Dom Joly sets off round the world again, but this time he's not looking to holiday in a danger zone - he's monster hunting. Ever since he was given a copy of Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World for his ninth birthday Dom has been obsessed with the world of cryptozoology (monster hunting), and in Scary Monsters and Super Creeps he heads to six completely different destinations to investigate local monster sightings.
He explores the Redwood Curtain in northern California in search of Sasquatch; in Canada he visits Lake Okanagan hoping to catch a glimpse of a thirty-foot snake-like creature called Ogopogo; and near Lake Tele in Congo he risks his life tracking the vegetarian sauropod Mokele-mbembe. Naturally he heads to Loch Ness - but for this hunt he has his family in tow; he treks across the Khumbu Valley in Nepal looking for Yeti; and in the hills above Hiroshima in Japan he enlists the help of a local man to find the Hibagon, a terribly smelly 'caveman ape'.
In typically hilarious and irreverent fashion, Dom explores the cultures that gave rise to these monster myths and ends up in some pretty hairy situations with people even stranger than the monsters they are hunting.
©2012 Dom Joly (P)2012 Audible Ltd
Dom Jolly tells a funny story but with context and details that draw you in. I don't agree with him politically or in matters of religion but he doesn't bring those viewpoints in often enough to make the book difficult to listen to. He does a great job reading the book, making you feel as though he is telling you a story instead of reading it. This is the second book I read by him (dark tourist being the first - another great read) and I hope he puts out more.
"A great book that is a superb listen"
Yep. Dom Joly. A travel writer who goes to odd places for odder reasons. His previous travel book, The Dark Tourist, is one of my favourite listens and I have to confess I bought it knowing nothing about it other that some people gave it a good review so I hope that others will discover him through these words. Dom is a man who likes to do his own thing and likes to travel alone. This allows a very clear view of his travel and you hear about the places and people he meets rather than the antics of people he has travelled with. He is always entertaining, informative and often very surprising in his honesty about how he feels and what he discovers. I am sure some will only be aware of Dom Joly through his TV work but he is a very accomplished journalist. Many may have wondered what on earth that bloke Michael Palin from Monty Python was doing as a travel journalist. Not now. Dom Joly has the talent to match the great Mr Palin because of his desire to put himself through discomfort and sometimes danger in order to make a trip he decides will be interesting. Fortunately he takes us along too. Funny, informative and surprisingly heartwarming I recommend this book (and The Dark Tourist) to anyone with even a slight interest in the world around them. I look forward to his next travels.
"A Great Listen"
Often great books are let down by poor narration, surprisingly even when the author reads their own book they can often ruin it.
This is NOT the case with Dom Joly. His writing is only bettered by his excellent reading of his work.
I'd highly recommend this book and his other book 'The Dark Tourist' . His third book on Audible is on my wishlist for next months credit. Top stuff!
"An alternative to the usual travel journals"
I was a fan of the previous book by Dom Joly 'The Dark Tourist' so I had high expectations of this one too. He didn't disappoint. His tales of travelling mishaps and misadventures are very funny, particularly when he was in the Congo. Well worth a listen.
"Well worth a listen"
This audiobook has some really good parts which transport you to where Dom was writing about and you end up being there with the characters of the given scene . It's similar in style, unsurprisingly, to Dark Tourist so should be enjoyed by those who liked that. For those new to the writings (readings in this case?) of Dom Joly, his style gives you an insight into his life, past and thoughts (although his descriptions of "dreams" he had seem all too contrived to be true, but a bit of artistic licence is allowed for effect I'd say).
The only real downside to the book is the tailing off at the end, the Nessie part is pretty awful. I sense that the description in the book that doing book research on your own is the best way to do it is a veiled apology for the poor section (he was accompanied by his family, which I wouldn't want to deprive anyone of but I think Dom will avoid writing when in such circumstances again).
4 out of 5 due to me having high standards; it's great value as part of a membership so give it a go.
"Another Cracking Listen"
I very much enjoyed Dom's latest jaunt around the world. Following on from his trips to unusual places that started in his book of Dark Tourism, here he visits some of the places most of us would never even think of to go to. Very funny and always entertaining only the last chapter is a bit of a let down when his visit to see Nessie (in my home country of Scotland) amounts to a damp squib.
"He's still hilarious"
Would recommend this 100%! It's brilliantly narrated and Joly tells it in an amusing yet factual way
The tension when he goes to the Congo is brilliant to listen to, makes you feel like you're actually there
The dark tourist is what I listened to first but enjoyed this one just as much
No I did it over a few days
"A Great Listen"
Dom has a great way of telling a story, I found this both funny and Interesting and the only dissapointment was it ended!
"Scary Monsters and Super Creeps"
My favourite out of Dom's current 3 books. Very very funny, and Dom's dry wit and observations will have you in stitches. Wait for the chapter with the man on the cliffside and you will see.
"His best yet"
I was never much of a Dom Joly fan when he was prominent on TV yet a few months ago I somehow ended up buying the Dark Tourist from Audible, which was an excellent listen.
As has been previously mentioned, a lot of narrators can ruin an audio-book. Self-Narration is an art form few have mastered. Personally I'd put his audiobooks right up there with Sir David Attenborough and Stephen Fry when it comes to listen-ability. He reads eloquently, with just the right tone and inflection, really bringing his journeys to life.
Nothing less could be expected from the world's most prominent monster hunter though...
In all honesty, the Foreword had me excited but after half of chapter 1 I was questioning if the subject matter of this book was for me, it seemed a bit 'silly' but I gave it a chance and am so glad I did. There are some fascinating, bizarre, hilarious and jaw-dropping monsters in the World. A great listen.
"Could have been so much more..."
Yes, I have and I will but I'm hoping it doesn't leave me as ambivalent as I was after finishing SMaS because I won't chance a third book if it does.
Dom can be a great story teller (the first afternoon in the hotel in Scotland being a good example), painting a funny and relatable situation; however, he can equally drift off and seems to loose both focus and motivation to tell an interesting story. In these moments, he feels like he is going through the motions and is tired of trying to make the story interesting. He comments about not wanting to engage with certain people he comes into contact with during the book and I, as a reader, was given the distinct impression that at moments he felt the same way about his willingness to engage with the process of writing and therefore, the audience.
The narration was fine.
No - if anything, the book would (could?) have benefitted from Dom investigating the more niche, and comical, Japanese monsters he mentioned (I am sure other cultures have them, albeit to a lesser degree) but another book on the well known ones would be repetitive.
Dom's charm stems from his observational approach to travel and relaying (embellishing?) of events and situations. The Japanese segment is a particular success because of this ability, as are parts of the Congo. He looses both momentum and focus when situations become more mundane and seems to struggle to make them of interest to the audience. To my mind, this is the true weakness of the book.
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