This book arrived in the same Amazon shipment as "Bertha Venation", a book devoted to funny names of people. While "Bertha Venation" managed to be singularly unfunny, "Bizarre Books" had a pretty high hilarity quotient. Almost every page had at least a couple of titles which made me giggle.
Conveniently grouped into chapters such as Double Entendres, Science & Scientific Theories, health & Medicine, Sex & Marriage, Sport, Leisure, Clothes & Fashion, Food & Drink, The Workplace, Crime & the Law, Religion & Beliefs, and Death , most of the titles included in this book are genuinely funny. For some of the more baffling titles, the authors include a representative short excerpt, a welcome feature.
This book is not for everyone. But if you have a penchant for the offbeat, the quirky, and obscure weirdness, it's good for more than a few belly-laughs.
It would be remiss of me not to include a few of my favorite entries:
* The Art of Faking Exhibition Poultry (1934), by George Ryley Scott.
The author treads an indistinct line between condemning this widespread and despicable practice, and telling the reader exactly how to do it.
* Correctly English in 100 Days(Shanghai Correctly English Society, 1934)
This book is prepared for the Chinese young man who wishes to served for the foreign firms. It divided nealy hundred and ninety pages. It contains full of ordinary speak and write language.....
* Was Oderic of Pordenone Ever in Tibet?, by Berthold Laufer (1914)
* The Love Sonnets of a Hoodlum, by Wallace Irwin (1901)
'Am I a turnip? On the strict Q.T.,
When do my Trilbys get so ossified?
Why am I minus when it's up to me
To brace my Paris pansy for a glide?'
* Truncheons: Their Romance and Reality, by Erland Fenn Clark (1935),
with over 100 plates illustrating more than 500 truncheons.
Admit it, aren't you just a little bit curious to learn more about those 500 truncheons? To know more about the mysterious, mythic Oderic of Pordenone? To sample more of that literary hoodlum's oeuvre?
Perhaps what I enjoy most about this book is the glimpses it provides of the infinite inventiveness, and never-ending quirkiness, of the human mind.