Luke Baldock's Reviews > Raptor Red
by Robert T. Bakker
by Robert T. Bakker
Luke Baldock's review
Dec 26, 11
Read from October 26 to December 20, 2011
Raptor Red is one of the strangest books I have ever read. It starts with the true story about discovering larger forms of Raptors just before the release of Jurassic Park. It then transports us back to the past and tells the story of one Utahraptor and her journey through a harsh landscape. What makes it even more interesting is that Bakker takes us millions of years into the past, but writes in the present tense. This makes it so easy to imagine these actions as they take place. Bakker's next brave step is to use modern day analogies, metaphors and similes in order to create our world. If he is describing a movement of a dinosaur that he thinks may be hard to imagine, he'll relate it to an animal the reader will be familiar with. This was very risky, as you often don't want to mix worlds when writing. Imagine Lord of the Rings including sentences such as "The cavetroll's roar is reminiscent of a cement mixer". Somehow Bakker makes it work. I've read up on movies such as The Land Before Time and Disney's Dinosaur, which were both originally supposed to have no talking. I would have loved that, and this book is probably the closest I'll get. The book is certainly slow in spaces. Without dialog, it means this is very descriptive. It also is very episodic and there wasn't a strong enough main storyline to focus on. This meant the pacing didn't always draw me in and my involvement ranged from chapter to chapter. Bakker does well to balance the factual, theories, and storytelling styles. He is certainly trying to teach his readers something about his opinion, and presenting it as a narrative meant it was easy to imagine his ideas. The ideas are interesting and creates an often emotional look at these creatures. Some great action scenes, mixed with gentle scenes of love and compassion, Raptor Red is experimental but accessible.
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