I received a free, advance reading copy of Strange History from Netgalley for review.
Have you seen Junior’s grades? I really disliked history when I was young, and that isn’t unusual. History begins for us when we’re born, and it takes some living to appreciate what others did before we’re born. History classes absolutely made me squirm, but part of the problem was the linear, detailed curriculum that didn’t spark my interest.
Based on the drooling and snoring that occurred in the classroom, I can honestly say my disinterest in history was hardly unique. That probably would not have been the case if the subject was served up in interesting little morsels. History, no. Trivia, yes!
Of course, I read long history books for pleasure now. I’ve achieved the necessary patina to relate to what happened in the days of yore, now that my youth is considered the days of yore. Strange History jumps around in short bits, using famous quotes as segues. The topics rotate: Strange people, places, and events in categories such as “Frankenstein”, for odd medical history, and “Dracula” for the book and the character on which it was based. Yes, there is some ick factor here, but the prose is straightforward and not cringe-worthy. It is dubbed strange history, after all.
And no tale drags so long as to overstay its welcome. The book chugs along at an admirable rate. It’s a light read packed with information. A good gift for people who like reading trivia, and not out-of-place for the children.
Four out of five stars.