“Chasing American Monsters” by Jason Offutt


Thanks to Llewellyn Worldwide and Netgalley for the Advance Reading Copy. 

This is a jaunty and fun whistle stop tour of the weird and wonderful monsters of the United States. The book goes through the States alphabetically, listing the various monsters that are reputed to exist. Some are surprisingly contemporary whilst others are tales of the past. The descriptions are short (too short for the most part) so this book would work well to dip in and out of.  I also loved the vintage-y looking cover, i’m a real sucker for books that have these kinds of covers so i’d definitely look at it in a bookstore. 

You’ve got your more well-known cryptids such as the Jersey Devil and the Wendigo as well as some truly bizarre creatures such as the Iliamna Lake Monster, a creature with the head of a wolf and the body of an orca. The diverse range of creatures included makes for an interesting and entertaining read. 

My only real criticism is that most of the monster descriptions are just far too short. It might have been better to sacrifice some of the more samey monsters (the Loch Ness monster rip offs, Big Foots) to expand the information on the more unusual or well-known creatures. Also, the famous people from each state part was a little repetitive and unnecessary. I wanted more information on monsters, not to know what state Hulk Hogan was from. 

Overall this is a fun book and would make a great gift for someone interested in cryptozoology or as a starter to whet your appetite if you love all things monstrous. 

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