Odd Books
February 26, 2005 9:34 AM   Subscribe

In Education of Children from Birth to Puberty, Jesuit priest Frank Nimrod shares his wisdom about the human body: "The cannibals can tell us that the fresh and warm brain, just taken out of the cranium is very sweet," and "Our nose does not only serve the purpose of respiration, but the purpose of smelling also." Meanwhile, retired Bell Telephone Laboratories engineer I.W. Whiteside writes an entire volume decoding the strange light patterns on his bookcase. His conclusion? Aliens! "After much thought, I concluded that these people have computer brains and laser-beam eyes." These are just two of many odd books.
posted by hyperizer (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The cannibals can tell us that the fresh and warm brain, just taken out of the cranium is very sweet...

Correlation does not equal causality.
It might be the revenge they're tasting.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:47 AM on February 26, 2005

Wow. Man Man v' Ape in the play of Ear-Ce-Rammed ("Some very odd books have been written on the so-called authorship question, but I would tentatively venture to suggest that Man v' Ape in the play of Ear-Ce-Rammed may be the oddest. To begin with, there is its title. What the hell does it mean?"), Moles and Their Meaning (I have to admit I was hoping this would be about the kind of moles who tunnel in your garden), The Cardinal's Mistress ("How many of the twentieth-century's vicious dictators also wrote a bodice-ripping historical novel? The answer is at least one, that one being Il Duce himself, Benito Mussolini") -- what a treasure trove! Well found, hyperizer.
posted by languagehat at 10:12 AM on February 26, 2005

i don't think a discussion of odd books could be complete without mentioning "somebody else is on the moon" by george leonard ... with official nasa photographs ... it's competently written, being a mass market paperback ... but, well, it's out there ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:35 AM on February 26, 2005

Thanks languagehat! I found a reference to Nimrod in an old rec.collecting.books post so I Googled him. I also love Nimrod's The Last Judgment as Final Control of the World History:
CHRIST: Sargun I! Give a true characterization of the later Assyrians!
SARGUN I: The Assyrians were belligerent, strong, daring, brave, blood-thirsty, pillaging cruel conquerors. Their end showed them as false and sensual people.
ALL: Do not torture us any more - we are damned!
posted by hyperizer at 10:52 AM on February 26, 2005

What a great site! Here's a choice quote from Man Man v' Ape:

Bacon was born in England in the year of 1561. P. Samuels was born in Poland, in the year of 1881. The difference of 1561 and 1881 is exactly three centuries and twenty years. The first initial in the word century is c; letter c is the first initial in the word Come, it means come, come, come - and you cannot deny that three centuries came. A century is the highest unit in TIME: c c c = 9, number 9 is letter J. Jesus, Come, Come, Come.

That's... that's beautiful....
posted by painquale at 11:35 AM on February 26, 2005

I love your very idea of an online list of "Odd Books." I skimmed through a few entries. For "Moles and Their Meaning," I was hoping for a treatise on those cute little rodents, though, and was surprised by the cover of the book with a sketch of a nice-looking woman.
posted by Tashi at 11:45 AM on February 26, 2005

Here's my (new-member) attempt to post a link to the book cover mentioned in previous comment: Moles
posted by Tashi at 11:50 AM on February 26, 2005

Anybody familiar with writer Ben Marcus? His novel with the pedestrian title Notable American Women is maybe the strangest book I've ever read.

Browsing through selections from some of these Odd Books, I wonder if their prose served as inspiration for his transfixing use of the English tongue.
posted by kozad at 12:03 PM on February 26, 2005

The cannibals can tell us that the fresh and warm brain, just taken out of the cranium is very sweet...

Correlation does not equal causality.
It might be the revenge they're tasting.

First, you seem to misunderstand the cliched "correlation does not equal causality" criticism you are using. If you're suggesting that the cannibals are savouring the "sweetness of revenge" rather than literal gastronomic sweetness, then you are disputing the accuracy of the record of an event rather than the relationship between events.

Second, the brain is in fact sweet and remains so for a short period after death. It is bathed in glucose since it cannot metabolise anything else, and as a result it is also the quickest to rot after death. Indeed, the cannabalistic survivors of a 1972 plane crash in the Argentine Andes (of the same fame as the novel and movie "Alive") found that fresh human brains made a very nice sauce to break the monotony of raw meat, fat and gristle.
posted by randomstriker at 12:15 PM on February 26, 2005

There was a physicist in the 50s or 60s who had a psychotic delusion that he also existed in another time where he was captain of a spaceship, or something. He wrote something like 10,000 pages on various subjects in his alternate life: exobiology, engineering, anthropology, everything.

Now that would make for an interesting read.

Anybody know who I'm talking about? Sagan mentioned him in one of his books. Broca's Brain, I think.
posted by Target Practice at 3:47 PM on February 26, 2005

« Older Close to Home   |   Matchmaker, matchmaker ... make me a... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments