In the Domain of Lake Monsters: The Search for the Denizens of the Deep Paperback – 4 Apr 2000
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The first part, and the most comprehensive, deals mainly with the author's experiences on Okanagan Lake in search of the elusive Ogopogo. Mr. Kirk describes in great detail his own sightings as well as his reports from other witnesses. I was extremely surprised by the amount of video and photographic evidence he refers to that I have not had the opportunity to view. Unfortunately, I still have not had the opportunity, since Mr. Kirk does not reprint any photographs or video stills whatsoever in his book. Overall, this roughly autobiographical account of Mr. Kirk's adventures on the lake is intriguing and informative. His speculations on the behavior and physiology of the creature are all very well thought out and compelling. Also in this section there are fairly brief discussions of Nessie and Champ. While these parts are much less than adequate accounts of these famous cryptids, there are plenty of books out there containing much more detailed coverage if the reader so desires, so the briefness in treatment by Mr. Kirk is quite understandable.
The second part of the book is a moderately complete listing of dozens of international lake dwelling creatures world-wide, each with coverage ranging from a few sentences to many pages. In this section, descriptions of more well-known lake monsters such as Mussie of Muskrat Lake and the Flathead Lake monster are interspersed with lesser known aquatic oddities. It is obvious that Mr. Kirk has done an impressive amount of research to have compiled such a lengthy list of entries. One absence I found disappointing, considering the recent publication date of the book, was some discussion of the Lake Van monster of Turkey, which has gotten significant media coverage in recent years. I could only find reference to Lake Van in the appendix.
The third and final section of the book is a physical comparison of Ogopogo with his Scottish cousin, the Loch Ness monster. Based on the majority of sightings, Mr. Kirk offers up a point-by-point discussion of their similarities and differences.
In conclusion, while I find the book to be the best modern coverage of the lake monster phenomenon since Peter Costellos' excellent 'In Search of Lake Monsters', it does have a few glaring flaws. First of all, the lack of photos and video stills is a curious omission and should have been a no-brainer. And, considering the comprehensiveness of the book, the lack of an index is equally perplexing. With these oversights corrected, the book would be a near perfect guide on it's intended subject.
Kirk claims to have shot stills and video footage of the elusive Okanagan creatures but not one of his alleged frames is included. Is he kidding? This is a collection of self serving and at times whiny anecdotes and nothing more. If you want a story worth reading, read the history of the New England monster in JP ONeill's book. If you want a variety of monsters try Coleman. If you want an authentic account of life on the lake try Rines, MAckal and Costello but steer clear of this drivel. UCK!