Published by Henry Holt and Company on January 27th 2015
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As a young boy, Eli Roebuck is scarred by the image of his mother embracing a massive, hair-covered man she calls Mr. Krantz before leaving the life she knows and following him into the woods. For the next several decades, Eli will be haunted by her choice and his life will be dominated by the search for the elusive Mr. Krantz in The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac by Sharma Shields.
The Sasquatch Himself
Eli comes to believe that Mr. Krantz is none other than the mythical Sasquatch rumored to roam the forests of the Northwest. Sharma Shields follows Eli in his quest to find the creature, but also allows readers to experience life from the perspective of the Sasquatch himself.
The Half-Bird Shopkeeper
Eli’s wife finds herself in a local shop that seems to appear only when customers need it. Run by a woman with ostrich legs and filled with odd trinkets, the shop leads his wife to a purchase that will permanently alter her life’s course.
The Silver-Blooded Unicorn
One of Eli’s daughters accidentally hits a unicorn with her car, leaving it to die on the side of the road. She finds herself strangely drawn to the animal and can’t resist the urge to steal its powerful horn.
The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac is peppered with many creatures, both familiar and new, that breathe magical realism into the novel as it winds its way through the twentieth century. Starting with Eli’s childhood in the early 194o’s and following his family through the next several decades, each chapter becomes a snapshot of life and feels almost like a short story. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for some sections to stand out from others, giving the book a slightly uneven feel. Still, Sharma Shields has written an unexpected, ambitious novel filled with creepy creatures to prove it.