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Vermont Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff (Curiosities Series) Paperback – October 14, 2008
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Bernie Sanders, lone independent in the U.S. Senate, wrote the foreword. Senator Sanders concludes by saying, “This book is a pleasurable compendium for those who want to travel Vermont and see things not found in most guidebooks, and will be a delight to those who enjoy the quirkiness of Vermont’s ‘curiosities.’”As an example of this quirkiness, Wilson points to Vermont’s only professional basketball team, the Frost Heaves. “Any state serious enough of purpose to name an athletic team in honor of indigenous phenomena rather than mammals of prey earns points for originality.”
This user-friendly book is organized geographically, the first chapter dealing with
statewide matters–historical, geological and cultural. The remaining chapters cover the state’s eight regions. Each “curiosity” is pictured and includes clear directions for getting there, accompanied by hours of operation, if applicable, and a phone number for more information.
The Herald of Randolph
From the Back Cover
• Indian carvings that may or may not be prehistoric
• America’s only covered bridge museum (itself a covered bridge)
• The architectural wonder of the 32-room Wilson Castle
• The Bread & Puppet Theater, where sourdough follows politics
• The world’s largest marble museum, complete with forty-one carved presidents and an award-winning
Top Customer Reviews
Vermont Curiosities takes you off the beaten path and a little bit further, guiding you through all the wonderful quirks of Vermont and introducing you to the most unique places that state has to offer. Wilson steers his readers away from the commercialized areas of the state and introduces them to some of the state's hidden gems. With chapters like "Indian Carvings that may or may not be Prehistoric" it's immediately obvious that you're not reading your usual guide book.
I was pleased to find that the book was organized geographically opposed to alphabetically as this made it much easier to plan my upcoming trip and saved me having to skip frustratingly through chapters. While Wilson's writing painted a wonderful picture of the state, the lack of color pictures was a bit of a let down for me.
If you are planning to visit the Green Mountain State any time soon, I'd highly recommend this book as some of the stories Wilson tells and the things he teaches you are not to be missed. May I suggest that you also bring a nature guide, like Vermont Nature Guide: A field guide to birds, mammals, trees, insects, wildflowers, amphibians, reptiles, and where to find them because this State is filled with beautiful living things!
It's perhaps worth knowing ahead of time that this book isn't really a "guidebook" in the usual sense. It is full of long stories--interesting ones, but certainly not thumbnail sketches for tourists. I think it's most fun to read it after you've visited the places, as a reminder of the historical, political, or scenic significance of each one. It's arranged by "area" within the state, so you can read a portion of it if you're planning a trip there, and at the end of the book, there's a list of major highways and the "sights" on each of those roads. Apart from those features, the rest of the book is prose, a few black and white pictures, and a few small maps.
As long as you're not counting on a tourist guide, this book is great. It gives much reading pleasure, and it's guaranteed to present quite a few "curiosities" worth exploring.
It looked like a tourist guide, something Wilson did for the State Tourist
Bureau. Interesting, I thought, I'll look it over when I get time. I put it on the table next to my easy chair and there it sat until yesterday. I did the thumb-through again and this time a name caught my eye--Lake Bomoseen. I thought the Lake was featured for its scenery. Wilson is too young to remember the Algonquin Round Tablers' sojourns to Alexander Woollcott's island in Lake Bomoseen. But he did. He had it all down: Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx, Ethel Barrymore,Irving Berlin, all the heroes of my college days. God, life was easy then.
But there was more.Vermont's history is not entirely about stone quarries, covered bridges and the Green Mountain Boys. It includes stories about Calvin Coolidge, Norman Rockwell, the von Trapps, Robert Todd Lincoln, Rudyard Kipling...and they're all fun to read. I now skip from story to story each time I sit down. And I'm always picking out choice bits to read to my wife.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was also a gift for my son-in-law, I'm not sure if he will ever use it. Seems too quirky.Published 18 months ago by Jae Brown
housewarming gift for my sister who moved to Vermont - she loves it - abnd my nephew (who has lived there for many years) loves it too!Published 21 months ago by ali
I bought a few copies of this, one for me and a couple for gifts. Some of the "Oddities" did seem to be repeated local legends that I have seen published in books about other... Read morePublished on October 30, 2013 by Softpaww
Needs some color pictures to get a 5 star. Really enjoyed the information and how it was laid out. Gave us some good pointers for our trip this fall.Published on June 23, 2013 by C Brockman