REFERENCE

Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World’s Most Infamous Items

Quirk. Sept. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781683692362. $19.99. REF
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Ocker (A Season with the Witch) collects tales of objects associated with “misfortune, harm, or death.” Among the chapters are “Cursed in the Graveyard” (the Tomb of Timur), “Cursed in the Attic” (Rudolph Valentino’s ring, the Crying Boy paintings), “Cursed Under Glass” (Ötzi the Iceman), and, most intriguing, “Why Aren’t These Objects Cursed?” Ocker peppers the narrative with qualifiers including “some say,” “perhaps,” “might just be,” and “stories circulated.”
VERDICT Skeptics will remain unconvinced, but many will enjoy reading about the Hope diamond, Shakespeare’s grave, and whether it is safe to ignore a chain letter.

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