8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2011
If you shared my delight in the first three Strange Attractors and my glad surprise in finding that the fourth was finally in print, be warned. I don't for an instant regret getting the book but as a whole it doesn't measure up to the others.
Whereas I gobbled up the other SA's, in this one were a few essays I found I could only skim. Perhaps the problem lies in very lenient editing which--especially given that, as always, most contributors seem to be enthusiastic if often learned amateurs--might be taken as an open invitation to self-indulgence.
None of the essays is entirely without interest and quite a few are as good and as unusual as any others in the series. But one is far too long, one occasionally veers into a school essay on My Summer Holidays (stayed in a tent, had some weird goat-sightings), one rabbits on about a weed which, when smoked, not only dispels reason and grammar ('My sense is that Mugwort enjoys to be smoked and this aligns with reports from pagans. . .that the plant likes to be used as incense. . . .'), but drives one to bore others with over-use of defunct northern European languages. Overall, the book is too loose, too undisciplined, and hence too unlikely to hold the reader's attention, in too many places.
If you'd enjoy an anthology of sometimes unusual treatments of often little-known subjects, you'd do better to read one of the other--quite wonderful--books in the series before getting this one.