Read and discuss true stories that are as compelling as novelists' tales.
This month we're discussing The Dinosaur Artist by Paige Williams.
"In 2012, a New York auction catalogue made an unusual offering: 'a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton.' In fact, Lot 49135 consisted of a nearly complete T. bataar, a close cousin to T. rex, the most famous animal that ever lived. The fossils now on display in Manhattan had been unearthed in Mongolia, some 6,000 miles away. At 8 feet high and 24 feet long, the specimen was spectacular, and the final gavel signaled a winning bid of well 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 searching for shark teeth, Prokopi's singular obsession with fossils generated 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 of paleontologists alerted the government of Mongolia to the eye-catching lot. As an international custody battle ensued, fueled by geopolitics, Prokopi watched as his own world unraveled. In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, The Dinosaur Artist is a stunning work of narrative journalism about humans' relationship with natural history and a seemingly intractable conflict between science and commerce."
Discussion led by a Reference librarian. Pick up your copy at the Reference Desk five weeks prior to the discussion.