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All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals Paperback – 27 Nov 2012


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All Yesterdays: Unique and Speculative Views of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals + Cryptozoologicon: Volume I + A Field Guide to Mesozoic Birds and Other Winged Dinosaurs
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Product details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (27 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1291177124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1291177121
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Taylor on 30 Nov 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
All Yesterdays represents a radical and wholly feasible re-imagining of prehistoric life. The quick, agile dinosaurs illustrated by Bakker, Paul and their followers in the late 1960s and 1970s revolutionised the ponderous image that had been perpetuated by Knight, Zallinger and Burian. But Bakkerian dinosaurs quickly became a new orthodoxy, adhered to just as strongly as the old had been. The Jurassic Park raptors of 1993 were direct descendants of Bakker's drawing from 1969. And although details have changed since then -- orientation of the hands, the addition of feathers -- the general body shape has survived largely unchanged in all nearly all palaeoart.

It takes art as radical as that of All Yesterdays to show us just how locked-in we have all become to the Bakker-and-his-followers school of life restoration. I don't think it's exaggerating to say that Conway's work is the first truly new approach to depicting extinct animals since the 1960s -- which means that All Yesterdays is not only the most beautiful but also the most important palaeoart book of the last four decades. Up to this point in history, we've had two dynasties of dinosaur art. I think All Yesterdays is the launch of the third.

And it is beautiful. There are some superb palaeoartists working in the field at the moment -- it's never been more dynamic and, in the best sense, competitive. But while the work even of some excellent practitioners is rather interchangeable, Conway's pieces are always instantly recognisable because he is an artist first and a palaeoartist second. Others may be more accomplished or have better technique, but Conway's palaeoart has an evocative and even poignant quality that is very rare, maybe unique.
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By JRL on 29 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback
Bored by dinosaurs always looking the same? Ever wondered what they might have actually done other than stomp, and roar, and bite? This little gem takes an iconoclastic look at dinosaurs, challenging us to think again, think a little more boldly and think outside the box. Excellent ideas, interestingly illustrated. I really want the front cover print on my living room wall! But "only" 4 stars because a bit more of the dinosaurs would be good, and a bit less of the "what will palaeontologists of the future make of today's creatures if they only found a few bits of our skeletons?". More importantly while this book makes the basically sound observation that the possible range of dinosaur behaviours is not adequately illustrated across the body of dinosaur literature, its lamentable failure to reference "The Dinosaurs" by Preiss and Stout does call into question the authors' knowledge base. "The Dinosaurs" (1980 ... ish) is a truly seminal, visually stunning work, the express intention of which was to look at dinosaur behaviour in the round. For "All Yesterdays" to either be unaware of this book, or even worse to be aware yet fail to mention it, is a rather large Achilles heel given the territory it claims for itself. Still, a very good book, and I see the price is coming down a little from when I bought it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jo Harlow on 30 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very lovely book and is, as it says, speculative in the extreme. Nice art work illustrates some great ideas and it is a charming book, if a little thin for the cost. You could read this in an evening.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kristi on 26 Nov 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have a confession to make. I've always been disappointed by reconstructions of dinosaurs.

When I was growing up they were either grey, brown or green and invariably scaly, and just didn't look like real animals. They were depicted in the same boringly cliched poses and activities. Even post Jurassic Park, when they suddenly sprouted feathers, they still looked like freakish, half-mummified chimaeras.

This informative, accessible book seeks to explain why, while delighting us with imaginative pictures of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures caught being just as diverse and behaviourally interesting as extant animals.

It's split into two parts. The first reconstructs fossil animals while trying to avoid the common errors and limitations of past reconstructions. The second, more whimsical (and short) section illustrates the effect those errors and limitations can have by reconstructing modern animals from imperfect fossils.

The art is simple and lovely, the text easy to read without being dumbed down (the intro is actually the trickiest bit, and for the few potentially unfamiliar scientific terms used, there's a short glossary at the back. For the real enthusiasts, there's also a full bibliography for further reading). As a Kindle e book the colour pictures expand gloriously on a retina iPad, allowing you to see every brush stroke. It's great to see dinosaurs looking interesting at last, in all their weird, well-fed and occasionally cute glory!
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By Davidson on 25 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very odd book, almost a part of the growing genre of "speculative evolution", but based on real fossils and cleverly questioning our interpretations of those fossils. It's on one hand very specialised in deconstructing dinosaur art, but on the other hand, very accessible and enchanting because it reminds us that dinosaurs were not mere structures of bones, but living creatures with their own idiosyncratic behaviour. We might never know how they behaved, but we are reminded nonetheless that they were real living creatures, which could be as odd and as unpredictable as any creature alive today. It has to be seen in the context of other books on dinosaurs, but as such, I highly recommend it.
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