My second dragons book – Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture, published by Coachwhip Publications (© Dr Karl Shuker/Coachwhip Publications)
The year 1995 saw the publication of two books of mine, one of which was Dragons: A Natural History – a lavishly-illustrated volume in which I concentrated upon providing a series of vibrant, lyrical retellings of famous and lesser-known dragon myths, legends, and folktales from around the world, arranged into chapters focusing upon different morphological and natural history categories of dragon, and interspersed throughout with smatterings of cryptozoological content and snippets of other dragon-related background information. Over the years, it was translated into over a dozen languages, has been reissued many times, and, judging from its huge sales worldwide, may well be the most successful non-fiction book on dragons ever published. So how could I follow that?
Some of the many English and foreign-language editions of my book Dragons: A Natural History – From left to right, top row: English, Czech, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese; bottom row: Estonian, Hungarian, German, Dutch, and French – click image to enlarge it (© Dr Karl Shuker)
And yet I did want to follow it, because I'd always planned to write an extremely comprehensive review of dragons in their entirety – not just their myths, morphology, and natural history, but also providing in-depth coverages of the real-life and possible cryptozoological influences responsible for engendering dragons, and these mythical monsters' omnipresence in human culture, both ancient and modern – from religion and the mystic arts to the visual arts and literature, fashion to sport, tattoos to compute games, rock music to dream interpretation, and mush more besides.
After extensive research, I finally wrote my long-planned second dragons book – entitled Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture – and saw it published in 2013 by Coachwhip Publications of Greenville, Ohio. It constitutes one of the most comprehensive dragon-themed factual books ever published, is sumptuously illustrated throughout in full colour, and today I was delighted to see not one but two positive, encouraging reviews of it.
The beautiful dragon painting by the very talented cryptozoological artist Thomas Finley that appears on the front cover of my newest dragons book (© Thomas Finley)
By one of those wonderful coincidences that happen only rarely but help to restore one's belief that the world may indeed be a good place to inhabit when they do happen, today I received in the post two different magazines, only to discover that they each contained an excellent review of my newest, second dragons book. One was written by fellow dragons aficionado Richard Freeman, and appeared in #52 (February 2015) of the Centre for Fortean Zoology's magazine Animals and Men; the other was written by longstanding cryptozoogical researcher Matt Salusbury, and appeared in #330 (August 2015) of Fortean Times.
So for those of you who haven't read my new dragons book and may be interested in doing so, here are these two reviews, each one a two-pager. Please click the images to enlarge them for reading purposes.
Richard Freeman's review of my book Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture in Animals and Men (© Richard Freeman/Animals and Men)
Matt Salusbury's review of my book Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture in Fortean Times (© Matt Salusbury/Fortean Times)
My sincere thanks to Rich and Matt for their reviews, which have made all of the toil researching such a vast albeit fascinating subject as dragons worthwhile.
If you'd like to read more about my new dragons book, please click here to read its own page on my website, which also includes direct links to Amazon's USA and UK sites for anyone wishing to purchase a copy. Also, please click here if you'd like to purchase a copy via its publisher, Coachwhip Publications (which is also the publisher of my definitive Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals). Click here and here for more information about my new dragons book as posted on ShukerNature; and click here and here to read two lengthy excerpts from it exclusively on ShukerNature.