "Winston Churchill Was a Druid", for example, he starts off with: "When the Roman Army reached the shores of England in AD 43, they encountered a fairly uncultured race of people with few skills, little intellect, and virtually no compassion, such as can be found on the average Friday night out in any suburban town nearly two thousand years later." This odd little intro may be explained by the fact that Albert Jack is the pen name of the British writer, Graham Willmott.

Where Willmott really loses me, though, is in that last chapter, titled "The Appliance of Science". Some of the entries are usual urban legend goofiness, such as a tanning bed that scrambles your insides like a microwave (which Willmott debunks). Some get into conspiracy theories.

When I got to the last chapter's entry for "One Small Step for Man...
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Format: Paperback
A compact book full of fun anecdotes, Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends will make readers smirk and giggle as they read embarrassing stories about anonymous strangers and famous figures. Bill Gates, Winston Churchill, Mick Jagger and David Bowie--no one is safe from these tall tales recounted by author Albert Jack.

Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends would be a good book to take on a trip to read in the car as your spouse drives, or to work to read during bathroom breaks. The stories are short and light and can be digested quickly, and could even be turned into conversation starters or amended into jokes.

Recommended for anyone who enjoys an amusing yarn.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the most boring book I have ever read. Most of this is "maybe" as well as things we have heard for a long time. To me it seems like the author could just as well have made most of these up just to fill space in the book. "It could be or maybe not what do you think?" is way to repetitive. Sorry, but this books stinks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a great book to have when you know you'll be waiting, like at the doctor's office, or car-work place. I'm making my way slowly through it, a little at a time, and it even has laugh-out-loud moments,
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