The Flight of Dragons

The Flight of Dragons - Peter Dickinson I loved this book as a kid, and not just because it had naughty boobie pictures that had nothing to do with the text. Dickinson takes the position that Dragons actually existed, then goes from there to ask questions like: why are they not in the fossil record? how could a creature that is generally depicted as huge and armoured supposedly fly? what's the deal with the fire-breathing? why are they often depicted as speaking and/or telepathic creatures? how come the accepted method of killing them is by a dude with a magic sword? The answers he comes up with were pretty convincing, at least to young me, and do a lot to fire the imagination.

Scattered throughout the text where Dickinson expounds on his theories are excerpts from stories about dragons (both ancient and modern) that serve to back-up, or at least explicate, some of his theories. After covering the basic elements of Dragon physiology Dickinson goes on to posit the life-cycle of a dragon living according to his design and it's a fascinating glimpse into the could-have-been life of a mythical creature. I especially liked the fact that even though Dickinson is ostensibly making dragons "realistic" they still don't lose their magic. No small feat. This isn't a dry-as-dust scientific treatise, but rather a "what-if" scenario that tries to bring our dreams to life.

Apparently they made an animated movie about this book, but I never saw it. I have no real desire to either...I like the text itself just fine, thanks. It's loads of fun, whether you're reading it cover to cover, or just leafing through and dipping in here and there.

Great reading. And boobies!