Sunday, January 20, 2008

Memoirs of a Monster Hunter... not so much.

So, I finally finished Nick Redfern's recent book Memoirs of a Monster Hunter: A Five-Year Journey in Search of the Unknown. Redfern is well-known in UFO circles and has written numerous books on the paranormal. Paranormal... not something that I normally associate with Cryptozoology but for Redfern it most certainly does.

This book documents Redfern's experiences while searching for reports and stories of 'Monsters' across the US (mostly Texas). While the book does lean towards the paranormal , it does have what I would loosely describe as Cryptozoological sections. There are chapters on Bigfoot, a lake serpent, the Chupacabras and the Beast of Bray Road. There are several other chapters that deal with Goat-men, spirits, spectral zombies, feral women, as well as others.

Looking at the list of subjects covered, one would think that this book would be full of sightings, reports and stories of encounters with these 'monsters'. While, the beginning chapters do have an adequate amount of stories from various sources, mostly from people living in Texas, since that is where Redfern was living while writing this book. Even though Redfern does tend to give a paranormal spin to the encounters, these stories and reports do make for an entertaining read. However, once these stories start to diminish towards the middle chapters of the book that's where things start to stray.

Now, I don't mind reading about a writer's various experiences while writing a book. I mean, the book does have the word 'Memoir' in the title afterall. However, Redfurn's book has a lot, and I mean a lot of personal stories. Not stories of 'Monsters' as one would expect, but stories of plane rides, hotel stays, restaurant meals, conference speaking engagements, and what can only be described as meaningless coincidences. By the end of the book, I was having a very tough time plowing through the last chapters because of the endless stories of what Redfern had to eat one night and what he drank and what effect that had on his digestive tract. That is the main problem I had with this book.

Now, I know that I am no Pulitzer Prize winner. However, I do know what I like and for the most part, I did not like this book. If you are looking for a book that deals with sightings and reports of Cryptozoological creatures in a scientific manner, look elsewhere. Although, if you want to read about the mundane adventures of Nick Redfern in countless airports and restaurants; well, look no further.

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