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Detailed Book Review
   
   
   
Fearsome Creatures of Florida         
Fearsome Creatures of Florida
By John Henry Fleming
ISBN: 978-1-929763-40-5
Price: $14.95
Shipping: $4.00
        
They sinuate through ficus hedges and tunnel under beach towels. They lurk in the mangroves and springs. Some you can smell a mile away. Others you don’t notice until they grab at your ankles. They’re known as Storm Devils and Peat Fairies, Skunk Apes and Were-Panthers, and they’re the wildly imaginative bestiary that populates John Henry Fleming’s Fearsome Creatures of Florida. Fleming offers an eerie portrayal of the parallel lives of modern-day Floridians and the living landscape--at once gorgeous and menacing--that surrounds them. Matched with haunting illustrations by David Hazouri, these tales may forever change your view of the Sunshine State.

This book is now being taught in Florida university English classes.

Fearsome Creatures of Florida is also available as an ebook on Amazon.com for the Kindle.

        
Book Review Details:
        
Reviewed Appeared In: Tampa Tribune
Reviewed By: Kevin Walker
Text Of Review:

Beware the ghost of the monkeynaut!

You should also beware and perhaps fear the The Skunk Ape, Storm Devils and the Mermaid Vampire of Weeki Wachee Springs, all fearsome creatures that haunt the Florida landscape.

Or, at least, they do in the mind of John Henry Fleming, author (“The Legend of the Barefoot Mailman”) and shaper of young minds as a creative writing professor at the University of South Florida, the latter of which in itself is quite terrifying. Just kidding, John. I think.

Pocol Press has just released his new novel, Fearsome Creatures of Florida, which documents 18 nighmarish Florida creatures. Or, rather, 18 nightmarish Florida creatures that Fleming made up. They include the sort-of famliar (El Chupacabra) and the what-did-you-say (Gilda, The Elephant Who Makes Boys Disappear).

The book is hilarious and strange and a funny satire of, well, many things. Books about wildlife. Contemporary books and television shows about the paranormal and the inexplicable. The cherry on top of this literary sundae is a funny bit of advance praise from author Peter Straub, who heretofore had only disturbed me, particularly in Ghost Story.

Read closely and you’ll see that Fleming addresses various issues affecting Florida—environmental degradation, poor conditions for grove workers—through his satiric shorts. I’m not a genius to notice this; he actually told me about it when I did a story on him back in ‘07.

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2009
Link To Web Site:    
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