In 2012, a New York auction catalogue boasted an unusual offering: "a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton." In fact, Lot 49135 consisted of a nearly complete T. bataar, a close cousin to the most famous animal that ever lived. The fossils now on display in a Manhattan event space had been unearthed in Mongolia, more than 6,000 miles away. At eight-feet high and 24 feet long, the specimen was spectacular, and when the gavel sounded the winning bid was 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 diving for shark teeth, Prokopi's singular obsession with fossils fueled 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...
|Title||:||The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy|
|Number of Pages||:||432 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth's Ultimate Trophy Reviews
The world of fossil collecting is far more competitive and far less legal than I ever thought.
Paige William’s new novel follows eponymous title artist Eric Prokopi from his humble Florida beginnings through to smuggling fossils out of Mongolia and attempting to sell them in New York for sums in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
It is when the lens focuses on Prokopi that the novel truly shines- there’s something faintly apocryphal about his origin story- he’s folksy, a champ ...more
An excellent book. Williams weaves history, politics, and of course dinosaurs together in a seamless page-turner.
Who "owns" fossils? Who has a right to search for, prepare, and sell pieces of history? In The Dinosaur Artist, Paige Williams does a fantastic job of taking an enormous topic and whittling it down to compelling narrative non-fiction. I knew nothing about the conflict between scientists and free-market fossil enthusiasts before reading this book and felt like it was a great introduction to the topic - as well as the history and politics of Mongolia. Williams balances the history with the drama a ...more
Closing out as DNF, as my library copy is coming due. I enjoyed her 2014 New Yorker article, which was the start of the book: https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals..., but the emboideries on that didn't add that much for me. I did enjoy her story of amateur fossil-digger Frank Garcia's big find in a Florida shell quarry, and her comments on the hostility of most academic paleontologists to amateurs (mostly unwarranted, imo). And her subject clearly evaded Mongolian law -- but he had an expensive ...more
Haven't actually finished this book yet, but I'm distracted by new stuff coming out, and there's enough of it that I don't know when I'll get back to this. That said, at half-way through it's an interesting nonfiction about the selling of dinosaur bones, in a scattershot way, and I'll probably come back to it at some point.
Cool insight into the world of fossil hunting, trading and selling. Especially in the dino digging hot zone of Mongolia. Had no idea how many regulations have been changed or adopted in just the past few years. If you’re into this stuff, I’d recommend it. The “true crime” buzzword is a bit of a stretch, but I can see it. Well researched and accessible.
What a fantastic and intriguing book! One of the best reads for fall 2018!
Interesting historical content, but including too many details detracted for me.