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The Book of the Damned Kindle Edition
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This is an engrossing compilation of miscellaneous attention-grabbing events, approached with both belief and scepticism, and blended with scholarship and humour.
How to read this massive book? I'm pleased that I took Jim Steinmeyer's advice to read `Lo!' (the third book) first. By the time I got (back) to `Book of the Damned', I was totally engrossed. Fort's writing is humorous, cynical and witty. In Fort's view, it is not possible for humans to fully know or define the universe. I especially like his statement that: `There is something wrong with everything that is popular.' Whether or not this is always true, popularity certainly does not guarantee `truth'.
The collection of oddities compiled by Charles Fort is fascinating and it is possible to simply enjoy the descriptions without wondering about how and why these events took place. Fort's floating `Sargasso Seas' in the sky as a means of sucking in and dropping of frogs (and other objects) is as good as any other explanation for frogs falling from skies during storms. The fact that we can't explain all events doesn't mean that we shouldn't look for explanations to examine, accept or reject. Now that I have read Fort's writings, I am keen to read more about Fort himself.
Stephen Fry called science "humility before the facts". Fort spent decades gathering a host of ignored, "damned" facts, and his books are a call for more humility in their face. He was an original, and happily a great wit to boot.
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