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The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac

by Sharma Shields

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14220163,537 (4.09)12
"A dark, fantastical, multi-generational tale about a family whose patriarch is consumed by the hunt for the mythical, elusive sasquatch he encountered in his youth. Eli Roebuck was nine years old when his mother walked off into the woods with "Mr. Krantz," a large, strange, hairy man who may or may not be a sasquatch. What Eli knows for certain is that his mother went willingly, leaving her only son behind. For the rest of his life, Eli is obsessed with the hunt for the bizarre creature his mother chose over him, and we watch it affect every relationship he has in his long life--with his father, with both of his wives, his children, grandchildren, and colleagues. We follow all of the Roebuck family members, witnessing through each of them the painful, isolating effects of Eli's maniacal hunt, and find that each Roebuck is battling a monster of his or her own, sometimes literally. The magical world Shields has created is one of unicorns and lake monsters, ghosts and reincarnations, tricksters and hexes. At times charming, as when young Eli meets the eccentric, extraordinary Mr. Krantz, and downright horrifying at others, The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac is boldly imaginative throughout, and proves to be a devastatingly real portrait of the demons that we as human beings all face"--… (more)
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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This book is so weird. ( )
  momelimberham | Jun 8, 2022 |
This was...not what I was expecting, and I think my reading experience suffered as a result.

Shields has written a clearly literary work that, though it does bring in the fantastical, remains firmly rooted in reality. But while the back cover copy starts with a mention of sasquatch, and finishes with "The magical world Sharma Shields has created is one of unicorns and lake monsters, ghosts and reincarnations, tricksters and hexes....[and] pushes the boundaries of the imagination"... the truth is that the 'magic' of the world is barely present. One could argue over whether the maybe-sasquatch seems less magical only because he's presented in such realistic terms, but the end result is the same--the magic of the world takes up a total of perhaps a dozen pages in a book that comes close to being 400 pages long. At least for me, this just wasn't what I expected, and even re-reading the back cover copy now, I have to say I feel like it's misleading.

As a literary take on a man obsessed with sasquatch, this is an interesting read in the stylings of slice-of-life & dismay writers like Jonathan Franzen and Richard Russo, and Shields is clearly a talented writer. At the same time, I admit I wonded more magic, and hoped for something more like the magical realism of Alice Hoffman, or even something far weirder like the work of VanderMeer or Link. Instead, what I got felt like it worked to bring magic down to a pedestrian, domestic level with characters who were believable, but not particularly enjoyable to read about.

Would I recommend this one? I'm not sure--in a particular situation, certainly. In general, though, I fear I found it kind of boring and predictable, and as fascinated as I was by the premise and the magical elements, it felt like they were there to sell the book more so than to make the book. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Mar 29, 2022 |
Every once and awhile I like to read something completely different and The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac by Sharma Shields certainly fit the bill for that. This is the unique and strange story of Eli Roebuck and his obsession with hunting the mystical Sasquatch. This obsession goes back to when Eli was nine years old and his mother chose to leave the family, walking off into the woods with her Sasquatch lover, Mr. Krantz. This abandonment shaped the rest of Eli’s life.

This is a dark and inventive fantasy story that engulfs the reader with some very imaginative story telling and is peopled with various magical beings including lake monsters, bird women, ghosts and unicorns. Covering some 60 years in the life of the Roebuck family, this peculiar tale was a fun read that eventually became a little too much for me to absorb and although I stuck with it, I admit that I basically skimmed the last third of the book.

I live in the Pacific Northwest and as much as I would love there to be Sasquatches, I simply cannot accept their existence. I applaud the author for the originality of this book, but in the long run, it just couldn’t hold my attention. I was reminded of the television show “Twin Peaks” that I started out loving but grew more and more disenchanted as it got weirder and weirder. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jan 31, 2022 |
A wonderful quirky tale with many interesting and unexpected twists along the way. I highly recommend this book! ( )
  ChetBowers | Mar 10, 2021 |
Strange but compelling read. As if Neil Gaiman and Anne Tyler wrote a book together, with a dash of John Irving for good measure. ( )
  Skatuva | Feb 2, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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"A dark, fantastical, multi-generational tale about a family whose patriarch is consumed by the hunt for the mythical, elusive sasquatch he encountered in his youth. Eli Roebuck was nine years old when his mother walked off into the woods with "Mr. Krantz," a large, strange, hairy man who may or may not be a sasquatch. What Eli knows for certain is that his mother went willingly, leaving her only son behind. For the rest of his life, Eli is obsessed with the hunt for the bizarre creature his mother chose over him, and we watch it affect every relationship he has in his long life--with his father, with both of his wives, his children, grandchildren, and colleagues. We follow all of the Roebuck family members, witnessing through each of them the painful, isolating effects of Eli's maniacal hunt, and find that each Roebuck is battling a monster of his or her own, sometimes literally. The magical world Shields has created is one of unicorns and lake monsters, ghosts and reincarnations, tricksters and hexes. At times charming, as when young Eli meets the eccentric, extraordinary Mr. Krantz, and downright horrifying at others, The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac is boldly imaginative throughout, and proves to be a devastatingly real portrait of the demons that we as human beings all face"--

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