A Field Guide to Monsters (2004) – By Mark Hite

Have
you ever found yourself in the big city not knowing what to do if an
Aztec God should swoop down and abduct you? Do you find yourself inept
in the field of battling flying monkeys while vacationing in Oz? Or
perhaps you don’t know who that burnt up fellow is that keeps appearing
in your dreams. Well my friends, I have the perfect book for you.

A Field Guide To Monsters by Dave Elliot offers backgrounds and facts
on all monsters both big and small. (The book was co written by C.J.
Henderson and R. Allen Leider.) As mentioned in the book’s
introduction, a wise doctor by the name of Abraham Van Helsing wrote a
ver similar book back in 1898. No one took the book seriously because
at that point, Brom Stoker had made vampires into a form of
entertainment. None the less, Elliot continues Van Helsing’s bold work
with new updates in the monster community.

A Field Guide To Monsters reads like any other field guide. Except
instead of birds, fish, and sea shells we get to learn about Jaws, The
Invisible Man, and King Kong. The book spans over 80 years of movie
monsters, both friendly and violent, from Doctor Caligari to Shrek.
Included in the monster’s description are important information that
everyone must know. In case you were wondering Rodan’s exact size is,
the top of the pages includes the basics such as weight, height, and
intelligence factor.

The monster’s profile include a brief description of the monster, it’s
behavior, lethality, weaknesses, and powers. On the bottom is a map
where the monsters can be located and it’s size proportionate to that
of the average man. Also included is when they first showed their
monstrous faces, relatives, and a brief description on what to look for
regarding the monster’s appearance.

The book has an awesome array of pictures both black and white and in
color. The monsters are all sorted into the proper categories such as
supernatural monsters, mutated lizards, and monster men. The writing is
humorous but reminds you that these monsters may very well exist.
Several helpful hints are included such as what to have on hand at all
times to battle evil and what to do if you are bitten by a vampire.

The writers were also nice enough to include a checklist in the back
for the reader. You know, just in case you happen to run in or see one
of the monster’s described. This is located right after the monster
size comparison chart.

I myself learned a lot from this book. For example, I now know to carry
a good pair of running shoes in case I need to run from the undead. I
also know that Mothra is twice the size of the Statue Of Liberty. No
monster stands a chance now that I’m a better person.