Colin Dickey (Author)
September 29, 2009
6.36 X 9.12 X 1.01 inches | 1.28 pounds
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About the Author
Colin Dickey, author of Ghostland and The Unidentified, is a writer, speaker, and academic, and has made a career out of collecting unusual objects and hidden histories all over the country. He's a regular contributor to the LA Review of Books and Lapham's Quarterly, and is the co-editor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology. He is also a member of the Order of the Good Death, a collective of artists, writers, and death industry professionals interested in improving the Western world's relationship with mortality. With a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Southern California, he is an associate professor of creative writing at National University.
"Dickey spins these stories with a storyteller's grace and a historian's exactitude. Cranioklepty will join those books for popular audiences that delve into the origins of eccentric intellectual lore, whether madness and lexicography (see: The Professor and the Madman) or inventions and visions by depressives, maniacs, and malcontents. Human endeavor is forever inclined to oddity, and with this book, Colin Dickey provides a delightful illumination of one intriguing example of our quixotic pursuits."
-- The Brooklyn Rail "If only we could skip the textbooks and share something that's all kinds of real world creepy and awesome like Colin Dickey's Cranioklepty....It's a very strange story, the kind of science history that all too often gets left off the cultural map. Teens will eat this stuff up, however, and if they happen to be fans of author Paul Collins, then they're really going to feel lucky."
-- Bookslut "[An] entertaining and illuminating book....[Dickey] explores this macabre episode of history armed with formidable research skills and the ability to tell his story with the gusto it deserves." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune "Dickey's well-vetted account...illuminates the mystery and controversy of a bizarre tradition throughout the ages." -- Publishers Weekly "Colin Dickey... has served up a fascinating book. Well-researched, clear and concise, this book is full of interesting historical anecdotes." -- ForeWord Magazine "It was larceny most ghoulish"
-- Boston Globe "Weaving the story's details among other equally bizarre episodes of renowned craniums gone missing, Dickey fairly considers what motivated graveyard pilferers....Those with a taste for the macabre who may have read Brian Burrell's Postcards from the Brain Museum (2005) and Russell Shorto's Descartes' Bones (2008) will enjoy Dickey's eccentric tales."-- Booklist "Dickey's book turns out to be a highly unusual, fascinating and
cautionary Halloween choice."-- Cleveland Plain Dealer "With an engaging writing style, fascinating historical tidbits, and some very cool...pictures, Dickey manages to give the reader a sense of the politics and intrigue behind a very unusual hobby."-- Internet Review of Books "...like a work by Hieronymus Bosch or Bruegel the Elder -- a giant world made of many little pieces, all gathered together inside the same, solid frame.--KQED.org "Cranioklepty is a revelatory book for those who think of head-hunting as an activity pursued only by non-European cultures. This story of European head-hunting and its relationship to modern science is a fascinating read with an all-star cast that includes Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn. The admonition to "Keep your head on" has never sounded so bittersweet!"-- Dr. Robert Hicks, Director of the Mütter Museum