While sorting through his attic, a friend of mine discovered a book he had stolen from the school library when he was a dino-enthusiastic boy. He no longer wanted it so he gave it to me. I wasn't entirely sure at first - from the outside it looked like one of those Monsters of the Mesozoic titles with the tail dragging rex and aquatic Sauropods - you know the kind Sainsbury's publish with very little value to the hardened book hunter. Boy was I wrong! It's called "THE DINOSAURS - A fantastic new view of a lost era" by William Stout, Byron press 1981. It turns out to be an art deco styled imaginitive, unique little book. It portrays dinosaurs in a very Bakkerian way for a book so soon after the Dinosaur Heresies was published. It has an introduction by Peter Dodson and the images, though representing a very stylized cartoon format do seem for the most part proportionate and very moving. It has a great chapter telling the story of a mating pair of Parasauolophus in the format of an erotic novel!!! There's some ideas for pictures here that never would have occured to me - for instance a young Laplatasaurus being crushed to death in the powerful coils of Madtsoia the 30 foot snake. Another one where a T-rex was consuming a snake (I'm guessing NOT the same species) and the pictures took for granted that the dinosaurs were imperfect: They had fleas, scratches, skin disease, bite marks, mud stains all the stuff real eco-systems are made of. If you want a truly refreshing book to read, even 20 years after it's publication, track down if you can a copy of this book - it's well worth it.
Sam Barnett (excuse the awful grammar - I'm just very enthusiastic about this book!)