Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book Reviews V: Spell Bound + Mrs. Wakeman vs. the Antichrist

A couple more book reviews today. First up Spell Bound by Dominic Alexander (Readers Digest, 2002). For those of you keeping track, I'll give this another 4 star rating, the stars mean nothing.

*(As per usual I'm not being paid or compensated, I just hang out in the library and read a lot of stuff.)

I kind of see this like the text book of the History of witchcraft. There's a lot of general information coming at you quickly, and it's really easy to read. It's good if you've got a short attention span, but it's definitely not a book for younger readers due to nudity in graphics.

There's the usual textbook issues of confusing or waffling on minor facts, exclusion of information that may have been helpful (there's a few places I was wanting for dates, and I am not really one to give much notice to time), and breaking of pages at odd times for inserts of information that could have come at the end of the section.

The author also appeared to have a hard time choosing between Demon and Daemon. Both worked for his purposes, but using them interchangeably was a little bit distracting.

However, there's still a lot of good information, and bit of clever writing, “Even the dark side of the human imagination demonstrates our unity.” It's a good read especially if you're interested in who or what Benandanti, Milcuhexe, Strix, Hail Pots, Caliburn, and Robin Good-Fellow are.

My final gripe however is near the end of the book, things get a little boring, and the author suggests witchcraft is coming back into vogue. No. I was alive in 2002, and I knew only a single witch at the time. It was far less trendy then it had been in the 80s and 90s.

Next up we have Mrs. Wakeman vs. the Antichrist by Robert Damon Schneck (Tarcher, 2014). I'm feeling generous, so 5 stars here, and all my readers can have a star as well (heck, I'll even make good on that, message me about it and I will draw you a one of a kind star).

*(Again I've not been paid or compensated, but read a library copy of this book. Not that I would say no to people sending me money, but the fact is this review is unbiased by payment.)

This book is a great romp through history and all sorts of subjects, most of which have a paranormal aspect, and those that don't are at least odd. Topics covered include Ouija Boards, Stigmata, Treasure Hunting, and Wildmen.

Of course I can't get through a book without finding an error. There was footnote or two missing. Simply there was no note with that number. There was also a page where the word 'then' was there with nothing attached to it. I stared at it for a while, but I was soon back into the book.

The book enjoys some humorous moments, and occasionally goes off on tangents, which I found fascinating, so they were nothing to complain about in my eyes, because it always circled back to the subject at hand. Heck, sometimes they were more interesting then the subject at hand. Though I'd have liked to have a follow up on what Billy Graham has to do with satanic abuse, because apparently that was some sort of a thing, and no one ever mentioned it around these parts (where would I be without the internet).

I'm still left with some questions, but most of them are likely questions the author still has himself, because it's just not possible to know everything (no matter how hard I try).
*I think I'm going to go to bed now.

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