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

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

4.4 47
by Jeremy Wade

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I’m Jeremy Wade, biologist and fishing detective. For twenty-five years, I’ve explored our planet’s remotest rivers and lakes, hunting for monster-sized fish. It’s become something of an obsession for me. . . . Called “the greatest angling explorer of his generation” (Independent on Sunday), Jeremy Wade, host of


I’m Jeremy Wade, biologist and fishing detective. For twenty-five years, I’ve explored our planet’s remotest rivers and lakes, hunting for monster-sized fish. It’s become something of an obsession for me. . . . Called “the greatest angling explorer of his generation” (Independent on Sunday), Jeremy Wade, host of Animal Planet’s wildly popular TV series River Monsters, takes viewers where no wildlife program has gone before, revealing the creatures that lurk in the murky depths of our planet’s inland waterways. Now, Wade goes truly beneath the surface, disclosing full details of how he tracks down and catches each species while also recounting the off-camera highlights of his extraordinary life. From his arrest as a suspected spy in Southeast Asia to a plane crash in the Amazon, every page of River Monsters is packed with adventure. Each chapter unfolds an enthralling detective story, where fishermen’s tales of underwater man-eaters and aquatic killers are subjected to scientific scrutiny. Follow Wade step-by-step as, armed with just a fishing line, he closes in on his prey and separates fact from fiction. From the heart of the Congo, where he wrestles with supernatural goliath tigerfish, to the depths of the Amazon, where the most feared creature is one that could fit in your palm, the results are fish of staggering proportions and terrifying demeanor. Wade also reveals monsters from upcoming episodes, including deadly electric eels, a giant described as a cross between a shark and a chainsaw, and a snake-like beast that truly is the stuff of legend. In the tradition of the most gripping adventure writing, River Monsters shows that there’s more to this world than what’s visible on the surface. As Wade says, with a fishing line anything is possible—sometimes it can even reveal the future, or at least one possible version of it. In similar fashion, Wade’s writings are much more than exhilarating stories: they reveal a vision of the world more awe-inspiring than any individual myth made flesh. Ultimately, River Monsters explores the real mysteries that still exist, capturing the story of one man’s obsession—and his relentless pursuit of the truth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"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.)
From the Publisher

“Fishing may be a hobby to you, but for Jeremy Wade, host of Animal Planet’s RiverMonsters, it’s a way of life. Wade scours the rivers of the world for the stuff of legend, and we’re lucky enough to bear witness. Viewers have seen him catch a lot of big fish . . . but most of the thrill comes from watching the hunt.”

Library Journal, 8/1/12

Product Details

Da Capo Press
Publication date:
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
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File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Jeremy Wade has a BSc in zoology from Bristol University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Kent. He has worked as a secondary science teacher, a newspaper reporter, and a senior advertising copywriter. He has written for publications including The Times, Guardian, Sunday Telegraph, and BBC Wildlife magazine. His previous book, Somewhere down the Crazy River (with Paul Boote), was published in 1992 to stellar reviews. Prior to River Monsters, Jeremy made two documentary series for Discovery Europe: Jungle Hooks (2002, set in the Amazon) and Jungle Hooks India (2005), both since shown worldwide. He lives in southern England.

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River Monsters 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Havenrae More than 1 year ago
Let me just start by saying I really didn't want to read this book. I have watched the TV show and find it interesting, but I wasn't all that excited about reading a companion book to the series. Really..we had Unhooked as well..and I was sure this was another way to cash in on the RM series. However, I am glad I decided to read it. It is actually very well written and even quite funny at times. Mr. Wade comes across as down to earth and even a bit self-deprecating at times. It's nice to see someone that actually enjoys what they do and is unjaded by their success(so far).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book follows the series closely. In that respect its a bit of a let down because if you have seen the series there is not much new here. It is still a good read though.
JGolomb More than 1 year ago
I really love Jeremy Wade's "River Monsters" show on tv. In fact, it's become a bit of a weekly event for me and my three children (14, 11, 8-years old). So I was pretty psyched when I first saw that Wade was taking advantage of a new medium to further explore his very unique world and existence. His book is good, but it's uneven and disappointing relative to the high bar he's set for himself. What makes Wade's show so special is not actually the fishing itself, but rather the integrated approach of his storytelling that blends mystery, travel, adventure, culture AND THEN fishing. I figured a book would give Wade an opportunity to expand on the elements of his trips that simply can't fit into a short 50+ minute weekly show. Jeremy delivers, but only sometimes and inconsistently. He squeezed 18 chapters into less than 300 pages when he probably should've focused on half as many different tales and expanded further on the experiences surrounding the fishing. Wade is a strong communicator and I couldn't help but hear his soft English accent and very calm and genuine passion in the writing. He's at his best when he deftly weaves his personal history into his stories. It's hard to remember that Wade lived a very full life before he started to share his experiences on "River Monsters" and he provides some fun insights into his youth and meandering life as a young man...caught between wanting to fish the rest of his life and the reality of needing to live an 'accepted' life. His best stories contain the same elements that make his best shows: adventure and challenge mixed with genuine cultural flavor from whatever remote area he's exploring. I recommend this read, but keep in mind that it's not all it can be. The best stories are focused on his searches to catch the elusive and dangerous Arapaima of the Amazon and the Goliath Tigerfish in the Congo. Wade's show on Animal Planet is great television. It starts and ends with great story telling. Unfortunately, he did take full advantage of the more expansive writing medium to delve as deeply into his subjects as I, at least, wish he had.
monty59 More than 1 year ago
a good book for anyone interested in knowing about fishes found around the globe
Patrick Hanley More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book for people who like action,fishing,and investigation
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been hooked on Jeremy Wade since I watched my first River Monsters episode. I bought the River Monsters book not really knowing what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised. If you are an angler, traveler, or just enjoy a well written autobiography, you will love this book. I especially appreciate the way Mr. Wade pulls the curtains back to his personal life to show us that a man as admirable and adventurous as he is is just like us. Jeremy has definitely inspired me to find some adventures of my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even though I rarely fish, I am a huge fan of the show and I watch it quite obsessively (I re-watch a lot of episodes if I have not seen the Unhooked version of them). I knew Jeremy had some experience in freelance journalism, so I expected the book to be well-written, but I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I did sometimes find myself skimming some of the parts when it came to him catching the fish, having seen every episode more than once, but other than that, it was a great read. I find myself living vicariously through Jeremy and his adventures and the book allowed me to do that even further.  Even if you aren't into fishing, this is an incredibly well-written and exciting account of a man's travels all over the world, his personal demons and his true passion in life that should keep the attention of any Jeremy Wade fan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book I would recommed this book to anyone
KWrightTX More than 1 year ago
greak book i love river monsters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent read the book but i love the show i just have to say though that that sample is sh.it cause it wont work for me. Anyway long live jeremy wade
bfdrdr More than 1 year ago
Most of the reviews regarding this book are complete crap.  If you have read it, however, you will find: Interesting insight on travel.  Personal information regarding Mr. Wade's handicaps and capabilities.  Incredible information if you are an avid traveler.  Angling information for the avid anglers.   This book does match his show series, but goes more in-depth for catching fish, the capabilities of what an actual 30-pound fish can do to a person above water, and scientific information you never though existed.   An excellent read and very inspiring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeremy Wades river monsters series on animal planet is so thrilling.I hiley recomend this book if you watch the series.It has action,adventure,mysteries,ext.If I could,I would meet Jeremy Wade in a heartbeat.
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I love his shows and and his books im really additcted to tjem they are amazing it is impossible to beat him!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read. Interesting insight into Jeremy i enjoyed the book very much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it goooooo jerimy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well,while i was reading, i saw things that i did not know before.For example the apairma i thnk,i found out a new fact,so if you learn something new THANK JEREMY WADE!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love river monsters i watch it on tv all of the time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like his show and the book is good so i think he should write more books
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