In Defense of Monsters (eBook) by B.J. Hollars


by B.J. Hollars

ISBN: 978-1-949344-01-1

eBook download includes both .epub, and .mobi versions of the book in a single download, so you can read on the reader of your choice!

also available in softcover format

Essays on cryptids for those that want to believe… or are struggling to.

SKU: 978-1-949344-01-1 Category: Tags: , ,


This thoughtful collection of essays explores the facts surrounding three monsters that have plagued and intrigued our modern society with the idea of their mere existence. They contradict everything we know, and yet, we can’t dismiss their stories. Against reason and science, we can’t help but hope they might not not exist. Published in 2011 by Origami Zoo Press, this new edition includes a brand-new design.

“B.J. Hollars, in his essays and fiction, reminds us that the world remains—despite our attempts to name and classify—mysterious and uncharted. Sasquatch, Nessie, monster turtles in Indiana? I’m grateful to B.J. for giving this skeptic some reasons to believe.”
—Susan Neville, author of The Invention of Flight

“The monsters in B.J. Hollars’s fascinating essays include a hairy ape-man slouching in a forest, an enormous turtle peeking out of a backwoods pond, and us. In fact, in our dogged yearning for answers we may be the most monstrous of all, and for that reason, the most sympathetic. Moving, sensitive, and meticulously researched, this book is essentially about hope—the hope for finally arriving at an elusive truth that is somehow simultaneously the hope we never do.”
—Ryan Van Meter, author of If You Knew Then What I Know Now

“Although this book may be at first glance about defending the existence of monsters, B.J. Hollars makes an even grander argument for humankind’s penchant for shortsightedness and our ability to give into one idea without broad reflection. To give up the idea of the monster is to also give up ourselves: because without monsters we lack the imagination for a bigger world. To accept the monster, however, we give into a world which negates reality.  The book, instead, simply asks us to be humble.”
—Daniel Cecil, HTMLGIANT

Read more praise for In Defense of Monsters from around the web:

Daniel Cecil at HTMLGIANT
Amy Monticello at The Nervous Breakdown
Zack Ravas at ZYZZYVA
Interview with Megan Paonessa at The Lit Pub.

B.J. Hollars is the author of several books, most recently Wisconsin for Kennedy: The Primary That Launched a President and Changed The Course of History, Year of Plenty: A Family’s Season of Grief, Go West Young Man: A Father and Son Rediscover America on the Oregon Trail, Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians and the Weird in Flyover Country, The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders, Flock Together: A Love Affair With Extinct Birds, From the Mouths of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us About Life, Death, and Being Human, as well as a collection of essays, This Is Only A Test. Additionally, he has also written Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence and the Last Lynching in America, Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa, Dispatches from the Drownings, and Sightings. He and his film partner, Steve Dayton, have also completed a documentary When Rubber Hit The Road.

Hollars is the recipient of the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Nonfiction, the Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize, the Council of Wisconsin Writers’ Blei-Derleth Award, the Society of Midland Authors Award, and received a 2022 silver medal from the Midwest Book Awards. His work has been featured on C-SPAN, Lit Hub, Washington Post, The Millions, and Wisconsin Life.

He is the founder and executive director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and the Midwest Artist Academy, as well as a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a columnist for The Leader-Telegram. He lives a simple existence with his family.


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