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The Thrill of the Chase: A Memoir

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This book is the remarkable true story of Forrest Fenn's life and of a hidden treasure, secreted somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe. The book contains clues to the treasure's location as Forrest Fenn invites readers to join in "The Thrill of the Chase". This book is the remarkable true story of Forrest Fenn's life and of a hidden treasure, secreted somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe. The book contains clues to the treasure's location as Forrest Fenn invites readers to join in "The Thrill of the Chase".


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This book is the remarkable true story of Forrest Fenn's life and of a hidden treasure, secreted somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe. The book contains clues to the treasure's location as Forrest Fenn invites readers to join in "The Thrill of the Chase". This book is the remarkable true story of Forrest Fenn's life and of a hidden treasure, secreted somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe. The book contains clues to the treasure's location as Forrest Fenn invites readers to join in "The Thrill of the Chase".

30 review for The Thrill of the Chase: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Clay Davis

    Learned about this book after the treasure that was hidden with clues given in this autobiography was found. Not sure what chase that was suppose to be thrilling the writer wrote about.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A fun and quick little read. I enjoyed looking at his pictures and absorbing some of his sentiments about life. FYI I'm totally going to find his treasure.... ;) A fun and quick little read. I enjoyed looking at his pictures and absorbing some of his sentiments about life. FYI I'm totally going to find his treasure.... ;)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katey

    I had hoped this book would tell about how the treasure was accumulated and why it was hidden, but that only takes up one small chapter of the book. The argument can be made that the rest of the story helped with that telling but not enough for my liking. This just seems like a pretty normal ordinary guy who wrote his autobiography and has set someone up for future wealth if they're lucky enough to crack his code. I had hoped this book would tell about how the treasure was accumulated and why it was hidden, but that only takes up one small chapter of the book. The argument can be made that the rest of the story helped with that telling but not enough for my liking. This just seems like a pretty normal ordinary guy who wrote his autobiography and has set someone up for future wealth if they're lucky enough to crack his code.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ricky

    I enjoyed reading about his life. He has a great way of writing in the simplist form. That and the book is filled with clues on where he hid the 2 million dollar treasure chest.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Darren Hosch

    Not a bad book. Not really an ace. Now begins the thrill of the chase.

  6. 5 out of 5

    A.J.

    I've always loved adventure, since I was a little boy wanting to go explore the land where the wild things are. So when I heard about Forrest Fenn's real hidden treasure, gosh, about ten years ago now I was enamoured. Not enough to rush out and buy the book containing the clued poem and other hints (actually, anyone wanting to rush out and buy it would've had to rush out to a little bookstore in New Mexico, it being the only physical location it was sold, but I still could've rushed to the compu I've always loved adventure, since I was a little boy wanting to go explore the land where the wild things are. So when I heard about Forrest Fenn's real hidden treasure, gosh, about ten years ago now I was enamoured. Not enough to rush out and buy the book containing the clued poem and other hints (actually, anyone wanting to rush out and buy it would've had to rush out to a little bookstore in New Mexico, it being the only physical location it was sold, but I still could've rushed to the computer to order it sent to me), but enough to think about it off and on for a decade, and occasionally read up online on some others' adventures in trying to solve the puzzle and searching in person for the treasure. Then, last year I heard the treasure had been found! What nerve for someone to go and do that before I ever got around to trying to! It gave me the belated push to finally order the book the entire hunt was announced in and read it, and while I might be a little late to the party of reading it now the hunt is over, I still really enjoyed it. It's a memoir by a quirky, charismatic and rascal of a man who grew up in nature in and around the Rocky Mountains (well western Texas, but they went to the Rockies for an extended stay every year), was a fighter pilot in Vietnam, and then became a self-made entrepreneur dealing arts and antiques (despite not really caring about the arts but had always loved scavenging for treasure and found the art business suited that interest) in New Mexico where he hobnobbed with politicians and assorted celebrities (Jackie O. stayed at his place one time). Then he got cancer and thought he was going to die. The doctors told him the prognosis wasn't good. He had the idea to take some of the treasure he'd accumulated in the business dealings and scavenging and hide them to create a modern day treasure hunt, and then die there with his treasure so that whoever found the treasure would also find his bones. He didn't care if it took hundreds of years before someone found it. But, anyway, he beat the odds and survived the cancer so the plan didn't materialise. That was in the 1980s. Then he slowly got old and despite the cancer not returning, with age the thought of one day dying regardless led him to revisit the treasure hiding idea and when he was around 80, sometime around 2010, he finally went and hid the box full of treasure valued at a few million dollars somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Then he published this book, which is mostly just a memoir of various stories from his life, but also included a poem vaguely describing the hidden treasure and how to find it. Whoever could correctly decipher it and follow his instructions would be led to the treasure box. Oh, and there were some other hints hidden throughout the book if you could figure them out. It took a decade and some deaths and near misses from misguided searchers venturing into dangerous areas, but the treasure was found in 2020. Forrest announced he would not reveal the location or the answer to any of the clues, except to say that it was found in Wyoming, and then he died right after. The finder, who had wanted to stay anonymous, decided to reveal himself but still wouldn't reveal the location or any other major answers. Therefore, the mystery is still there even if the treasure isn't. Forrest writes with his own very distinct style and instead of trying to encompass his entire life focuses only on a collection of various stories throughout that gives you a flavour of who he was, which was an industrious man with a healthy ego who liked humour, adventure and plain intelligence but who also had a strong philosophical and melancholic bent. The book certainly isn't for everyone, or really for many at all now, but I'm very glad I read it after following along with the whole saga from the sidelines for ten years. He's also had a few controversies, including that he may have dug up sacred Native American ruins to find items to sell and that that may be how he initially made his fortune (later he even bought an entire Native American ruins site). Also, because of the secrecy at the end of the treasure hunt, many are disillusioned and think something fishy was afoot either with the conclusion or even with the entire hunt. For the finder's part, they've maintained that they did indeed find the treasure where it had been hidden since Forrest first put it there (and there are pics of the dirty treasure at the find site and being gone through by Forrest once the finder met up with him), and that they found the treasure the way it was meant to be found- by figuring out the hints and clues in the poem and book (although the finder does admit to using two subtle slip-ups Forrest made in interviews to hone in on the correct solve, though they won't say what those slip-ups were). They also maintain they won't ever tell the location because it was a place special to Forrest and revealing the location might entice too many people to visit and ruin the spot while many searchers, who spent years of their lives on the hunt thinking that even if they didn't find the treasure themselves they'd eventually learn the answers once someone else found it, criticise this stance and secrecy. Ah well, we'll see in time if the location ever comes out. Do I think I know where the location is? I have an idea, as does probably anyone who's read the book or been at all interested in the hunt. I have no idea if I'm correct and even if I am, am sure I haven't solved all the clues. The finder has been adamant that once he figured out the location, he was absolutely sure of it, to the point of spending over 30 days spread over a few years obsessively revisiting the same spot over and over again (he's from the eastern U.S. and each trip had to travel to Wyoming to search for a day or two) to keep looking until he finally found the treasure. If that's true it's amazing that after so much time spent at the location with no results he would still have the faith that he was right and keep travelling all that way and looking in the same place time and again despite not finding anything (until he finally did). Because of that surety it makes me doubt my half-formed idea could be right, although Forrest had said others had been very close over the years and had passed it right by (he knew this as people often sent him emails of where they'd been searching, as his email address was publicly known), so it seems there are people who'd figured out the general area enough to actually travel there and look, but weren't as sure as the finder had been and moved on to other possibilities. It's sad this real-life treasure hunt story is basically over, but it's awesome that it happened and inspired so many despite the controversies. It makes me think of another treasure hunt book called Masquerade published around 1980, in fact right around the time of my birth, that told of a treasure hidden somewhere in England. That one ended much more quickly and also in controversy. I think the special allure of the Forrest Fenn treasure hunt was its simplicity as well as the otherwise openness, communicativeness and sociability of the hider and the intense meaning the hunt had for him. There weren't elaborate illustrations and sentences tied to ancient concepts; there was just a single puzzling poem writ (more or less) plainly. The author didn't write this only for a hunt; he wrote this as a culmination of his life and it was solidly tied to his life and memories. This makes the whole affair very unique and unlikely to be duplicated, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bracken

    I would actually give it 2.5 stars. I really like what Fenn is doing with the treasure hunt, but his writing is mediocre at best. I love the concept of getting people doing what makes you who you are and sharing the "treasures" of your life with others, which is what I think the point of the book is. Do I think that there really is a treasure? I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I lean toward it being the case. Will I go hunting for it? Maybe a little, more for the fun of getting out and enjoying I would actually give it 2.5 stars. I really like what Fenn is doing with the treasure hunt, but his writing is mediocre at best. I love the concept of getting people doing what makes you who you are and sharing the "treasures" of your life with others, which is what I think the point of the book is. Do I think that there really is a treasure? I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I lean toward it being the case. Will I go hunting for it? Maybe a little, more for the fun of getting out and enjoying the "thrill of the chase" than for the actual riches. In fact, I think if I were to find it while out looking, I would just take one thing as a momento, take some photos as proof, put it all back as well as I could, then email Fenn thanking him for the chase. It is a cool idea, even though the writing wasn't the greatest.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Zorn

    I probably would never have read this book if it hadn't been for the enticing buried treasure. I had a friend who was acquainted with Forrest Fenn and didn't hold him in high regard. I never learned why except that it had something to do with Fenn's collecting of antiquities and his lack of regard for sites held sacred by Native American Indians. All that aside, the book is very plainly and simply written. I enjoyed the stories. Living in Hawaii, however, I'm just not motivated to spend time and I probably would never have read this book if it hadn't been for the enticing buried treasure. I had a friend who was acquainted with Forrest Fenn and didn't hold him in high regard. I never learned why except that it had something to do with Fenn's collecting of antiquities and his lack of regard for sites held sacred by Native American Indians. All that aside, the book is very plainly and simply written. I enjoyed the stories. Living in Hawaii, however, I'm just not motivated to spend time and energy trying to discover the treasure. My sister's family could use the money, so I'm thinking the book might be a fun gift for them. They travel a lot in that part of the country and who knows....maybe it'll inspire them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Lynn Lano

    I bought this book, like many others, because I wanted to see the extra clues that are supposed to be sprinkled in the text. I saw a few things that might be relevant, but overall, I came away with the impression that you don't need to buy the book to solve the riddle and find the treasure. That said, it is a very large and heavy hardback book with glossy, sepia-toned pages. It is easy reading, as the book isn't very long and is written in a casual, colloquial style. Regardless of whether I ever I bought this book, like many others, because I wanted to see the extra clues that are supposed to be sprinkled in the text. I saw a few things that might be relevant, but overall, I came away with the impression that you don't need to buy the book to solve the riddle and find the treasure. That said, it is a very large and heavy hardback book with glossy, sepia-toned pages. It is easy reading, as the book isn't very long and is written in a casual, colloquial style. Regardless of whether I ever find the treasure, I know that I will have a good time thinking about it, and his story inspires me to hide a treasure of my own one day.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wild West Jo

    I read this book because I was interested in Forrest Fenn's hidden treasure. He has a unique writing style, with an old timer's humor and wit, not to mention he's a marketing genius. I read this book because I was interested in Forrest Fenn's hidden treasure. He has a unique writing style, with an old timer's humor and wit, not to mention he's a marketing genius.

  11. 5 out of 5

    El Bothi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. he is the good peapel in the america

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Short (often funny) vignettes of the life of Forrest Fenn. Raised in Texas, a bit of a Dennis the Menace as a young boy. Proclaims/admits he’s not one of the smart kids in school where his Dad is the principal. Graduates and enlists in the USAF, shot down twice in Viet Nam, he retires after 20 years with many medals of honor. Marries, moves to Sante Fe New Mexico and begins his art gallery business, a business he knows nothing about but is hugely successful. At age 58 he is diagnosed with cancer Short (often funny) vignettes of the life of Forrest Fenn. Raised in Texas, a bit of a Dennis the Menace as a young boy. Proclaims/admits he’s not one of the smart kids in school where his Dad is the principal. Graduates and enlists in the USAF, shot down twice in Viet Nam, he retires after 20 years with many medals of honor. Marries, moves to Sante Fe New Mexico and begins his art gallery business, a business he knows nothing about but is hugely successful. At age 58 he is diagnosed with cancer and told he has less than 3 years to live. While fighting the cancer, he decides to hide a treasure chest of $1M in gold and gems. His book provides clues to its location but it has yet to be found. When asked why he did this? “To get people out enjoying nature. The thrill of the chase.” To date, 30 years later, it has not been found. Forrest is now 88 years old. He was not a victim of cancer and his treasure legacy lives on. Did he really hide these gems or is it just a ruse? Thousands have searched the Rocky Mountains in search of what will be theirs, if found, but no luck.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    My husband recommended and purchased this book because he is intent on finding the treasure. As his loyal sidekick, I wanted to immerse myself in the clues and will reread before we actually go looking. Fenn is a great storyteller and his life is full of stories. He comes across cavalier, but also admittedly uneducated. This gives him a fresh view on life that he could only learn through his experiences. His stories are of the farm and camping in Yellowstone and later, war stories from Vietnam. H My husband recommended and purchased this book because he is intent on finding the treasure. As his loyal sidekick, I wanted to immerse myself in the clues and will reread before we actually go looking. Fenn is a great storyteller and his life is full of stories. He comes across cavalier, but also admittedly uneducated. This gives him a fresh view on life that he could only learn through his experiences. His stories are of the farm and camping in Yellowstone and later, war stories from Vietnam. He lauds his father, brother and wife, including passages of poetry, some of which are original. The book is filled with historic photographs and drawings which help relay his memoir in a meaningful way.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Moore

    Forrest Fenn is a self-made retired pilot and antiques dealer. Diagnosed with kidney cancer, he decides to secret away his favorite treasures valued at 3-5 million dollars in a location that he'd long chosen as the perfect place to lie down and die. With his cancer successfully treated, he keeps his treasure box in his vault and later hides it in the Rocky Mountains. This is a memoir that explains his decisions in life that led him to this decision and he offers some clues but most of all a bette Forrest Fenn is a self-made retired pilot and antiques dealer. Diagnosed with kidney cancer, he decides to secret away his favorite treasures valued at 3-5 million dollars in a location that he'd long chosen as the perfect place to lie down and die. With his cancer successfully treated, he keeps his treasure box in his vault and later hides it in the Rocky Mountains. This is a memoir that explains his decisions in life that led him to this decision and he offers some clues but most of all a better understanding of what this delightful man is all about.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    I became so engrossed in this book that I read it all in one day, and you'll most likely have trouble putting it down as well. I believe those that read this book without prior knowledge of Fenn's treasure will read it much differently than those looking for clues as to where the treasure could be hidden. Treasure hunts aside, Fenn is an entertaining author who rights very "matter of fact". I became so engrossed in this book that I read it all in one day, and you'll most likely have trouble putting it down as well. I believe those that read this book without prior knowledge of Fenn's treasure will read it much differently than those looking for clues as to where the treasure could be hidden. Treasure hunts aside, Fenn is an entertaining author who rights very "matter of fact".

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dan Nimak

    Buy it to search for clues to a treasure. Read it, however, to enjoy the stories told by Mr. Fenn, which are both fascinating and motivational. He writes in such a warm, simple, and compelling way…that’s the true treasure of this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ravi Mikkelsen

    A fun and easily digestible memoir of an eclectic and interesting man. Veteran, treasure hunter, art dealer, father, teacher, poet. The chase is thrilling and I plan to take it up spending much more time outdoors in the coming years.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Barnett

    Forrest is an interesting character, and the memoir introducing his famous treasure hunt is equally interesting. While he isn't a fantastic writer, he has a way of speaking to the reader like an old friend instead of a tired, old scholar which can be refreshing. Forrest is an interesting character, and the memoir introducing his famous treasure hunt is equally interesting. While he isn't a fantastic writer, he has a way of speaking to the reader like an old friend instead of a tired, old scholar which can be refreshing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This was average. My husband asked me to read it because he's interested in the wild goose chase. The beginning and end are ok, but the part about the Vietnam war was quite intriguing and fast-paced. Do you want to seek hidden treasure? Then this is a must-have book! Look for all the clues! This was average. My husband asked me to read it because he's interested in the wild goose chase. The beginning and end are ok, but the part about the Vietnam war was quite intriguing and fast-paced. Do you want to seek hidden treasure? Then this is a must-have book! Look for all the clues!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Noel Gordon

    I give very few books five stars. I gave The Odyssey five stars, I gave Hearts of Darkness five stars. This is neither, it is not even close. So why the stars? This book and the author has occupied my mind daily for years. It is not the treasure alone that captivates me, nor the writing style, nor the entertainment value. It is the immense complexity of seeing outside the box when reading a relativity simple story. It is the depth of thought required to find the aberrations within and separate th I give very few books five stars. I gave The Odyssey five stars, I gave Hearts of Darkness five stars. This is neither, it is not even close. So why the stars? This book and the author has occupied my mind daily for years. It is not the treasure alone that captivates me, nor the writing style, nor the entertainment value. It is the immense complexity of seeing outside the box when reading a relativity simple story. It is the depth of thought required to find the aberrations within and separate them from the truth with little to go on other than the truth and aberrations themselves. It is the extra meaning in what is not said, in what is implied. I have read this book over and over, dozens of times. I have read the poem within thousands of times. each time I find a new depth, a layer that was not previously apparent. Mr. Fenn said it took him a decade to write the poem and I believe him. Do yourself a favour. Don't read this book or try to solve the poem, you will be trapped!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fred Donaldson

    Mr. Fenn is an interesting character. He has hidden a treasure said to be worth more than a million dollars somewhere in the mountains north of Santa Fe, NM. Hoping I find it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    What a character this guy is. An interesting life and an intriguing legacy to leave behind. People are still hunting for his treasure!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    enriching

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Baker

    Great book

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rob Tetreault

    Enjoyed reading. May someone find the treasure!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy Alghazali

    loveeeeee it

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brian Edeker

    More of a fact-finding than enjoyable read, as I am curious about the story of his hidden treasure chest and where it may have been cached. I think I know where...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Forrest Fenn, if his memoir is any indication, is the kind of person that you cannot not enjoy if you meet him. He has an easy-spoken candor that has clearly served him well from his adventurous boyhood to his time served in the military to his life as a father and businessman. I would absolutely love to sit down with him at his gallery or around a campfire and just listen to him talk about his life. The stories in this book are largely great stories, but they are told poorly and without the aid Forrest Fenn, if his memoir is any indication, is the kind of person that you cannot not enjoy if you meet him. He has an easy-spoken candor that has clearly served him well from his adventurous boyhood to his time served in the military to his life as a father and businessman. I would absolutely love to sit down with him at his gallery or around a campfire and just listen to him talk about his life. The stories in this book are largely great stories, but they are told poorly and without the aid of a good editor. Had Fenn had a really rigorous editor go over his book before he published it, I think that it would be a really wonderful read, but instead the talky nature of the book gets in the way of the stories that he tells. His tendency to occasionally address the reader with rhetoricals like "Does that make sense?" is off-putting. His habit of overusing cliched metaphors is clunky. His detailed description of a sometimes unflattering inner-monologue is baffling. It is sometimes hard to tell if he is being tongue-in-cheek or if he genuinely is still a little bitter about a comment that he overheard a couple old women make when he walked by their yard as a boy probably seventy years ago. The consistency of such comments, especially at the beginning of the book, made it difficult to imagine that such comments were supposed to be a playful throwback to life as a child. The end of the book, where Fenn's stories are less plot-driven and more reliant on how events formed his perception of the world, is much more readable. Although Fenn's prose is often self-consciously poetic, his experiences and the philosophies he derived from them are interesting. Which, again, is why I would love to just hear him talk about these things in real life. Because I think I would forgive him the forced poetics in person more than I do when I read them in a book. Also, Mr. Fenn, if you're reading this, I would like to know how how you had so many different famous writers to quote at the end of your book if you hadn't read anything worthwhile until you went into that Borders a couple years ago and picked up a Hemingway and a Fitzgerald. :P

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kai Smith

    I hope you got this for the map.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cash

    Forrest Fenn is a natural storyteller. This sparse memoir is a loose collection of snapshots from throughout the author's life told in a relaxed conversational style. At times, the prose style is so relaxed and conversational that the inattentive reader will experience apparent skips in the narrative. Backtracking a sentence or two will often clear up any misunderstanding. Still, this book is an entertaining read that offers a glimpse into the life and philosophy of a self made veteran, adventur Forrest Fenn is a natural storyteller. This sparse memoir is a loose collection of snapshots from throughout the author's life told in a relaxed conversational style. At times, the prose style is so relaxed and conversational that the inattentive reader will experience apparent skips in the narrative. Backtracking a sentence or two will often clear up any misunderstanding. Still, this book is an entertaining read that offers a glimpse into the life and philosophy of a self made veteran, adventurer, art-dealer, and treasure hunter (among many other things). Most people who have heard of this book are probably drawn to it because of the hidden treasure the book claims to hold clues to. Regardless of the small percentage of page space dedicated to the treasure and the poem said to lead seekers to it, I still found this a fascinating read. But you don't have to take my word for it!

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