Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Monday, January 02, 2012

Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter

 When this book went on my wish list, it was because I'm a huge fan of the SyFy show, Destination Truth, and Josh Gates in particular. I assumed (partly correctly) that it would be about the "monsters" the team goes after on their travels around the world, but it ended up being so much more than that. It is indeed a memoir of Gates's searches, but it is also a resoundingly good travelogue with practical tips rounded out by Gates's sharp wit. Even those who don't enjoy the show will find themselves hooked very quickly as Gates opens with the time the top of an airplane came off in flight; seriously, how much better of an opening chapter can you get?

Reading this book made me feel as though Gates were sitting in a chair across from me because his voice shines through with every sentence. He's often self-deprecating, but in a funny, every man sort of way that makes him easily identifiable. Love the stories of trekking through the wilderness and into remote areas in search of legendary creatures such as the yeti and the giant anaconda of the Amazon, but it's the stories of travels gone awry, horrible sleeping conditions, and the native peoples of the world that kept me glued to the pages. Josh is extremely good at connecting his stories to the humanity of us all, and his humor is the key. Does he actually come in contact with any of the monsters his team is looking for? Well, no, but that's beside the point. There is enough odd stuff going on that it's entirely conceivable that there's something to all the wild tales he investigates, yet he never loses sight of the fact that those searches are indeed secondary to the awesome experiences he's gained through his travels.

Memoirs of a Monster Hunter is action packed and fun; so much so that I'm handing it over to my decidedly skeptical husband because Josh's travel descriptions alone are worth the read. Gates may have one of the best jobs in the world on camera, but his writing is also engaging (and not dissimilar to J. Maarten Troost's The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific). I'll be recommending this one to everyone I know because it's so much more than just a paranormal search book. Highly recommended.


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