Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tis the season for... MORBID CURIOSITIES by Paul Gambino

HI there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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Today, we're getting downright spooky with it.  We're going to the darkest corners of the darkest lands and discovering...hey, wait a second.  This lady lives in New Jersey...and this one lives in Florida!   Okay, so maybe we're not traveling far and wide, though some do cross the pond, but we ARE checking out what most deem rather unusual collections of what many would call the macabre.  So, if you're ready to take a closer look instead of peering through covered eyes at some truly fascinating collections, join me as we step into today's book of choice....

Collections of the Uncommon and the Bizarre
Paul Gambino
Laurence King Publishing Ltd

About the book...
A fascinating insight into the strange world of collectors of the macabre, Morbid Curiosities features 18 unique collections and an extensive interview with each collector, explaining how and why they collect, and showcasing the most remarkable pieces from each collection.

The collections include skulls, mummified body parts, taxidermy, occult objects and various carnival, and side-show and criminal ephemera. Detailed captions tell the curious stories behind each object, many of which are being shown outside the private world of their collections for the first time. 

Morbid Curiosities includes stunning, specially commissioned photography of both the individual objects and the context of how the collector exhibits their work, forming a unique showcase of the bizarre and the intriguing.


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The term macabre refers to gruesome or ghastly things dealing with or representing death...obviously an easily broached topic within this particular work.  From the moment you take in the cover, you're mind is already racing with questions...what the heck is that thing?  What more could be in store?  Who collects this sort of stuff?  The answers are quite simple...

First, that image on the cover is a picture of a craniometer from Steve Erenberg's collection and was used once upon a time in Germany to measure the external measurements of the skull.  Why one would want to measure it (in what seems a really bizarre way), I can't fathom, unless it was from a medical standpoint in death...but then again, considering the origins, it could have a more nefarious history than my brain conjured.  As for the question of "what more", that is only limited by your imagination.  There are collections within this work as innocent as spirit boards and the planchettes that spell out those messages from the great beyond to rooms filled with coffins, staged skeletons, and death masks, giving you no "safe place" to rest your gaze.  

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The intriguing part for me with a work like this is not only taking a longer look at the collections from the comfort of your own home, but learning a bit about the people behind them.  You might at first assume what they would look, think, talk, or act like based on the things they deem worthy of keeping, but in most cases, you'd be wrong.  For the most part, many are just like you and me...average everyday people that like what they like and that's about the half of it.  Sure, there are some that really get into the roles society has granted them, playing their part to a "T", but most unless you got them talking about their passions or visited their abodes, you'd never even suspect of any interests left of center.  Just goes to show that judging a book by its cover, or a person by its surroundings, doesn't always garner a truth in the end...

Recommended read for curious minds from teens through adults...


About the author...

Paul Gambino

Paul Gambino has been an avid collector of the macabre for over 20 years and owns an extensive collection of nineteenth-century memorial photographs. His two decades of collecting have gained him access to some of the world’s most elite collectors of the macabre.



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Special thanks to Anastasia at Lauren King Publishing Ltd for the copy for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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