Saturday, October 20, 2007

Nick Redfern's "Memoirs of a Monster Hunter"

My good friend Nick Redfern has a new book out, Memoirs of a Monster Hunter: A Five Year Journey in Search of the Unknown, that is a must-read for anyone who thinks a paranormal travelogue is a great idea. As always, Nick's breezy writing style engages the reader, and whisks them off to all sorts of strange places where Nick has tried to track down all sorts of strange creatures, from vampires to lake monsters. My favourite section is, of course, Chapter 15, which is about Nick's trip with yours truly and the Redstar crew to Puerto Rico in September, 2005, in search of the legendary chupacabra.

That was an exciting trip, with all sorts of twists and turns, witnesses, weird stories, odd coincidences, and so on (in the book Nick recounts a truly eerie MJ-12 story from his trip to Puerto Rico). As with all of his stories in the book, Nick brings our adventures alive for the reader, and makes it seem as if they were along for the ride.

I sometimes refer to myself as the "Jack Kerouac of the paranormal". If that's the case, then Nick is the "Hunter S. Thompson of the paranormal"... with perhaps a bit of Ernest Hemmingway thrown in for good measure. His writing informs and entertains in a field where authors tend to do one or the other, but rarely manage to do both at the same time (my pals Mac Tonnies and Greg Bishop are also welcome exceptions to this general rule).

In a brief passage in the aforementioned Chapter 15, Nick sums up nicely why he and I do what we do:

"That evening, we met in the bar for an evening of food and revelry... 'Life's never dull in this game, is it?' I asked Paul, in what was really a statement rather than a question. He heartily agreed. We toasted to a continued, productive week, and thanked God that we didn't have to work in the real world of 9-to-5. The conversation then turned to music, beer, gambling, and more, and bloodsucking vampires were forgotten about for the rest of the night."

Nick is one of those guys who gets exactly what Kerouac was talking about when he wrote:

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"
There are plenty of "mad ones" in Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, an engaging journey through the strange world of the paranormal... and the sometimes even stranger world of Nick Redfern. Don't miss it.

Paul Kimball


LesleyinNM said...

I totally enjoyed Memoirs of a Monster Hunter! I highly recommend it, along with all of Nick's other books.

Paul Kimball said...


I have enjoyed most of Nick's books over the years. Even Body Snatchers in the Desert, which I thought was as wrong as could be, was entertaining in its own way.


LesleyinNM said...

Body Snatchers I think is the only one I haven't read at this point, but I probably will eventually get around to it.

Mac said...

So if you're Kerouac and Nick's HST, who am I? I think "William Burroughs" must be either me or Greg Bishop ... but that leaves out Ginsberg entirely!

I give up! I'm Beat!