- Series: Weird
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Sterling (May 5, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402766882
- ISBN-13: 978-1402766886
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #679,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets Paperback – May 5, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is loaded with weird facts, legends, lore, people, photographs, ghost stories, haunted places, supernatural figures, terrifying ruins and tunnels and forests and abandoned buildings, tall tales, odd museums, and answerless mysteries.
I've travelled a lot around America, and I've come across a lot of strangeness that's not in this book--I always ask people, "What's the strangest thing you've ever seen?"--but what it is here is entertaining and unique, if occasionally doubtful. The book deals more with the East than with the West, and as a result of that a lot of cool stuff is never even mentioned that could be. There's only one or two items from New Mexico, and nothing at all on skinwalkers--the creepiest lore there is.
Some parts of the book are actually frightening though--like phantom clowns!--and would be even scarier if read during an actual visit to these places.
I recommend this book highly--it's very readable, though I wish it had maps or directions to the places it describes--and I will probably buy any sequels.
This unfocused nature of the book is badly exacerbated by the contributing "authors" who have sent submissions to Sceurman and Moran describing these weird places. Many of these are message board submissions of wildly inconsistent quality. Some are well written but most aren't, especially those that damage the credibility of the whole enterprise with indirect stories about how they heard about legends and locations from friends of friends of friends. The production values of the book are amateurish with the selection of weak contributions from correspondents, poor editing and writing, and illustrations and photographs that sometimes don't even illustrate the locations whose text they accompany. There is a much better place for this type of information for the adventurous American roadtripper and explorer of mysterious places - the better developed and much more established website and book series created by the great Roadside America organization. [~doomsdayer520~]
The layout of this book is gorgeous, and while it may not be worth the original B&N price, the Amazon marketplace price makes it a steal. The pictures are just fabulous. I love the personal narrations by different authors, but some other reviewers have noted mistakes, so they need to be taken with a grain of salt.
All in all, if you're interested in this book, either take it out of the library or find a comfortable seat at your local bookstore and give it a look-through. It just doesn't make sense to spend the money on this book when you can find much more detailed information (and TONS more listings) online...and for free.