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EXTREME EXPEDITIONS: Travel Adventures Stalking the World's Mystery Animals
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Those are broadly the four themes that dominate the packed-pages of a highly entertaining new book from Anomalist Books: Adam Davies' Extreme Expeditions - Travel Adventures Stalking The World's Mystery Animals.

Anomalist Books are at the forefront of publishing high-quality books on general Forteana, and Extreme Expeditions is a good addition to their line-up, and does not disappoint.

Basically, the book is a travelogue that sees our fearless author (and a variety of friends, colleagues and fellow monster-hunters) heading off to a whole range of exotic and far-away locations in search of mysterious beasts of a truly cryptozoological nature.

Like me, Adam is a Brit; and, as the book is written very much in the form of a personal diary, it contains (as the back-cover states): "...foul language, excessive drinking, sexual situations, and encounters with some creatures of the natural world that would scare young children and more than a few adults as well."

So, in other words, if you're looking to find out what really goes on behind-the-scenes during the course of a quest for monsters in exotic locales, then this is most definitely the book for you.

Adam writes well: he skilfully presents to his audience the details of the many and varied expeditions upon which he has embarked, including (A) 1998 trips to Sumatra (in search of the Orang-Pendek) and to the Congo (where he looks for the Mokele-Mbembe); (B) a 1999 quest to solve the riddle of the Norwegian equivalent of Nessie: Selma (a quest that is particularly - and spectacularly - successful); (C) a wild trek to Mongolia for the legendary Death Worm; (D) a second journey to Mongolia (this time for the Yeti-like Almas); and (E) much more of a monstrous nature.

The trials and tribulations that go with being a seeker of unknown animals are thrust into the spotlight time and again in the pages of Extreme Expeditions, too. Indeed, they demonstrate that, at times, monster-hunting can be a distinctly hazardous business. For example, Adam and his friends find themselves in more than a few dicey situations with gun-toting officials and military forces in the Congo; they cope with heat-stroke, wild animals, bites and stings as they scour strange lands for even stranger animals; they bargain, barter and do whatever has to be done to seek out their quarry; and (for those non-Brits that may want to read the book) you get to learn a great deal about British culture and how we like to pass the time of day - and night, too!

And with respect to the key issue of the book - strange and unknown animals - you won't be disappointed. Adam's search for Norway's Selma is a real highlight; and one suggesting the beast is a very real one. His quest to find the Orang-Pendek is illuminating (for what he discovers - such as some notable footprints); it's also tinged with sadness, however, as a result of the fact that the creature (whatever it really is) may very well be on the verge of extinction.

Adam also uncovers a wealth of data on the Death-Worm and the Almas (which, as the book shows, may also be on the verge of extinction, if it hasn't already gone belly-up), and makes it very clear to the reader that, despite what some people might assume to the contrary, our planet is still one steeped in mystery.

Easy to read, packed with adventure, intrigue, humor and (of course) monsters, Extreme Expeditions is a book that's entertaining, informative, memorable and instructive - in equal measures.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
NOTE: The only five star reviews (at time of writing) are by Nick Redfern and John Carlson, who appear to be friends and/or associates of Adam Davies. Amazon Reviews is not the place for associates to trade promotional favors. Read with care.

Davies explains in the foreword that this is not a book about cryptozoology or cryptids, but about his personal experiences while searching for them. That's fairly accurate. This is a travelogue; if you want info on cryptozoology, look elsewhere.

I bought this book with that understanding, thinking it might be an interesting adventure / travel book.

However, the writing and story telling are hugely flawed and painful to read. *Every* page has at least one grammatical and one spelling error. Davies spells the name of every Indonesian town incorrectly, sometimes in different ways on the same page!

In addition, the narrative is often confusing or missing critical pieces. Never-before-mentioned characters are suddenly introduced or referenced. For example, Davies writes something like "we sat and waited for John..." leaving the reader left wondering "who's John?"

Incredibly, at the end of the book, Davies extends a "special thanks" to his editor. I honestly can't believe anyone would lend their stamp of approval on such a rough manuscript.

As one other reviewer points out, the book reads like a diary. Much of the language consists of (what I assume are) British colloquialisms that I (an American) had to look up. I read a lot of books by British authors, but Davies's book reminds me of my first encounter with cockney English.

And finally, the following "warning" label appears on the back cover:

"FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY: Foul language, excessive drinking, sexual situations, and encounters with some creatures of the natural world that would scare young children and more than a few adults as well."

If that's meant to be ironic, it's both hilarious and well played. But I don't think it is. Lots of books discuss "worse" situations (i.e. more swearing, sex, etc), but none of them brandish such a warning. The back cover also claims Davies was "shot at in the Congo", though Davies writes only that he heard what he thought was gunfire in the distance.

But I guess it makes the book sound more "extreme".

If you want a travel journal hastily transcribed into a rough draft of a 140 page doubled-spaced "book" crafted to make Adam Davies sound hardcore and totally awesome, then look no further.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book is a firsthand account of Adam Davies's experiences taken directly from his travel diaries while visiting various remote - and often dangerous - areas of the globe, pursuing his dream of finding and scientifically documenting the existence of so-called "legendary" creatures (known as cryptids, for those who are unfamiliar).

Besides being an enormously entertaining and frequently riotously funny read, "Extreme Expeditions" is, I felt, a very moving account of a man that is motivated by both a fascination for these creatures and a deep concern for their safety and preservation. For example, Adam has visited Sumatra on three separate occasions to look for the "orang-pendek", a jungle-dwelling, upright-walking hominid of relatively small stature (orang-pendek meaning "short man" in Indonesian). Of all the creatures for which he's searched, Adam has gathered the most compelling evidence of the orang-pendek's existence, having gotten a very good quality plaster cast of a small, human-/ape-like footprint, as well as a number of hair samples. Both the footprint cast and the hair samples were analyzed by highly reputable scientists and were determined to have come from an as-yet unidentified species of hominid.

The tragedy of the story, however, is the fact that with each successive expedition to the Sumatran jungles (the first being in 2001, then 2004 and 2007), Adam found that an alarmingly greater portion of this pristine rainforest had been clear cut to make way for farmland as human beings continually encroach on this land. If these creatures - and other cryptids - do indeed exist, what are there chances for survival as more of their habitat is destroyed through deforestation, pollution, etc.? And how many of these creatures have disappeared that we haven't yet had the opportunity to discover? As Adam raises these questions, it is obvious that this sad situation has lent a sense of urgency to his quest to discover these creatures "before", as he says, "it's too late".

I came away from reading his book with deep respect for the man's sense of purpose and sheer determination. I think the logistics involved in traveling to and through an area like the Congolese jungles or the Mongolian desert would be enough to stop me in my tracks. Once there, however, Adam and his crew have faced all manner of danger and hardship, including biting, stinging, poisonous insects and reptiles, absolutely vile-sounding food that even I wouldn't have the nerve to eat (and I'll eat almost anything), mountainous terrain, searing deserts, crocodile-filled swamps - not to mention an ardent female Mongolian wrestler! I might also mention the fact that Mr. Davies works a regular 9-5 office job in his native England and participates in these expeditions during his vacations and unpaid leave time, and all are self-funded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If your looking for a book about the creatures this guy is hunting, look elsewhere. If you want to read a an enjoyable book about a guy who is determined to actually go to the places that most of us only read about and hunt for things that even he isn't sure actually exist, give this book a try and you won't be dissapointed. It's almost like hearing his tales over a few beers at the Pub.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Started reading this book but then couldn't put it down .......let's you get right into the head of the Explorer and expert British Tracker Adam Davies. Adam explores his motivations for becoming an explorer and reminds us that any one of us can follow our dreams.

The logistics of planning an expedition are explored, as well as the bigger issue of making it it all work once it has started. Adam states that his intention is not to go into any great detail about the animals themselves although there is enough to wet people's appetites.

It was both exciting and hilarious (!!).........Adam is a great observer of life and people....if I was only allowed 10 books on a desert island, well this would be one of them....

Think this book will appeal to a wide audience....Fortean Times Readers, travellers, trekkers, those with an interest in Natural history, people watchers, anybody who wants to follow a dream but needs that bit of extra motivation.....in fact think would be enjoyed by most people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is a light look at the search for some strange animals that may or may not exist. The book provides little insight into the actual situation surrounding the existence of any unusual animal. Entertaining, short book with little actual new information on the subject of mystery animals.
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on August 9, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
EXTREME EXPEDITIONS
Travel Adventures Stalking The World’s Mystery animals
by ADAM DAVIES

Perseverance…How BAD do you want something?
This book represents the beginnings of Adam Davies’ career in Cryptozoology that was marked by “Potential” setback after “Potential” setback. I will not stretch when I say this, “Most people ANYWHERE would have given up so that they would not have to endure the craziness that Adam and his friends endured”. This book is a testament of Planning, Executing, Discovering, and Evaluating Results. He does evaluating with an unbiased point of view of which can be aspired to. That is one of the many reasons why Adam is one of the most well-respected Naturalists and Cryptozoologists in the world. He is on TV, Radio, and most all of Social Media covering these areas.
Hmmmm…Civil War, 9/11, and the SARS virus outbreak to name a few situations that confronted Adam’s expeditions. This book will give you great insight to Adam and not compromising your goals. Learn, know, and educate yourself on your goals. Research the Culture and the Environment that you are planning on going to for an Expedition. Finally, you should also have backers and other experts in partnership with you if anything is found or needs to be analyzed.
What are some of the most famous Cryptids in the World? The Loch Ness Monster, Orang-Pendek, The Mongolian Deathworm, Mokele-Mbembe, and the Mongolian Almas are a few. Adam’s book gives you great insight to this fascination, and why it is important to him and the world to pursue these creatures of Legend. This book is an easy read, and it will help to inspire your hunt for the UNKNOWN.
Note: This is book has situations and language that is for mature audiences only.
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on May 15, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Extreme Expeditions: Travel Adventures Stalking the World's Mystery Animals, by Adam Davies,is not your average cryptozoology book.
Davies spends a minimum of time rehashing old evidence and instead tells a rollicking first-person adventure tale. Davies, like the late Scott T. Norman, is one of those supremely dedicated amateurs who spends all available time and money poking around in remote, often supremely uncomfortable locations. He found little at the traditional monster haunts of Lake Tele and Loch Ness, believes he saw a large unknown animal in Lake Seljord, and made a significant contribution to research on one of the most probable animals in the cryptozoo, the bipedal Sumatran primate known as orang-pendek. Davies collected hair and a footprint cast for which some well-qualified "mainstream" scientists had no better explanation than "unknown primate."
The book is a jaunty, sometimes profane tale of colorful but basically sane people making a sincere, sometimes dangerous effort to solve zoological mysteries. Whether they turn out to have found new species is almost beside the point. I look forward to a sequel, if Davies survives his future expeditions long enough to write it. There are a few editing problems, and you wish Davies had gone into more depth in some areas, but it's a fun and thought-provoking read.
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on May 16, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been an avid Cryptozoology buff ever since I was young, and I've bought many books written by researchers about sightings of creatures ranging from Sasquatch/Bigfoot to Nessie, Mokele-Mbembe to Mothman, etc..but this is the first book I've ever read written by a researcher about his own personal experiences of going out looking for these mystery creatures.

Adam Davies brings a human element to this book, by sharing his own adventures..whether he's looking for Mokele-Mbembe, the Almas, Nessie, or any other number of cryptids. It's not the same old 'list of sightings' style of book. Yes..there are some really odd, comical, humorous, funny, disappointing, and memorable situations in this book..but this is exactly how it is in the life of a researcher. This man had the guts to get out in the field and see for himself what is out there, and not just sit back and write about what others have done. He took it upon himself to go in search of these mystery creatures.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the subject of mysterious creatures, the unknown, and unexplained.
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on February 27, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I am not a friend or acquaintance of Adam Davies. In fact, if Davies or Redfern encountered me, they would never srike up a conversation. I am a 71 year old old lady who will never be able to track the mele mekembe. Heck, I can barely make it to the local supermart!

But WOW I sure enjoyed reading what really happens when a regular guy takes off and does these things. Funnier than a day in a "real" adventure.... sex, booze, real folks at the end of your journeys.... who cares if there are spelling errors... the point is he went.... And I got to meet the guys and gals who actually live there! In a way where I feel I know them!

Don't listen to the idiots who criticized you, Adam, just bring the machine another book! :) Redfern is right! You Rock!

I can't wait for him to write another book... ( no need to edit, Adam....just WRITE!)

I lost my copy, so I'm buying another one!

If you want a truly entertaining read....Get this book!
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