|The cover of Kultus. Cover design by
Guy Edwards of Bigfoot Lunch Club.
Author, teacher, and envelope-pusher Kirk Sigurdson has published his first fictional novel having to do with bigfoots entitled Kultus. I have read it cover to cover, and I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, characters, and message. The setting is a slightly fictionalized Skamania County, WA in and around the Columbia River Gorge. Kirk uses his knowledge and experience of bigfoots and the radical politics of logging to intertwine them into a story about conservation, land use, and passions.
Jonathan Dewey Graham owns the largest stand of Pacific Rainforest in the United States. The Old Growth Resistance (OGRE) wants to stop him from logging on his own land by suing to classify it as a protected wilderness area. OGRE’s campaign, funded in part by marijuana cultivation, hits a roadblock when forest giants (bigfoot) are discovered living in the ancient old growth forest. Ultimately, the precarious balance between landed gentry and environmental extremists comes to rest on the shoulders of a twelve year-old girl—Graham’s only child—who is befriended by a lone forest giant. The end result is both poignant and tragic. Kultus touches upon the universal nature of love, sentience, and the sustainability of resources in a world burdened with an ever-growing human population. Television personality, Cliff Barackman, calls this novel, “The riveting story of a metaphoric tug-of-war between lawyers, timber companies, land owners, hippies, and one young girl. Outside of these warring interests are the sasquatches whose ultimate fate depends on the outcome of the human wrangling.” A surprising amount of research from the fields of anthropology and cryptozoology helps to enrich the story with realistic details. Like Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle, Kultus has the power to transform society for the better. Its social commentary about non-human intelligence is at once captivating, and also chilling.
I can highly recommend this book to any reader of bigfoot fiction. Being a teacher of literature, I can safely say that Kirk’s writing style will not disappoint, and his imagination will live up to the same expectation.