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Tracking the man-beasts : Sasquatch, vampires, zombies, and more
Nickell, Joe.
Adult Nonfiction QL89 .N65 2011

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Nickell (Crime Scene: Methods of Forensic Detection), a foremost expert in paranormal investigation, spends more time hunting down legendary monsters than he seems to in compiling his findings. Nickell is uniquely qualified to write about our mythic beasts, but his repetitive accounts and slim histories repeat and strain in the effort of filling even this short book-length attempt at verifying the authenticity of the myriad "creatures of our prolific imagination." The takeaway? They're not authentic; they don't exist. Nickell presents minor histories into creatures as disparate as Siamese twins and Louisiana swamp monsters, followed by research into why these creatures don't exist, have ever existed. Comprehensively he debunks every one of the phonies. This could have been an absorbing study into legend; instead, wafer-thin chapters breed repetition and tedium. Nickell is a knowledgeable guide into folklore and myth-making; a few more tall tales and a careful editor would have made this a keeper. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Nickell's (The Mystery Chronicles: More Real-Life X-Files) varied career includes stage magician and private detective. He is well known and respected for his skeptical approach to investigating popular modern phenomena such as UFOs and Bigfoot. In his latest book, he traces a large collection of frightening creatures including vampires, zombies, werewolves, merpeople, aliens, swamp creatures, and many more. Nickell looks closely at why we believed in these creatures in the past and why they continue to capture our imaginations. Because he includes so many creatures, there isn't a tremendous amount of information on each one, but the book does present engrossing history on each beast and insight into what many of them actually were; some "creatures" that ancient and medieval humans feared were actually other people with various diseases. VERDICT Nickell writes in a straightforward, nonacademic manner and includes many insights about human nature (what we fear and why). This fun book includes loads of information and would serve as a good overview for anyone interested in legends and monsters.-Mary E. Jones, Los Angeles P.L. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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