Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? a Critical Success

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? by J. Nathan Couch

Though Thanksgiving already seems like a distant memory in the midst of this Arctic-like Wisconsin January, I believe I’d be remiss if I didn’t publicly state how thankful I am that Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? has thus far been a critical success.

I was a nervous wreck immediately following the publication of Goatman on October 07, 2014. My one previous full-length book Washington County Paranormal: A Wisconsin Legend Trip, while available both nationally and internationally, was of mostly local interest, and was read by individuals who likely viewed it through rose-tinted glasses, since they were likely reading about their respective home towns.  Goatman was my first attempt to write a book intended for a broader audience than one Southeastern Wisconsin county.

Goatman was also a vastly different topic then I’d ever attempted. This was no mere collection of ghost and monster stories to put into order. Instead it was a complex mess of folklore and Fortean phenomena that needed to be sorted out and made sense of. Needless to say, it was a huge relief when positive reviews began to trickle in.

Sean Whitley, director of the documentary Southern Fried Bigfoot commented that “this was a very entertaining read and an incredibly thorough look at one of America’s urban legends. Highly recommended.”

Michael A. Kleen, author of Haunting Illinois declares that “Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? is a solid and original work in a genre where substance and originality is increasingly difficult to find.”

Lyle Blackburn wrote in his Rue Morgue column, Monstro Bizarro that ” Couch’s writing is smooth and easy to read while maintaining a good balance between skepticism and open-mindedness. He goes where the research leads, allowing his conclusions to reflect only that which can be drawn from the evidence.”  He continued that Goatman is an “enjoyable read that provides new insight into these cases whether you’re interested in the cryptid aspect or simply monster folklore.”

Dr. Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog at Strange History claims, after a lot of thought provoking musing, that “one of the reasons that the book works so well is that the author is not just a Fortean, he is also a folklorist (by temperament if not by training). And a case like this is a wonderful example of where Fortean techniques come, unassisted, crashing to the ground: in a case like this the Fortean approach is, frankly, a blunt stone trying to open a can of beans. Folklore reminds us, instead, how humans create myths as spiders spin webs.”

Ken Gerhard, author of  Encounters of Flying Humanoids, declared “… Thoroughly enjoying this book at the moment. Extremely well researched and written. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in mysterious and seriously weird creature accounts.”

John Rimmer of Magonia writes “[J. Nathan Couch] understands the liminal landscapes in which these creatures lurk, and knows that a suburban lot can hold as deep a terror as the remotest forest. This is a fascinating account of a search for mystery, a real search involving the author travelling to some of the weirdest spots in the US, not just clicking ‘search’ on a computer screen. This is Fortean writing at its finest, and recommended to all… ”

Monster Hunters author Tea Krulos writes “Couch does a good job of entertaining the [legends], but not endorsing them as them as fact. Because the idea of a half goat, half human stalking through the woods to head butt you is ridiculous…(wait a minute—do you hear that horrible bleating sound?)…or is it?”

And most recently, Loren Coleman, author of Mysterious America and the director of the International Cryptozoology Museum placed Goatman on his list of the Best Cryptozoology books of 2014, bestowing it with the title of “The Best Weird Cryptid Book of 2014.”

If you’ve read Goatman, and would like to offer your opinion, please consider leaving a review at your favorite website. Reviews (either negative or positive) would be appreciated at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, or GoodReads.com.

Thanks everyone, for all the support, and I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful 2015.

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