River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones That Didn't Get Away

Jeremy Wade. Da Capo, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-0-306-81954-4
"Casting a line into the water is like asking a question," Wade writes charmingly in his first book, a tie-in to his popular show on Animal Planet, but the answer often comes in the form of a terrifying creature from the deep. In this collection of fish stories on steroids, Wade goes to such exotic locales as India, where he searches for the golden Himalayan mahseer, "a fish said to grow to 200 pounds," and Thailand, to find the Mekong giant catfish, reportedly tipping the scales at 646 pounds. Wade always paints a colorful portrait, describing his journey to Lizard Lake in the Amazon, for instance, as one of "waiting for trucks that never came and sleeping in rat- and bedbug-infested brothels." He was on his way to see red-bellied piranhas, making a rather memorable impression that fish don't have to be big to be brutal. Wade is an immensely likeable host, a man's man with stories that will make most men cringe, as when he recalls a plane crash, or the shallow-water bol kata of Papua New Guinea, an unpredictable fish that is as likely to clamp down on his genitals as it is to swim slowly by. Let Wade stand in the shallow water; this is a great way to get a few vicarious thrills. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-85782-000-6
Paperback - 273 pages - 978-0-306-82081-6
Ebook - 301 pages - 978-0-306-81980-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-85782-001-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-7538-2919-6
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