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Library JournalMcNutt (Lost Ohio: More Travels into Haunted Landscapes, Ghost Towns, and Forgotten Lives) takes another journey into the history of small, vanishing, and unusual towns in Ohio. The introduction frames this undertaking as a way for McNutt to come to terms with leaving his hometown, and the book promises to be a memoir of personal as well as historical discovery. However, in his enthusiasm for the history of regular people in small towns, McNutt seems to forget to weave in his own story. In the few instances when he does—such as the discovery that his own innkeeper ancestors may have committed an infamous murder—the result is compelling. An addendum of town names with curious origins may be interesting for Ohio residents.
Verdict Overall, the omission of McNutt’s personal story makes the book less powerful and sometimes dry. However, Ohio residents, Americana history buffs, and small-town enthusiasts will find at least a few chapters to enjoy. After all, Utopia (and Tranquility, Equity, and Harmony) really can be found in Ohio.—Audrey Barbakoff, Kitsap Regional Lib., Bainbridge Island, WA
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