If you’ve been to our house in the last few years, and entered through the front door, you would have been greeted by a raccoon mounted on the wall, along with a couple of fluffy squirrels. Some flea market deer and antelope mounts would be gazing at you from across the room. Plus, a couple of piñata heads.
I’m going to go ahead and blame it all on Disney and the now-defunct Country Bear Jamboree for my love of taxidermy animals. The talking mounted heads of Melvin Moose, Max Deer, and Buff Buffalo would introduce the Country Bears and engage in entertaining banter. I always wanted one for my house; in fact, I still would love a gorgeous moose mounted above our fireplace. [Fun fact: if you go on the Winnie-the-Pooh ride at Disneyland, after you go through the heffalump and woozle dream room, if you turn around and look up, you can see the moose, deer, and buffalo heads hanging above the archway!]
All this to explain why, when faced with a long list of books to review, including mouth-watering cookbooks, I clicked on “Crap Taxidermy”. To be fair, I didn’t realize that you only get to request one book at a time. I probably would have chosen a different book as my first. But, I thought it would be an interesting coffee table book, maybe with some interesting pictures of taxidermy animals. I also didn’t realize that this book is basically the website Crappy Taxidermy in book form. I generally don’t like websites turned into books (why, when you could so easily just go to the website??) and the source of all the photos greatly explained why I was looking at really terribly handled taxidermy from all around the world.
Spoiler alert: this is a terrible book. It’s not even interesting enough to leave on a coffee table, plus it’s a pretty small book size-wise.
I can’t even tell you what I thought I was expecting, but I certainly wasn’t expecting poorly preserved animals with terrible fake eyes. Nor was I expecting a stuffed cat hanging from the ceiling. The animals pictured in this book aren’t entertaining or amusing, they’re just sad. You feel sad for the animals who are stuck for eternity looking awful. I would have thought a compilation of “crap taxidermy” would include some that are so bad they are funny, but these are just the sad clowns of bad taxidermy.
The best part of the book (I thought) was at the end (and not because it was the end of the book) with the DIY “Stuff Your Own Mouse” instructions, including recommendations on where to procure a dead mouse for stuffing. I have no interesting in delving into DIY taxidermy, but I thought it was kind of neat to read through the process.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from Blogging for Books. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are mine.