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Passing Strange Pa by Joseph A. Citro
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Passing Strange Pa (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Joseph A. Citro (Author), David Diaz (Illustrator)

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1132184,171 (3.93)1
New England's Dark Hills, Fogbound Coasts, And Hidden villages have inspired generations of writers such as Hawthorne, Lovecraft, and King. But these authors' dark imaginings pale when compared to little-known but well-documented and true tales. In this delightfully spine-tingling tour of all six New England states, Citro chronicles the haunted history and folklore of a region steeped in hardship and horror, humor and pathos. Called the "Bard of the Bizarre" by the Boston Globe, Joseph A. Citro is a popular lecturer and public-radio personality.… (more)
Member:piquant00
Title:Passing Strange Pa
Authors:Joseph A. Citro (Author)
Other authors:David Diaz (Illustrator)
Info:Houghton Mifflin (1997), 324 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Passing Strange: True Tales of New England Hauntings and Horrors by Joseph A. Citro (1996)

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Dad bought me this book when I was 9 or 10, I had really gotten into 'Mysterious New England' which had been a gift from my grandmother on Christmas, so he got all excited about getting me every single weird New England book out there.

And you might know just how many of those books there are. 'Passing Strange' stuck out to me for a couple reasons, first was the great variety of stories: Citro avoided most of the stuff that appears in the dozens of other creepy New England books. Citro makes an effort to keep the stories he's writing down sounding like tall tales and legends that the kind of old-time Yankees that don't exist anymore used to tell around wood-stoves in the back of general stores. This approach keeps up a fast pace and allows him to easily segue from one story to another with very little wasted transition times. I also used to be blown over by the amount of sources he listed in the back of the book, pages and pages. In college I found a copy of Olcott's 'People from the Other World' in the library and had a great time reading that.

But, now, a degree and years later, reading the 'Passing Strange' for the first time since high school, I got more and more irritated about how flimsy so many of these accounts are. For instance, in the section on banshees, a couple pages are devoted to two girls waking up at a slumber party, seeing a figure outside their house and getting, like, really, really scared. Citro tries to bulk up his stories, but by going for the really fringey and bizarre he's not left with too much ground to stand on. I know that's not the point of these collections, you're supposed to be willing to believe - and some of the stories here still creep me out, such as "Dover's Frail Phantom" - but it just bothers me when he flat-out makes shit up or ignores facts in favor of what he thought would make a better story. He takes Jemima Wilkinson, in truth a fascinating 18th century religious nut, and only uses the hur hur she was a slut slander published against her with some lip service pasted onto the end. Urgh, whatever.

Nostalgia takes this up a notch still, but I won't be recommending this as enthusiastically as I used to. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
This book was interesting - a great many eerie tales from New England. Some had "conclusions" and some just faded away. There is something for everyone here; vampires, "big foot", UFO's, etc. Many stories from the 1700's and 1800's. ( )
  kelawrence | Jun 6, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joseph A. Citroprimary authorall editionscalculated
Diaz, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For my good friends
Steve Bissette,
Jim DeFilippi, and
Chris DeFilippi.
If I were more prolific, you
each would have your own book.
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When I was a kid, living in southern Vermont, my father would sometimes take the whole family for a day in the Big City. (Introduction)
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New England's Dark Hills, Fogbound Coasts, And Hidden villages have inspired generations of writers such as Hawthorne, Lovecraft, and King. But these authors' dark imaginings pale when compared to little-known but well-documented and true tales. In this delightfully spine-tingling tour of all six New England states, Citro chronicles the haunted history and folklore of a region steeped in hardship and horror, humor and pathos. Called the "Bard of the Bizarre" by the Boston Globe, Joseph A. Citro is a popular lecturer and public-radio personality.

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