The United States of Cryptids: A Tour of American Myths and Monsters

Blackstone Audio. Sept. 2022. 6:56 hrs. ISBN 9798212028912. $36.95. SOC SCI
Ocker’s compendium of U.S. cryptids—creatures “whose existence is scientifically unproven”—is organized by region: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. Coverage of each cryptid’s history begins with naming the home state and approximate date of first appearance, which ranges from prehistory to the 2000s. Narrator Mark Sanderlin engagingly provides physical descriptions of the cryptids, encounters with humans, and how the locality embraces (or ignores) them. Ocker supports cryptid festivals; if one exists, he provides details so listeners may join the festivities. Cryptid superstars, such as Bigfoot, Chupacabra, and Mothman, are examined, as are lesser-known ones, such as the Ozark Howler, the Snarly Yowl, and the Glawackus, with each garnering between five- and 10-minutes’ worth of listening time. Intermixed are short asides, such as the time actor Jimmy Stewart smuggled a Yeti finger from India to England. While serious in his coverage of the subject matter, Ocker doesn’t take himself too seriously, as evidenced by each cryptid’s introduction, e.g., “Skunk Ape: Bigfoot’s Embarrassing Cousin” and “Kodiak Dinosaur: My Cryptid Can Eat Your Cryptid.”
VERDICT A fun listen for those interested in cryptozoology and a unique companion for travelers looking for adventures (translation: cryptid festivals), as all states are represented.
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