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Cryptofauna

Narrated by: Steve White
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Working as a janitor at an insane asylum in rural Idaho has Jim in the dumps. One night, his attempted suicide is rudely interrupted by one of the residents, and he's recruited to play a game called Cryptofauna. The bizarre contest of worldwide mischief and meddling might actually help the blue custodian discover a reason to live, if he can survive the deadly trials that await....

“If Alice and Wonderland and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had a love child, it’d be Cryptofauna. This fantasy novel creates an acid dream of lovable characters, tense twists, and a storyworld unlike any I’ve experienced...it’s a beautiful story, funny at times, ridiculous in the best possible way, intense and action packed." (Nico Bell Writes)

“Every so often, you come across a book that leaves you wondering if you should be looking into psychedelic drugs, because you realize that your reality is rather limited. This is definitely one of those books...one of the strangest, most intriguing things I've ever read.” (Songs Wrote my Story)

Cryptofauna is fantastically strange, it's so funny and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times. But it's also deep and poignant and [the] attention to detail is superb.” (Rae’s Reading Lounge)

©2018 Patrick Canning (P)2019 Patrick Canning

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Radar
  • McDonald, Pa
  • 02-18-19

Excellent!

Take a dash of Douglas Adams, add some Monty Python, and throw it in a blender with a real-world RPG. That's Cryptofauna.This is a humorous, light fantasy tale that does not disappoint. You are thrown into a world that is equal parts modern day and fantasy. While there is no backstory about the game being played, it is appropriate for this book. You learn along with the MC, Jim, all about the game of Cryptofauna, and how it influences the real world. The narration of Steve White is excellent, and gives each character it's own personality and feel. My personal favorite is Max, a Jinn that has to be heard to be understood. While I can't give anything away about the plot, as it would spoil the fun, I will say that if you pass this up, it's your own fault. Grab a copy of this, a fresh pair of socks, and settle back and enjoy! I was given a copy of this book free at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • timj26
  • ontario canada
  • 02-09-19

Great story and narrator

This book was well written and has a little of everything from action To humour even horror for you Insect haters
With many Likeable characters The narrator Does a great job giving each a voice
the door is left open for a second book hopefully Will be learning more about cryptofauna in the future
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily Left this review

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining Dark Humor

When Patrick Canning sent me an email asking for a review, I had to jump on it. Cryptofauna sounded too much like David Wong’s John Dies at the End to ignore. I don’t read many black humor books, but I love David Wong, so I was excited to dive in. Now that I’m done I’m honestly, I’m not sure how to rate it. It’s a mind trip that is reminiscent of David Wong’s John Dies At The End, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The black humor was present, but there was one thing that just didn’t sit right with me.

The most unsettling thing about this book is the casual use of racist remarks. I don’t enjoy reading racist or homophobic slurs, and I don’t enjoy having them thrown casually around in a book. It was done to show how uncouth a character was or someone starting a fight, but I found it completely unnecessary. I’m not used to reading the N-word or seeing the F word (the derogatory term for a gay man) or even referring to people solely by their ethnicity. I assume that the author was doing this for shock value and to add to the black humor feel, but it still didn’t sit well with me.

The characters in this book were unique and fun. They are what I enjoyed the most about this book. It was fun to watch them interact, and I loved how quirky and weird they all were. I loved how every character was there for a reason, and I loved seeing how they handled the twists and turns that the plot had.

The plot was exciting but also jumbled. I can’t help but think this might have been a book that should be read instead of listened to. The narrator was good, but with how jumpy and convoluted the plot was, it was hard to follow when just listening. I ended up borrowing the book from the KU library to use as a reference when I got lost. There were times I had to backtrack just to understand what I just read. This book definitely requires your full attention, and even then, you might appreciate it better high.

**I Received this book in exchange for an honest review**

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  • Jeff
  • United States
  • 08-05-19

The Name of the Game

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from the author.

Cryptofauna is an entertaining book that runs on pure momentum. The sheer volume of absurdity paired with the author’s constant digressions and convoluted wordplay keeps things humming along while the mysterious nature of the game at the center of the book keeps you hooked until the end.

Reading this felt like strapping myself to a narrative rocket with no time to stop and think about the whys and hows of it all. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think it could get a bit exhausting if the book was too much longer.

Cryptofauna is about a suicidal janitor named Jim, stopped from killing himself and recruited into the titular game by a mysterious older gentleman named Ozymandias (Oz for short) who lives in the mental institution slash retirement home where Jim works.

Oz doesn’t explain much to Jim before setting him off on a series of three tasks – his initiation as an “operator” in Cryptofauna. Jim meets a lot of colorful characters and ends up in a series of bizarre or distressing situations that always feel playfully absurd even when they are also deadly serious, and the book carries us along his journey.

Cryptofauna the game is never explained in much detail. We get the broad strokes, i.e. that it involves sets of operators battling each other over the course of their artificially extended lives to either improve or undermine the state of the world. The actual details of what that means in practice are vague, probably because it’s funnier that way. I have mixed feelings about this if only because the whole thing feels a bit hand-wavy; the silliness and humor are clearly the point, so the rules don’t matter.

Also, the book spends most of its length focused on Jim completing the seemingly random tasks that serve as his initiation. His assigned rival doesn’t play by the rules, so we don’t get to spend much time with Jim as a practicing operator. Jim’s tasks sort of make sense in a macro way while also feeling arbitrary for the sake of comedy.

There is a scene late in the book where Jim and his allies destroy a sinister boarding school, but instead of dramatizing the action, Canning summarizes it in a few non-specific sentences and explains that it was a battle for the ages. Again, this is presumably meant to be a joke, but it felt more like a placeholder.

I did enjoy this book, and I’d probably be up for reading another by Canning, but I think I would enjoy it more if it balanced humor with a slightly more grounded narrative.

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A bunch of fun

A bunch of fun. Tone is always the trickiest thing with stories like these. With less talented writers, the comedy can fall flat. No so here - Thoroughly enjoyable read all the way through. The audiobook’s narrator is a fantastic talent.

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fun

such a fun easy and very well told story it was enjoyable very interesting and very smart and the thing I liked most about the book it's that the author didn't write to much to make you laugh but you laughed so much that it was brilliant
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

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Fast paced and a lot of fun

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook.

I wasn't sure if I'd like this book or not when I selected it on Audiobook Boom but it turned out to really surprise me. It's a mix of fantasy and action all mixed together in a nonsensical game called "Cryptofauna".

The main character, Jim, is selected to be the newest recruit in this game and isn't really given much in the way of instruction. He's just kind of pushed or thrown into one situation after another throughout the book and as he goes through the process of learning this game he picks up companions, each with their own special quirks, including a painter who hates the color blue.

There was a lot of humor and a lot of feel good moments in this story. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in
fun, fast paced fantasy stories.

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  • TU
  • 02-21-19

so good!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I really quite enjoyed this book. It is fun, completely bonkers, and truly engaging. The narration is done really well and made this one heck of a fun listen. I will definitely look for more from this author and/or narrator.

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What a fun ride!

Fun and crazy story with great characters and an unique back drop. How can anyone not love a book that has insane people, dogs, cured leper monks, and drugged up shapeshifters?!? I won't give anything away but if you're reading this review I advice checking it out.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • C. Rowlands
  • 03-19-19

Fun book that revels in it's own absurdity

The premise of this book is a fairly odd one at times, but the author manages to tread the fine line between taking it seriously and enjoying the absurdity of the situation with a wide variety of strange and interesting characters and weird situations.

The cast of characters is a varied one and they all grow on you quite quickly, helping you to be very effectively drawn into the book that much easier.

The performance of the narrator is an effective one, nicely enhancing the story and ensuring that the wide range of characters are sufficiently distinctive too.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I would not be disappointed to see the author return to this world he has created in the future even though this book is a standalone one.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-25-19

An Amazingly Absurd Adventure!

If you like weird adventures this is for you. We explore the world of Cryptogamia through the eyes of a janitor dropped into this new and absurd world were you take your socks off last and through the story you grow to root for Jim and his combo to overcome the tasks given and hurdles met.
I loved this book. Cryptofauna lives up to its name it's a fun journey of mysteries and weird but likeable characters. My favourite character was Zoe and all her brothers I hope that I'll hear more from these characters in the future.
Not only was the book funny but the narrator was really good he made distinct voices for each of the characters that made listening a pleasure.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • ScottishJay
  • 02-20-19

Is there going to be more? Please say yes!

"Alice in wonderland meets Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy" is a excellent description of this book. If you like those, you'll LOVE this book. Such a fun ride with lovable characters which are voiced fantastically by the narrator. Highly recommend you pick up this book - i don't want to give too much away in my review of it!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review