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Monday, January 10th, 2005

Time Event
8:57p
oh, lookie ... another book!
Now, I wouldn't specifically say that I've abandoned the books that I've been "stuck in" for the past several months, but I've decided to run some other titles through until such time as I feel like really "fighting" with a couple of books (and those two I've mentioned are doozies). So, I jumped into that "foodie" book from Xmas last week, and then more-or-less grabbed a book at random of the "to be read" bookcase. What I ended up with was The Lost Ship of Noah: In Search of the Ark at Ararat by Charles Berlitz, the grandson of the language course guy.

The #1 compliment I can give this book is that it was a fast read. Berlitz has penned a number of books on "mysteries" and I guess he had an interest in Noah's Ark and so opted to cobble this together. When I went searching for a cover graphic to put in here (I ended up having to scan the dust jacket), I found the interesting situation that this book is apparently highly thought of by both Bible Thumpers and "Newage" types. The second best thing about this book is that you can get a used copy via Amazon for as little as 47¢ ... so if you have a hankering for this sort of thing, it can be had for cheap!

I don't know if the author went out looking for something or not ... the book is primarily a "history" of efforts to find the Ark on Mt. Ararat over the past several centuries, with "cloak & dagger" stuff (every reported photo of a wooden ark has mysteriously disappeared along with their owners), and enough "earth changes" pseudoscience that would make Dick Hoagland ill. By the end he's led us to various "Arks" up on the mountain (ones melting out of glaciers, ones tuned into stone, etc., etc., etc.) and has turned that into evidence (along with the many cultures with Ark/Flood legends, and many places where ships have been found in mines or on mountains) of world-wide cataclysms (although he does touch on the unlikelihood of enough water being moved around to have many ships run aground at 17,000 feet up a mountain!).

As I've noted previously, most of my book backlog dates to pre-1993, and this one came out in 1987. Now, some genres age more gracefully than others, but "the sky is falling!" books tend to have a very short run before they become ridiculous. Unfortunately, towards the end of this book, Berlitz lays on the "prophesies of doom" stuff thick and heavy, with various "end dates" looming ... like 1999, 2000, and 2001 ... as well as agonizing over an "immanent" nuclear war between the US and the USSR (this was a couple of years before the Berlin Wall fell). From the standpoint of 2005, I wonder if I managed to somehow miss the memo regarding the world ending!


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