10 ways to recycle a corpse
(AND 100 MORE TASTELESS LISTS)
Karl Shaw's follow up to his hugely successful FIVE PEOPLE WHO DIED DURING SEX. More bizarre but true facts presented in Karl's inimitable style - fascinating, informative, hilarious, often shocking, always entertaining. Find out who hated the Beatles; what happened to certain famous genitalia; which people who died on the toilet; who ate their neighbours; some bizarre rules of etiquette; the most dangerous jobs in popular music; 10 ways to recycle a corpse and much much more.
‘This book could be called magnetic. It pulls you in, the way a magnet pulls a paper clip, and it doesn't want to let you go.’ Wall Street Journal
‘Don't start 10 Ways to Recycle a Corpse at bedtime. You may lose a lot of sleep.’ San Francisco Chronicle
Three Rivers Press (Crown Publishing Group) USA
Material: Finished copies (312pp).
The English aristocrat John ‘Mad Jack’ Mytton died a bloated, paralysed and penniless debtor in prison. His premature demise was partly due to injuries sustained while setting fire to his own night-shirt to try to cure hiccups. Just before the horribly burned Mytton slumped into unconsciousness he said, “Well, the hiccups is gone, by God.”
An 18th century French scholar once attributed the British talent for eccentricity to 'a mixture of fogs, beef and beer … aggravated by the tedium of the English Sunday’. Curing Hiccups with Small Fires is a fast, funny celebration of British otherness – a vast collection of anecdotes and profiles of more than 250 Great British aristocrats, inventors, artists and the just plain weird.
• Dr Samuel Johnson once shaved off all of his bodily hair just to see how long it would take to grow back.
• In order to demonstrate the ‘cultural inferiority of the United States’, Pogues lead singer Shane MacGowan once ate a Beach Boys album.
• Percy Bysshe Shelley once tied a cat to a kite in a thunder storm to see if it would be electrocuted.
'An entertaining collection of remarkable specimens' Daily Mail
‘There is not a dull page here.’ Bookbag
'If history had a sense of humour, “Mad” Jack Mytton would live somewhere like Titty Ho. He is one of the English eccentrics featured in Curing Hiccups with Small Fires, a quick and easy read by Karl Shaw; in fact, he gets the title role. A 19th-century Shropshire squire, Mad Jack agreed to attend Oxford University on the understanding that he would study only The Racing Calendar and The Stud Book. He was a keen sportsman who went duck shooting in winter in his nightshirt. On wet days, he knocked at cottage doors to ask if his one-eyed horse might dry off by the fire. If the cottagers were lucky, it wasn’t one of the days when he was hunting naked. He died at 38 after setting his nightshirt on fire to cure hiccups. Badly burnt, he just had time before losing consciousness to remark: “Well, the hiccups is gone, by God.” Magnificent, just like the book.' Sunday Times
Boxtree/Macmillan UK and USA
Material: Finished copies (298pp).
Karl Shaw invites readers with a well-developed sense of the absurd, the extreme and the bizarre on a hilarious tour around the world and through the ages with his tasteless lists. 5 PEOPLE WHO DIED DURING SEX is a treasure trove of history's most repellent, idiotic, and outrageous customs and behaviours.
“In 1992 the Pennsylvanian judge Charles Guyer was sacked after a hidden video camera recorded him offering a novel form of plea-bargaining. He offered convicted men lighter sentences if they allowed him to shampoo their hair…”
(Criminal Judges, # 10)
“15 bowls of noodle soup, 100 pieces of sushi, 5 plates of wheat noodles, 5 plates of beef with rice and 5 plates of curry and rice in 2 hours (Japanese National Eating Championships).”
(Fascinating Food Records, # 1)
A celebration of the peculiar… a fascinating trawl through the dustbins of history…
This is an amazing collection of the most disgusting, outrageous and bizarre true historical oddities. Subjects covered in this comprehensive volume include Death and Sex, Saints and Sinners, Crime and Punishment and ‘Ad Nauseam’, including fetishes of the famous and several historically creative uses for formaldehyde.
In the lists appearing here you will discover:
Who was the first president of the United States to throw up on live TV
Which tune is the chart-topper in Britain’s crematoria
Who were history’s most gifted psychopaths
Which king owned a golf bag made from an elephant’s penis, and why
Which queen died of blood poisoning after sucking the pus out of her husband’s septic wound.
Prepare to be amazed, appalled, disgusted, and hugely entertained by this wealth of historical facts
– and all absolutely true!
This book reveals what the usual history books try to cover up… Twisted humour at its very best.
Broadway Books UK and USA
Metafora Czech Republic
Material: Finished copies (288pp).
Constable & Robinson
Material: Finished copy.
THE ALARMING HISTORY OF EUROPEAN ROYALTY
Queen Victoria warned that it was unwise to look too deeply into the Royal houses of Europe – that the ‘black spots’ were best kept from prying eyes. This unique book reveals all.
Since 1714 Britain has been ruled by a clan of inbred Germans with a history of mental instability and a talent for profligacy and debauchery. But, compared to their blue-blood cousins across the Channel, they are neither remarkable nor particularly mad. In the last three hundred years, Europe has been plagued by dysfunctional rulers – the insane kings of Spain, the psychopathic kings of Prussia, the sex-fixated French kings, the famously inbred Habsburgs of Austria, and, of course, the drunken, debauched and always dangerous czars of Russia. This unusual and amusing account of the great and the sordid will make even the most ardent royalist wonder whether Europe’s republics really miss this collection of madmen, philanderers, sexual misfits, sociopaths and tragic emotional cripples. (325 pages)
'A fascinating trawl through the dustbins of history.' Daily Mail
'A hugely entertaining collection of aristocratic excess.' Belfast Telegraph
'With a family tree like this, it’s little wonder that Prince Charles talks to plants … Karl Shaw chronicles the fluctuating fortunes of various personalities and dynasties which have made up European royal gene pool.' North-West Evening Mail
'Utterly irreverent account of Europe’s mad Royalt.' Nottingham Evening Post
'Good fun......a vigorous slap at monarchists everywhere.' Kirkus Review
'Anyone who loves scandal, particularly the juicy dish on royalty, will inhale this gossipy account by British writer Shaw............irreverent and amusing.' Publishers Weekly
Broadway Books UK & USA
Magyar Konyklub Hungary
MKZ Croatia & Slovenia
Nezarisimaya Gazeta Russia
Material: finished copies (325pp).