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Gef!: The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  11 reviews
An exhaustive investigation of the case of Gef, a “talking mongoose” or “man-weasel,” who appeared to a family living on the Isle of Man.

“I am the fifth dimension! I am the eighth wonder of the world!”

During the mid-1930s, British and overseas newspapers were full of incredible stories about Gef, a “talking mongoose” or “man-weasel” who had allegedly appeared in the home o
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Hardcover, 406 pages
Published May 2017 by Strange Attractor Press
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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Bill Wallace
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mongooses all the way down! I was a little taken aback at the thickness of this single-minded volume but found it almost impossible to put down once I'd picked it up. The author approaches his subject as a Fortean -- not out to prove any hypothesis or rule on the supernatural possibilities of the narrative, but only to document the damned facts of the case. All of the possibilities, from deliberate fraud to fairies and familiars, are examined in turn and the reader is left to his or her own conc ...more
Ashley
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
I don’t think I’ve ever read anything so bizarre from start to finish as this amusing exposé of Gef, a so-called ‘talking mongoose’ that lived in the walls of a farmhouse on the Isle of Man during the 1930s. As a fan of cryptozoology, Gef has for many years been my personal favourite unexplained mystery.

Gef appeared randomly one day to the Irving family, (father James, mother Margaret, and teenage daughter Voirrey) at their isolated farmhouse Doarlish Cashen during the 1930s. It all began with s
...more
Sean Kennedy
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The definitive account of a series of strange events which plagued a small village on a small island in the thirties and forties, this is a meticulously researched book that takes into account the various circumstances that could have led to the birth of Gef, a talking mongoose who in his own words was 'the fifth dimension, the eighth wonder of the world!'.
Thomas
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
its certainly the best book i've ever read about a talking mongoose
Emilie
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am very enamored with and curious about all things paranormal. I had not yet heard of the Gef phenomenon before reading this book, so was quite excited to dig into this. The book is very well researched, which is both a blessing and a curse (sometimes the evidence presented can get rather dry, but overall Josiffe did a good job making this an interesting read). By the end of the book, I wanted to know even more about the family, about Gef, and about related phenomena mentioned in the book beca ...more
Christine Best
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This was an absolutely brilliant book! It’s a study of the strange case of a haunting at a remote farmhouse in 1930s Isle of Man. The author is an academic in folklore studies so he has no paranormal axe to grind and is primarily interested how culture affected the case and vice versa. The book is a mine of information and so well written and amply illustrated it’s a pleasure to read. The author grasps how Gef continues to fascinate even now and discusses all the possible options; hoax, polterge ...more
Nathan
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wouldn't call it high literature, but it was a fun read. Gef himself was enormously delightful. This book is a very comprehensive look at this phenomenon from the late 1930's on the Isle of Man. In the end, it proved to be as much about the Mongoose as the people who experienced him. A great quick read (even though the book is 300 + pages!) with all the info you could want...except of course a good pic of Gef.
Amy
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maybe from the cover art you’re thinking it’s a flimsy little self-printed thing but it is definitely not. This is a surprisingly big, comprehensive and well-told account of ol Gef. If you like the weird you will love it.
Mira
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A bit too credulous about shapeshifting stories, but every single page was entertaining.
Joff
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lucid, thorough and deeply unsettling account of one of Britain's strangest hauntings.
Laura
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A truly bizarre retrospective of the scandal and furore around an alleged talking mongoose. Meanders a little but intriguing nevertheless
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Christopher Josiffe is a regular contributor to Fortean Times and has also been published in Faunus, Abraxas, and The Pomegranate. He has given lectures at the Ghost Club, the Society for Psychical Research, Senate House Library and the Fortean Times Unconvention.

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