Print Reviews

Kooks

by Donna Kossy

Feral House

“kooks”

There exists a particular type of book. Books that fall into this category do not have common authors, genres, styles, or even sizes. The attribute they all share is that you can pick it up, read something for five-ten minutes, then put it down, safe in the knowledge that your reading was entirely self-contained, and that there’s no pending resolution or missing information that is yet to be obtained.

Kooks easily falls into that category, though you may find yourself chaining these ten-minute intervals into long hours as you discover what the author terms “the outer limits of human belief.” Kooks focuses on that particularly interesting sector of our population which offers unique interpretations or observations on our universe. Unlike your garden-variety schizophrenic, a true kook offers a consistency of vision – crazed as the theories may sound, they hold together, and moreover, the kook will be able to provide you with the same fevered description next week, month, year.

The book is divided into eight parts: Religion, Science, Metaphysics, Politics, Conspiracy, Enigmas, and Outtakes. Each part contains a healthy variety of topics, highlighting particular lunacies. Sometimes they come in personal form (Rose Mokry and her “jewish poisoners,” Dr. Cyrus Tweed, Hollow Earther, and my favorite, Paul Laffoley, “third-generation lunatic fringe”). Others speak of movements, like Lawsonomy. More general categories group together broad fields of kookery – flat earthers, anti-gravity enthusiasts.

Kossy’s style is direct and surprisingly unjudgemental. Along the way, Kossy often tosses out unique observations and analysis, shedding light on some very interesting threads that otherwise may be hard to notice amidst the ranting and raving. Kossy is quite systematic in her research, and margin comments abound, along with a lush bibliography. This is serious stuff.

Feral House: http://www.feralhouse.com


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