Never has Dr. Jeremy Fishleder forgotten the massive creature he glimpsed as a child, staring back at him from the edge of the Florida wilds. Strange and terrifying, the encounter would go on to inform his dual careers: one, as a professor of zoology, the other as a less formal researcher of the weird, probing the obscure landscape where Bigfoot and any other half-mythic beast might just be hiding.
Then, prompted by a health scare and an academic shake-up, Jeremy takes a long-overdue sabbatical for a road trip around the United States, all to places of strange repute. Three recent graduates decide to join him and, as they delve into the wilds of earth and steel, together they discover secrets hidden in the shadows of outer as well as inner nature.
Far more sweeping and unique than a typical 'run from the monster', "Skunk Ape Semester" examines not only the wondrous weirdness in our midst, but its manifold legacy in our culture and our psyche.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.75 out of 10
Plot: Robinson takes the reader on a road trip defined heartily by wit, wonder, and that ever-elusive but once found, always magnetic, pull of the human experience.
Prose: Witty and wondrous prose combines to peel back the layers on the very-real human heart beating at the center of Robinson's novel.
Originality: Robinson brings a refreshing scope and lens to the Bigfoot mythos, infusing the inherent surreality of the endeavor with a charming intellectual, spiritual, and human touch.
Character/Execution: With an incredible effortlessness does Robinson bring to life his intrepid cast of seekers and finders, offering readers an engaging, relatable suite of characters, from the leads all the way down to the smallest supporting member.
Date Submitted: August 04, 2021