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on 27 August 2008
This is a specialist volume for scientists and very educated amateurs interested in Tyrannosaurus rex and other dinosaurs. It celebrates an auspicious 100th anniversary of the discovery of the first T. rex bones. Does it live up to The Tyrant King's glory?

Not really. As usual for the Life of the Past series, it is a conglomeration of short articles with tiny nuggets of information (and then sometimes wild scenarios perched precariously upon those), some entertaining pieces that contain little science but are a bit fun, a few longwinded essays that unfortunately have seen little editing, and some decent reviews and summaries of specimens and other data.

If you study T. rex as a scientist, it's a must have. If you're just casually interested, look elsewhere for more general audience-oriented books. It is quite patchy in coverage (not a unified synthesis of T. rex biology), is missing quite a few of the major living experts on T. rex, and is mediocre in overall scientific quality. The peer review of the articles, as is typical for many books, seems not very rigorous; a third rate journal would never publish most of them.

Overall it was a bit disappointing but contained enough nuggets of useful information and extreme viewpoints to engender controversy (or at least raised eyebrows that they were published in the state they're in) to make it an OK purchase. A highlight is the opening review of known T. rex specimens with historical notes and a few pictures.
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