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The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's…

af Paige Williams

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1593131,570 (3.45)5
"In 2012, a New York auction catalogue made an unusual offering: 'a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton.' In fact, Lot 49135 consisted of a nearly complete T. bataar, a close cousin to T. rex, the most famous animal that ever lived. The fossils now on display in Manhattan had been unearthed in Mongolia, some 6,000 miles away. At 8 feet high and 24 feet long, the specimen was spectacular, and the final gavel signaled a winning bid of well over $1 million. Eric Prokopi, a thirty-eight-year-old Floridian, was the man who had brought this extraordinary skeleton to market. A onetime swimmer who spent his teenage years searching for shark teeth, Prokopi's singular obsession with fossils generated a thriving business hunting, preparing, and selling specimens, to clients ranging from natural history museums to avid private collectors like actor Leonardo DiCaprio. But there was a problem. This time, facing financial strain, had Prokopi gone too far? As the T. bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia to the eye-catching lot. As an international custody battle ensued, fueled by geopolitics, Prokopi watched as his own world unraveled. In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, The Dinosaur Artist is a stunning work of narrative journalism about humans' relationship with natural history and a seemingly intractable conflict between science and commerce. A story that stretches from Florida's Land O' Lakes to the Gobi Desert, The Dinosaur Artist illuminates the history of fossil collecting--a wildly popular, yet sometimes murky, risky business, populated by eccentrics and obsessives, where the lines between poacher and hunter, collector and smuggler, enthusiast and opportunist, can easily blur. In her first book, ... writer Paige Williams has given readers an irresistible story that spans continents, cultures, and millennia as she examines the question of who, ultimately, owns the past."--Dust jacket.… (mere)
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While interesting and clearly well-researched, I found The Dinosaur Artist to be slow and a bit uncohesive at times. If you love paleontology, I'd recommend, however, if it is a fascinating true crime story you are looking for, you may be disappointed. ( )
  Kristymk18 | Aug 13, 2019 |
Fascinating story of eric prokopi and the dinosaur he brought to the US only have repatriated to Mongolia. Williams' book covers a lot of ground but keeps up the pace and will hold your attention through the Florida swamps, Arizona hotels, Mongolian deserts and the auction houses of NYC. I had a great time with this book. ( )
  bostonbibliophile | Mar 31, 2019 |
I read very little non-fiction, but the combination of ingredients in this synopsis drew me in, particularly the many eccentric characters it would involve.

The Dinosaur Artist in paperback is a daunting item in itself — 410 pages of what is by recent publishing norms, uncommonly small font. That said, the main narrative only extends 278 pages, with Acknowledgements, Bibliography, and detailed Notes and Index sections making up the remainder. The breadth and depth of investigative research undertaken by Williams is truly something to be admired, as is her ambition for the scope of this book.

Williams has unearthed a wealth of fascinating examples to draw upon, with so many competing interests/motives and zealous personalities at play. No matter the element of the complex puzzle being introduced, she has taken considerable care in setting the scene and context, whether political, historical or environmental. It is in these moments, that some of her most accomplished writing is on display. Read full review >> ( )
  BookloverBookReviews | Oct 31, 2018 |
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The history of life on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings.

- Rachel Carson

Fossil Hunting is by far the most fascinating of all sports. The hunter never knows what his bag wil be, perhaps nothing, perhaps a creature never before seen by human eyes! The fossil hunter does not kill, he resurrects. And the result of his sport is to add to the sum of human pleasure and to the treasures of human knowledge.

- George Gaylord Simpson, 1934

A fed crow

Returns thirteen times

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(Introduction) In the summer of 2009, I came across a newspaper item about a Montana man convicted of stealing a dinosaur.
On the last day of his old life, the dinosaur hunter went to the beach.
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"In 2012, a New York auction catalogue made an unusual offering: 'a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton.' In fact, Lot 49135 consisted of a nearly complete T. bataar, a close cousin to T. rex, the most famous animal that ever lived. The fossils now on display in Manhattan had been unearthed in Mongolia, some 6,000 miles away. At 8 feet high and 24 feet long, the specimen was spectacular, and the final gavel signaled a winning bid of well over $1 million. Eric Prokopi, a thirty-eight-year-old Floridian, was the man who had brought this extraordinary skeleton to market. A onetime swimmer who spent his teenage years searching for shark teeth, Prokopi's singular obsession with fossils generated a thriving business hunting, preparing, and selling specimens, to clients ranging from natural history museums to avid private collectors like actor Leonardo DiCaprio. But there was a problem. This time, facing financial strain, had Prokopi gone too far? As the T. bataar went to auction, a network of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia to the eye-catching lot. As an international custody battle ensued, fueled by geopolitics, Prokopi watched as his own world unraveled. In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, The Dinosaur Artist is a stunning work of narrative journalism about humans' relationship with natural history and a seemingly intractable conflict between science and commerce. A story that stretches from Florida's Land O' Lakes to the Gobi Desert, The Dinosaur Artist illuminates the history of fossil collecting--a wildly popular, yet sometimes murky, risky business, populated by eccentrics and obsessives, where the lines between poacher and hunter, collector and smuggler, enthusiast and opportunist, can easily blur. In her first book, ... writer Paige Williams has given readers an irresistible story that spans continents, cultures, and millennia as she examines the question of who, ultimately, owns the past."--Dust jacket.

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