Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

From The Sun (Malaysia)

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The Lizard King in Malaysia

(Feb 11, 2009), The Sun, Malaysia

BRYAN CHRISTY, author of The Lizard King – The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers, was in the region to promote his book recently. Christy spent nearly four years researching his book, focusing on a true story of America’s biggest reptile smuggler, Mike Van Nostrand, and Chip Bepler, the federal agent, who built a case against Van Nostrand, in the face of many challenges.

The book has made people take notice of wildlife trade in Malaysia, and that it is an issue which should be addressed effectively by the government and civil society.

The issue of illegal wildlife trade has been recognised by the government as something of a concern. Malaysia became a member of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, in 1978. However, the outdated Protection of Wildlife Act 1976 is still used in Peninsular Malaysia to protect wildlife from being illegally traded. The Act has inadequate provisions to penalise illegal traders, including very low penalties, which many consider as a slap on the wrist for the offender trading illegally in valuable and endangered species.

Many NGOs have pushed for the review and changes to the Protection of Wildlife Act 1976 since 1998 to (more…)

Malay Mail: “Enlightening Words” TLK 2009 SE Asia Tour

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Here is a terribly generous summary of my trip to Southeast Asia apearing in today’s Malay Mail. What is not said is the terribly difficult work Azrina and others in the region do on behalf of wildlife. (Read her related article today, “Please Don’t Eat These Animals,” linked to Chinese New Year.) This trip was very rewarding. Not only did I have a chance to speak to a variety of people, but also I was able to go behind the scenes at the Singapore Zoo’s reptile house, to visit a wildlife rescue center on the Thai-Burma border, to speak with smugglers and see their wares. Well, here is today’s article:

Enlightening words on illegal trade

February 3, 2009 Category: News

Judging by the response to author Bryan Christy’s book tour to the region, the story of The Lizard King speaks volumes in terms of wildlife conservation, especially the need for more action to be taken to curb the illegal trade in endangered species.

Christy was in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Singapore for two weeks prior to the Chinese New Year to promote and discuss his book on wildlife smuggling – a “true story of a crafty reptile smuggler and a US Federal agent” who tries to nab him. While the use of the book to raise awareness among Malaysians may not have been intentional, the reception to his appearances in the region and subsequent discussions about the state of illegal wildlife trade, told another story. (more…)

Malaysia’s The Sun: Christy ‘Champion of the Reptile World’

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

What a generous title!  S. Indra Sathiabalan of The Sun and I sat down at a Starbuck’s in Kuala Lumpur for this interview.  Indra brought to our talk a sincere reading of the book and it was a great pleasure spending some time together.  I might quibble with some edges (and the photo–if I’m going to look like that anyway I ought to drink more whisky at breakfast) but I couldn’t be prouder that the book evokes comparison to Elmore Leonard all the way around the world and resonates with Malaysians who want to clean up the wildlife trade in their country.  Here is the story as it ran in hard copy:   champion-of-reptile-world and below sans photos (a technological glitch–really.).

Champion of reptile world

Bryan Christy weaves an interesting story about reptile smugglers and the dedicated law enforcement officers who go after them

By: S. Indra Sathiabalan (Wed, 28 Jan 2009)
has a funny way of coming full circle. As a young boy living in southern New Jersey, Bryan Christy had a fascination for reptiles. In fact, bringing a five-foot long King snake to school made him the most popular boy around.

Who knew that this childhood fascination would eventually lead him to write his first book, The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers.

Christy has previously worked as a morticians’ apprentice (his family business) and then later as a lawyer. He then started writing articles for Playboy Magazine and National Geographic. It was while researching for The Lizard King that Christy decided to give up his career as a lawyer and concentrate full-time as a writer. (more…)