* BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK *
‘Anybody who loves the printed word will be bowled over by this amusing, erudite, beautiful book about books. It is in every way a triumph. One of the loveliest books to have been published for many, many years’ Alexander McCall Smith
‘Quite simply the best gift for any book lover this year, or perhaps ever’ Lucy Atkins, Sunday TimesÂ Literary Book of the Year
‘An utterly joyous journey into the deepest eccentricities of the human mind? The most cheering, fascinating book I’ve read for ages’Â Guardian
From the author of the critically acclaimed and globally successfulÂ The Phantom Atlas,Â The Golden AtlasÂ andÂ The Sky AtlasÂ comes a stunning new work.Â The Madman’s LibraryÂ is a unique, beautifully illustrated journey through the entire history of literature, delving into its darkest territories to hunt down the very strangest books ever written, and uncover the fascinating stories behind their creation.
This is a madman’s library of eccentric and extraordinary volumes from around the world, many of which have been completely forgotten. Books written in blood and books that kill, books of the insane and books that hoaxed the globe, books invisible to the naked eye and books so long they could destroy the Universe, books worn into battle, books of code and cypher whose secrets remain undiscovered? and a few others that are just plain weird.
From the 605-pageÂ Qur’an written in the blood of Saddam Hussein, through the gorgeously decorated 15th-century lawsuit filed by the Devil against Jesus, to the lost art of binding books with human skin, every strand of strangeness imaginable (and many inconceivable) has been unearthed and bound together forÂ a unique and richly illustrated collection ideal for every book-lover.