A Dinotopia: Land Apart from Time Summary

James Gurney

A Dinotopia: Land Apart from Time

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

After their ship has been wracked by a typhoon, Arthur Denison and his son Will are carried to safety by dolphins. Professor Denison, a biologist, recognizes immediately that the land to which they have been transported has a strange quality about it, for is sustains plant life of a bygone era. As he and Will explore their surroundings, they encounter what Arthur can only describe as a hog-parrot—it is, he shortly realizes, a dinosaur, one of the thousands that inhabit Dinotopia.

The Denisons are graciously welcomed to the island by a host of humans who arrived (or are the descendants of those who arrived) under circumstances similar to their own. They learn that no one has ever left the island because it is surrounded by an impassible coral reef and a system of tides and winds that prevent navigation.

Will adjusts easily to his new surroundings, making fast friends with others his own age. He is fascinated by the prospect of cohabitating with the mighty dinosaurs; and upon his first sight of a Skybax Rider—humans trained to fly upon the backs of the Quetzalcoatlus skybax, the most majestic flying creature the world has ever seen—Will dedicates himself to achieving that honored profession.

Arthur, on the other hand, though likewise fascinated by the novelty of the island and overwhelmed by its significance to his field of biology, feels confined and misses his old friends. The more Arthur explores, however, the more impressed...

(The entire section is 418 words.)