Non-Fiction Reviews

Conspiracy Theories

(1999) David Southwell & Sean Twist, Carlton, £6.99, lgpbk, 313pp, ISBN 1-85868-734-9

Absolutely hilarious book on every conspiracy theory from JFK to UFOs, Marilyn Munroe to Elvis to Diana, the CIA, the Freemasons, AIDS and the Bermuda Triangle -- this oneís got the lot! Most theories get 3-4 pages, broken down into sections which first outline the conspiracy in question, then presents "The Strange Part", "The Usual Suspects", "The Unusual Suspects", "Most Convincing Evidence", "Most Mysterious Fact", and a final section labelled "Sceptically Speaking". It is this last section that makes the book, and may be the only way to separate fact from fiction. What the book doesnít attempt to do is to examine why so many people subscribe to certain theories (other than their basic ignorance and stupidity), but then thatís not the point here. Anyway, as a confirmed sceptic, I loved the book, especially as the writers take the time to point out the obvious. My favourite part is the end of the Elvis section, which simply states, "The King is dead -- get over it." If youíre in need of a laugh, get this book, itíll have you howling with glee.

Tony Chester

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