Sunday, September 9, 2012

A SURVIVAL GUIDE: Living with Dinosaurs in the Jurassic Period (Dougal Dixon)

A SURVIVAL GUIDE: Living with Dinosaurs in the Jurassic Period
Dougal Dixon
Smart Business Press
Nonfiction, Dinosaurs
***+ (Okay/Good)

DESCRIPTION: Studying fossils and geology can only teach a person so much about the ancient past. What would it really have been like, to actually walk the world millions of years ago, seeing long-extinct animals roaming an unrecognizable landscape full of unfamiliar plants? As part of a hypothetical team of time-traveling colonizers, embark upon an unforgettable journey to an alien world: the Jurassic age on planet Earth.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: An interesting concept, it attempts to take the dry science out of paleontology. Unfortunately, Dixon starts out on a bad foot by nearly drowning the reader in the dry science of plate tectonics, followed by repetitive "journeys" to the chosen colony spot (the Morrison formation of North America) from various parts of the world - all of which only repeated the facts stated in the previous chapter, that global geography in the Jurassic was radically different from modern times. Over the course of the book, the dense sediments of science slowly sank to the bottom, leaving the original concept - understanding the Jurassic age in human terms, and learning how to extract the building blocks of civilization from what is essentially alien soil - to shine through. The included illustrations probably looked better in color, though they were helpful in clarifying some points made in the text; I actually would have liked more of them. In the end, I found it to be an intriguing idea, if occasionally slow.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Dinosaurs (Carl Mehling, editor) - My Review
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (Dr. David Norman) - My Review
Pterosaurs: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Flying Reptiles (Dr. Peter Wellenhoffer) - My Review

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