Cryptozoology and monstrous creatures have been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. It’s basically a combination of my love for animals and creepy things, so it makes sense that it’s one of my biggest fascinations. Monstro Bizarro is one of those books that has compiled research, possible evidence, and a short guide on these types of creatures.

I’ve read a lot of cryptozoology and monster books, so I have a lot of previous knowledge about these topics, but this book was definitely not just another factual run-down. Blackburn infuses movie recommendations based on these creatures, such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, and this is an aspect that I haven’t seen previously. I’m very interested in horror movies about these monsters, but it doesn’t get much mention in cryptozoology books, so I really liked getting some recommendations while also seeing how they’ve influenced the genre of horror and real-life cryptid hunting.

The entire first chapter is in Bigfoot and ape-like cryptids, which isn’t surprising, but the following four chapters are all mixes of cryptids (rather than each chapter being all about another single cryptid). Though he is the most popular and well-known, Bigfoot was never a huge favorite of mine, but I still enjoyed the content of this chapter.

There are contributing authors with articles throughout this book, so some information is repeated, but this didn’t bother me as it still connected to the overall point of their specific article. I did enjoy the firsthand interviewed accounts that Blackburn and other contributors included, since it adds new perspective into the cryptids who previously had the same information repeated in every book written about it.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve done a lot of previous reading and research on cryptozoology, but this book was a fresh read for me. Though I knew parts of it beforehand, I expect that with any cryptozoology book I read. This book would be a great starter into the world of cryptozoology literature, but I still learned new things as well. I loved the newspaper/magazine layout of this book, which makes sense considering that it’s published by Rue Morgue, and the pictures included were well laid-out and added to the written content (rather than distracting from it).

Rating: ★★★★☆

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