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Thackery T. Lambshead

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases

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From Delusions of Universal Grandeur to Twentieth Century Chronoshock, this amusing pocket guide to concocted diseases - designed and illustrated by John Coulthart - features an anthology of slightly morbid, darkly humorous ailments and prognosis srved up by such renowned luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Michael Moorcock, Gahan Wilson, Brian Stableford, and Michael Bishop.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2003

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About the author

Jeff VanderMeer

237 books13.2k followers
NYT bestselling writer Jeff VanderMeer has been called “the weird Thoreau” by the New Yorker for his engagement with ecological issues. His most recent novel, the national bestseller Borne, received wide-spread critical acclaim and his prior novels include the Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance). Annihilation won the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards, has been translated into 35 languages, and was made into a film from Paramount Pictures directed by Alex Garland. His nonfiction has appeared in New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, Slate, Salon, and the Washington Post. He has coedited several iconic anthologies with his wife, the Hugo Award winning editor. Other titles include Wonderbook, the world’s first fully illustrated creative writing guide. VanderMeer served as the 2016-2017 Trias Writer in Residence at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He has spoken at the Guggenheim, the Library of Congress, and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination.

VanderMeer was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but spent much of his childhood in the Fiji Islands, where his parents worked for the Peace Corps. This experience, and the resulting trip back to the United States through Asia, Africa, and Europe, deeply influenced him.

Jeff is married to Ann VanderMeer, who is currently an acquiring editor at Tor.com and has won the Hugo Award and World Fantasy Award for her editing of magazines and anthologies. They live in Tallahassee, Florida, with two cats and thousands of books.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews
Profile Image for Katy.
1,293 reviews282 followers
May 23, 2014
Book Info: Genre: Medical Guide Satire/Speculative fiction shorts
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Anyone who likes a laugh

My Thoughts: If you want to know what sort of lunacy to expect from this book, here is just a tiny taste.
Discussing Ballistic Organ Syndrome: “In rare cases, the Ballistitis virus infects the patient's entire body. Eventually, some event causes one or more cells to rupture, after which the patient's body is disrupted in an explosive ejection of all bodily organs. This manifestation of the syndrome frequently occasions the death of the patient; at best, the loss of all bodily organs will cause considerable inconvenience and distress (as set out in Doctor Buckhead Mudthumper's Encyclopedia of Forgotten Oriental Diseases).” [pg. 4]

Letter to Dr. Wexler, of whom the writers are not fond: “Dear Sir: Kindly send your anthrax-soaked missives elsewhere. And if you want to get serious about contagious letters, then invest in some smallpox like a normal person.” [pg. 286]
There are also a couple cookbooks mentioned that sound interesting: “French Cuisine with Codeine” and “Mousses with Morphine”.

I will point out that I would not say this book is lavishly illustrated. Each entry generally has only a single illustration; sometimes there is a second at the end of the section. Now, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, which I'll be reading and reviewing next, does have a lot of pictures. But this one, not so much.

Still, if you like a laugh, you'll enjoy the clever way each author creates a “character” for themselves, and the creative uses of real information mixed with their own creations that fill this satirical book. I enjoyed it a lot.

Disclosure: I bought this book for myself. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: “Imagine if Monty Python wrote the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, and you sort of get the idea. Afraid you’re afflicted with an unknown malady? Finally you have a place to turn!” —Book Sense

You hold in your hands the most complete and official guide to imaginary ailments ever assembled—each disease carefully documented by the most stellar collection of speculative fiction writers ever to play doctor. Detailed within for your reading and diagnostic pleasure are the frightening, ridiculous, and downright absurdly hilarious symptoms, histories, and possible cures to all the ills human flesh isn’t heir to, including Ballistic Organ Disease, Delusions of Universal Grandeur, and Reverse Pinocchio Syndrome.

Lavishly illustrated with cunning examples of everything that can’t go wrong with you, the Lambshead Guide provides a healthy dose of good humor and relief for hypochondriacs, pessimists, and lovers of imaginative fiction everywhere. Even if you don’t have Pentzler’s Lubriciousness or Tian Shan-Gobi Assimilation, the cure for whatever seriousness may ail you is in this remarkable collection.
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
996 reviews1,132 followers
March 24, 2017
I had a nasty cold last week, and spent a couple of days in bed, in a NyQuil haze: it seemed like an appropriate time to crack open this little volume of delectably deranged stories. Constructed as a medical guide satire, the "Thackery T. Lambshed Pocket Guide to Eccentic & Discredited Diseases" is what happens when you get a bunch of lunatic New Weird writers and ask them to pretend to be doctors: it's gross, funny, quirky, morbid and very entertaining… if exploding organs are your idea of a chuckle.

The impressive list of collaborators were all obviously on the same page and the collection reads seamlessly. It's a light read, which was honestly about as much as I could handle in my medicated state, and was obviously written more for fun than for social commentary and metaphors. It's exactly what you would expect from a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy writers having a good time. Vandermeer knows how to put this sort of silly little collection together: an introduction about the history of the Guide (now in it's 83rd edition!), Victorian medical textbook illustrations that don't look quite right, and hysterical biographies of all his eminent contributors.

A charming treat for New Weird fans.
Profile Image for Dan.
68 reviews2 followers
July 19, 2007
This is probably the paradigmatic example of the category I call "unreliable reference" . . . Jeff Vandermeer and his circle of weirdos got together and decided to write stories in the surprisingly fecund format of a diagnostic guide to diseases. Since said circle includes such luminaries as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, and the underrated but astounding Michael Cisco, the maladies in this book are sometimes so perfectly True that you may find yourself infected. Thankfully, the editors have marked the most infectious diseases with a quarantine stamp. Unfortunately for me, and possibly for you, I ignored it.
Profile Image for Peggy.
267 reviews65 followers
August 14, 2007
Purporting to be the latest edition of a long-standing medical guide, Lambshead is, in reality, an anthology featuring several of today's best fantasists working at the top of their game. Some entries are humorous, others are serious, but all are enjoyable. There's a sense of fun to this book that's quite...well...infectious.

Editors VanderMeer and Roberts have assembled a stellar crew of cohorts, and everyone is clearly on the same page. The internal references in the various entries to Dr. Lambshead’s personal history or to a similar reference book by one Dr. Buckhead Mudthumper are remarkably consistent and lend just the right veneer of verisimilitude.

Parody and satire are difficult to get just right -- if the tone isn’t perfect, the piece loses its punch and the humor is lost. What’s terrific about the Guide is a palpable sense of just how much fun the authors and editors were having writing these pieces and putting them together. It could easily have turned into a giant in-joke, or worse, a cliquish “if you were one of us, you’d be howling right now” affair. Miraculously, it’s neither. Instead it’s a fun and funny treat.

I mean, where else are you going to find writers like Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Kage Baker, and China Mieville (not to mention Steve Aylett, Rikki Ducornet, Paul Di Filippo, Cory Doctorow, and about 30 others) all tied up in one tasty package? Where else are you going to find a description of afflictions like Ballistic Organ Syndrome, described as “a sudden, explosive discharge of one or more bodily organs at high velocity?” Or Fuseli’s Disease, where the contagion (which is highly infectious) occurs only in the sufferer’s dreams? Or Monochomitis, which is characterized by “the stark raving abhorrence of color, often accompanied by an intense longing for the way things used to be?”

And Thackery offers up even more treats for the booklover. It’s a gorgeous book. John Coulthart’s cover art is both attractive and appropriate, consisting of a montage of old medical charts and illustrations, medical instruments, and a number of previous covers for past editions of the guide. This meticulous attention to detail is carried through in the internal design and illustrations. Everything is well done, right down to the fabulous endpapers. Even without the cover, the book is gorgeous, and the symbol on the front is a wonderful quiet joke for the conscientious reader.

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide To Eccentric and Discredited Diseases is a shining example of what an anthology should be: a seamless collaboration of inventive minds which comes together in a whole that is significantly greater than it’s individual parts. The fact that it’s also a beautiful piece of art and funny as hell is just gravy.
Profile Image for Donald Armfield.
Author 66 books154 followers
February 4, 2014
Jeff Vandermeer founder of genre "New Weird" brings all the weirdos together to update the chapbooks and pocket guides of Thackeray T. Lambshead's discredited diseases.

An all star cast of authors such as; Neil Gainman, Alan Moore, Cory Doctorow. to name a few and some of my favorites Brian Evenson, Paul Di Filippo, and Steve Aylett. Of all 56 contributers they all put weird sickness on the pages.

My Favorites:
-Chronic Zygotio Dermis Disorder
-Fungal Disenchantment
-Fuseli's Disease
-Hsing's Spontaneous Self-Flaying Sarcoma
-Third Eye Infection
Profile Image for Lanea.
204 reviews33 followers
January 28, 2009
This is silly and cute and a pretty fun read. The book is an anthology of imaginary diseases invented by a slew of sci-fi and fantasy writers. A few are priceless, and I was not surprised at all that Michael Moorcock and Neil Gaiman wrote most of the reports that were the funniest and most inventive. It's not an Earth-shattering good book, but it's nice way to pass the time here and there. Toss if on your coffee table and read a disease or two a day.
Profile Image for Rick.
Author 8 books50 followers
October 28, 2007
This book is exactly what the title suggests with contributions from Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, China Miéville, Jeffrey Ford, Kage Baker and many others. Where else could you read about post-traumatic placebosis, female hyper-orgasmic epilepsy, or vestigial elongation of the caudal vertebrae?
Profile Image for Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη.
Author 26 books216 followers
August 10, 2014
Εξωφρενικές ασθένειες όπως η Χαρτοβλογιά, οι Αυταπάτες Συμπαντικού Μεγαλείου, η Διαταραχή Παθολογικής Μηχανοργάνωσης και το Σύνδρομο Ντάουνλόουντ, αναπτύσσονται λεπτομερώς από 55 ειδικευμένους ξένους ντοτόρους (και 9 Έλληνες), όπως ο Λάμλευ, ο Μέλβιλ, ο Γκάιμαν, ο Μούρκοκ, ο Βαντερμεερ, ο Βανέλλης κι ο Μπαμπούρης.
Profile Image for Mark Desrosiers.
601 reviews119 followers
November 18, 2007
Given that "homosexuality" is now an eccentric and discredited disease, I was hoping for more edgy social commentary along the same lines. Nothing doing. This is weird and sometimes chuckle-worthy, but on the whole it seems the writers creating it are having more fun than us, the readers.
Profile Image for Jayaprakash Satyamurthy.
Author 36 books469 followers
September 8, 2008
An eccentric conceit and an amusing book. Mostly lightweight, largely self-indulgent although some entries tap into a more ominous or genuinely fantastic vein. Still, this is one you'd want to buy a cheaper edition of unless you're some sort of book fetishist or new weird fanboy.
Profile Image for Rachael.
490 reviews84 followers
Shelved as 'maybe-one-day'
June 24, 2020
I just want to read the Neil Gaiman contribution really. I don't even know the title of the bit he wrote.
Profile Image for Shreyas.
486 reviews10 followers
October 4, 2020
"Diseasemaker's Croup" by Neil Gaiman.
Profile Image for Althea Ann.
2,232 reviews1,016 followers
March 11, 2013
A very strange volume… allegedly a guide, as the title states, to bizarre diseases, this book has contributions from some of the top names in the business (Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, China Mieville, Kage Baker, etc), but the entries aren’t really (quite) stories…
Each author has made up a disease, syndrome or ailment, and prepared a short (most are 2-4 pages) entry regarding this ailment, its history and symptoms. The imaginary diseases range from the funny to the truly disturbing and grotesque. Although it purports to be a ‘current’ edition, the aesthetics of the book are definitely 19th-century, and inspiration (and illustrations) are definitely taken from the medical texts of that time.

Entertaining, but a bit repetitive after a while, since there’s no connection between segments, or narrative.
Profile Image for Scott Maddix.
Author 2 books2 followers
December 16, 2015
Personally, the most interesting thing about this book is its very existence. Of course, VanderMeer isn't the type to include true biographical details, so we may never know the story of its creation.

Where else can you find China Mieville, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Jeff VanderMeer, Michael Moorcock and ahost of other authors new to me, but clearly talented and odd as their company suggests.

In a practical sense, it's not really a good book to read cover-to-cover. It is a faux textbook, essentially, with articles on fictitious and interesting diseases, each article written by a different author. It is perfect for bathroom reading, as while each article tells a story, it is usually only a couple pages long.

It's the sort of thing VanderMeer is good at: varied formats, metafiction, and quirkiness out the wazoo. A good addition to anyone's personal library.
Profile Image for Alvaro Perez-Quintero.
413 reviews25 followers
August 10, 2020
This is a fun, weird book. A collaborative book where different writers submitted imaginary diseases fro a medical guide coordinated by the fictitious and mysterious Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead. It is however more interesting as an idea than as an actual book to read.

Some of the diseases are really cool, and they all have an usually fun description relating the symptoms, the first known case, the history of the disease and possible cures. The illustrations are also suitably weird. Some of my favourite diseases in the book:

-Ebercitas: an intense infatuation with Eber M. Soler, a lady living in Cordoba, Argentina.
-Internalized Tatooing disease: elaborate artworks psychosomatically imprinted in internal organs.
-Logopetria: words spoken by the patient are physical objects
-Rashid's syndrome (Fictonecrosis, popularly "Bibliophagia"): self-explanatory
-Motile Snarcoma (Motile agglutinate snarcoma of the subperineal pondus): see below
and quite ominously,
-The Wuhan Flu: entropic disordering of the body's atoms cause by pronouncing an unknown set of words

Two things however diminished my enjoyment of the book:
-Because the disease are devised by writers many of them deal with symptoms relating to words, books, paper.. etc and they can become repetitive.
-The second part of the book, that consists of fragments of the "guide" through history as well of stories about Dr. Lambshead, has a couple of good stories but mostly it's a bit too long and just drags. Most of it (because the writers are pretending to be doctors, and pretending the guide is real) feels like a private joke that the reader is not a participant in.

Overall, I believe the book is to be read sporadically and not in one sitting in order enjoy it better. And if you read only the first half that's the description of the diseases and avoid the second part, you really don't miss much.

Music for this book:
Anatomy Theater - David Lang


"Your snarcoma may turn out to be a motile snarcoma. A motile snarcoma exhibits mobility under stress. In layman's terms, it can crawl. I fact, it will stretch out its fiibrous micelia like tentacles and drag itself around your patient's guts like a bleached baby octopus on Benzedrine"

"Thackery Trajan Lambshead was born on St. Genesius the Comedian's Day (August 25th), 1900, in Wimpering on the Brink, Devon (county), England".

"May it continue to thrive for another eighty-three editions".
Profile Image for Carolina.
280 reviews4 followers
November 11, 2019
Comprei este livro na Feira do Livro porque me pareceu muito engraçado. Afinal, como médica (veterinária), o que há de mais divertido do que doenças que não existem?

Este é um almanaque organizado por ordem alfabética de doenças, todas elas muito bizarras. O curioso é que me identifiquei com algumas e outras revi em amigos e conhecidos. :) Cada uma é de diferente autor, alguns sob pseudónimo, outros nomes bem conhecidos. Fique a nota para o meu desapontamento para a entrada de Neil Gaiman, que nem aqui deixa de falar do Sandman...

Mas, para mim, a melhor parte é a secção do Dr. Calamar Trindade, por autores portugueses, que ganha em pontos na originalidade e na qualidade literária.

Penso que vou oferecer este livro como presente num jantar muito especial, mas por enquanto está com o meu pai que também ficou curioso para o ler!
Profile Image for Shane.
1,227 reviews17 followers
December 21, 2017
This was a lot of fun. From the entries to the historical review, to the notes on each author. By the time you get to the end you feel like Dr. Gaiman and Dr. Mieville and all the others actually exist (and I guess they do, kinda), but especially Dr. Lambshead. He becomes a legendary figure like Allan Quartermaine or Captain Nemo.

Makes a great bathroom book because the entries are short (mostly). I was sad that half of the pages dis-attached from the binding after reading it for a week or two, hopefully that wasn't something common.
Profile Image for Analuabc.
246 reviews
May 18, 2020
Um dos livros mais alienados que já li. O pior (ou melhor!) é que muitas das doenças aqui relatadas fazem perfeito sentido! Talvez fui contagiada por alguma das leituras.
De reforçar que a genialidade chega ao ponto de existir a descrição duma doença chamada "Gripe de Wuhan"...
Este almanaque tem ainda no fim pequena parte sobre doenças mais nacionais, o que me deixou elucidada finalmente por que é que todos nós por aqui padecemos da doença do Super-Homem.
Profile Image for David H..
1,998 reviews19 followers
Shelved as 'abandoned'
September 8, 2019
Why I didn't finish this: I thought this would be really cool, but it ended up not being really interesting--just various writers writing descriptions of weird diseases. More like flash fiction than short stories, and not a format that intrigued me.
180 reviews
May 20, 2022
Like most anthologies, it was hit or miss. I felt like the first part many of the of entries are bit try hard. A few were pretty creative and funny though. I really liked the later sections where they talk about Thackeray more. I also really liked the bios at the end.
Profile Image for Célia | Estante de Livros.
1,145 reviews229 followers
June 13, 2010
Este Almanaque do Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead de Doenças Excêntricas e Desacreditadas é apresentado ao leitor como uma edição comemorativa de um Guia médico muito especial, que o Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead vem a publicar desde os anos 20 do século XX, e que consiste num compêndio de doenças cuja existência, como o seu título indica, levanta grandes dúvidas à comunidade médica. Esta edição da Saída de Emergência não é apenas a tradução do livro original, uma vez que conta com cerca de 100 páginas de doenças “imaginadas” por autores portugueses.

O livro encontra-se dividido nas seguintes secções:
a) Parte Introdutória, onde se inclui um resumo da vida do Dr. Lambshead e uma introdução do mesmo a esta edição especial, bem como um prefácio dos seus organizadores;
b) Doenças, onde desfilam, em cerca de 200 páginas, as várias doenças imaginadas pelos contribuidores deste livro, no papel de médicos e estudiosos;
c) Reminiscências, onde se dá conta das várias histórias que rodearam encontros entre o Dr. Lambshead e os médicos que contribuíram para as doenças presentes neste livro, da história das várias edições deste guia (dividido por décadas do século XX), e dos créditos fictícios dos contribuidores deste livro;
d) Secção inédita da edição portuguesa (Compêndio Médico Calamar Trindade de Doenças Notáveis e Invulgares), no qual se apresentam as doenças imaginadas por autores portugueses.

Sendo um trabalho de ficção cujo tema cria a necessidade que o leitor acredite minimamente no que está a ler, foi com prazer que constatei que, de um modo geral, todos os contribuintes para este almanaque “construíram” as suas doenças de forma a que o leitor fique com poucas dúvidas da sua real existência. Na grande maioria delas, é notória a preocupação com a criação de um contexto histórico/científico que permita dar credibilidade a estas falsas doenças. A selecção de autores (muitos deles confesso que não conhecia) foi muito bem conseguida, pela qualidade da escrita e pelo claro pendor que demonstram para a ficção especulativa.

Em termos das doenças descritas, como seria de esperar achei mais piada a umas do que a outras, mas de um modo geral gostei bastante da imaginação e do ambiente que é criado ao longo deste livro. As doenças incidem sobre uma grande variedade de aspectos, tanto físicos como psicológicos, e nalguns é bem notória a intenção do autor de criticar alguma condição especial da sociedade actual (lembro-me por exemplo do Síndroma do Download ou da Cegueira Uxória). Para além das doenças propriamente ditas, é também criado todo um mundo fictício à volta da história deste guia e do seu autor, o Dr. Lambshead, que ajudam o leitor a convencer-se ainda mais que se encontra perante um almanaque curioso, mas real.

Quanto à secção especial dos autores portugueses, achei que o nível da edição original foi mantido e dou os meus parabéns à editora pela tentativa – bem conseguida, na minha opinião – de não se limitar a publicar este livro por cá, mas trazer-lhe valor acrescentado. Em termos gráficos, este livro é um prodígio. Todas as doenças são acompanhadas por uma ilustração que ajuda o leitor a perceber do que se fala e a secção das Reminiscências, em especial, contém ilustrações e imagens magníficas.

Como conclusão, foi um livro diferente de tudo o que tinha lido e fui agradavelmente surpreendida. Recomendo!
Profile Image for Sandra.
1,191 reviews6 followers
February 19, 2017
SO WEIRD. I read some of this before and it ended up in *that* pile so years later I figured it was time for a reread/finish. It's eh. Some bits are fun (not nearly as many as there ought to be), some are bad, some are seriously dated. I find the intentionally pompous tone of many of the entries grinding. It's more surreal where there were opportunities to be truly incisive. Given what it is, fair amount of body horror.

I think the best aspects are the typography, it's a fun looking book, and Download Syndrome which is hardly eccentric or discredited and I think was largely predictive as of its writing 14 or so years ago.
Profile Image for Eustacia Tan.
Author 15 books254 followers
April 13, 2012
On Monday, I was happily browsing the library, trying to find a series in which I forgot the title and author but knew the general location it was at. And did I mention that this was before the library re-arranged the shelves? Well, one pleasant find was this book: The Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases edited by Jeff Vandermeer & Mark Roberts.

When I got home, I realised that it was like an anthology (many authors) which include Neil Gaiman and Mieville China. My reaction? -> O.O



and an immediate Goodreads recommendation to all my friends (who are on Goodreads) that like these two authors (at least, I think they like them).

The book was fantastic (as expected). It's a book you can read in bits and pieces because it's either a collection of fantastical diseases, or an account of Dr Thackery T. Lambshead. Plus, the on-going joke of how the book is in its 83rd edition, plus the footnotes make it hilarious. The book also has a few metaphysical jokes (at least, I think they are metaphysical jokes), as its design and typeface is used to poke fun at several of these imaginary diseases (e.g. Printer's Evil)

The only thing that hampered the book at times was the seriousness at which it took itself. Certain entries are hard to understand, mostly because they can't be understood (and not on purpose, like Logrolling Ephesus). But generally, you can get the joke on the second reading onwards, so this wasn't too much of a problem.

All in all, this book is adorable! It's funny and the pseudo-serious tone that it uses is generally successful. I think you should read it.

Oh and by the way, I managed to find the series I was looking for. The author is Frank Tallis (catalogued under TAL) and this book is under THA so I wasn't that far off the mark(:

(First posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile)
13 reviews5 followers
March 1, 2014
Well. The name of this book pretty much says it all. In this rather large pocket guide you get a amazingly detailed and wacky written collection of awkward and funky diseases. Just by taking a couple quick glimpses of the book, I knew I had to have it. Each condition comes with it's country of origin, first known cause, symptoms, history, and cure/treatments. This is really some of the best and entertaining writing I have read in awhile. This guide will cause moments of confused and strange laughter. But in all seriousness, this is a must have for any medical student true to his studies. Download syndrome, Empathetic Fallacy Syndrome, and Female Hyper-Orgasmic Epilepsy are just part of the many diseases mentioned in this fine, dense piece of informational text. This whole book just put a smile to my face. I truly enjoyed the "symptoms" part of the book in particular. I wish there were more diseases though. For the 83rd edition, I felt this guide could have been much longer and better illustrated. For anyone in the profession of medicine this book is a must have. Fans of science fiction and fantasy will also take fancy to this guide. 3/5 stars.
Profile Image for Katrine.
22 reviews1 follower
July 30, 2012
The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases is almost impossible to describe. It is, beyond a doubt, one of the best books I've read in a very long time - certainly the most enjoyable. How rarely can one find enjoyment in every single aspect of a book, from the title page through the index, to the actual content, to the comments on the back cover? Although it is a collaboration between several skilled writers, everything blends together seemlessly, creating a common universe where the legendary Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead actually exists*.

Go out and leaf through it in your local book store - it is truly something one must see for oneself. Explaining it somehow ruins the fun. If you have any interest whatsoever in science fiction, fantasy, horror, obscure diseases or quaint victorian-esque illustrations, go! Run to your nearest bookstore and DEMAND to see a copy!

* Actually, after having read the book, I'm not sure I'm unconvinced he does not exist. That's the sort of thing The Guide does to you.
Profile Image for Andrew.
2,191 reviews
February 7, 2013
This is a curious book. It is written in the style of an old victorian medial reference book - with each medical condition catalogued and explained. In may cases along with illustrations. There are numerous contributors such as Neil Gaiman and Michael Moorcock - (you may question their medical validity). As the title says all of the conditions are now discredited - though their symptoms and treatments are highly entertaining. My only criticism of this books is the quality of the printed page. The text is very small and the paper quality is poor - making it tricky to read and in some cases the illustrations lack detail - which is a great shame as fictitious or not at great deal of work has gone in to this book .
Profile Image for Nicholas Whyte.
4,627 reviews177 followers
April 8, 2009
http://nhw.livejournal.com/195017.html[return][return]Based on the title, and the list of contributors, I expected this to be a real riot. I have to say I was somewhat disappointed; too much repetition of disorders where writers get consumed by their own work or vice versa, or suffer random medical explosions, or limb-rotting. The humour is grotesque rather than witty or satirical, and basically didn't appeal to me much. The narrative sections towards the end were best.
Profile Image for Douglas Summers-Stay.
Author 1 book39 followers
August 26, 2013
The editors asked tons of authors (China Mieville, Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Michael Moorcock, Michael Bishop to name a few I recognized) to each invent a bizarre disease according to a given template, and compiled them into a book. It's very imaginative, very weird, and very gross.
I have a good local used bookstore with a website, called Wonder Book. I always check to see if they have a book I want because they don't charge for shipping to the store, so if a book is available it's often cheaper than a 1 cent book on Amazon. This was one of those books.
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