Sunday, May 12, 2019

Midwestern Strange

Midwestern Strange is a series of case studies of the weird/paranormal by essayist B.J. Hollars. Due out 1st Sept. 2019 from the University of Nebraska press, it's 224 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

I really enjoy expository writing and I also enjoy essays.  This book is what happens when an academic writer turns to unusual, somewhat outrĂ© subject matter. This is a study of the author's personal study of Midwestern, generally rural stories of sightings of UFOs, monsters, wolfmen, gigantic turtles, aliens and the like. 

I've been impressed with other titles from the University of Nebraska press and this one was so odd and at the same time well written that it was quite refreshing to read. The author does a remarkable job of remaining unbiased whilst recounting his road trips across the rural American heartland talking to the descendants of the original witnesses and researching newspaper files and photographs. 

I don't honestly know how to solidly classify these stories. The author draws no specific conclusions, nor does he attempt to lead the reader, so it's not really technically expository writing.  It is, however, quirky and charming and I read it cover to cover in one sitting.The author is adept and the writing is crisp. 

Four stars. Five for fans of Roswell, X-Files and the like. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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