reviews

“A Nat Geo Journalist’s Remarkable and Ingenious Quest to Track Down Ivory Smugglers”

THE Washington Post

“Superb documentary”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Presenter Award: BRYAN CHRISTY for EXPLORER: WARLORDS OF IVORY (USA)

Jury comment: [Bryan Christy is] A hugely authoritative presenter with a lifetime’s commitment to the subject, a flair for storytelling and a fearless determination to bring violent people to justice.

-Winner, Wildscreen Panda Awards

“This is exceptional crime reporting by a courageous man who went to unbelievable means to get his story.… ”

Tucson Citizen

“Bryan Christy, one of the planet’s most fearless investigative reporters, shared harrowing, heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious stories with a standing-room-only audience…”

Boise Weekly

“What (Bryan) is doing is innovative and what needs to be done,”  Kelley said. “Wildlife crime reporting needs to be flipped on its head and approached from a criminal perspective.”

USA TodayFull Review ››

SOME REVIEWS OF THE LIZARD KING: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers

“The Lizard King is a wild, woolly, finny, feathery and scaly account of animal smuggling on a grand scale, in a weird world so expansive that a few hundred stray snakes and turtles amount to peanuts. Mr. Christy is after much bigger game …”

– Janet Maslin, The New York TimesFull Review ››

“Who knew the world of reptile smuggling was as high-stakes and character-rich as an Elmore Leonard novel? …Though they’re no less fearsome than the Corleones, Christy resists demonizing them. Instead, he emphasizes our enduring fascination with the cold-blooded.”★★★★ – Playboy

EDITOR’S CHOICE

AudubonFull Review ››

“Florida’s rich literature of true crime just grew richer with the publication of Bryan Christy’s The Lizard King…Christy tells the story masterfully, with a novelist’s control and sense of scene… He writes with a laconic humor that recalls Elmore Leonard…[A]n outstanding book…”

– David Fleshler, Sun-SentinelDetroit Free Press

“I have a feeling this guy can tell stories hair-raising enough to keep us up all night.”

Miami Herald

“High-stakes … creepily compelling … a book so complicitly illicit that it could only take place right here in our own backyard … It’s not a nice story, but it is nicely told, and pretty amazing to see it’s the really scaly creatures featured in its midst are people who look probably a whole lot like us.”

– Miami Sun Post

“Bryan Christy has entered the belly of the beasts and come out with a perfectly paced page turner. His complete infiltration into the reptile-smuggling worlds of Mike Van Nostrand and Henry Molt (lovely name for a snake man), among others, could have yielded a book overburdened with whos, hows, and whys. Instead, having mastered all the complexities by dint of exhaustive, gutsy (or crazy) reporting, he succeeds in building, in suitably plain prose, an unfolding narrative whose characters and events-evil and good-leave you marveling at the sheer unholy weirdness of people. The Lizard King is a phenomenally good read!”

– Oliver Payne, National Geographic

“Bryan Christy has fulfilled his contract as a writer on all counts; in this impassioned, noirish, funny, ruthlessly researched masterpiece he has, with a poet’s soul, given voice to the voiceless, shown us a world we could not otherwise explore on our own and borne witness to the careless mentality of our collecting, consuming culture. This is The Orchid Thief, with fangs.”

– Alexandra Fuller, author Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

“In South Florida, we love our crime stories. And we love our weird animal stories. And we’re happiest of all when the two categories intersect. [S]ome guy’s getting busted at the airport with birds in his underwear or snakes in his socks… [Those stories] are the rarely visible evidence of a vast, illegal, lucrative trade, exotic animal smuggling, which Bryan Christy recounts and reveals to great effect in his new book… [A] fascinating story.”

– Miami Herald

“[I]t hit me like a body blow … Christy does a service by lifting up the rock so we can take a peek at these unsavory human specimens.”

The New York Times Book Review

“There’s a single sentence, three chapters into his first book, The Lizard King, where Philadelphia-area writer and first-time author Bryan Christy proves just how good he is at making sense of complicated things. … And with it, Christy enters a new and scary world: the world of promising, potential-filled writers.”

Out and About

“Everyone connected to wildlife today—from governments to zoos and field conservationists to wildlife pet traders and owners—should read The Lizard King. By plumbing the criminal nature of the wildlife trade, it demonstrates the paradigm shifts in thinking essential to tackling the illegal global wildlife trade.”

– Dr. Elizabeth L. Bennett, Wildlife Conservation

“Who knew the world of reptile smuggling was so poisonous? … Set in the mid-1990s, [The Lizard King] is reminiscent of the film version of Frank W. Abagnale’s Catch Me if You Can: the determined lawman, the flamboyant scofflaw, the eventual showdown. Christy takes us deep inside the world of the smuggler… An exciting story of smugglers, lawmen, corrupt government officials, organized crime, and slithery beasts.”

– David Pitt, Booklist

“A book unlike any you have read before, The Lizard King will take you on a twisting journey in which you will crave the culmination of the story while at the same time not wanting it to end.”

ArmchairInterviews.com

“After reading this captivatiating true story, you may never look at a reptile in the pet store—or perhaps any animal in a pet store—the same way again.”

Animal Welfare Institute

★★★★

Emerging Writers Network

“Does it sound like a fictional thriller? Well, this non-fiction book is just as compelling a read as any best-selling thriller… extremely well researched…a rollercoaster…This is how a book, any book, should affect its reader, and Christy delivers.”

– Azrina Abdullah, Regional Director, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, The Star, Malaysia

“If you like a good Indiana Jones adventure, Christy’s work is loaded with all the colorful characters, entertaining asides, and exotic locations you could desire.”

– Etude: New Voices in Literary Nonfiction

“Christy’s The Lizard King tips scales of justice … [His] book will keep you up at night as you begin to see some of the world’s most frightening creatures as victims instead of villains.”

St. Petersburg Times

“It’s a story of crime, wildlife smuggling and money….Fascinating”

New Straits Times, Malaysia

“Riveting… [The Lizard King] captures in vibrant prose the dynamic personalities and habits of its human and reptilian subjects.”

Kirkus Reviews

One of the Best Non-Fiction Books of the Year

Tucson Citizen

“It wasn’t that bad.”

– Mike Van Nostrand, aka The Lizard King