Cryptozoologicon: Volume I Paperback – November 7, 2013
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Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Lulu.com; null edition (November 7, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 102 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1291621539
- ISBN-13 : 978-1291621532
- Item Weight : 7 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.26 x 8.5 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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One problem is, that many current cryptozoologists do not have the proper funding to employ many artists. Loren Coleman is a notable exception in having one or two devoted illustrators that have provided many, many black and white depictions. I myself produce cryptozoology illustrations for some clients, but I am paid in merchandise (complimentary copies of the books), simply because I have a thirst for crypto books in the first place.
It is unfortunate that I can count on one hand, the books about Cryptozoology that posses truly striking, original artwork. One of which is a very lavish children's book, one is the skeptical tome "Abominable Science", one is Loren Coleman's Hominoid Field Guide, and one very exhaustive French handbook that was never released in English. The 2 recent books about sea monsters on renaissance and medieval maps also warrant inclusion, but their illustrations are historical documents, not originals."The Cryptozoologicon: Volume 1", which will soon have a sequel, instantly rockets to the top of this list.
Each creature entry, of which there are 28, provides a truly beautiful, realistic color portrait of each cryptid. Accompanying this are 3 sections of text per entry. The first is about the sightings and general context, the next is a skeptical paragraph about the likelihood or lack thereof, to its existence, and the third is a piece of speculative fiction as to the nature of the creature, as if it were actually real. The book takes pains to point out that they do not endorse the un-supported existence of any folkoloric creatures, in fact, some cryptids covered in the book are either disproved, false, or fake. The main point of the book is not the investigative nature of many crypto books, but viewing this modern mythological bestiary as what in most cases, it truly is, creative exercises in speculative thought.
After a long love-affair with Cryptozoology, this book has brought me to an epiphany. The fact that these mystery beasts probably do not exist, is not really a bad thing, nor is it a smirch on the reputation of any cryptozoologists. It isn't a bad thing, because the sightings, investigation, and resulting speculation have become a contemporary equivalent of the long-gone annals of Greek and Medieval mythology. That is, of course, perhaps not real, but damn good storytelling. Creatures seemingly exist in our minds and collective conscious, as much as the material, natural world.
I eagerly await the second edition, which will be a sequel. apparently the author and illustrators became so enthused with their speculative ramblings, that they will soon have enough for a second book. Sooner rather than later, I hope.
The introduction is cryptozoology in a nutshell, with a smart, skeptical, scholarly point of view - the kind I prefer. Each entry is a summary of what is known or conjectured about the cryptid. Then the authors crank up the fictional biology to 11 and even push the limits of popular cryptozoo-ers, while remaining generally within the confines of zoology, to indulge in descriptions and illustrations of the proposed animals.
There is no "belief" or religiously fed need by these authors to PROVE this or that animal is real. It's straight zoology blended with art, folklore and a creativity fueled by love of this topic. This book is a few reading levels above your average pop cryptid book, which is good, I think. There is nothing bad about raising the bar.
The Cryptozoologicon picks at the foundation of the field and finds it rather holey. They advocate a new approach to the subject - a more rigorous, rational, less ridiculous approach. However...parts of The Cryptozoologicon are very very silly. That was clearly the intent. The hoop snake makes an appearance. The chupacabra becomes a very large opossum called "Deinoroo"; only a matter of time, they say, until it graduates from attacking livestock to targeting humans. I enjoyed the treatment of "rods" as the most ridiculous of all proposed cryptids; the resulting speculative animal turns out to be gloriously preposterous. This is speculative zoology at its finest.
I did finally cave and buy myself a copy, and after reading it, I can say that my preconception was correct in some respects, but incorrect in others. I enjoyed the book. I really, really enjoyed the book. The authors were not shy about stepping on toes, but they didn't approach the subject like I thought they would. They weren't making fun of cryptozoology, they were scrutinizing it. There's a difference. The authors didn't discredit cyrptozoology, they treated it with extra caution, and only indulged in wild speculation to expose the flaws of practices legitimately exercised by cryptozoologists. It is nonsensical to hypothesize about the biology and evolution of an organism that isn't even recognized by the scientific community yet, and that is what the tongue-in-cheek speculative sections of Cryptozoologicon: Volume I punctuated. The take-home message for cryptozoologists is to prove first, study later. To a degree, I agree with that, though there were some other points the authors presented that I must admit I disagree with.
As for the fun speculation itself, I definitely enjoyed that aspect of this book the most. The illustrations are of course unforgettable, and the creatures themselves reflect the authors' cleverness and creativity. Cryptozoologicon: Volume I is nothing short of a literary adventure. Just a heads-up, though, skip pages 56-57 if you want a good night's sleep.
Top reviews from other countries
The illustrations in the book are excellent, and the way the book reads is amazing.
We just need volume two now, which I have heard is going to be released immanently !!
The pictures are great and the style is upbeat and jovial. It may not appeal to some but for anyone with an interest in a scientific analysis of mystery creatures.
The only reason I didn't make it a full 5 stars is because I would have liked even more science. I would be interested to see analysis of the ecology of these species not just the possible evolutionary development of the species.
Excellent work and I m looking forward to Volume 2.
I've now read this a few times, and enjoyed it even more. There's a lot of material densely packed into well-written and clear prose, and I'm having loads of fun tracking down and going through the references.
Money well spent.
Excelente texto con brillantes momentos de humor sutil y hermosas ilustraciones.