Alien Hand Syndrome – Book Review

Over 90 stories of the strangest and damn-right oddest events to occur in human history and to happen to the Earth throughout its existence.  I ordered the book from Amazon and took delivery of it within 3 days. I was surprised when it arrived because I didn’t expect it to be nearly an inch thick and so heavy for a paperback.

Some of the delights you can expect to discover when you read it are:

  • How long a human head remains conscious after it’s been cut off its body
  • How a Soviet scientist kept a dog’s head alive by attaching it the body of another living dog
  • How lakes explode through natural processes and kill local inhabitants
  • How the Russians trained dogs to destroy Nazi tanks during WW2
  • How Ford designed a nuclear powered car in the 1950s, and
  • How the Nazis planned (and put into action) their invasion of the U.S.A.

There are so many great stories in it that I’m hard pushed to choose just one as my favorite. It’s namesake, Alien Hand Syndrome, is the first in the book and this excerpt will show just why it’s such a fascinating read:

In 1908, the German neurologist and psychiatrist Dr. Kurt Goldstein was bewildered by the strange behaviors manifest in one of his patients. The 57-year-old woman reported that her left hand had a “will of its own,” and indeed it seemed to possess its own sinister agenda. The rogue limb moved around involuntarily and its searching fingers tended to fiddle with the various objects they chanced upon. If she didn’t keep an eye on her arm, she couldn’t quite be sure what it was up to. More alarmingly, her conjoined tormentor occasionally wrapped its fingers tightly around her throat, forcing her to defend herself with her more obedient arm. Dr. Goldstein was at a loss for how to treat his patient’s unsettling abnormality.

The book is teaming with damn interesting and unbelievably true curiosities of life and nature. If ever you’ve seen the British TV program QI with Stephen Fry then you’ll know this book will entertain you.

The stories are well written with animated language and are accompanied with photos and images that draw readers into them. One review left at Amazon reads:

This book just landed on my doorstep today. And it landed with a thud! A generous serving of the incredible, the amazing and the jaw-dropping, this book contains wholesomely narrated stories that will keep you wanting “just one more”. Then you finish the “just one more” and happen to notice the title of the next story…and well, you know the rest.

Very well formatted and with fascinating, or in the case of Mike the Headless Chicken being fed a bit unnerving, photographs it manages to be an easy read and completely engrossing at the same time. I now wonder how I will hide the source of all the amazing stories I tell my friends…

A. Piggott “aD” (Hampshire, UK)

If you like reading about the wackier things that happen in our world then this is THE book for you. It’s the type of book anyone can sit and read for hours and come away feeling entertained, enlightened and maybe even a little baffled. An ideal Christmas present,  Birthday gift and personal treat for less than the cost of going to the cinema, it’s kept me occupied and inspired for hours and I’m still reading it.

In Brief

  • Book Title: Alien Hand Syndrome
  • Author: Alan Bellows and various others
  • Number of pages: 297
  • Number of stories: 90+
  • ISBN: 978-0-7611-5225-5

On a Scale of 0 to 10, 10 Highest

  • Quality of writing: 10
  • Entertainment Factor: 10
  • Quality of Binding: 8
  • Value for Money: 10
  • Available From: eBay

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