Dreaming in Turtle: A Journey Through the Passion, Profit, and Peril of Our Most Coveted Prehistoric Creatures

Peter Laufer. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-12809-6
In this enlightening book, journalism professor Laufer (Forbidden Creatures) takes readers on a journey toward understanding the human impact on turtles, an order of reptiles that have existed since the time of the dinosaurs. His objective is more than pedagogic, as Laufer hopes that his work will serve as a “call to action” to stop the trafficking that has put many species on the brink of extinction. Less loftily, Laufer shares his experiences as the owner of a pet desert box turtle named Fred; those sections offer much-needed humor (as when Laufer’s wife attempts to tempt Fred with organic raspberries from Whole Foods) as a counterweight to shocking accounts of cruelty, including the practice of carving steaks from living turtles to maximize freshness. Laufer also places the issue in a broader context, concluding with this powerful observation: “if we humans force the demise of these animals connected to ages that predate us, our disdain for their environment translates by definition to a lack of adequate concern for the sanctity of our own.” Laufer’s passion for his subject translates into an unexpectedly thought-provoking cri de coeur. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/17/2018
Release date: 11/20/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-68441-516-8
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