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River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones that Didn’t Get Away Hardcover – April 5, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306819546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306819544
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Wall Street Journal bestseller, 4/19/11


“Fishing may be a hobby to you, but for Jeremy Wade, host of Animal Planet’s River Monsters, it’s a way of life. Wade scours the rivers of the world for the stuff of legend, and we’re lucky enough to bear witness. Viewers have seen him catch a lot of big fish . . . but most of the thrill comes from watching the hunt.”

ShareThisAdventure.com, 4/6/11
"I would recommend this great book to any adventurer, fisher, or reader for that matter. [It] will not disappoint and is sure to awaken that urge inside us all for the unknown, for what is around that next bend, for what we cannot see."
Newsday, 4/17/11
“A terrific read—intense, captivating and insightfully written.”

Toronto Globe & Mail, 4/23/11
“This one may hook you.”
Savannah Morning News, Bookworm Sez column, 4/28/11
“Readers will enjoy his vivid (and humorous) descriptions of lands he has visited and risks he has undertaken in his travels…Fisherman or not, I think you’ll enjoy the thrills you’ll find in this book. River Monsters is easy to get hooked on.”
Publishers Weekly (web-exclusive), 5/1/11
“[A] collection of fish stories on steroids… Wade always paints a colorful portrait…Let Wade stand in the shallow water; this is a great way to get a few vicarious thrills.”
Valley News, 5/14/11
“These creatures are more fun to read about than to watch!...Armchair adventure at its best.”
American Profile, 6/5/11
“Anyone with a rod and reel will enjoy the wet ‘n’ wild fish tales in River Monsters.”


The Times, 6/5/11
“Entrancing, 272 pages of thrilling action.”

Buffalo News, 6/26/11
“Over-sized ripsaw catfish, grouper, river stingrays, eels, and one toothy devil Wade took 25 years to catch are but a few of the adventures that this energetic and determined big-fish fisherman has brought to net, to a camera lens, and now into an interesting text worth the read.”


About the Author

Jeremy Wade has a BSc in zoology from Bristol University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Kent. He has worked as a secondary science teacher, a newspaper reporter, and a senior advertising copywriter. He has written for publications including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Telegraph, and BBC Wildlife magazine. His previous book, Somewhere down the Crazy River (with Paul Boote), was published in 1992 to stellar reviews. Prior to River Monsters, Jeremy made two documentary series for Discovery Europe: Jungle Hooks (2002, set in the Amazon) and Jungle Hooks India (2005), both since shown worldwide. He lives in southern England.

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Customer Reviews

It is actually very well written and even quite funny at times.
This book is a fascinating story about Jeremy Wade's adventures and about his life and is a must read for any fan of the River Monsters show.
Edmond Schmolke
This book is a great read for anyone who watches the hit show, loves fishing or just wants to get a taste of decades of world exploration.
Nelson Mandela

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Haven on March 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me just start by saying I really didn't want to read this book. I have watched the TV show and find it interesting, but I wasn't all that excited about reading a companion book to the series. Really..we had Unhooked as well..and I was sure this was another way to cash in on the RM series. However, I am glad I decided to read it. It is actually very well written and even quite funny at times. Mr. Wade comes across as down to earth and even a bit self-deprecating at times. It's nice to see someone that actually enjoys what they do and is unjaded by their success(so far).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jason Adams on August 6, 2011
Format: Audio CD
When I think of a TV tie-in book, I'm not expecting a whole lot. Dull rehashes of episodes I've already seen, irrelevant info that only the most hardcore fans would care about, or even worse, a whole bunch of pictures and basic info about the show.

This book rises so far above that stigma it's mind blowing, and that is evident even in the prologue. Even as a big fan of the show, I was not expecting to write a review using terms like "engrossing" and "masterfully written" but here we are.

Jeremy Wade is an intelligent and compelling tv presenter, but he is an even better writer, because that is more difficult to do. The visual pictures he paints are stunning in detail, and the way he puts together his writing style far exceeded my expectations. He doesn't spend a lot of time on big chunks of biographical history, instead opting to sprinkle bits and pieces throughout the book. We learn quite a bit about the man by the end, but it's dispersed a little at a time.

It's at times scary, funny, scientific, but always comes off genuine, especially in the audio version. I actually ordered the audio version thinking "Him reading it might help save what's sure to be a fluff tie-in book" Instead, it's immediately obvious that this man is a real writer. Hearing these stories in his own voice really brings them to life. He approaches it in the same way he does the TV show, but a bit more intimate and conversational. It feels like you're sitting in a living room, you on one couch and Jeremy on the other, and you've said "So tell me more about the trip for the Goliath Tiger Fish...." And then you just sit back and listen to what was going through his head during those trips, the frustrations, fears, adventures, methodology.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By BlackHerring on April 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jeremy Wade manages to excel as both an angler and a TV host, and now you can add writer. I love the show on Animal Planet and had been searching in vain for the first book he wrote without success so I was thrilled to see this. The book more than met my expectations. I could not put it down. It was fascinating to get more detail on the places he went to earlier, more fish biology, and of course his adventures from his TV program. Part of the reason I like him so much is his stance as a true conservationist and fish lover- the sport comes after he is sure he is doing everything as humanely as possible. I am still not sure if even catch and release fish enjoy the process, but if they are lucky, they will be caught by Jeremy Wade. I also enjoy that he adds details about fish psychology; it's interesting for me (as a non-angler) to read about how fish have different characters and reactions to different kinds of events.

All in all, my only complaint about this book is that it was too short. Another couple hundred pages would have been ideal for me. I hope this book is widely popular and it leads to the reissue of his first book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Beatty on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am not an angler and have no interest in becoming one, but I have found the River Monsters TV series and its host Jeremy Wade to be interesting, which is why I decided to read this book.

The book tells the stories surrounding several of the expeditions on the TV series, but with much more detail. We learn a lot more about Jeremy Wade's life and personality and get more of a sense of the time and effort taken to catch some of these fish - often counted in years or decades rather than the few days it seems on the episode. From these expanded stories I learned there is often a lot more danger and work involved in the quests than is represented in the TV series, and I also learned a few things about how to fish, should I ever become interested.

Wade is a conscientious, low-key, yet intense personality. As in the series, he's not an in-your-face extrovert. In the book, you learn more about his credentials and how he came to be a professional angler and world traveler, and clues to the origins of his somewhat compulsive nature. The stories of his adventures range from freakish to disgusting to awe-inspiring.

As for the book, sometimes the time transitions made by the author are poorly made - he goes backward and forward in time rather liberally and it sometimes takes a reader a moment to figure out how things fit together. Also, I wish the photos had been interspersed to the appropriate chapters and pages rather than grouped together in one bunch in the middle of the book. When I'm reading about the Araipaima I want to see its picture in that section and not have to flip to the middle of the book and try to track it down.
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