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The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers | [Bryan Christy]

The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers

When Bryan Christy began to investigate the world of reptile smuggling, he had no idea what he would be in for. In the course of his research, he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, and sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula. But perhaps more dangerous was coming face to face with Michael J. Van Nostrand, owner of Strictly Reptiles, a thriving family business in Hollywood, Florida.
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Publisher's Summary

Imagine The Sopranos, with snakes! The Lizard King is a fascinating account of a father and son family business suspected of smuggling reptiles, and the federal agent who tried to take them down.

When Bryan Christy began to investigate the world of reptile smuggling, he had no idea what he would be in for. In the course of his research, he was bitten between the eyes by a blood python, chased by a mother alligator, and sprayed by a bird-eating tarantula.

But perhaps more dangerous was coming face to face with Michael J. Van Nostrand, owner of Strictly Reptiles, a thriving family business in Hollywood, Florida. Van Nostrand imports as many as 300,000 iguanas each year (over half the total of America's most popular imported reptile), as well as hundreds of thousands of snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders, and scorpions.

Van Nostrand was suspected of being a reptile smuggler by Special Agent Chip Bepler of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who devoted years of his life in an obsessive quest to expose The Lizard King's cold-blooded crimes. How this cat-and-mouse game ended is engrossing and surprising.

©2008 Bryan Christy; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

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  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 02-13-14
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 02-13-14 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Snakes on a plane!!!"

    Ever wonder what might be in all the suitcases that glide past you on the luggage carousel at the airport? After listening to this captivating expose' of pet suppliers and their quasi-cartel smuggling operations, I will make sure to keep my distance from that weird lady with the oddly squirming carry-on the next time I have to fly. The story flips between the perspective of the good guys and the bad guys - although at times you wonder which is which - so you end up learning a little about about how to be a great smuggler/criminal and a little about how to catch them. Entertaining and informative - an easy 4 star rating for this great listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Velma CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, United States 01-30-12
    Velma CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, United States 01-30-12
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    "Buying a snake purse will make you think twice!!!"
    Where does The Lizard King rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top RATE!!!


    Has The Lizard King turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Certainly has!!!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I could not put book down.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    After all the training the FBI receives, it finally captures the Reptile King!!!


    Any additional comments?

    Great Book!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki CAMERON, SC, United States 03-02-13
    Vicki CAMERON, SC, United States 03-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Here lizard, lizard, lizard..."

    An amazing tale of drugs, reptiles, smuggling, bad guys, and good guys. What else could you ask for. Awesome book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Easton, PA, USA 06-05-09
    Eric Easton, PA, USA 06-05-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Informative and entertaining"

    This is a book about international smuggeling, and federal criminal investigation, more than about reptiles.
    The characters are very real and intriguing. The author obviously did extensive research into the lives and smuggeling operations of reptile dealers of the 1970s through 1990s.
    I'll never look at a pet store, or a zoo, the same way again.
    At times the narrator seemed overly dramatic, especially in the beginning when the book introduces the world of smuggeling and its main players.
    Overall, a very good book and recording. I'm happy I bought it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Missoula, MT, United States 05-28-09
    Donna Missoula, MT, United States 05-28-09
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    "If you love reptiles......"

    You NEED to listen to this book!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CBlox Las Vegas, NV 05-25-09
    CBlox Las Vegas, NV 05-25-09 Member Since 2004
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    "One of MY Top 10"

    Give this book a try! I had it on my wish list for a few weeks and then gave it a go. I was not dissapointed and am thinking about getting into the reptile black market myself. Any ideas on how to break into the game?

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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