Thursday, July 03, 2008

Why Did It Have to be Snakes by Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg

The Indiana Jones movies are thrilling, but how much of the stuff in them is true? Can you really find giant bats flying in the daylight in India? Did Indian Maharajas really serve dinners that had courses like chilled Monkey Brains and Eyeball soup? Were the Nazis, and Hitler so obsessed by the Occult that they used their soldiers and armies to try and find Occult artifacts? Would the cup from the last supper really have looked like a crudely carved wooden cup? All these questions and more are answered in this book, which is subtitled: From Science to the Supernatural, the Many Mysteries of Indiana Jones.

The two authors take on many of the claims of the Indiana Jones movies, and whether these things are even possible in the real world. But, to set your mind at ease, there is no way to extract someone's still-beating heart and have them live, much less to have the wound close up perfectly afterwards.

This book covers the first three movies, the Young Indiana Jones television series, and the new Movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Questions the fans might have had are explored in detail, such as (from the TV series) would it have been possible for Indiana to truly meet all those famous people in his life?

Some questions have answers that stretch for pages, while others only have a relatively short explanation, but all are fascinating and will show the real history while exploding the exaggerations that the movie producers threw in for effect. I, as a lover of history, really enjoyed this book, which goes beyond history to cover zoology, physics, art history and more. This book is a must for any lover of the movies and TV series, a companion that will serve as a guide to what is really possible in the entertainment George Lucas has given us. Highly recommended.

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