Monday, October 29, 2018

The World of Lore: Dreadful Places by Aaron Mahnke

I haven't listened to podcasts since I stopped commuting 100 miles a day a year ago.Let me tell you, those podcasts and audio books kept me company on early mornings and afternoons when I was sleepy and in danger of nodding off. Oftentimes I couldn't wait to get in the car to start listening again!

Lore is a podcast that I haven't listened to, and I probably would if I was in the habit of listening to podcasts at home. I prefer music when I'm working in the yard, and my commute is now less than 10 minutes. So I'm glad Aaron Mahnke decided to put his podcasts stories into book form. Dreadful Places is the third book; Monstrous Creatures and Wicked Mortals are also available in hardcover. I dove right into Dreadful Places, because it's Halloween Eve Eve and I love my spooky stories. 

Full of myths, folklore, and some tragically true tales, this book is a fun (yes, fun for me), easy read told in a conversational style. You can read a few pages, put it down, and return to it very easily. Tales from around the world, but mostly set in the U.S. reveal some of the spooky and haunted places that send chills up our spines. Some, like Leap Castle in Ireland, have been haunted for centuries. Others, like the Queen Mary in California, have echoes of World War 2 and tragic accidents from the 1960's to keep guests quaking in their shoes. There's a little bit of everything in this book, and it keeps you engaged and turning the pages. I enjoyed the black and white illustrations-just enough to give me an Edward Gorey vibe. 

It's always interesting to read legends and ghost stories that have been handed down over time. How much is real, and how much has been added and embellished by all those storytellers? Aaron Mahnke does attempt to demystify some of the tales, and others...well, you're left to wonder. 

Fun stuff!  There's also a show on Amazon Prime called Lore, for those who want to watch. It recreates some of the podcast stories so you'll be able to watch and then have colorful nightmares. 

This is exactly the kind of book I would have inhaled as a middle schooler. There's nothing overly graphic or horrible about the tales, just good old-fashioned spooky stories.  For fans of folktales, mythology, and local history. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, audio, and if you like to listen to podcasts, it's available through iTunes. Lore the show is available through Amazon Prime. 

Rating: 4/6 for a perfect pre-Halloween read-a mix of spooky tales that ask the question: what's true?

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