Customer Review

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One man seeking a sequel, 27 Mar 2008
This review is from: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter: A Five Year Journey in Search of the Unknown (Paperback)
I hate it when I read reviews on Amazon which just slate books for no good reason. Reviews where you end up drawing the conclusion that the writer has some poorly concealed agenda with the book or its author. I just wanted to point this out before continuing...

I read `Three Men Seeking Monsters' and thought it was wonderful; whether or not you choose to believe in the subject matter, the book was well written and rolled along at a fair old pace, vivid characters and scenarios aplenty. All in all, I rated it highly and having re-read it now a number of times, nothing has changed. So you can imagine that my anticipation levels were pretty high when approaching this new book from the same author on the same sort of subject matter. Have to say, I'm really disappointed.

Firstly, whilst `Three Men...' tells an extraordinary tale, it does so with a self-deprecating sense of self. Nick Redfern comes across as somebody who can see the inherent humour in the story he's telling and is happy to poke fun at himself and his companions. Unfortunately, this is not carried over into this new book - I don't know if it's the amount of time the author has spent in Texas or something else, but the rather patronising, silly slant applied to the writing this time around is irritating to say the least. It brought to mind the scene in Alan Partridge, when it's pointed out to Alan that he uses the phrase `needless to say, I had the last laugh' in every chapter of his book; substitute instead the sentence `we all sat there drinking, laughing because we get paid for this stuff and don't have to work 9-5 you suckers' and you'd be about there. Similarly, if I read the words `literally' or `deluge of biblical proportions' again, my teeth will once more begin to itch. Perhaps more importantly though, is the books assertion that during every `quest' the author undertakes, he finds supposed hard evidence of whatever entity he is searching for, evidence which in the previous book would have been treated with a little more scepticism. There is no balanced argument here; wild supposition is now presented as semi-factual. Photos of strange lights and branch formations are mentioned in some detail - but no photos are included, rather oddly. Instead we are `treated' to a photo of his wife's deceased hound - along with a detailed explanation of said hound's illnesses and death. I don't wish to sound callous, I know how tough it can be when a cherished family pet dies but this book is supposed to be about monster hunting - a brief mention would have sufficed.

The book does have its good points too in fairness. Redfern does point out some of the more lunatic elements in UFO and Cryptozoological circles and poke fun at them and some of the cases he looks into may have some basis in fact. But I was really expecting more of the same and it wasn't forthcoming. Name checking all your mates and constantly telling us how much you love having sex with your wife is pub talk, not the basis for a gripping read. Maybe the author should return to live in Walsall for a while, it might bring him back down to earth a little?

If you haven't already read it, buy `Three Men...' instead; it's an excellent read by this author, as is `A Covert Agenda' albeit on slightly different subject matter. But I'd be wary of this one; it doesn't do the subject matter justice, nor the author any favours.
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