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Review of Cryptofauna by Patrick Canning

By December 22, 2019January 28th, 20235 Comments

Jim held a stern look on Oz. This was insane. Even for your-crazy-is-our-normal St. Militrude’s, this was insane.


A young janitor working at an insane asylum is about to commit suicide when he’s rudely interrupted by one of the residents and recruited to play in a game called Cryptofauna—a bizarre competition of worldwide meddling and mischief that might actually give the blue custodian a reason to live, assuming he survives the dangerous world of the game.


  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Edition
  • 289 pages
  • Published December 7th 2018

So Jim’s glass was half full 98% of the time. Now though, he risked wandering into that realm of healthier milk, the 2%.

My Thoughts

Aside from his steak-and-cherry-only diet, Oz practiced another ritual that might have been considered strange were it performed outside the context of St. Mili’s. Months ago, the persuasive giant had used his slick cajolery to secure one of the only rooms in the facility equipped with its own bathtub. A man of seemingly endless skill, Oz had jerry-rigged St. Mili’s behemoth water heater to produce water at two hundred and eleven degrees Fahrenheit, just a notch below boiling point. Every night he’d fill his tub with the scalding water, add a sprinkling of a homemade spice mix (comprised principally of garlic and gunpowder), and slide his body in to cook.

Cryptofauna is a crazy batshit insane book. But in a good way. It is almost impossible to describe the plot to you, and If I even tried you would look at me like I lost my damn mind. Imagine writing a bunch of randomly selected nouns on papers, tossing them in a hat and producing a great story out of them. That is what Patrick Canning did.

Nouns include a Job at an insane asylum, cilantro, a bag of ash, the color blue, a dog, a Belgian, being marooned, leprous long living French monks, a body press made of mint, and shape-shifting animals.

That is just the start. It is a fantastically strange book where you completely fall in love with the characters and cheer Jim and his cohorts on in the grand competition. You want Jim to win, and you want to keep reading to see what else Canning can pull out of a hat. It is a great adventure, well worth checking out. You will not believe the Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy/Alice in Wonderland type journey the author will take you on. Give it a try.


I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for my open and honest review.

About the Author – Patrick Canning

Patrick was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Illinois, and now lives in California with his dog, HANK.


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