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Daniel Cohen

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:36 am
by DoctorAtlantis
I was saddened to learn that Daniel Cohen had a stroke back in April. He wrote MANY books about monsters which I used to read in elementary and middle-school. I learned many surprising things about Daniel as I prepared to ask him on the show to interview. For instance when I was a kid I didn't notice how Dan often included the skeptical point of view in his books. Or that he was a member of CSICOP. Or that one or more of his books often appear on the "most censored" lists.

If he recovers enough to regain better control of his speech I still hope to have him on, but I might do a special tribute to him at some point if I can.

He and his family have been in my thoughts a lot the past week or two because his daughter died on Pan Am 103. The convicted bomber of that flight has been released back to Libya (to a hero's welcome) so he can die in his home country...

(Which seems insanely ironic and disappointing when you consider how many people he made die outside their own home countries.)

At any rate, I contacted Dan only to find out that he'd lost much of his ability to speak in the stroke which happened around Easter this year. I really hope he has a speedy and impressive recovery.

Re: Daniel Cohen

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:36 am
by idoubtit
That's sad news, Blake.

I myself recall reading many in my impressionable years - the 001 section was my favorite in the library. Still is.

Why were his books censored?

Re: Daniel Cohen

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:37 am
by busterggi
Bad news indeed, I enjoyed his books even if I am a bit older than much of his target audience. Hope for him to have a good recovery.

Re: Daniel Cohen

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:39 am
by DoctorAtlantis
According to wikipedia:
Curses, Hexes & Spells

This book is controversial due to descriptions of witchcraft, satanism, Blessing and Cursing. It is a children's book that tells about curses on families, creatures, places, wanderers and ghosts. It also describes amulets which provide protection.
Curses, Hexes, and Spells is number 73 on the American Library Association's list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000. The book also appears on several other lists of "banned" or challenged books in the United States such as the 50 Most Frequently Banned Books in which it is number 11.


Based on the other books of his I've read I'd guess that they're over-reacting. Usually his books tell what the story is, give a skeptical explanation and then end with a chapter explaining why (even though it is fun to think about fantastical-idea-X) there is probably a more mundane explanation and it is best to be skeptical.

Admittedly, as a kid that skeptical bit wasn't the part I remembered. But it's definitely a big part of his books now that I've checked them out as an adult. You'll note that I looked at "The Greatest Monsters in the World" so much that I had to duct-tape the book together. (Not much of a book-binder am I?)
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Re: Daniel Cohen

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:40 am
by Karl
I also have "The Greatest Monsters in the World", which I found at a corner drug store when I was a teenager. But my prize is a first edition, "The Encyclopedia of Monsters". I used to own "Supermonsters", in paperback, but it was borrowed and never returned.

I'm sorry to hear he is suffering ill health, and wish him all the best.

Re: Daniel Cohen

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:40 am
by idoubtit
Oh, wow. Now that I see the picture, I remember that. I'm sure I read it several times. It seems lots of those books related the same stories.

Re: Daniel Cohen

Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:41 am
by Jedischooldropout
"It seems lots of those books related the same stories."

Isn't that often the way? Even more so for the credulous writers.

Arlene Gaal has three published books on the Ogopogo. The only significant difference is the inclusion of new sightings since the last book.... and they aren't new editions, they are brand new titles. Gah!!!

I really don't mean to be taking away from Daniel's contribution though by going in a negative direction. Advance apologies. The point was there to be made and starting a new thread would have meant re-setting the context.