Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases

On Monday, I was happily browsing the library, trying to find a series in which I forgot the title and author but knew the general location it was at. And did I mention that this was before the library re-arranged the shelves? Well, one pleasant find was this book: The Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases edited by Jeff Vandermeer & Mark Roberts.

When I got home, I realised that it was like an anthology (many authors) which include Neil Gaiman and Mieville China. My reaction? -> O.O



and an immediate Goodreads recommendation to all my friends (who are on Goodreads) that like these two authors (at least, I think they like them).

The book was fantastic (as expected). It's a book you can read in bits and pieces because it's either a collection of fantastical diseases, or an account of Dr Thackery T. Lambshead. Plus, the on-going joke of how the book is in its 83rd edition, plus the footnotes make it hilarious. The book also has a few metaphysical jokes (at least, I think they are metaphysical jokes), as its design and typeface is used to poke fun at several of these imaginary diseases (e.g. Printer's Evil)

The only thing that hampered the book at times was the seriousness at which it took itself. Certain entries are hard to understand, mostly because they can't be understood (and not on purpose, like Logrolling Ephesus). But generally, you can get the joke on the second reading onwards, so this wasn't too much of a problem.

All in all, this book is adorable! It's funny and the pseudo-serious tone that it uses is generally successful. I think you should read it.

Oh and by the way, I managed to find the series I was looking for. The author is Frank Tallis (catalogued under TAL) and this book is under THA so I wasn't that far off the mark(:

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