THE THACKERY T LAMBSHEAD CABINET OF CURIOSITIES
ANN VANDERMEER; JEFF VANDERMEER
12 July 2012
Rating: 3 Cups
Throughout his life, Dr. Thackery T Lambshead has collected oddities. In fact, he amasses such a large collection of rare and significantly weird items that he builds a vault beneath his mansion in order to store these artifacts. Some items are of mere historic or ethnic value, while others are truly horrific or dangerous. Regardless, this collection is dubbed the “cabinet”, and its contents cataloged and released to public scrutiny after the good doctor’s death in 2003.
Catalog entries of industrial age gadgets of varying success populate a great portion of Lambshead’s collection. One may instantly see the need to house the automated nanny inside the collection. Of a contrasting nature, the shoulder mounted Auble Gun has a different purpose altogether. Both the Auble Gun and the Tasker Battle Carriage show considerable progress toward the modern machines of war seen today. Still, none of the mechanical gadgets can surpass the truly weird items, such as the singing fish or even the aptly labeled “thing in the jar”, in terms of odd significance to human kind.
Also included in the catalog is a collection of stories, inspired by the oddities contained within the cabinet. Authors such as Garth Nix, Tad Williams and Holly Black lend their talents to the others who have attempted to describe, and thus communicate, the vastness of Dr. Lambshead’s treasure. Topics span from holy to historically significant items and incidents, including many supernatural happenings. Most tales relate to the recovery of significant finds.
The Thackery T Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities is a work of fantasy. However, one can almost believe some of the ridiculous and fascinating photos, stories and drawings to be based on fact. It is an irrefutable truth that many inventions have never been put into mainstream production, because they are too dangerous or weird for everyday usage. For this reason, the collection of darkly humorous and sometimes just dark oddities contained within this book is well worth a read, maybe even some serious contemplation.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More