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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2000
While I've been appreciative of Coleman and Clark's older works, I felt this book dwelled too much on the personalities involved in the field of cryptozoology. Seriously how many works in similar fields devote so much space to the people active in their fields? Do you open an encyclopedia of meteorology and read about famous (and non-famous) meteorologists? No.
Too much of the book is devoted to cryptozoologists, both famous and rather obscure. There are pictures of virtual unknowns in the book who have virtually no serious scholarly work on cryptids and whose only virtue is having operated a web site and interviewed a few local yokels. These people compare with individuals such as Sanderson and Heuvelmans? No and they don't deserve to share the space.
It's my feeling that a lot of the name dropping in this book is nothing but that, and while the part of the book actually devoted to cryptozoological mysteries is worthwhile, it's sometimes spoiled by the frequent references to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Nobody.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2001
Cryptozoology, the search for unknown or "hidden" animals, is a strange field, quite legitimate in some cases as researchers bring to the world of scientific knowledge new creatures such as the woodland bison (rediscovered in 1960 after it was presumed extinct), the saola (a large bovid discovered in 1992 in Vietnam), and the okapi, the giraffe relative of the deep jungles of central Africa, dicovered by western man in 1901 after extensive searching and using clues from the local inhabitants in the region. Other creatures such as the giant squid and the pygmy elephant are poorly known and quite enigmatic, but nonetheless real and seem to fall between the shadowy border of "standard" zoology and cryptozoology.
Cryptzoology also as a field includes a host of other strange creatures, many famous such as the sasquatch (or Bigfoot), yeti (or Abomininable Snowman), and the Loch Ness Monster, others fairly obscure such as the waitoreke (an otter-like mammal that may exist in New Zealand), the marozi (the enigmatic spotted lion of East Africa), and the buru (a large unknown monitor lizard of the remote valleys in the Himalayas). To an educated person who prides himself on having read a great many nature and science books, many "cryptids" (animals of interest to cryptozoologists) seem outlandish and improbable, such as the skunk ape of Florida or even the Loch Ness Monster (as the loch in question has been combed over extensively, and any air-breathing monster would have long been discovered and documented). It is with the creatures that *just may* exist, that don't sound so improbable, that gives to me cryptozoology (and this book) its charm. Surely hairy wildmen don't haunt the rain forests of Washington state, but who is to say with absolute certainty the buru or the marozi don't exist?
Coleman and Clark cover the field well, with entries for famous and not-so-famous cryptids, as well as large animals that have come to light in the 20th century. In part, it is these newly discovered animals - the Komodo dragon in 1910, the coelacanth in 1938, the kouprey in 1961 - that help make the science of cryptzoology at least partially legitimate. In addition, they have entries for famous cryptzoologists such as Matthew A. Bille, a leader in cryptocetology (the study of hidden or undiscovered whales) and Bernard Heuvelmans, the "Father of Cryptzoology," whose has written numerous works on cryptozoology, particularly on mysterious hominids such as the yeti.
Whether cryptozoology is a legitimate and cutting edge science or a collection of real animals, folktales, myths, and legends all mixed together is for the reader to decide. Coleman and Clark treat the subject with seriousness and professionalism, and the book is fun to browse through, complete with nice illustrations of cryptids and cryptozoologists. A nice bibliography is included, along with a list of cryptozoology musuems and exhibits, periodicals, and websites.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2001
This book is an incredible read, offering valuable insight on a lesser-known science. Loren Coleman is a fantastic chronicler of "cryptids", the names given to these scarce and unusual beasts. Beasts such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the giant anaconda of the Amazon jungles, the giant octopus, the Kraken, Ogopogo, Champ, the Jersey Devil, the Thunderbird, megamouth shark, the Nandi Bear, the megaladon shark, and el Chupacabra. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals, and recently I have taken a big interest in it upon a sighting of Bigfoot in New Mexico's mountains (no joke).
This science should not be considered very low, and stereotyped as studied by clueless men and women, because it is not. It is a very intelligent science, offering one of the most intriguing searches--that being, the search for the unknown. Albert Einstein once said that the biggest adventure lies in finding things unknown. Hominology is also featured in this book, which is the study of humankind's closest relatives (Bigfoot, Yeti, Abdominable Snowman), besides apes. Hominology is the bridge between anthropology and zoology. This book will startle you with true accounts of some encounters, short bios of the people who are cryptozoologists, and cryptozoology organizations such as the International Society of Cryptozoology, and, of course, the cryptids themselves. Dig in.
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2004
The primary hurdle that Cryptozoologists have to face is that of potential ridicule. To suggest that large creatures previously unknown to science exist in this world requires--whether you like it or not--a greater deal of dicipline and scientific fact to back it up.
With that said, one must take an even greater step back to look at the facts. This book does not. Rather, this book argues minute details and tried to propegate, for the most part, the existance of the "legendary" beasts by refuting scientific evidence (not to mention COMMON SENSE).
The Minnesota Iceman is a case in point. Here we have a farmer with a rubber monkey frozen in ice displayed as a real "missing link". Mr. Coleman goes to great--and invalid--lengths to "prove" that this was a real cryptid. Even after the "original" disappeared and was replaced by a "replica", Mr. Coleman argues that the "original" creature was no doubt buried in an unmarked grave--humanity having lost its chance forever to discover a new creature. Bottom line is we had a farmer who wanted to make a couple extra bucks and concocted a sceme to do so. When the pressure got hot, the farmer ditched the frozen ape and made all sorts of excuses as to why the original was not still on display.
Before you rip me a new one for questioning the validity of undiscovered animals, know that I have investigated the subject extensively--and I believe they are out there. My concern is that if books like this continue to be published, the subject will never be taken seriously.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2003
Coleman covers most of the popular crptids here but in little depth.
If you're really interested in the subject I'd recommend any books by Shuker or of course Heuvelmans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2005
I was very pleased with this book. Although I must state that it doesn't go into much detail, it is a great resource for when you are "looking something up" or for the novice cryptozoologist. BUT I think its important (and perplexing) to note that although this is co-authored by Loren Coleman, there is NO MENTION of the MOTHMAN of Point Pleasant, which was the reason I bought the book in the first place!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2005
While this book does mention some mythological beings, the existance of a majority of creatures discussed is at least plausible, and there is sufficient evidence to suggest that many may represent animals truly unknown to science.

Along with descriptions, some sighting reports, experiences, and discussion of evidence of unknown creatures, this book presents all animals once thought extinct, elusive, and subsequently proven to exist, or rediscovered. As in the case of the famous Coelacanth, a prehistoric fish thought extinct since the Cretaceous Period but found very much alive in 1938.

Cryptozoology A-Z also sheds light on cases of misidentification and includes many profiles of people involved with Cryptozoololgical studies.

I highly recommend this book for those who wish to learn more about Cryptozoology, the many interesting, monsterous, and bizarre creatures there are, or might be, in our world, and the people who search for them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2001
I am not a real science-type person, but I am interested in the Unknowns of this planet. I found a lot more in this book beyond the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, which I thought was really great. I had no idea so many different(and identical)hidden animals had been reported through the ages around the world! The only thing I didn't like was the authors kept talking about several pieces of photographic evidence collected on different creatures throughout the book and then never presented them. I would have been very interested in seeing all these photos they mentioned, so I could make some judgements for myself. Otherwise, it has a lot of really good text information that can be expanded upon in further books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 1999
BOOK OF THE MONTHFortean TimesNovember 1999Issue No. 128Page 55The Compleat CryptozoologistComprehensive, invaluable "beginner's guide" to the study of mystery animalsCryptozoology A to ZLoren Coleman and Jerome ClarkReviewed by Darren NaishThis new volume is an excellent introduction to the study of mysteryanimals. With nearly 200 entries arranged alphabethically, topics rangefrom the universally popular to the arcane.The authors do a good job of presenting both sides of a debate, and some ofthe sillier speculations made by cryptozoologists (eg about pterosaursurvival) are played down.Their approach is open-minded and not as credulous as that often seen incryptozoological texts. I see it as a sort of "beginner's guide."Never before has so much biographical information been published oncryptozoologists themselves, and this alone makes the volume invaluable. There are omissions - particularly of UK and Australian researchers - butthese are the results of heavy editing by the publishers, though theinclusion of some virtual unknowns is weird.* * *Fans of Coleman's writing will welcome new insights into his theories aboutAmerican lions and merbeings Ieven if they don't agree with them) andinformation on certain lake monsters and other subjects is presented herefor the first time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2006
This book, released in 1999 by authors Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark, is one of the best ones out there, especially for the serious study of Cryptozoology. Just about every cryptozoological creature you can think of is in here-Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabras, Champ-but there are also several lesser-known cryptids, such as Napes (North American Apes), Queensland Tiger, Thylacine (of which there have been recent sightings), Ucu and Waitoreke. The book is an encyclopediaq of hidden or unknown animals, but that's not all-several crypto-personalities are also profiled, including Tom Slick, John Green, Rene Dahinden, Dr. Grover Krantz, Bernard Heuvelmans, Ivan T. Sanderson, Mark A. Hall and other personalities in the crypto-field. This is a highly-recommended book, full of great info and done in a comfortable writing style which makes the reader feel like two old friends are discussing cryptozoology. Get this book!
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