The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America's Loch Ness Monster

Robert E. Bartholomew. SUNY/Excelsior Editions, $24.95 trade paper (253p) ISBN 978-1-4384-4484-0
Forget about Nessie, America has its own share of lake monsters—most notably Champ, the sea serpent of Lake Champlain. Bartholomew (The Martians Have Landed!) pieces together the story of this legend for the first time—from the first documented sightings to the present-day evidence, economics, and cryptozoological accounts of the creature—with incredibly thorough research and a healthy lack of bias. While the book's beginning gets bogged down in its recounting of Champ sightings, things pick up when Bartholomew starts to piece together the contemporary debate, especially as he reveals the strong competition between Champ researchers—all of whom are remarkable characters—and reexamines the evidence for and against Champ's existence. The tone is casual—a few too many exclamations are used throughout—but such an air befits this topic and will appeal heavily to readers without backgrounds in history or biology. Bartholomew digs deep and, while coming up with few answers, he ends up examining what our belief in lake monsters says about us. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 12/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 270 pages - 978-1-4384-4485-7
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