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Publisher's Summary

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. 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.
©2016 Emily Voigt (P)2016 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Bruce J. Turner on 06-26-16

A "must read" for all fish professionals.

There is much in this book for almost anyone interested in fishes and their biology. Voight offers thoughtful perspectives on the aquarium hobby, it's history, psychology, the industry that supports it, and the potential impact of fish collecting on natural populations. She blends these with absorbing travel adventure narratives, personal profiles and a reasonably nuanced discussion of the utility and impact of "listing" endangered species. I am an ichthyologist and have been an aquarist for almost all of my 71 years but this book made me think about a lot of what I and my colleagues do in a different light

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 11-16-16

Exciting book, well executed by the reader

Exciting but sad, a reminder that our resources are finite and require our care and conservation

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Cara Lawrence on 07-10-18

An extraordinary trek to see Arowana in the wild

I actually bought this book because I love the narrator, Xe Sands, she has a soft, lovely voice & I could happily listen to her reading through the phone book. Following a narrator though often leads you to books you would probably never come across or read. Thankfully, this book is brilliant.

I would not call myself a fish person, I have a fat goldfish who gorks at me when I sit on my computer, this however, is where my fish knowledge ends.

This book is excellent even if you aren't into fish, it covers so much more than fish, from International Smuggling to forays into deep jungle, swimming with Piranas & the difficulties of moving around Mayanmar when you are not wanted. From grandiose fish competitions, & people buying a single fish for the same amount of most people's mortgages, did I mention meeting head hunter?

My 10yr old son listened to this book with me & commented that being an Ichthyologist is possibly more dangerous than studying Rhinoceros, on that note, he thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you are looking for a great book filled with not only interesting facts, but tales of the tyrants who catch these fish in the wild & then sell the poor creatures for exorbitant prices & smuggle the them all over the world, stories about the Amazon a beautiful but diminishing wonder of the world.

Sometimes funny, always interesting & at parts of the book the author (Emily Voight ) frustration is palpable as planning journeys into deep jungle is always an interesting challenge. We all know the saying, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

This factual & crazy adventure is made even more awesome by the dulcet, soft & melodic voive of Xe Sands. If you are an avid fish keeper, then stop wasting time reading my review, just crack on & buy the book. If like me, you are clueless & curious, have a listen, you will love this book.

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