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

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  452 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Da Capo Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Gretchen Beck The Iliamna Lake Monster -- it had everything, constructed like a mystery, lots of information and exploration, and a humorous ending.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest HemingwayMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleCod by Mark KurlanskyOne Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. SeussThe River Why by David James Duncan
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 954)
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May 22, 2012 Ginny rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that I’ve become a little obsessed with Animal Planet’s TV show “River Monsters.” I found it by accident one day while surfing through the channels. I was desperately trying to find some decent entertainment to help me get through a mountain of laundry that had been waiting (way too long) to be folded. I was amazed that not only is there a great story line woven through each episode, but the scenery and geography are amazing as well. The host educates the audience in such an inte ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Cindy rated it it was amazing
First, I should mention I'm going to marry Jeremy Wade, so I'm entirely biased and adore every word out of his mouth. I did the audiobook version read by him, so all the better. I enjoy fishing, though I'm no good at it, and I love good monster stories that lean toward folk legend. That all said, fun book. He revisits his River Monsters haunts and offers more background into what went into his amazing catches.

What really stands out is the heart Wade exposes regarding his life and his work. The i
Oct 27, 2011 Renee rated it really liked it
I really love how he has written this book. I am not a fisherman and have never found fishing or fishing shows interesting, but he brings this pastime to life in a way that makes the reader want to find out next. The detail with which he chronicles his life both current and in the past will keep readers enthralled. If you like audiobooks better he is the narrator of this audiobook.
Jul 25, 2011 Daniel rated it really liked it
This book reads like you are sitting down for a pint with Jeremy, and that is exactley how it should be.
Douglas Lord
Nov 25, 2014 Douglas Lord rated it it was amazing
Englishman Wade is the craggy-faced host of Animal Planet’s River Monsters whose motto is that "there is more to this world than what’s visible on the surface." Where you and I wake up groggy on Opening Day and try for a trophy perch, Wade travels to far-away places like the Himalayas looking for, say, the human-eating goonch. After his six-year investigation of the “mythic fifteen-foot air-breather” arapaima got him some notoriety, Wade took it further with this
“series of such investigations in
Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
First I should admit that I love the River Monsters television program, partly because of the many fishing trips in my childhood - ah, fishing nostalgia. I also studied documentary film in grad school, so I'm always up for an animal/travel documentary. Those are my biases right up front, and so I was predisposed to enjoy the book.

I read River Monsters hoping for more background on what it was like to film in such difficult situations, and the book definitely provided many interesting stories, s
MCalhen MCalhen
Apr 09, 2012 MCalhen MCalhen rated it it was amazing
I'm actually afraid of fish and have been since I was young. I could use the show and this book as proof that my fears are well-founded, but instead, I've found both theraputic. I always thought I was wimpy. Who fears fish? And people made fun of me for it. Yet I can deal with most snakes and even hold some of them, and I don't flee the room when I see a spider on the wall. So when my mom first started watching River Monsters, I wasn't sure I could stand to be in the room. I hurried out of the l ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Jack rated it it was amazing
We've all heard a fisherman’s tale before – those far-fetched stories concerning ‘the ones that got away’ shared in the corner of dimly lit pubs by liquor-soaked men with missing teeth. Well, oddly enough, it turns out some of them were true.

Of course, zoologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade has known this for a long time and, for the past twenty-five years, he’s been travelling the world collecting the stories of ferocious freshwater attacks previously written off as folklore by the masses. Fr
Jason Golomb
Aug 10, 2011 Jason Golomb rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jun 27, 2011 Schaefme rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for passionate, obsessive men and one that writes as well as Jeremy Wade is not to be overloooked. ahem. Having seen most of his tv series, I was pleasantly surprised to find he's an excellent writer, the sort who throws in enough details to make you "see" the distant countries and people (and fish) he writes of. There's far more background in his book and honest accounting of his life and character...I admire him. I dont know whether it was a better travel book, fishing book, or ad ...more
Mar 12, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing
After watching every episode of River Monsters with Jeremy Wade, it was actually enjoyable to read the back stories to all of his adventures. I think I have watched every episode at least twice including all of the unhooked episodes where they insert popups that give additional info about what is going on.

This book actually took a bit longer to read than expected. I started it weeks ago, but with all the scientific prose, history and stories within the story, I really wanted to take my time.

Nov 01, 2014 Rz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

There are some books that grab you and drag you into their depths, and you don't struggle. You just let it take you along, because the journey is so breathtaking, the writing so vivid that just for a moment, some part of you is out there in the hot, steamy jungles of the Amazon; some part of you is casting out
Aug 12, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
The audio version of River Monsters is enhanced by the narration provided by its author, TV celebrity Jeremy Wade. I felt like Mr Wade was actually accompanying me to work each morning, describing his various fishing adventures around the world.

The drawback, however, is that as a television star, Mr. Wade is used to a visual medium. There is only so far that he can go to describe his surroundings, team, and the creatures he is attempting to catch. On television, you can see the fish he catches.
Jul 11, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
Better written than I was expecting, Jeremy Wade's fascinating look at big fresh-water fish has the enjoyable fright factor fans will want but also a deep and abiding love of the fish, which are respected as more than just something to catch. When the last river monster dies, the river will too . . . well said, Mr. Wade.
May 30, 2012 Zac rated it liked it
I love the River Monsters show so I picked up the book. It was enjoyable, but I think it is ideally for people who have not seen the show since a lot is repeated if you have already watched. Some interesting insights though. Would recommend if it's your thing.
John Mileski
Aug 01, 2015 John Mileski rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to John by: watched TV show
I read River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones That Didn't Get Away by Jeremy Wade was a great book. Jeremy Wade is a biologist, fishing detective and explorer all over the world.

Jeremy Wade is a real person not a fictional character. He was educated in Zoology and received Postgraduate Certificate in Education. He worked as a teacher, news paper reporter and wrote for publications. He wrote a few books and worked on a few documentaries series. He lives in Southern England. He loves fishing and
Rheta Thola
Jul 21, 2014 Rheta Thola rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
I got something that I did not expect from this book. I thought it would simply be a written inside scoop to behind the scenes of the tv show River Monsters. instead I got a fascinating read of behind the scenes, autobiography, zoology and travel all in one book. It was astounding. It was not purely autobiographical but Jeremy would occasionally drop in personal information at very appropriate times. It also was simply about the tv show but instead a history of Jeremy's experience with each fish ...more
Pankaj Singh
Aug 11, 2014 Pankaj Singh rated it it was amazing
You can either somehow make Jeremy Wade come to your home, grab beer and tell you stories while you laze around on your couch, or you could read this book. This book is not just about catching big fish, but its about one man's passion, almost bordering on obsession. And traveling to far off places, on a shoestring budget.

I have always liked the TV show, and it was definitely the reason why I got into fishing. But this book takes you where the show doesn't. Into Wade's mind, where you can see wha
Beth Manning
May 29, 2015 Beth Manning rated it it was amazing
Fish On! A book about fascinating fish, a fascinating life & a fascinating man!

A beautifully written book. Jeremy Wade has the ability to make you feel as if you're right there beside him on his travels as he catches these fascinating creatures. I can hear Jeremy's voice as I'm reading. He's as fascinating as the fish he's looking for.

Very informative, and interesting read! Definitely recommend this book. And I hope Jeremy Wade writes more!

(I've just finished reading it for the second time -
Jenn C
"The rod creaks in pain, it's Kevlar and carbon-fiber sinews surely about to transform into splinters. ... The line sings a high, tinny note as a tail like a black flag breaks the surface..."

My grandfather fished his entire life. He taught me how to fish and how to paddle a canoe (both of which I sucked at, but that's besides the point...). I haven't held a rod in years, but I still have a fascination with life under the depths. I watch all the documentaries about sharks I can get my hot littl
Feb 01, 2014 Amelia rated it it was amazing
River Monsters True Stories of the Ones That Didn’t Get Away: A Book That Proves That Jeremy Wade is Boss At Everything!
A Review By: Amelia

Interested in more book reviews? Check out my blog Bookworms Unite!(

Before accidentally stumbling upon the nature/fishing documentary show River Monsters on the channel Animal Planet I had no idea that I should be so scared to go into fresh water lakes, nor that there was as perfect a human as the show’s host Jeremy W
Sep 13, 2013 Jo added it
My friend Tom watches this show, which airs on Cable Tv's Animal Planet. Wade is a biologist/zoologist that goes to 3rd world countries, or even parts of the US to catch big fish.. I mean big.. He caught a 350 pound grouper. But the thing that is most interesting about his show on tv, is not his fish stories, but the people and places where he visits. One tv episode had him visiting Chernobyl, to catch a fish, the name of which escapes me. Some of the places he visits, like in India, consider th ...more
Madison Keller
Sep 19, 2013 Madison Keller rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I’m a big fan of the River Monsters show, so when I saw this in the discount pile at Half Price Books, I snapped it up. I love monster stories and monster legends, which is why I originally started watching this show.

I went into this book with expectations, which were only partially met. The first half of the book focuses on his early life and travel before the River Monsters TV show, delving into the reasons, in part, for his philosophy on travel and catch and release fishing. The first half is
Jan 14, 2015 Ami rated it it was amazing
"This book is a series of such investigations into the murky world of fisherman's tales. The tales are of river monsters that are frightenly large or dangerous- or both. Fish that swallow men whole, others that eat them from within, and others that pack a killer punch. And the truth, though elusive and sometimes complex, is often every bit as unbelievable as the myth." Jeremy Wade in the opening chapter.

Very good book, even if you don't like fishing. Talks of travel and culture. You learn a litt
Dec 06, 2012 Nellie rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for River Monsters. I long ago stopped swimming in fresh water, because I live in North Carolina and there aren't many rivers or lakes, not even a stretch of ocean, that is clear enough to see what you might be swimming with. Watching River Monsters, though, was an amazing reminder that we know so little about the fauna in our waterways. This book is an extension of that. I imagine that it would be a great read for any fisherman, but it was also a good read for me, and I haven't a c ...more
May 06, 2012 Ryan rated it it was ok
Shelves: nature
For anyone who is a fan of the TV series, the book goes a little deeper, exploring the backstory behind each episode, and offering glimpses into the personal history of the author before he became a TV personality. I agree with another reviewer that this is actually more interesting than the actual technicalities of catching each type of fish, which he does go into at length but I suppose is fascinating only for true anglers. Rather, the adventure of traveling on a budget to exotic locales like ...more
Gretchen Beck
Jun 30, 2016 Gretchen Beck rated it really liked it
Enjoy the show, and enjoyed the book. Was pleasantly surprised that, although the topics are the same, the experience is significantly different. Reading is a little slower than I expected, but I suspect this is because I am not overly familiar with the ins and outs of fishing, and so need to take time to form the appropriate mental images.

Well written well constructed stories.
Nov 23, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
Good for fans of the television series, Jeremy Wade offers up fuller versions of the tales from the series. Quite readable, I did find myself hungry for NEW stories, rather than just those I was already familiar with, but I did enjoy it none the less.
David Ward
River Monsters: True Stories of the Ones That Didn't Get Away by Jeremy Wade (Da Capo Press 2011)(799.1). I have a confession - c'mere so I can whisper - "I love fishing shows." The author has a hit tv series on the Animal Planet network. Guess what this book is? It's a written report of what is seen on the show each week. The tv show "River Monsters" is in its second year on Animal Planet, right? Well I've seen every episode. Yup, you heard me. I didn't know t'was true until I ran across this b ...more
Kellie Kamryn
Jan 10, 2014 Kellie Kamryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My kids and I are a fan of the show, so I was delighted to received this copy from a friend for Christmas. Full of philosophical insight, this behind the scenes, in-depth accounts of his trials and adventures was a page-turner for me. Once I was finished, I had a better understanding of why the health of our rivers and its inhabitants is so important for the overall health of the planet. Thank you, Mr. Wade for being an adventurer with a heart and sharing that with the world.
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Jeremy Wade is a writer and TV presenter with a special interest in rivers and freshwater fish, who has been travelling (mostly solo) to the world's remoter rivers for over 25 years.

He has a degree in zoology from Bristol University and a postgrad teaching certificate in biological sciences from the University of Kent, and has worked as a secondary school biology teacher.

He grew up in south-east E
More about Jeremy Wade...

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“...I'm momentarily transfixed, torn between curiosity and fear. I can pull it up the gently sloping mud bank, but then what? Already thought is lagging behind events, as the blotchy brown mass slides up wet mud toward me, its amorphous margins flowing into the craters left by retreating feet. In the center of the yard-wide disc is a raised turret where two eyes open and close, flashing black. And it's bellowing. A loud rhythmic sound that is at first inexplicable until I realize that those blinking eyes are its spiracles, now sucking in air instead of water, which it is pumping out via gill slits on its underside. And all the while it brandishes that blade, stabbing the air like a scorpion...” 2 likes
“Because, despite our differences, we shared one fundamental belief: that there is more to this world than what’s visible on the surface.” 1 likes
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