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Weird Arizona: Your Travel Guide to…
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Weird Arizona: Your Travel Guide to Arizona's Local Legends and Best…

by Wesley Treat

Other authors: Mark Moran (Foreword), Mark Sceurman (Foreword)

Series: Weird U.S., Weird, Weird Travel Guide (Arizona)

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321537,532 (3.5)None
Most of Arizona remains unspoiled, uninhabited America. Well...uninhabited by humans, at least. Reports abound of such creatures as flying dinosaurs, goblins, shape shifters, and vicious bloodsuckers. Whether it's the Mogollon Monsters or the weird Ninimbe (tiny elves anywhere from two inches to three feet tall) Arizona seems to have them, along with killer cacti and the Can Can Merman. Now, that's weird!… (more)

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It doesn’t take much – just the smallest of things – to take success and make failure. Such is the case with Weird Arizona. As a native Arizonan, there is a lot here that I’ve heard before, a lot that is familiar, and there is a lot that is new. That is exactly what I was expecting, and I was enjoying the book very much as the author (or authors, because there seem to be quite a few extra bylines in the text) had a nice way of telling the stories and making them just weird enough. Then I got to page 240 of 247 (not counting the index.) In the section “Abandoned Arizona” (about the relics and ruins that can be seen out in the middle of nowhere) is a description of the Black Canyon Greyhound Park. I thought it was humorous that this was included – not only have I driven by it many times, I used to place bets there in the 70s. And it was here the author lost me. Third paragraph: “…was low attendance a factor in the place’s becoming abandoned?” Well, actually, no – the reason it was abandoned was that the Arizona gambling laws changed to allow year-round racing in Maricopa County. Next page: “Was this a year-round track?” No, see the previous comment. Two paragraphs later: “When was this place built? Who owned and operated it? Was it ever famous?” When and why was it closed?” I give up. The answers are easy to find. But the author – in too much of an attempt to be weird and mysterious - decided that real research wasn’t necessary. And, with this small thing – well, actually a big thing – the veracity of the entire book is put to question. Yeah, I know it’s meant to be fun; I know I’m not meant to use up too much brain matter while reading it. But I don’t think it is too much to make sure that the facts are correct. I will say that, as much as I want to give this half a star for such utter disregard for the truth, it does have enough truth and enough fun to make up for it. But that one little slip let me know there were many more slips – and my recommendation of the book now comes with a giant caveat – do not trust what you read. ( )
  figre | Jun 28, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wesley Treatprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moran, MarkForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sceurman, MarkForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Most of Arizona remains unspoiled, uninhabited America. Well…uninhabited by humans, at least. Reports abound of such creatures as flying dinosaurs, goblins, shape shifters, and vicious bloodsuckers. Whether it’s the Mogollon Monsters or the weird Ninimbe (tiny elves anywhere from two inches to three feet tall) Arizona seems to have them, along with killer cacti and the Can Can Merman. Now, that’s weird!
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