Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Review: The Monster Book (Nick Redfern, 2017)

A few months ago, I received a book from Visible Ink Press for review, courtesy of my good buddy Nick Redfern. This particular book is entitled The Monster Book: Creatures, Beasts and Fiends of Nature (Visible Ink Press, 2017). Make no mistake: this is an encyclopedia of monsters and nightmarish beasts. I'm always on the lookout for new monsters to write and blog about, and Nick's book will undoubtedly provide some inspiration. But for now, let's move on to the review. But beware: nightmarish creatures from all over the world lurk within!

The Monster Book is an encyclopedia of all things of a monstrous and horrifying nature, and it contains nearly two hundred entries covering all kinds of frightening beasts. The books is divided into ten sections, each of which focuses on one or more different types of monsters. Such creatures include (but aren't limited to) anomalous big cats, werewolves, phantom black dogs, lake and sea monsters, vampires, hairy hominids, shapeshifters, urban legends, lizard men, flying beasts, and dragons, among other things. Each section is written in A-Z format for convenience's sake. Some of my favorite entries in the book include Beast of Bray Road, Cemetery Wolf-Man, Hexham Heads (the full story of which can be read in this blog's entry on Phantom Werewolves), Giant Beaver, London's Bear-Monster, Man-Eating Plants, Basilisk, Giant Salamander, Lambton Worm, Loveland Frog, Megalania Prisca, Mongolian Death Worm, Thetis Lake Man-Reptile, Bunyip, Bloop, Kraken, Loch Ness Monster, Mokele-Mbembe, Oklahoma Octopus, Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui, Bigfoot, Man-Monkey of the Shropshire Union Canal, Skunk Ape, Wendigo, Aswang, Batsquatch, Donkey Woman, Lizard Man, Mapinguari, Monster of Glamis (a fascinating subject, which I may very well do a blog entry on one of these days), Reptile Man, Slenderman, Chile Monster, Dragon, Flying Woman of Vietnam, Houston Batman, Mothman, Gwrach Y Rhibyn (another blog entry of mine, which can be read here), and many, many others. At four hundred and sixteen pages long, that is a lot of monsters!

Overall, The Monster Book is well-written, thought-provoking, neatly organized, and more than a little spooky. The book has both an index for finding information quickly and a bibliography that's just over seven pages long. Although this encyclopedia doesn't list every single monster in the world (which would be a huge undertaking, to be sure), that doesn't detract from this tome's value as a great all-around reference book. I heartily recommend this book to all of my friends and this blog's readers. The book can be ordered from either Amazon or from Visible Ink Press here. And now, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank both Nick Redfern and Visible Ink Press. My sincerest thanks go to Nick for his friendship and his kindness, and to Visible Ink Press for kindly sending me this book, free of charge, for review. Thank you so much to both of you, and I am greatly looking forward to your next books, Nick!!!

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