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This book is #73 out of 100 on this website listing the top 100 banned/challenged books.  There are current lists of banned/challenged books but this is the list my oldest son looked at and decided he wanted to read from.  I wanted to read this particular book too so here goes my very first review... 

Despite the title, it is not a how-to book on curses, hexes and spells.  This is not to say there are not spells included in the book because there are.  Mainly the spells are there for a bit of a history lesson, as in, this is a spell that might have been used to <insert curse or hex here>.  It's main purpose is to recount curses on families, creatures, places, wanderers and ghosts.  There are also chapters on everyday curses, black magic and amulets and talismans.  The book is part of the Weird and Horrible Library which includes such titles as Magicians, Wizards, & Sorcerers; Mummies; Seances & Spiritualists and Vampires to name a few. 

The book was published in 1974 so I can see where it might find itself on the banned/challenged list just simply from the title.  Once you read it and see the references to the Bible and old folktales and mythology, you get the bigger picture on why it's on the list.  There is no bad language in it however.  I did not get the impression that it was scary either but I am 37.  I asked my oldest son (he is 12) and he told me it was not scary to him either.  He believed the book gave a background on where curses and hexes might have come from, not necessarily to teach you how to do them.  The book touches on all subjects from the Bible, Bermuda Triangle and Cabala to the Hand of Glory and voodoo. 

Personally, I liked it.  I do not believe in curses or spells but it was neat to read the old folklore.  There was even a blurb about the supposed Kennedy curse.  If you enjoy tidbits of this and that, this is a good book.  If you are looking for detailed accounts of the curses or hexes mentioned in the book, you will be disappointed.  It was short (120 pages) and easy to read.  The stories about the more famous alleged curses were very interesting although I'm unsure where he got the information from since there was no bibliography in the book.  When reading about mythology and actual families, I prefer proof of the truth.  I cannot be sure if what he wrote about the specific families is correct or not which bothers me a little but I am weird about that kind of thing so it's probably just me.  I still enjoyed the book.  

My oldest and I want to read Magicians, Wizards, & Sorcerers next but our library does not carry it and neither do the surrounding area libraries so we're going on a hunt.  =)

Happy Reading!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 23rd, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
This sounds right up my alley. Thanks for posting. :)
Mar. 23rd, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
No problem! I hope you enjoy it!
Mar. 23rd, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
maya angelou is on a banned list? O.O

i am soooo reading some of these books. of course, i read some of them already between high school, college, and enjoyment (harry potter ftw).

thanks for posting!
Mar. 23rd, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
And at #3 no less!

I have read some of them already too but I would like to read them again. I loved Are You There God, It's Me Margaret - I read that book over and over again. I still have it at my parent's house. I think the cover is missing. lol As for the Beauty series by Anne Rice - those are a bit over the top with sex and sodomy and the like so I know why those are banned. My oldest will NOT be reading those books. lol

You're welcome! =)
Mar. 23rd, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
Clearly, I have not gotten the hang of the HTML code yet. lol
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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