Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2007
Because prospective customers cannot actually browse books on virtual shelves, Amazon.com owes it to its customers to indicate clearly, right up front, the level of technical expertise of the non-fiction books on offer, and most particularly when it is suggesting purchase of books on an 'if you liked this, you'll like that' basis. This is not the first time I have bought a book which turned out to be not what I expected, following one of those 'People who bought this ... also bought this ...' e-mail ads, supposing in the present case that it would be an account for the general reader of the current thinking about a sub-set of the class Dinosauria, what they looked like and how they lived. If the blurb stated that Carpenter was the editor (which would have put me on my guard) rather than the sole author, I missed it. I found I had bought a set of highly technical articles which might have been taken directly from a journal of palaeontology, with titles like 'Teeth of Ornithischian Dinosaurs ..from the Morrison Formation', apparently written for professional palaeontologists and zoologists with a strong background in anatomy. There is no introductory article setting the field in perspective, although there is a very short preface in which the editor hopes "..there is a little of something for everyone" - not for me, a retired academic chemist with a fairly good general knowledge of other sciences - nor is there any attempt to link or correlate the articles. No technical glossary, and no depictions of the living beasts inside the book to match the attractive dust-jacket. Do not buy this book unless you already are an enthusiast for squamous fenestrae and opisthotic-exoccipital sutures.