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The Dragon Behind the Glass : A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish
by Emily Voigt


Overview - WINNER OF THE 2017 NASW SCIENCE IN SOCIETY JOURNALISM AWARD
A FINALIST FOR THE 2017 PEN/E. O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD
LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE
A LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR

" A] curiously edifying book." -- The New York Times Book Review

"With the taut suspense of a spy novel, Voigt paints a vivid world of murder, black market deals, and habitat destruction surrounding a fish that's considered, ironically, to be a good-luck charm." -- Discover

" An] immensely satisfying story, full of surprises and suspense....Things get weird fast." -- The Wall Street Journal

A riveting journey into the bizarre world of the Asian arowana or "dragon fish"--the world's most expensive aquarium fish--reveals a surprising history with profound implications for the future of wild animals and human beings alike.  Read more...


 
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More About The Dragon Behind the Glass by Emily Voigt
 
 
 
Overview
WINNER OF THE 2017 NASW SCIENCE IN SOCIETY JOURNALISM AWARD
A FINALIST FOR THE 2017 PEN/E. O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD
LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE
A LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR

" A] curiously edifying book." --The New York Times Book Review

"With the taut suspense of a spy novel, Voigt paints a vivid world of murder, black market deals, and habitat destruction surrounding a fish that's considered, ironically, to be a good-luck charm." --Discover

" An] immensely satisfying story, full of surprises and suspense....Things get weird fast." --The Wall Street Journal

A riveting journey into the bizarre world of the Asian arowana or "dragon fish"--the world's most expensive aquarium fish--reveals a surprising history with profound implications for the future of wild animals and human beings alike.

A young man is murdered for his prized pet fish. An Asian tycoon buys a single specimen for $150,000. Meanwhile, a pet detective chases smugglers through the streets of New York. Delving into an outlandish realm of obsession, paranoia, and criminality, The Dragon Behind the Glass tells the story of a fish like none other: a powerful predator dating to the age of the dinosaurs. Treasured as a status symbol believed to bring good luck, the Asian arowana is bred on high-security farms in Southeast Asia and sold by the hundreds of thousands each year. In the United States, however, it's protected by the Endangered Species Act and illegal to bring into the country--though it remains the object of a thriving black market. From the South Bronx to Singapore, journalist Emily Voigt follows the trail of the fish, ultimately embarking on a years-long quest to find the arowana in the wild, venturing deep into some of the last remaining tropical wildernesses on earth.

With a captivating blend of personal reporting, history, and science, The Dragon Behind the Glass traces our modern fascination with aquarium fish back to the era of exploration when intrepid naturalists stood on the cutting edge of modern science, discovering new and wondrous species in jungles all over the world. In an age when freshwater fish now comprise one of the most rapidly vanishing groups of animals on the planet, Voigt unearths a paradoxical truth behind the dragon fish's rise to fame--one that calls into question how we protect the world's rarest species. An elegant exploration of the human conquest of nature, The Dragon Behind the Glass revels in the sheer wonder of life's diversity and lays bare our deepest desire--to hold onto what is wild.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781451678949
  • ISBN-10: 1451678940
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: May 2016
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Nature > Endangered Species
Books > Nature > Animals - Fish
Books > Pets > Fish & Aquariums

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-04-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

The Asian arowana, also known as the dragon fish, ranks among the world’s most expensive aquarium fish, and in this engaging tale of obsession and perseverance, journalist Voigt chronicles her effort to study and understand its appeal. The fish is a symbol of luck and status in Asia, where one albino specimen fetched $150,000 in 2002. Its place on the endangered list makes it illegal to traffic or own in the U.S. Voigt calls it “the most dramatic example of a uniquely modern paradox—the mass-produced endangered species.” Voigt’s travels take her deep into Borneo and Myanmar, where she interacts with colorful, capricious characters such as Heiko Bleher, the “Indiana Jones of the tropical fish industry,” and renowned ichthyologist Tyson Roberts. Through Voigt initially just wants to see the elusive arowana in the wild, she succumbs to the lure of the unknown and thrill of the hunt. Attempting to track down a previously unstudied species, she “began to suspect that relationship with the arowana was not 100 percent healthy.” Voigt’s passion in pursuing her subject is infectious, as is the self-depreciating humor she injects into her enthralling look at the intersection of science, commercialism, and conservationism. Maps & photos. Agent: Abigail Koons, Park Literary Group. (June)

 
BAM Customer Reviews