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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Review: In Search of Lake Monsters by Peter Costello

Peter Costello's In Search of Lake Monsters originally came out in 1974, and was re-issued by Anomalist Books this year. I had heard this book was good, and I knew it must be when Anomalist published it, because they only publish the best of the best.

The first three chapters of this book are about Scotland's Loch Ness monster. A book about Nessie is what got me interested in cryptozoology, but the first three chapters in this book are probably better than anything else I've read on the subject.

The rest of the book is on other lake monsters spotted around the world, in Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia, Africa, Asia, Australia, United States, Canada, and South America. There is also a chapter on sea serpent reports. Ogopogo, the Flathead Lake monster, the bear lake monster, slimy slim, the Patagonian Plesiosaur, and other lake monsters also get a lot of space in the book. Some other well-known ones, like Champ, for example, don't really get discussed at all, and thats because research on them really took off in the late '70s and the '80s - after In Search of Lake Monsters was originally published.

Costello believes that most lake monsters, for example, the ones in Loch Ness, are a sort of long-necked seal. Now, you may think this sounds a bit crazy. I probably thought that too when I read my first Loch Ness Monster book in third grade. But, after reading the reports in Costello's book, and probably now in other books, too, many lake monsters around the world seem to be mammals, and not surviving plesiosaurs, the most popular theory.
An old edition of the book, showing
Nessie as a giant, long necked seal,
which it probably is!

A plesiosaur - not a dinosaur, and not
a lake monster!

Although some info in the book is outdated(like the Surgeon's Photograph from Loch Ness, that turned out to be a hoax,) most of it is not. Even though this book originally came out in the early '70s, I'd still definitely recommend it to anyone interested in lake monsters. It is the best book on lake monsters I've ever read. Anomalist books made a good choice deciding to republish it!

The surgeon's photo of the Loch Ness Monster -
famous, but actually a hoax

Next book review will be The Historical Bigfoot by Chad Arment.

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