“The World’s Greatest Unexplained Mysteries”

Greetings,

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Whilst in a book shop a couple of weeks ago I spotted this book on famous conspiracy theories and thought it might make for some fun reading. “The World’s Greatest Unexplained Mysteries” is actually a compilation of three books written by Gerry Brown, Nigel Cawthorne and Allan Hall. I purchased the book with the intention of enjoying an easy read and mocking some far-fetched conspiracy “theories”. I have referred to theories in such a manner because some of the “true” events depicted seem so ludicrous that I doubt even the authors of the books truly champion them. That being said, I can’t deny that the book kept me entertained at times- although I’m not entirely sure that the authors’ intentions were for me to fall about laughing so frequently! It was also an easy read, as it’s fair to say the book didn’t require my total undying concentration…

With the book being a compilation of allegedly true stories there is not much I can say in the way of characters. I can, however, comment on the stories the authors chose to tell. Regardless of one’s opinion on the book, you must admit that there was a wide range of tales featured. The book covered everything from rumours about Presidents to extra-terrestrial encounters. I have to say my opinions on the stories varied. My favourite part of the book was probably the section regarding aliens due to its sheer comedy value. I was utterly amazed to read that some people genuinely seemed to believe in these ridiculous theories. At one point I was forced to endure a theory that dinosaurs once bred human beings as pets, with the giant reptiles then evolving into tiny aliens that visit us from the future. Apparently said aliens abduct 200 Americans a day. I wish I was joking. The one good thing about that theory was that I laughed so much I was unable to continue reading for several moments… As well as the ridiculous theories, some of them did have merit. For example, there were tales of people simply seeing strange lights in the sky, military missions that we know occured and accounts of unsolved but very real murders. Despite the inclusion of such sane tales, a rather miraculous occurrence, I noticed they were not given half as many pages as some of the more ‘inventive’ events…

I must remark on the actual quality of writing… It’s safe to say the “authors” (and I use that term rather generously) appeared to display a limited grasp of the basic rules of grammar! I’m pretty confident that the 14-15 year olds in my year, some of whom struggle to get their head around the basic rules of grammar, know that ‘an’ is always used before a word beginning with a vowel, a concept seemingly too complex for the authors of this work to grasp. In terms of the language, the book proved as overdramatic as one would expect. The theories, implausible and ridiculous in themselves, had their silliness enhanced by the basic but dramatic use of language displayed far too frequently.

As a whole I quite enjoyed the book, despite a few major flaws… I would definitely regard it as a guilty pleasure! It’s safe to say it kept me rather amused, although not necessarily for the right reasons. Despite numerous attempts the authors haven’t quite managed to convert me into a conspiracy theory ‘believer’… Whilst I struggled to take it seriously I did enjoy the book as a bit of fun reading. It certainly provided me with some light relief after “The Catcher in the Rye”! It was a good way to simply switch off and indulge in some light reading- nothing more and nothing less.

Rating: 7/10

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