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Oddball Indiana: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places (Oddball States) [Paperback]

Jerome Pholen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 11.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 April 2002 Oddball States
Square Donuts. The World's Largest Stump. Oscar the Monster Turtle. Johnny Appleseed's grave. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. While other travel guides tell you about yet another cozy bed-and-breakfast and bike trails through Brown County, Oddball Indiana offers wacky travel destinations and little-known historical tidbits. Why is Nancy Barnett's grave in the middle of a country road? Where can you go to communicate with your dead Aunt Clara? Who invented Alka-Seltzer? How did David Letterman get fired from his first broadcasting gig? This is the guide to the real Indiana, birthplace of corn flakes, Dan Quayle, and Wonder Bread, for those who want to laugh, not lounge, on their vacation.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 1 edition (1 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556524382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556524387
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,315,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


"(Pohlen's) prose makes reading the Oddball guides a delight" -- Salt Lake Tribune

"Fortunately...there are people like Jerome Pohlen to...remind us that yes, this stuff, in all its geeky glory, is still around." -- Chicago Tribune

"Pohlen is one of those travelers who loves anything that smacks of individuality." -- Ellen Miller, Indiana Star

"Reads like a cross between Fodor's and Ripley's Believe It of Not" -- The Journal Gazette

"This in not your parents' travel book, but in the new
millennium, all guides will be written like this." -- Chuck Shepherd, News of the Weird

"Travel guide with a twist" -- The Bloomsbury Review

"enough to make every Hoosier proud." -- The Evening Star (Auburn, IN)

"some of the most off-the-wall and off-the-beaten-path places ever overlooked by the usual travel guides" -- Electric Consumer

"takes a wry look at some of those little discoveries that can make your travel day" -- Associated Press

"what a great job Jerome Pohlen has" -- Indianapolis Prime Times Magazine

About the Author

Jerome Pohlen is the author of the Oddball series and a regular travel commentator for 848 on WBEZ, the Chicago affiliate of National Public Radio. He is a recent recipient of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Award for Best Essay. He lives in Chicago.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
If all you know about Northern Indiana is the toll from East Chicago to Angola, perhaps you should slow down. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Meeting my needs for knowing where to take a look at something strange, and a little unusual, other than the common tourist things.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best travel guide - period! 27 May 2003
By David Lee - Published on Amazon.com
We recently moved to Colorado and purchased about a dozen travel guides to help us get oriented. Oddball Colorado was one we just sort of grabbed in the melee. My wife and I would burst out in spontaneous laughter as we read it. Rather than read it cover to cover, I found myself bouncing around from page to page. Just when I thought I had finished it I would discover another golden nugget I had overlooked. It was a sad day when I realized I had finally finished it!
Now all other travel guides seem inconsequential. Pohlen identifies the natural wonders that really matter (to me!). The cheesy roadside attractions that seemed to capture my father's big station wagon with their tractor beams. Reading the book is like taking a ride with my dad all over again.
Now I've moved onto Oddball Illinois. And I thought nothing could make me want to visit Illinois!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delivers as promised but too much fascination with... 30 Aug 2004
By DWD's Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
...Dan Quayle and Jim Jones.

Th book does a great job of showing some of the odd things that make the Hoosier state unique, including Santa Claus, IN and the world's largest steer (he's stuffed). It also turns out that Indiana is the birthplace of Wonder Bread, Alka Seltzer, Corn Flakes, Pork and Beans and the unique shape of the Coca-Cola bottle. He includes driving directions that look to be accurate (I am familiar with some of these places) although a good map of Indiana would also be required to even find some of the towns that he mentions. He includes several pictures, which generally are helpful.

This really could have been a charming little book - one that I would have been 100% enthused about except for the author's fascination with Dan Quayle (not in a positive way, either) and Jim Jones (the cult leader who led his 900+ followers in a mass suicide in Guyana in the 1978). Do we really need to see Dan Quayle's frat house? Do we really need to see a picture of the bridge that his Jones' uncle jumped off of in order to commit suicide?

But, on the whole, the guide is useful and entertaining. It includes addresses, phone numbers, web addresses, visiting hours, costs (if any) and directions to every location he describes. I do recommend it for anyone who likes to travel off of the beaten path.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, could use an update 26 Mar 2011
By Laura E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Would like to see a revised version of this book, some of it looks dated and sounded dated. but, its a great concept and an interesting read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Way, way outdated 19 Dec 2012
By Nini Phelps - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since Ilive inColorado I thougth it would be fun to take day trips. But this book is way outdated, printed in 2002 as near as I could tell. Several of the things mentioend are no longer there. But it is full of off the wallplaces, IF they are still there.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neat fact book! 8 Feb 2013
By Kathy Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered this in honor of a friend who had passed away and loved weird facts. I donated it to the town library and everyone loves it.
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