Book Review: 'I Know What I Saw' by Linda Godfrey Jul 23, 2019 10:07:28 GMT -5
Post by JoannaB on Jul 23, 2019 10:07:28 GMT -5
I Know What I Saw
It’s safe to say that even those who have never heard the word “cryptid,” are familiar with Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Yeti. All are cryptids, mysterious creatures believed by some to be figments of the imagination, but considered very real by many throughout the world.
I Know What I Saw is the latest in a long line of books by Linda Godfrey about cryptid sightings in rural America. She recounts many of the incidents that have been reported to her and the write-ups are accompanied by her sometimes unnerving illustrations.
Godfrey’s primary area of interest is the upright canid: dog- and wolf-like creatures that walk on two legs and appear to be possessed of a human-like intelligence. However, there are reports of many other strange creatures, including, but not limited to, Indian deer-women, dire dogs, goat-men and even the elusive Bigfoot. She even touches briefly on Creepypasta and the likes of Slenderman and the Rake, but only as examples of modern urban folklore.
Godfrey’s research is meticulous, as is to be expected from a journalist and respected cryptozoologist. In the beginning, she defines folklore, legend and myth, so readers will be able to distinguish the difference between an old wives’ tale and a credible sighting. Then she goes into the sightings themselves, providing the who, where and what of each. The incidents are entertaining, but precise, and Godfrey treats them with the respect of a believer, while investigating them with the vigor of a journalist. Explanations, whether supernatural or mundane, are considered.
Toward the middle of the book, the flow does become somewhat bogged down with repetitive sightings of big dogs and cats, though there are still fascinating tidbits of American Indian mythology. The author also includes her own Bigfoot experiences, which she humbly downplays.
The writing is breezy and entertaining, but informative, and the sub-headings are fun, e.g., “The Thing at the End of the Bed” and “Big Pooches on the Prairie.” Also, most of the sightings are contemporary, with some as recent as last year.
It’s somewhat frightening to think that simply straying from a forest path could bring one face-to-face with a monster, but at the same time, it’s comforting to know that despite our satellites, GPS and arrogant certainties, there’s still a world of mystery, magic and wonder just around the corner.
Source: Sam Kurd, CulturedVultures, July 10, 2019.