In this book, we are taken on a tour of various bizarre and ironic deaths that people have died over the past several millennia, some with plenty of backstory and some just as vignettes.
I am a macabre person – I enjoy true crime, creepy mysteries, high strange events. But sometimes you want to return to the basics, and that for me is weird stories from history. A dash of humor on the side is always appreciated too. As such, this book sounded right up my alley.
This is a pretty short book, less than 200 pages, and I sped through it quickly. The author takes us through dozens of strange deaths, some comical and some horrific, with some backstory on the lives those people lived before they died. Those with fame and fortune are overrepresented of course, but that is just how the recording of history was for a long time. I appreciated that the author tried to include stories from many cultures and civilizations, and found his light-hearted and ironic tone very funny.
However, it’s definitely a read that’s somewhat light on details, as we clip by several millennia worth of deaths at so swift a pace we haven’t got time for pit stops. Gazur also includes some well known potentially apocryphal stories – while he does note them, I think it could have been fun to substitute these with less famous, better sourced ones. We also spent more time in antiquity that I expected, and would have liked a greater number of medieval or modern stories included instead.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. This is my honest and voluntary review.