I have to admit to being simultaneously disappointed and entertained by Alex Boese's The Museum of Hoaxes. While Boese certainly has researched many pranks, stunts and deceptions and writes in a breezy style, I kept wishing for more information about the hoaxes he reports (not more hoaxes, of which there are plenty). Had I come across this book in a brick-and-mortar store, I probably would not have bought it; and I have to admit that the Amazon reviewer does comment about the lack of detail. For example, the section on The Great Chess Automaton is only two rather small pages long, with no pictures. Look on James Randi's (the Amazing Randi) website for the James Randi Educational Fountation, dedicated to debunking hoaxes, physics, and the like, and you'll find two commentaries dedicated to the same topic, with several drawings which make the hoax perfectly clear. Randi's account is much more engaging, as its detail brings the story to life. Boese discusses the Loch Ness Monster and the "surgeon's photo"--but doesn't include the photo itself. The book makes good light reading, and perhaps it's greatest good is as a testiment to the fact that the media is less in the news and education business than in the entertainment business, a case which Randi also makes repeatedly. You'll probably encounter a few stories you've heard before and not realised were hoaxes or outright frauds, such as the sightings of sea monsters by the passenger ship Mauretania--a report first published in the New York Times and repeated ad infinitum in books on Cryptozoology and Fortean Phenomena, but which has entirely no basis in fact. You'll surely discover things of which you've not heard--my favorite is "The Great Monkey Hoax" hailing from my home state of Georgia, wherein a dead Capuchin monkey was doused in depiliatory cream and left in the road by two boys who claimed they'd struck it while two other "aliens" escaped in a glowing UFO. Boese has a gullibilty test in his book, which I, a confirmed skeptic, didn't do well on. And a number of famous or otherwise interesting hoaxes didn't make it into his book--including Mother Shipton, the psychic more accurate than Nostradamus but who unfortunately didn't exist, or the mermaid story which took place here in Hong Kong less than 10 years ago--a report was widely circulated in the media that a fisherman had caught a mermaid and his boat was bringing her into port. People flocked to the docks, but the boat was delayed and wouldn't be in until the next day. Still people came, but of course, no mermaid ever showed up--I don't remember what the excuse was--I think perhaps he freed the mermaid because she'd threatened him with a curse. Or the monkey man that was running around rooftops in India, supposedly assulting people, also within the last decade. Boese maintains a website where at least some of these hoaxes are written up; but like the book that site lacks detail and seems somewhat flat.