Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizensof the Dee (Anglais) Broché – 27 octobre 2003
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This serpentine creature of the seas is generally quite long, upwards of 100 feet, with rough skin, a distinct head, and a tapering tail. Lire la première page
Couverture | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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* The authors revamp previous attempts by past cryptozoologists at creating a systematic categorization of creatures. In this way, they lay out a "field guide" similar to a field guide for birds that would make distinctions between woodpeckers and owls. For their system, they opt for creatures that hew to
--Classic Sea Serpent
--Great Sea Centipede
* The book covers a wide-ranging variety of creatures and does a good job in globe trotting.
* Each type within the classification system is given some preliminary info, overviews of well-known sightings, plus a few expanded narratives containing more specific information.
* The book's layout is nicely conceived, with an effort made to appear scholarly enough to lend credence to the field of cryptozoology.
* There are plenty of interesting encounters listed, enough to keep folks interested and turning pages.
* The maps listed for each encounter are nicely designed and are a good frame for each monster.
* The bibliography is extensive.
* While the illustrations of the types within the classification system are well done and the maps are helpful, the utter lack of photographs or illustrations related to each case depicted in a book like this is a major disappointment.
* No matter how the authors spin it, the classification system they've developed is no better than similar ones given in the past.
* Coleman lifts big chunks of his previous books for this one. It seems like many passages from his 1999 book "Cryptozoology A to Z" are reproduced in their entirety (or with minimal modification.)
* Some of the narratives of encounters are mentioned in the intro material for each monster type, but are then reiterated in individual examples that follow, too often adding little to what was given in summary before.
* Not enough credence is given to debunking some of the sightings listed here.
The book concludes with a basic summary, info on where to see cryptids like these, a summary of worldwide sightings based on continent, some background on famous carcasses and "globsters," helps for the ridicule factor that monster sighters incur, plus creature characteristics monster sighters should look for if they should happen to spy something unusual.
If you are new to the study of cryptid creatures, this is an excellent survey to start with. However, despite being an intriguing book, its lacks prevent it from being the last word on the topic.
The real meat of the book comes in from the "species profiles", in which Coleman and Huyghes showcase the different cryptids they came up with in their system. Some come from Heuvelmans' studies (with a new look at the "supper otter") while others are entirely new. Each write-up includes an illustration, maps, an overview of the creature and it's habitats, range and behavior, and a few brief sightings. All in all, over a dozen species are covered. We are presented with the familar "classic sea serpent", the "water horse" (maned, long necked seals according to the authors), Heuvelman's "sea centipede" (a multi-finned whale), marine crocodiles and giant sharks, sea turtles and octopi. More exotic sea creatures mentioned included the Trinty Alps giant salamander, Mokole-Mbembe (a surviving dinosaur said to dwell in the Congo), the Buru (a possibly extinct monitor lizard from the Himalayas), surviving populations of Steller's sea cows, a giant beaver seen in Utah's Salt Lake and unidentified species of manta rays and whales.
Obviously some cryptids are more believable than others, but all are given a good amount of space, along with the authors attempts at finding a scientific explanation for them. In the back of the book, we are given some interesting material such as an essay about the latitudes in which lake monsters are found, some accounts about "globsters" and other unidentified carcasses that have washed ashore, and a list of locations around the world in which sea, lake and river monsters can be sighted. On small comment is that several of the creatures mentioned in this list aren't mentioned at all in the text, but thats a small gripe.
Ultimately, this is a fun little book, especially for the lay reader who wants to know whether or not there is any possibility of discovering sea monsters in this day and age. Obviously some of the claims need to be taken with a grain of salt, but this book still provides a fun and interesting read. However, for the reader with a serious interest in cryptozoology, this book isn't going to replace Heuvelmans' monumental "In the Wake of Sea Serpents". Its still worth including in your personal library, but it's not the be-all, end-all word on marine cryptids.
This book, as with all of Mr. Coleman's books, doesn't try to document every single sighting ever made. It instead documents a few examples to enhance the overall purpose of the book. In doing so, we are presented with an all inclusive outline of every single lake and sea monster that ever reared it's head above water.
Mr. Coleman takes the liberty of revamping the categories of water monsters in a more up to date and pragmatic manner. This modernized enhancement to the classic types of water monsters is at once comfortable and surprising.
The book is filled with illustrations of the different types of creatures as well as maps logging their sightings. And as we have come to expect with Mr. Coleman's books, the appendix and bibliography at the end of the book make it alone worth the cover price.
It is beyond imagination how anyone from the arm chair curious, to the hard core researchers can do without this book. Mr. Coleman has done all the work for us, we have only to pick up the torch and carry on the investigations.
Most the book is in the form of an Encyclopedia with sea monsters broken up into types that are then described with reference to one or two encounters. Offering both new sightings and a new classification this section is of interest again most to the sea monster familiar reader rather than the layperson. Some of the categories are unequivocal even if giant beavers, sharks and octopuses don't exist, their existence as distinct categories of observation cannot really be gainsaid. Coleman and Huyghes like Heuvelmans wander into more problematic territory when they move into sea serpents. They divide them into two basic types with subcategories. Such shoehorning perhaps prevents objective evaluation of observations (which are after all, all that we have) and may cause important details to be overlooked. Nonetheless this section is a fun controversial read.
A fine text which whilst accessible to all will also be appreciated by the more advanced scholar of marine monsters.
There is a ten page bibliography that just invites you to dig deeper into the sources they quote, along with several other chapters listed in an "Afterword". This serves to expand out the 14 varieties of monsters listed under "Type Descriptions", which are introduced by way of a forty-odd page introduction.
For those who are familiar with Loren Coleman's style of writing, this is another enjoyable trip down a familiar stream, and is highly recommended.