corner corner Motel of the Mysteries

Medium

Motel of the Mysteries
by David Macaulay | Other
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 7/15/2010
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by oozy67): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

8 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, July 15, 2010

8 out of 10

I first read this book ages ago and enjoyed it very much, so I was quite pleased to find several copies at low prices at the Used Book Superstore; I bought two!

Macaulay may be better known for his architectural books such as Cathedral and Pyramid, but this relatively early work blends his love of sketching buildings and his rather dark sense of humor.

The premise here, as stated on the very first page: "IN 1985 A CATACLYSMIC COINCIDENCE OF PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN PROPORTION EXTINGUISHED VIRTUALLY ALL FORMS OF LIFE ON THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTINENT." [The coincidence involves a reduction of postal rates, an increase in junk mail, and the simultaneous precipitation of airborne pollution - "pollutantus literati" and "pollutantus gravitas" {grin} - which buries the continent completely. But in 4022 a hapless individual (named Howard Carson, a nod to Howard Carter) stumbled into a hole and discovered...


...the Motel of the Mysteries! It's clearly a run-of-the-mill roadside motel, but its artifacts are interpreted by the discoverers as indicating a tomb and a place of worship, with some hilarious takes on everything from the ice bucket to the remote control to the toilet seat. [There's a bit where aerial photography reveals the outline of a long-buried cloverleaf intersection, and "because the various patterns can only be fully appreciated from the air" this is interpreted as some kind of coded message to the gods. I'll never see the Nazca Lines again without thinking of this illustration.]

The text takes some pokes at various real-world archaeologists; in addition to the nod to Howard Carter, there's a clear reference to Heinrich Schliemann, who claimed to have discovered the site of Troy - and who may have done so, though he apparently dug right through the layer from the time of the Trojan War and found much older ruins instead. There's a picture of his wife decked out in some golden jewelry that he found, and in this book Carson's assistant Harriet dons some of the discovered "treasures" herself. (I won't go into detail, but toothbrushes are involved.)

The last half of the book consists of pictures and descriptions of "the treasures", including "Fragments from the Plant That Would Not Die" (plastic fern leaves) and the Internal Component Enclosure, presumed to be a symbolic canopic jar. And there are souvenir reproductions, too; coasters patterned after the "mosaic ceiling tiles" (the asbestos ones with the holes in them), a framed wall fragment with graffiti ("for a good time call")...

The whole book is a delightful pastiche of pop culture vs. archaeology, and I enjoyed it very much.

[There's a short but entertaining TV Tropes page for the book.] 


Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, September 06, 2010

8 out of 10

I'm offering this for a book ray. [See the forum thread here.]

The book is a 8.5"x11" softcover that weighs about 12 ounces, something to keep in mind when estimating postage costs. I'm willing to make it an international ray if I get enough participants who can mail internationally and cover all the necessary hops. [US participants can get postage estimates at the USPS site here ( http://www.usps.com ).]

Bookray instructions:

When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book.

Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a bookray book at this time.
Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within one month of receiving it. (If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the book, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or on your profile, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.)

When you're ready to pass the book along, please add your comments about the book and indicate where you're sending it, either through a journal entry or through the controlled-release-note option using your country/state/city as the location. If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out.

Participants, in mailing order:

eponine38 [MA]
NMReader [VA]
JudySlump612 [MN]
DrSlump612 [MN]
mrbaggins1 [South Africa]
silvia-pco [Portugual]
goldenwattle [Australia] 


Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, September 24, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (9/24/2010 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I sent the book off to eponine38 in Massachusetts, to kick off the bookray. Hope everyone enjoys it! 


Journal Entry 4 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Received today, and a quick flip through confirms that it's going to be a lot of fun to read. Thanks for sharing it, GoryDetails!

 


Journal Entry 5 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

9 out of 10

I loved this book! So clever, and laugh-out-loud funny. The sketches are wonderful (although I'd seen Macaulay's other books, I'd never actually looked through them so the detail of these drawings was a pleasant surprise).

It's hard to name a favorite part - there were so many great ones, [but I'm leaning towards the musical instruments from the inner chamber, and the sacred headband with the phonetic pronunciation of the chant, and the names of the two skeletons, and the metal animal sculptures...you see, it's impossible!] I won't elaborate, in order to save some surprises for future readers, but it's all fun :-)

Off to NM reader in VA.
 


Journal Entry 6 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (10/12/2010 UTC) at Winchester, Massachusetts USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent via Media Mail to NMReader in Virginia. Enjoy!
Delivery Confirmation #03082690000235771287.  


Journal Entry 7 by NMReader at Herndon, Virginia USA on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This book has not been rated.

It has arrived. i have a few good reads for Halloween - might have to move things around mount TBR to make it happen 


Journal Entry 8 by NMReader at Herndon, Virginia USA on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This book has not been rated.

It was such a small easy to read book and it took less than 30 minutes so well I jumped it to the top of Mount TBR. Some of the entries had me laughing out loud.

Started and finished last night. Sent a second request for the address of next participant letting them know I had actually finished the book now. I have recieved the address and will mail the book on Friday.

Thanks for including me. 


Journal Entry 9 by NMReader at Crownsville, Maryland USA on Monday, October 25, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (10/23/2010 UTC) at Crownsville, Maryland USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed on Sat with Delivery Confirmation#: 03102010000169961735 


Journal Entry 10 by wingJudySlump612wing at Minneapolis, Minnesota USA on Friday, October 29, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safely last night, and it looks like the perfect quick, light read as we move into the final weekend of the political campaigns. 


Journal Entry 11 by wingJudySlump612wing at Minneapolis, Minnesota USA on Thursday, November 18, 2010

6 out of 10

Light but good fun - just the sort of book that is consistent with GoryDetails' patented wry grin. I agree with all of eponine38's favorite pictures, and I also enjoyed the glimpses of the work relationship between Harriet and Carson. Watch as he "paced back and forth in a supervisory manner" on page 25, and she does all the heavy lifting on page 43. Apparently some things don't change in the future.  


Journal Entry 12 by wingJudySlump612wing at a fellow bookcrosser, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, November 18, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (11/18/2010 UTC) at a fellow bookcrosser, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed to mrbaggins1 first class 


Journal Entry 13 by mrbaggins1 at Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This book has not been rated.

This book arrived YESTERDAY after being posted first class three months ago. I dunno where its been and what route it took - maybe a first class steamboat trip up the Congo River or something. I'll get round to it ASAP not to delay the journey.  


Journal Entry 14 by mrbaggins1 at Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa on Friday, July 22, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (7/22/2011 UTC) at Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

posted by surface mail to the next in line in Portugal today. I am extremely sorry about stalling this far too long. My BX interested has somewhat waned as I've been the only active bookcrosser in Johannesburg for close on three years, and I'm also in a big-time reading slump at present with more than 60 books on MT TBR. Thanks for sharing 


Journal Entry 15 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Sunday, August 14, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Here it is! Thanks for sharing this. Mt TBR is quite big at the moment, but I'll try to be brief! 


Journal Entry 16 by silvia-pco at Murtosa, Aveiro Portugal on Friday, March 30, 2012

9 out of 10

First of all, I'm sorry it took me so long to pass this along, this being such a small book and all. I really got caught in my TBR pile.

This was a true delight. I loved the book from beginning to end and it really made me laugh to imagine how we could be seen by the future civilizations. And it also makes you wonder very slightly if we are really getting the true meaning of past civilization's culture and artifacts. :)

The book's already on it's way to Australia as of Wednesday. Thanks for sharing! 


Journal Entry 17 by winggoldenwattlewing at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, April 12, 2012

This book has not been rated.

This book arrived safely today in my mailbox. Thank you silvia-pco for posting it. Also thank you for the postcard and the 'generous' "Fifty Billion Dollars" bank note.

Unfortunately the Zimbabwe dollar has been suspended. Sigh! 


Journal Entry 18 by winggoldenwattlewing at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, April 12, 2012

3 out of 10

Oh dear, I am going to be the one dissenter here. I didn't find this book that funny. The 'humour' was on the corny side. It was a fast read though.

I am the last person on the list. I will take the book to my next BC meet at the end of this month and see if I can find a new reader for it. 


Journal Entry 19 by winggoldenwattlewing at Civic, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Thursday, June 28, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (6/30/2012 UTC) at Civic, Australian Capital Territory Australia

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Releasing this at the Bookcrossing meet at King O'Malley's Pub in Civic, ACT. Enjoy. 


Journal Entry 20 by oozy67 at Civic, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, June 30, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Picked up at the Bookcrossing monthly meet up at King O'Malleys. 


Journal Entry 21 by oozy67 at Canberra Airport in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Sunday, July 01, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (7/1/2012 UTC) at Canberra Airport in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Left at Qantas departures, gate 11, on my way to Sydney. 


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