Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Lizard King Named One of Best Books of 2008

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Larry Cox has named The Lizard King one of the best books of the year.  Cox reviews a hell of a lot of books so it’s a great capper on 2008:

“The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers” by Bryan Christy (Twelve, $24.99)

Christy, an attorney and freelance writer, exposes one of the most underreported fields of international crime – reptile smuggling. His fascinating book investigates this subculture filled with intrigue, shady characters and violence. Think “Sopranos” but with less of the charm. This no-nonsense, impeccably researched book is an example of exceptional crime reporting that is both impassioned and focused.

Best – and a Couple of Worst – Books of 2008, Larry Cox, Tucson Citizen, Dec. 31, 2008

Nature Conservancy: Holiday Gift List

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

I received today this lovely review from The Nature Conservancy’s Idaho office, which named The Lizard King a conservation book to give this holiday (and I don’t toss the word ‘lovely’ around lightly):

The comparison has probably already been made, but Bryan Christy’s The Lizard King features a cast of characters, a plot and a setting that seem pulled from a Carl Hiaasen novel. This, though, is a true story. Christy delves into the little-known world of reptile smugglers, a world of organized crime, shady characters and obsessed reptile afficionados who pay exorbitant sums to own rare and endangered species. This is a page-turner, and the scope and extent of endangered species poaching is shocking. Christy, a reptile enthusiast, treats all the people involved (including the smugglers) with fairness and respect, which makes this a richer, more complex story. –Matt Miller

Reptiles Magazine Interviews Bryan Christy: A Hot Show

Monday, December 8th, 2008

This weekend I went to the reptile show in Hamburg, PA.  It was a “hot show”–Jameson’s mambas, red spitting cobras, eastern and western diamondback rattlesnakes, eyelash vipers, gabs, rhinos, all the wonderful venomous business you expect to be on sale in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. 

While I was signing some books at the Maryland Reptile Farm table a man looked at the cover of The Lizard King and asked me rather aggressively what side I took in the book.  It was a surprising question for an author of a crime story, but it’s completely natural to people in the reptile business.  They are so used to being slandered in the press they have little hope that light of any kind will shine well on them.  No publicity is good publicity, seems to be the mantra–which is why I’m so pleased Russ Case of Reptiles Magazine interviewed me the way he did, probing areas my fellow herpers might like to know about.   Then without telling me in advance, Reptiles’ Steph Starr interviewed the book’s main character, Mike Van Nostrand.  It was a good set up.  The articles appear in Reptiles’ February 2009 issue, but you can read the smackdown here.