Reviews for Here Be Dragons

"[Here Be Dragons] provides a quick but enthusiastic summary of the
fascinating field of biogeography, and it leaves us wanting more. The book
delivers on its promise that we will never look at the world in the same way
again."
    
--Devorah Bennu, Science Magazine, 328, p. 1637. 6/25/2010


"It's a grand time-and-space voyage of the imagination, the drift of
continents, the appearance and rise and fall and extinction of new species,
the human story with all its tragedy and complexity...  At this Christmas time
comes a wonderful little book by the biogeographer Dennis McCarthy. In
less than 200 pages you can travel with him through time and space to
discover the panorama of geologic change producing biodiversity -- the
marvelous story of how life on Earth has always been bonded to the history
of Earth's crust. Read this one, a great pleasure, and if geologic time and
space in the history of life are new for you, at the end of the book you will be
someone different."  
    
--Dan Agin, Here Be Dragons / Book Review, Huffington Post


"Biogeography may sound like one of those obscure subdivisions of
science best left to the experts, but Dennis McCarthy is the most eloquent
advocate for his specialist theme.  In this excellent book, he makes a
convincing case that the subject is central to our understanding of how life
evolved...
"With a knowledge of Earth history at his disposal, a precision and clarity
reminiscent of other great science popularizers, and a courteous tone to
smooth out any stubborn complexities, McCarthy makes biogeography into a
story that is both intelligible and compelling."
     --Mark Cocker, BBC Wildlife Magazine, 28(1), 2010.
"If you want to know why the natural world is the way it is, this is an excellent place to start... I would advise anyone
to read this informative, silkily written book."
               -- Jonathan Wright, Geographical, 2/10, p. 63

"McCarthy's instinct to blend areas of scientific study traditionally divided by academic specialization is as refreshing as
it is insightful..."
                 --Christopher Lloyd, London Times Literary Supplement, 12/4/09, p. 26.

"McCarthy infuses his account of life on Earth with a sense of wonder and excitement. In succinct, colorful prose he
invites the reader to marvel at the intricacy, implacability and exquisite beauty of biogeography....
"The book abounds with fascinating creatures, their characteristics traced through the inevitable, astonishing
precision of evolution. He imbues his subject with an infectious sense of drama, tragedy and beauty — an approach that
arises naturally from an author whose next book centers on Shakespeare.
"This is a fascinating, accessible work, which offers a new, more complete perspective on the world we live in.
McCarthy packs a tremendous amount in 200 pages but his writing skill is such that the reader never feels overwhelmed
and turns each page with as much entertainment as enlightenment.
"Chapter notes are especially helpful to those inspired to read further. Fans of Jared Diamond or Richard Dawkins will
be fans of the eloquent Dennis McCarthy."
                 --Lynn Harnett, Portsmouth Herald (Seacoast Sunday), 1/10/10

"What a fabulous read, clearly reasoned and beautifully written."
                 --Rodman Philbrick, author of "Freak the Mighty" (the source for the film, "The Mighty,"starring Sharon Stone)

"In this fascinating and revelatory book..,McCarthy persuasively argues that biogeography is more than just the place
where evolution, plate tectonics, oceanography and climatology meet: It is a way of looking at the world that links all of
these sciences together. "
                 --Sid Perkins, Science News

"This book's aim is to put biogeography - the study of the distribution of biodiversity over time - centre stage as a
unifying principle of modern biology, establishing it as both a key discipline that led to modern evolutionary theory and
as an elucidator of evolution's processes. It succeeds nobly....[T]he science is firm and buttressed with a pleasant
combination of painstaking detail and infectious enthusiasm."
                 
 --Adrian Barnett,  New Scientist, 1/27/2010
Dennis McCarthy / The Book Reviews