Charles Fort, the Grandfather of anomalous-research, really does have to be respected, if for nothing more his influence on alternative thinkers, and Paranormal researchers bearing even the minutest quantity of wit.
Fort gave an antiquarian middle-finger-salute to the almost cult-like scientific community of the time, by daring to docment that which was virtually ignored by the mainstream.
You may recognise his name, well, at least part of it from such great longstanding publications as The Fortean Times, which still exists today as a testament to the mans influence.
Fort, basically, took it upon himself to catalouge the weird happenings of his time, and publish them in a almanac-style . He occasionally injected his own opinions, though often preferred to remain impartial (much like the magazine of his namesake).
This book, a complete collection of Fort’s writings, makes it clear very early-on why Fort’s work has remained the staple of so many bookshelves. The man’s wit must be commended; whilst dedicating his life to such a bizarre topic must demand a degree of seriousness, Fort doesn’t forget to laugh at it from time to time.
Considering the vast compendium of strangeness on offer in the book, one of the oddest things on offer is the mans frankly baffling writing style. On several occasions Fort will run with an idea, probably added merely to challenge or annoy the popular (and sometimes clearly stupid) opinion of the time; he will then, however, discard the idea, only to pick it up again almost randomly and with little reference back to the original dismissing.
All in all this volume is a must for any fan that wants a handy all-in-one Fort reference guide. It’s well indexed and unabridged (unlike some other prints of this work), and affordable at only £12.99. The joy of a volume like this is the lastability. The book is huge, literally a thousand-plus pages, and in my opinion serves as the perfect strange coffee-table book, which can be dipped into when looking for bizzare inspiration.
The Book of the Damned is availble on Amazon here … get it!