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The Flight of Dragons Paperback – April 1, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Books (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879518391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879518394
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,819,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Okay, let's set the record straight here. "The Flight Of Dragons" _has no plot_. Some of these reviews are referring to the wonderful characters, amazing plot line, etc. Obviously, these people haven't read the book. This book is a scientific view on how dragons could have actually existed. It gives theories on how they breathed fire, flew, lived, etc., drawing on evidence from story lore and legend. Now, for those of you who are thinking of the _movie_ "The Flight Of Dragons", yes, the movie was based on this book. But it was only based on it in terms of how the dragons were designed. The (very) basic plot and the wonderful characters were taken from Gordon R. Dickson's amazing book "The Dragon And The George". But the book "The Flight Of Dragons" is much different from the movie. For one thing, Peter Dickenson views dragons as lethargic beasts with a dull intelligence. He included a chapter on dragon-slaying, which, to me, was something of the last straw. Also, some of the pictures done by Wayne Anderson are horrific. I especially "enjoyed" the photos in the back of art from around the world----one had a picture of a troll-like "dragon" eating a man's head! . . . Now, don't get me wrong. This is a good book. Some of the pictures are fantastic. And most of Peter Dickenson's theories----especially the one about why there are no fossils of dragons------were really neat. And I love his saying: "Remember. The dragons live. Inside us." It's a decent book. But I spent nearly a year trying desperately to get my hands on a copy, and while it is interesting and a valuable addition to my collection of dragon lore, I was disappointed. But maybe I shouldn't judge something on my own expectations (obviously).Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is a book for all of you out there who know that dragons are more than just fairytale creations to frighten small children. And for those of you who ARE convinced that dragons belong purely to fantasy, I invite you to come, read, and have your mind changed by this beautiful, engagingly written book. (It's science-friendly, too!) Peter Dickinson does a wonderful job of building up a theory by which dragons could once have truly roamed the skies and terrorized innocent villagers. His ideas are sound, his message clear, and through it all he maintains a tone which keeps the reader asking for more.
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A Kid's Review on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am nine years old and i think this book is COMPLETELY cool. Even though I suspect it was meant for older kids (or even adults) I would definitely reccomend getting it, even though it's expensive. This books has lots of interesting theories and puts a lot of imaginative ideas in your head. In addition, it has amazing pictures! My favorite part is when they use a diagram of dinner plates and bricks to discuss a theory of how dragons flew. I have more to say, but must restrain myself to only two words: "must buy". Ben Z.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The premise behind Peter Dickninson's book The Flight of Dragons is quite fascinating. Namely, the book speculates on how dragons could have been possible and how their biology would have been like if they were real.
A similar idea was later done in the documentary Dragon's World: A Fantasy Made Real, though this documentary portrayed dragons quite differently from how Dickinson portrays them (and in my opinion it also portrayed the dragons a lot better, with the exception of the rather silly concept of platinum being used as the catalyst for fire-breathing).

The Flight of Dragons begins with the whole problem of how something as gigantic as a dragon could fly. Dickinson offers the idea that they contained massive quantities of hydrogen gas, which made the dragon almost like a living balloon or airship. This hydrogen needed to be burned off now and then and this is how the dragon's fire-breathing capabilities are explained. (NOTE: The dragons-used-hydrogen idea has also been used in a number of later speculations other than Dickinson's).
To produce the hydrogen, the dragons ingested large quantities of calcium, obtained from limestone caves (a classic dragon habitat), from the bones of their prey and from partial digestion of their skeleton. The large acid chambers that comprise much of the dragons' interior structures form the basis for the myths about dragons having "poisonous blood".

Dickinson avoids the whole six-limbed-tetrapods issue by rejecting the idea that the wings developed from the forearms (as was the case in birds, bats and pterosaurs), and instead portraying the wings as fin-like extensions of the ribcage. Because the wings are used more for steering and propulsion rather than lift, they needed hardly any flight muscle.
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Format: Hardcover
This book breathes new life into the world of fantasy. It is a compelling read, but backed with scientific evidence and explanation to make it credible. Also, it is a beautiful book with lots of full-color pictures and illustrations. Whether you believe in dragons or not, The Flight of Dragons is interesting and a wonderful conversation-piece. The book deserves more recognition than it has gotten in the U.S., and I consider myself extremely lucky for having found it in a second-hand bookstore and picking it up there. I had never heard of it before, and have never seen another copy, but I haven't been disappointed. And, by the way, I am NOT interested in selling mine!
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