Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Longer Review: Green Mountains, Dark Tales


If you couldn't tell, I was disappointed with this Citro offering. Joseph A. Citro wrote one of the very best, if not the outright best, books I have ever read on the paranormal and just plain fascinating supernatural mysteries, called "Passing Strange." It's a must-read if you're into that kind of thing. He also wrote the very good "Green Mountain Ghost, Ghouls, and Unsolved Mysteries." I know these seem a little odd if you're not into cool and interesting things, but trust me-they are odd! But so good.

So I tracked down this one, and right on the cover is a picture of a ghost materializing along another ghost that is only a torso. That's cool! What's that story? Unfortunately, the book's contents are nothing of the sort.

Citro specializes in Vermont. And being limited to just Vermont, you're bound to run out of stories that wouldn't be able to be found without some serious digging. He reads newspapers from the 1800s all the time to try to find interesting historical quirks. You'd have to go into people's journals at this point, since I think he's pretty well captured most everything unusual that has happened in Vermont in the last 250 years or so.

So this book is just about quirky people and unusualish things. I suppose it's somewhat more interesting than a normal history book, but when you've read the best, all that's left is 'the rest.' There were stories of guys who tried to mine for silver but NEVER FOUND ANY. And there were some witches, supposedly, but they didn't really do anything. He crams in some cryptozoology, but it was too little, too late.

With spelling and grammar errors throughout, and a completely unexpected and uncalled for swipe at Joseph Smith in a chapter on 'mysticism,' I was left thoroughly unimpressed. Especially the JS comment; surprisingly small-minded for someone who prides themself on supposedly being so open-minded. Funny how often that happens...

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