CC Issue 46 / Literature

Judging a Book, Part 2: The Inside Words

I just finished reading “Raptor Red” by Robert Bakker. I chose it based on the ultra-cool holographic dinosaur on the cover. In my last post, I judged the book by the cover and hypothesised that it was going to be a murderous rampage of a raptor through a present-day setting. I suspected that it might be a quick-and-dirty rip-off of “Jurassic Park”.

Did the cover lie to me?

Short answer:

Yes. Yes, it did. A lot.

Longer answer:

The content of the book had nothing to do with my assumptions. Other than having a raptor in it, it had very little in common with my theory.

“Raptor Red” is set in the Jurassic era, and chronicles the day-to-day life of a Utahraptor named, as the title suggests, Raptor Red.

Robert Bakker is not a shlock-novelist but, in fact, a well-respected paleontologist who was the scientific advisor for the film “Jurassic Park”. The book is a dramatized account of his research, told from a raptor’s perspective.

The result is somewhat mixed. The story moves along quickly, as the raptor deals with raptory things like hunting and mating and migrating. But it is clear that Bakker is not a fiction writer, as some of the passages are repetitive, and his use of onomatopoeia borders on ridiculous. Barely a page goes by without a “Fhhhhwhop!” or a “Whump-whack-whump”.

To be honest, I probably would have read the book based on the actual premise. I like dinosaurs.  I probably would have read it doubly-fast if what was inside matched my guess based off of the cover, though.

At least there were pictures!

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