Queerer Than We Can Suppose


Following a recommendation for his email newsletter from nothing.here, the subsequent discovery he was doing a launch for his new book in my city a few weeks and then going along to said book launch and having it be such a cheering experience that I was temporarily snapped out of my depression, I've been reading John Higgs' *Stranger Than We Can Imagine*. (Which is a bit of a JBS Haldane quote that I've always seen previously as "queerer than we can suppose". I prefer that version but I can see why they didn't go with it.)

Higgs is a good written Adam Curtis or James Burke-style make-u-thinker, taking familiar historical characters, situations, objects or ideas, and threading them together in an unfamiliar way. In this case: a history of the 20th century which views it through the lens of a series of ideas, the common threads being individualism and relativity. It's very fun, very breezy and eminently readable, extremely my sort of thing. It's the opposite of a lot of non-fiction I read in that I would have liked to have more of the research he'd done on the page rather than less. He also lives in Brighton, which meant there was an anecdote about him going into a bookshop that I pictured as taking place in the local Waterstones before realising it actually *had* taken place in the local Waterstones, which was nice.