Sometimes a book turns out to be very different than your expectations. A Funny Thing Happened is an example of this phenomenon. The press for the book describes it as Taylor “journeys through various ghostbusting groups”. That’s not exactly what happens here. What happens is that Taylor discusses some odd ghostly occurrences that he has experienced, including one adhoc investigation performed by Taylor and some friends.
At this point, I should probably mention that I come to this book as neither a metal fan nor a true believer in the supernatural. I do, however, have an open mind, and am fascinated with the phenomenon of paranormal investigation groups. I was hoping that A Funny Thing Happened would provide an interesting view into this subculture.
What did I get? At the core of A Funny Thing Happened is Taylor’s account of his own personal experiences. For the most part, these stories are great. Taylor is a gifted natural storyteller and the casual tone of his writing makes it feel like you’re having a beer with the guy while he tells you some crazy stories. Yes, the stories are weird and creepy, just like the best ghost stories always are.
Unfortunately, too much of the book is devoted to Taylor’s theories about the nature of supernatural entities and subpar rock & roll stories. Now Taylor comes off as a more intelligent guy than you might expect, but I really have no interest in his own pet theories. Think back to the guy telling ghost stories around the campfire – do you care about his theories? Or do you just want to hear more spooky stories? I’m firmly in the last camp.
On the whole I’d say that this book is really for fans only. Taylor puts so much of his own personality and personal life into the book that those who are looking for more will be disappointed.