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Reviews: Books


Varmints: Mystery carnivores of North America

Stimulating look at North American critters

Varmints is the latest in Chad Arment’s series of works collecting media reports of North American cryptids – “hidden” or unexpected animals reported throughout history, collectively the subject matter of cryptozoology. His previous volumes mined newspaper archives for accounts of “wildmen” (The Historical Bigfoot 2006) and huge serpents (Boss Snakes 2008). Varmints eclipses both of its predecessors in scope, collecting 600 reports of mystery maulers at large throughout the United States and Canada, spanning 240 years from 1770 to early 2010.

Some of the tales collected in this massive work will be familiar to anyone conversant with the literature of cryptozoology – North Carolina’s ‘Santer’ and ‘Beast of Bladenboro’, Connecticut’s ‘Glawakus’ – but most are gathered here for the first time and will be new to readers who lack access to newspaper morgues nationwide.


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