REVIEW: The Madman’s Library (2021)

A book by Edward Brooke-Hitching

NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.

“From the author of the critically acclaimed bestsellers The Phantom Atlas and The Sky Atlas comes a unique and beautifully illustrated journey through the history of literature. The Madman’s Library delves into its darkest territories to hunt down the oddest books and manuscripts ever written, uncovering the intriguing stories behind their creation.”

I love books like The Madman’s Library. I was an avid fan of shows like Unsolved Mysteries and Ripley’s Believe or Not! growing up, and quite enjoy these books that you often find at bookstores with all sorts of zany curiosities found within. The Madman’s Library is particularly fun because it details all manner of strange books from around the world, ones bound in human skin, ones that serve a secret purpose (like guns or a poison cabinet), and even ones that are a mystery even today (The Voynich manuscript). everything is neatly organized and there are plenty of detailed pictures on every page to showcase every odd edition.

One downside to me getting a digital proof was the some of the images were fairly low-res, but I’d like to see one of the finished books in a few months, as I plan to buy this. I can’t say that this is a book you can’t live without or anything, but if you are like me and enjoy these weird alt-history books on strange happenings and things, you will love this book. I will have to definitely follow the author to see if anything else like this is produced.

If you would like a copy of this book for your own collection, follow this LINK.


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