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Zeuglodon: The True Adventures of Kathleen Perkins, Cryptozoologist Hardcover – 31 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press; Deluxe edition (31 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596064544
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596064546
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,168,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

After an eccentric inventor creates a passage to the center of the hollow earth just by dreaming of it, it is up to Katherine Perkins and her cousins, all part of The Guild of St. George, to dodge murderous kidnappers and bring the dozing man to his home at the center of the hollow earth, all without waking him, which would close the passageway and maroon them forever. By the author of The Digging Leviathan.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A loving return to form 3 Oct. 2012
By R. Jenson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've been a Blaylock fan for many years as I have, you may have noticed a...maturity of sorts, I suppose, of his writing - and of the characters that inhabit his stories. While this of course isn't a bad thing in and of itself (I want my favorite authors to write as they see fit, after all, and not pander to perceived demands of their audience), I found myself wishing for a little more of the whimsical eccentricities of his earlier tales.
"Zeuglodon" (zoo-glow-don) is a bit of a return to the form of his earlier style, and I couldn't be more delighted. While clearly aimed at a younger audience, if you laughed out loud or grinned yourself silly reading "The Digging Leviathan" or "The Last Coin" than I bet you'll do the same with this book.
It has almost all you could wish for in an adventure when you're 11 or 12 years old: eccentric genius uncles, faithful dogs, meddling spinsters, submarines, evil geniuses, skeleton keys (literally!)and amazing artifacts and cryptids - all wrapped up in a fast-paced adventure that will make you want to read the next installment. And I sure hope there are more in store for us.
I wish this book had been published several years ago - it would have been perfect for reading to my daughters. I can recommend it to them now, though - and to you as well!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Another Gem From Blaylock! 3 Nov. 2012
By kevin lause - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
James Blaylock has gifted us with another whimsical yarn (I know...'whimsical' is overused when it comes to Blaylock. But, darn it...He IS whimsical! And THAT, at least, IS rare in contemporary fiction) in the tradition of his early LAND OF DREAMS, THE LAST COIN, and, of course, THE DIGGING LEVIATHAN. As in those other wonderful works, a whole lot does happen in this one...Adventure! Sneaking Around After Bedtime! Sorting Out Mad Genius Scientists and Giving Them Whatfor!...But the real delight is in how it's all related. And one thing I liked especially about this book in particular: Blaylock reminds us that the time we should be most questioning of ourselves is the moment that we think we've made up our minds. Don't be so quick-on-the-trigger to fire out Judgments.
Well, except in this instance: Here I HAVE made up my mind, and I want everybody to know that I can't think about this novel without smiling a little bit and feeling a whole lot better about the world. Thanks, Mr. Blaylock!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not Quite So, Good Sir, Not Quite 31 Dec. 2012
By rampageous_cuss - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a decent old-school, i.e. young-investigator-style, juvenile adventure. It's a sequel to Blaylock's 1984 novel "The Digging Leviathan," an off-the-wall thriller that put a sort-of steampunk spin on the New Age adage that "you create your own reality." "Zeuglodon" re-envisions the central secret of that tale in a way that's intriguing but, IMHO, not really weird enough for today's young readers. I also have to say that despite a lot of decent cliffhanger moments the plotting isn't very tight, and although endings don't have to resolve EVERYTHING in a story, a little too much is left unresolved, if not simply abandoned, here. However the tween girl narration is well done, and the tale includes one of my favorite Blaylockian plot devices (the one involving Mrs. Peckworthy.) Nevertheless I found it somewhat disappointing and suspect that the book isn't going to be a hit outside the author's usual readership.

Semi-orphan Kathleen Perkins is in the care of her eccentric uncle Hedgepeth, a member of the Guild of St. George, a secret society which despite having an at least semi-international membership seems to do little beyond keeping a team near the Lake Windermere estate of the bizarre Peach family and maintaining a dusty museum of odd relics in a remote part of northern California. When an attempt is made to steal an exhibit that the curators apparently never much examined, Perkins and her cousins toy with it, revealing - a secret, albeit one known to archvillain Hilario Frosticos and the macguffin's natural heir, the daughter of Giles "Gill" Peach, a central character of the previous novel. Curiousity, courage, and-if-I-may-say-so-a-certain-disregard-for-the-rules wins the day.

I'm a huge Blaylock fan and devour everything he writes - there just ISN'T anyone *I* know of writing in his vein of humane, open-hearted whimsy. His best books combine zaniness with slice-of-life observation, interludes of mystical description, obsessive cranks who can manage to open their minds to strike to the core of truth, and flawed yet adaptive heroes. This book... isn't one of his best. Like many of Blaylock's other stories it revolves around a secret of vast implications but decidedly parochial application, so without those interludes of mystical wonder the tale seems a little... precious, maybe?

I'm not quite putting my finger on it. Blaylock has a tendency to retreat into nostalgia. The book's title tells (or reminds) us a lot about the author, without having anything much to do with the plot; the story's focus on the children, their very nature threatened by the adult world of social services and compulsory education, is likewise a gesture that misses an opportunity. Blaylock can take whimsy, peg it to reality with shafts of insight, and illuminate it with the mystic power of language. You'll find that in "The Digging Leviathan," "The Last Coin," "The Paper Grail," and "The Stone Giant," but not, alas, here.
Charming YA mystery 12 Oct. 2012
By Kat Hooper - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Originally posted at FanLit.

Eleven year old Kathleen Perkins considers herself a scientist -- a cryptozoologist, to be exact. She studies legendary animals. According to Kathleen, "legendary" just means that they don't appear very often. ("You can hardly blame them.")

Kathleen's mother disappeared in a submersible while trying to find the entrance to Pellucidar, so Kathleen now lives with her orphaned cousins Perry and Brendan at her eccentric uncle's house. Uncle Hedge, who runs a little seaside museum of strange objects, is a member of the Guild of St. George, a secret society of men and women who fight the plots of an evil genius named Dr. Hilario Frosticos. Kathleen and her cousins love Uncle Hedge but their neighbor Ms. Peckworthy, "a member of a very troublesome do-gooder society," is trying to get the kids reassigned to their Aunt Ricketts who would probably be a more suitable guardian.

When a pale stranger and a mermaid show up looking for an old key that may be in Uncle Hedge's museum, the three cousins and their dog are drawn into a dangerous adventure. Along the way they must contend with an island made of ice, Ms. Peckworthy, a giant skeleton, the kinds of creatures that only a cryptozoologist could love, Social Services and, of course, Dr. Hilario Frosticos.

Zeuglodon is a fun adventure story -- it's fast-paced, entertaining, and delightfully absurd. Kathleen's charming voice (it's written in the first person) is the star of the show. It's impossible not to like her, to admire both her wild imagination and her desire to be a
good scientist, and to appreciate her understanding that she's writing for a skeptical audience:

"You can believe in Pellucidar or not, and I won't blame you if you don't. But like I said before, no one believed in Japan, either, until they got there, and then there they were."

Perry and Brendan, who are sometimes looking over Kathleen's shoulder as she writes, giving her help or suggestions about her style and structure, each have their own distinctive and likable personalities. The children value both their traditional and non-traditional educations and are eager to apply their knowledge and experience to their new adventure.
I was surprised at the end of Zeuglodon. I expected some things to get resolved that didn't. I liked this mysterious but optimistic ending and I sincerely hope that James P. Blaylock will be producing further adventures for Kathleen and her cousins. Zeuglodon was a fun read. I've given my copy to my 13-year-old son.
Good for die-hard Blaylock fans, not so much newcomers 5 Jan. 2013
By Aaron Ximm - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not nearly as deep and focused as the Digging Leviathan, but perhaps that befits the reduced(?) age of its protagonist(s) relative to Giles Peach et al from the DL. In comparison to that classic, a personal favorite, this felt much more one-dimensional and linear (perhaps understandable in that it apparently was born in a classroom exercise/example Blaylock used in teaching his creative writing students); it has a now-familiar (and much loved) set of tropes and settings, e.g. the northern California coast, an imagined rural England, burbling brass undersea devices, but never do the sets and pieces come together to suggest the same deep dream logic of other, longer works for older readers.

No regrets for the fan, but not the best introduction for those who have never known the unspeakable delights of the Elfin Ship and Disappearing Dwarf (or recent Langston St Ives works also from Subterranean)...
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