When I found out that Dom Joly had written a book about his adventures as a monster hunter I knew immediately that I had to read it, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it make a mockery of cryptozoology? Was Joly a believer in all sorts of weird things who accepted nonsense as evidence? I didn’t know. The book is called Scary Monsters & Super Creeps, is available on Amazon and is a great book. There are no ground breaking discoveries in its pages, and there are several errors (Adrian Shine, for example, is renamed Adrian Shiner) and anyone looking for serious crypto-zoological research wouldn’t find it here, but I recommend the book nonetheless.
Joly, it turns out, has been a big fan of Arthur C Clarke since childhoos and his genuine interest in the monster stories that he explores is evident throughout the book. However, as he documents his trips as a ‘professional monster hunter’ (a tongue in cheek title that he uses to impress those he comes into contact with) it becomes clear that Joly doesn’t have as in depth a knowledge of cryptozoology as might be useful. For example, he finds evidence and stories compelling that those who research this sort of phenomena regularly would find it hard to be excited by, but you don’t have to be an expert to be interested in weird stuff and that’s why I like this book. There were parts that really made me laugh, and while I won’t give too much away, a certain skinny dipping scene made me cry with laughter on a packed train so much so that I had to read it out to a stranger.
It’s good to stay curious and to chase your dreams, and in this book it just so happens that Joly’s dreams are monsters, and chase them he does. Does he find the Yeti, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster? Well, you’ll have to read for yourself to find out.