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Dragon Teeth PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Dragon Teeth
Author: Michael Crichton
Publisher: Published June 1st 2017 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published May 22nd 2017)
ISBN: 9780008173067
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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Michael Crichton's recently discovered novel—an adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting. The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleon Michael Crichton's recently discovered novel—an adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting. The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars. Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition.  But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions.  With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

30 review for Dragon Teeth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Another posthumous offering from Crichton. I hope they keep finding them! This book was great! It is a western - pure and simple - gunfights, saloons, Indian war controversy, and even the appearance of some famous Western names. But, instead of gold nuggets, the treasure is dinosaur bones. It's something I think people really don't think about. One of the best sources of dinosaur bones is the American West, and their discovery began right in the middle of all the tobacco chewing, stage coach hold Another posthumous offering from Crichton. I hope they keep finding them! This book was great! It is a western - pure and simple - gunfights, saloons, Indian war controversy, and even the appearance of some famous Western names. But, instead of gold nuggets, the treasure is dinosaur bones. It's something I think people really don't think about. One of the best sources of dinosaur bones is the American West, and their discovery began right in the middle of all the tobacco chewing, stage coach holding up, showdowns at high noon barbarism we equate with westward expansion. Imagine in the middle of that, thousands of miles away from resources and safety, college professors and students with no gunslinging skills digging up thousands of pounds of fossilized bones and transporting them hundreds of miles across a barren landscape at risk from a wide variety of dangers to get to the nearest train station that will get them and the bones safely back to their civilized Ivy League school in the east. Well, you don't have to imagine it, Crichton has you covered! In the afterward it says that his idea for this story began back in 1974 - long before Jurassic Park. It is amazing it took this long for the book to come out. Sad that he missed it! You like Crichton? You like Westerns? You like paleontology? Read this!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Nine years after the untimely demise of the bright Dr. Michael Crichton a good writer , more talented than many believed, his third posthumous novel Dragon Teeth, is published (he's been busier than numerous authors still technically alive) . If you're looking for an early version of Jurassic Park you will be disappointed, but this book has a feel to it that will keep you turning the page...Essentially the story of two ruthless pioneering paleontologists , historical figures, and great rivals in Nine years after the untimely demise of the bright Dr. Michael Crichton a good writer , more talented than many believed, his third posthumous novel Dragon Teeth, is published (he's been busier than numerous authors still technically alive) . If you're looking for an early version of Jurassic Park you will be disappointed, but this book has a feel to it that will keep you turning the page...Essentially the story of two ruthless pioneering paleontologists , historical figures, and great rivals in the 19th century, "The Bone Wars" , digging in the old , dangerous west , in canyons , hills , deserts, always lethal accidents or unfriendly incidents can occur, caused by humans both red and white, for dinosaur fossils , an ancient extinct animal, recently discovered. College professors Othniel Charles Marsh from Yale and his younger, former friend Edward Drinker Coke, from the small Quaker university in Philadelphia, Haverford, both are mad. Any underhanded trick to spoil and discredit the other is fine, they hate with a passion. Big eastern newspapers, (if you pardon the pun, had a field day with their plots) grown men , seeking glory in new finds... And loathsome childish pranks that kept readers amused. William Johnson 18, a lazy freshman at Yale, a rich man's son, quite full of himself, during the centennial celebrations of 1876, held in his hometown, Philadelphia, a short trip from the New Haven, Connecticut campus were he doesn't study...twice put in probation, wrecking private property he gets bored easily and father pays for damages...what's the big deal? Professor Marsh is taking students out west this summer, and Mr. William Johnson, not wanting to lose a bet from his nemesis a fellow arrogant student , an insufferable archenemy... so instead of a leisurely pleasant voyage to Europe and a sightseeing tramp around the continent... it becomes a dirty, awful, backbreaking dig for some old bones as the relentless sun and boss, burns your hide... the Sioux are on the warpath ( if I were you, I'd stay out of Montana), all this nuisance just to show how brave he is.... Famous people he encounters, (Wyatt Earp in particular , is charismatic) on trains and western boom towns , some less known, quickly after a brief acquaintance, enter boot hill , not very happy going... Marsh and Coke he works for the unscrupulous duo, not at the same time obviously, neither one tells the truth very often or fails to kick a man when he is down. An unexpected, enjoyable romp into history, for people who like to experience the atmosphere of a bygone era and walk in other men's and women's boots. They too can join their hazardous adventures for a short duration...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    3.5 Stars "We are finding wonderful dinosaurs!" exulted Cope. "Wonderful, marvelous dinosaurs!" Good ol' dinosaurs are wonderful and marvelous as always, and men will always be men: competitive, violent and vengeful. Dragon Teeth is Crichton's third posthumous publication, and fourth historic fiction (Fifth, if you count Timeline). The novel tells the fictionalized account of historic 19th century Bone wars, a race between two paleontologists to unearth and claim dinosaur bones. Meet Edward Dri 3.5 Stars "We are finding wonderful dinosaurs!" exulted Cope. "Wonderful, marvelous dinosaurs!" Good ol' dinosaurs are wonderful and marvelous as always, and men will always be men: competitive, violent and vengeful. Dragon Teeth is Crichton's third posthumous publication, and fourth historic fiction (Fifth, if you count Timeline). The novel tells the fictionalized account of historic 19th century Bone wars, a race between two paleontologists to unearth and claim dinosaur bones. Meet Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. We are introduced to William Johnson, our fictional narrator who joins professor Marsh's expedition to wild west on a college bet. Johnson is portrayed as a spoiled and rich young gentleman with the potential to grow and excel if an occasion is presented. We see the story through his narrations and journals, and one of the strengths of the novel is the challenges Johnson faced and the methods by which he survived them. I started reading Dragon Teeth with caution, as his posthumous publication has the same track record as the Tyler Perry movies. I thought my worst fears were coming alive as I felt the no pulse in opening chapters. But by the end of part one, the narration picked up as the hunt for giant bones commenced! From a historical point of view, the story is not just about bone wars. It also gives us a peek into the way of life in 19th century west, the state of American Indian Wars during the bone expeditions and living dangerously in Deadwood. While reading the novel, I raised an eyebrow (Figuratively, all my life I've been trying to raise an eyebrow with no avail) when the story shifted from hunting bones to Deadwood, but thankfully Deadwood and I have a history. Three seasons of history, to be exact. Hence it was a pleasure to go back to this notorious town. "There is no law here, this is Deadwood" Overall, Dragon Teeth is a story helmed by interesting historical characters, incidents, and locations, it's a tale filled with the adventurous soul of Verne's Around the world in eighty days, and it's a novel that explores loyalty, courage, and survival. The story is not as linear and strong as The Great Train Robbery, and neither is it overstuffed and directionless as Crichton's Pirate Latitudes. Sometimes the story is confused about what its focus should be, but for most of the time it's bloody good fun.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bob Milne

    Unlike so many ghost-written novels that are 'polished' after an author's death, Dragon Teeth does feel like the completed manuscript it is purported to be. In fact, it reads very much like one of Michael Crichton's earlier historical novels - The Great Train Robbery, Eaters of the Dead, and even (to some extent) Congo. It is a leaner, simpler sort of story, more concerned with the facts of the past than the theories of the future. Readers with an interest in paleontology are likely already famil Unlike so many ghost-written novels that are 'polished' after an author's death, Dragon Teeth does feel like the completed manuscript it is purported to be. In fact, it reads very much like one of Michael Crichton's earlier historical novels - The Great Train Robbery, Eaters of the Dead, and even (to some extent) Congo. It is a leaner, simpler sort of story, more concerned with the facts of the past than the theories of the future. Readers with an interest in paleontology are likely already familiar with the infamous feud between Othniel Charles Marsh and Edwin Drinker Cope, but Crichton makes their rivalry come alive through the unlikely eyes of William Johnson - a wealthy student from the East who lied his way into the West in order to collect on a bet. As Crichton admits in his Author's Note at the end, as crazy as it all is, he deliberately played down some of the more outrageous aspects of the feud, making it seem more realistic to new readers. Johnson is a fun character to ride along with, a young man who changes drastically over the course of the novel. We watch as he grows and matures, as he has his eyes opened to the harsh realities of the West, and as he fights his way back home - a journey that seems destined to never end. His cross-country journey along the rails is worth the price of admission alone, with a stampeding herd of buffalo a definite highlight, and his time in the barren, wind-swept, alkaline flats is far more fascinating than the landscape would suggest. A good part of the novel there deals with the very real threat of the Indian Wars, with Crichton proving himself to be rather sympathetic, portraying most of the tribes in a positive light. The latter half of the novel is almost a Wild West dime-store novel in and of itself, complete with saloons, gunfights, and even Wyatt Earp. It is there than Johnson shines brightest, becoming not just a convenient narrator, but an authentic hero. The science here is solid, exploring the discovery, the naming, and the construction of dinosaurs. It is the characters who make Dragon Teeth come alive, though, with heroes and villains alike putting a recognizable face on a very different era. Hopefully, this won't prove to be his last finished manuscript to be discovered but, if it is, then it's nice to know his posthumous career will have ended on a high note. Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton is a book of Crichton's I didn't like. I have read all of his and loved them all but this was so un-Crichton. It lacked the spark, the thrills, the adventure that kept me glued to the others. I was bored to tears and forced myself to finish it. I got this book from the library and noticed the total ratings on it was only 3 stars and wondered why, now I know.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Not what I expected, but I don't think there is anything he has written that I wouldn't love. I was hoping this would have the feel and flavor of the Jurassic Park novel, which is one of my all time top 5 books that I have read. If you are hoping for the same thing, I can tell you unequivocally this is completely different. Are there dinosaurs? Yes, but none that have been cloned or a threat to mankind. In fact, this story takes place in the year 1876, when paleontologists didn't get near the re Not what I expected, but I don't think there is anything he has written that I wouldn't love. I was hoping this would have the feel and flavor of the Jurassic Park novel, which is one of my all time top 5 books that I have read. If you are hoping for the same thing, I can tell you unequivocally this is completely different. Are there dinosaurs? Yes, but none that have been cloned or a threat to mankind. In fact, this story takes place in the year 1876, when paleontologists didn't get near the recognition that they do today. Loosely based around 2 real life arch enemy paleontologists Charles Marsh and Edwin Cope, (I actually googled them once I finished) and one fictional William Johnson, the story takes place in the old wild West where 2 separate teams head out in search of dinosaur bones. William was hired on by Charles Marsh, all because of a bet, but was soon left behind as Marsh's paranoia leads him to believe that William is a spy, working for Cope. Cope quickly adds him to his team and they head to the Black Hills, where they make a momentous discovery. What happens after this event is nothing short of brilliant writing. From sketchy women to gun fighters, to Indians and the battle of the Crow War, William Johnson finds himself in one mess after another, all the while just trying to get himself and his dinosaur bones back home. Wyatt Earp even makes an appearance! This is not a book I would ever have picked up if it hadn't been written by Micheal Crichton, so don't let the lack of a terrorizing T Rex stop you from giving this a go! I hope they continue to find lost manuscripts, or even additional work he might have partnered on. This man could make a phone book entertaining!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    LeAnne

    Most of us get a fuzzy feeling when an author seems to include us in an inside joke. The writer is, of course, someone we'll never meet let alone befriend, but unlike appreciating the performance of an artist or actor or musician, the musing of a writer feels more personal. In just one novel, he or she whispers into our mind's ear for ten or fifteen or twenty solid hours as we read. In a way, it resembles conversation. When that time together brings us to familiar territory, it can feel like trav Most of us get a fuzzy feeling when an author seems to include us in an inside joke. The writer is, of course, someone we'll never meet let alone befriend, but unlike appreciating the performance of an artist or actor or musician, the musing of a writer feels more personal. In just one novel, he or she whispers into our mind's ear for ten or fifteen or twenty solid hours as we read. In a way, it resembles conversation. When that time together brings us to familiar territory, it can feel like traveling home with an old friend. And that is where I've been these past few days. I am a geoscientist. While most people have a vague notion of what we do in our areas of specialty (look at rocks? drill oil wells? watch volcanoes explode? predict earthquakes? dig up fossils?), what we experience in undergrad and graduate studies is not widely known. We all spend weekends and months and weeks doing field work, clambering over hills, hiking mountains, and noting, measuring rock formations, then drawing maps that reflect an area’s geology. Not that you care, but this writer really did! What Crichton's characters - based on real geologists - went through is something I've lived and breathed and sweated myself. Climbing and digging through rocky outcrops, assembling a picture of the past, fending off heat and exhaustion in the name of curiosity alone... all of my various weeks of field work came back clear as a bell. This was the 'inside joke' for me, and it was thrilling! The geologists in the tale are vertebrate paleontologists - people who study fossilized bones. Marsh and Cope, real people, were in huge competition with one another in the late 1800s, racing out west to find the biggest and most unusual fossils they could find. Their hatred for one another was legend, and I can remember hearing wild stories about them in my very first geology course nearly 40 years ago. To trick his nemesis, one of them grabbed the skull of one prehistoric creature, limbs of another, the tail of yet another, and so forth - knowing full well his competitor would try to steal credit for this 'new' creature. The other accidentally switched the pelvis around of one dinosaur and the other turned him into a laughing stock for it. They told awful lies about one another to boot. The story here follows a young man who ends up on one of their major fossil digs and along with fellow students, has to fend of attacks by the Sioux, by gunslingers, and by his competitor's geology team. We get death by arrows, gun fights in Deadwood, and poisoned water holes here. Any book by Crichton is going to include science, of course, but in reading this one - the one that gave birth to his later ideas for Jurassic Park - it felt like coming home. Lots of western fun, great trivia, good suspense. Of course, I loved it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Such is the draw and popularity of Michael Crichton that nine years after his death, his new releases are still going to be bestsellers. Truth be told, before I began reading I knew nothing about his 2017 posthumous publication, found from notes and put together lovingly by his wife and his literary estate. Also, to be honest, there are gaps and loose ends that a fan would not expect from the meticulously researched and well written books we have all come to love from him. But this is also reson Such is the draw and popularity of Michael Crichton that nine years after his death, his new releases are still going to be bestsellers. Truth be told, before I began reading I knew nothing about his 2017 posthumous publication, found from notes and put together lovingly by his wife and his literary estate. Also, to be honest, there are gaps and loose ends that a fan would not expect from the meticulously researched and well written books we have all come to love from him. But this is also resonant with his voice, the excitement and enthusiasm he brings to a scientific story, and I know that had he published this in his lifetime, all of the hard edges and rough spots would have been polished and made clean and smooth. First of all, this is a western. Yes. And a damn good one at that. Set in the 1870s, we follow a young easterner Yale student as he recklessly finds himself going out onto the wild frontier as a part of a paleontological research mission. This is contemporaneous with Custer’s inglorious end and readers can imagine Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves to get a good visual. This was not a boy scout trip. Crichton describes and gives life to the "Bone Wars" between rival scientists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, who fought for years over dig sites and buried fossil finds. In an afterward, Crichton’s widow opines that rather than building spectacular hyperbole for books sales, her husband probably actually toned down the vehemence of animosity between the two as modern readers would find a more realistic portrayal hard to believe. We are also introduced to other colorful western historic persons and this is far from a staid and uneventful scientific journal. As good as most of his writing, this is for fans and new readers alike.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/15/... I’m a huge Michael Crichton fan, but admittedly I went into Dragon Teeth with reservations. After all, posthumously published works tend to make me a little wary, and the last two novels published after Crichton’s death have not exactly disabused me of this bias, reinforcing my belief that most “found manuscripts” are doomed to disappoint. So you can imagine my surprise when I finished this book and found that I really e 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2017/06/15/... I’m a huge Michael Crichton fan, but admittedly I went into Dragon Teeth with reservations. After all, posthumously published works tend to make me a little wary, and the last two novels published after Crichton’s death have not exactly disabused me of this bias, reinforcing my belief that most “found manuscripts” are doomed to disappoint. So you can imagine my surprise when I finished this book and found that I really enjoyed it. Granted, I love paleontology and I love Westerns, but unlike Pirate Latitudes or Micro (completed by Richard Preston), both of which I felt were unpolished and sloppy in their execution, Dragon Teeth actually felt solidly put together and complete. It all began with a not-so-friendly wager. The year is 1876 and William Johnson, a Yale student and the son of a wealthy shipping magnate is goaded into traveling west by a rival student, who bet a thousand dollars that privileged and sheltered William would not have what it takes to visit America’s wild and lawless frontier. Fueled by his pride, our protagonist impulsively signs on with a bone-finding expedition to the western territories, claiming himself to be a professional photographer, not realizing just how far in over his head he’s gotten himself. For you see, the expedition is led by renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, who is embroiled in a bitter rivalry of his own. Notoriously difficult to work with, Marsh is unscrupulous and paranoid, convinced that his arch nemesis, the equally distinguished paleontologist Edwin Drinker Cope is always on his trail, ready to swoop in and steal his research. Unfortunately, that paranoia ultimately leads Marsh to abandon William in Wyoming, believing him to be one of Cope’s spies. In an ironic twist of fate, however, Cope himself finds our poor, confused protagonist and extends an invitation to join his own expedition, to which William has no choice but to accept. To his pleasant surprise, he winds up finding Edwin Drinker Cope to be a rather pleasant fellow, with a fearsome temper to be sure, but still nothing like the monster Marsh made him out to be. Their expedition might also be smaller and less organized, but on the whole William is much happier since he switched sides, his enthusiasm for the work increasing the more he learns. Then one day, their team stumbles upon a huge find. But in the paleontology field, the discovery of a lifetime often goes hand in hand with plenty of dangers. From the moment William decided he was going to go west, he had known he would be facing all kinds of challenges, but little did he expect just how far he would go for a pile of dusty old bones. Unlike Crichton’s other novels about dinosaurs, Dragon Teeth is pure historical fiction, its premise based on a frenzied period of fossil research and discovery in the late 1800s known as “The Bone Wars” or the “Great Dinosaur Rush”. It’s a fascinating topic, and I was impressed to see how deftly all the seemingly mundane details were woven into such a tight, thrilling and intense page-turner. That said, this is also a story that just begs to be told. In a time when explorers, settlers, and gold seekers were heading their way west in the hopes of striking it rich, paleontologists were instead scrambling all over the rich bone beds of the western territories, searching for fossils. Both Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope were real, and so was their feud where they infamously sought to destroy each other’s’ careers and reputations, often resorting to underhanded tactics like theft, slander and outright sabotage. While William Johnson himself may be a fictional protagonist, through his bamboozled and mystified eyes, readers are given front row seats to witness the full extent of their roaring rivalry. In the end though, the plot of Dragon Teeth comes down to a journey of personal growth. William is a stuck-up entitled jackass when we first meet him, used to power and money getting him whatever he wants. But the West changes him, stripping away his privilege and hardening his spirit. Far from home where no one knows or cares who he is, William quickly learns to pull his own weight and ultimately finds that there is more to life than empty materialism and shallow pleasures. Reading about his fraught adventures is just as enjoyable as reading about the history of the time and place, especially in the novel’s second half which sees the story evolving into something straight out of a Spaghetti Western. After a run in with a notorious outlaw, William even winds up allying with none other than Wyatt Earp. Still, I must warn that while Dragon Teeth feels very much like a complete, articulate novel, the level of detail is nowhere near that of some of Crichton’s best works. In some ways the book reads like a highly polished draft with the finished framework in place, simply waiting for the author to put more meat on its bones but of course he never got the chance. Despite characters and descriptions being a bit sparse though, the story itself does not suffer much, nor is the overall novel less readable because of it. In fact, it’s possible some readers might even prefer this straightforward and pragmatic approach and appreciate the novel’s swift, no-nonsense pacing. In sum, Dragon Teeth was a lot better than I thought it would be, and unlike Pirate Latitudes or Micro, I would actually recommend it. That being said, you still shouldn’t go into this expecting an epic adventure with the level of research and detail on par with the author’s more famous novels that he wrote in life, but as far as posthumously released publications go, this one was pretty damn decent.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steven Brown

    In 1876, the hunt for ancient bones is more thievery than science. When a spoiled Yale student takes a bet that he can’t survive one summer in the Wild West with paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, he’s in way over his head. His boss might be paranoid, but the bullets are real. This is one fantastic story! Dragon Teeth is a thriller set in the past (not a Jurassic Park novel), so the antagonists read like Indiana Jones villains in the Wild West. (Not dinosaurs.) But here’s the crazy thing: they’ In 1876, the hunt for ancient bones is more thievery than science. When a spoiled Yale student takes a bet that he can’t survive one summer in the Wild West with paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, he’s in way over his head. His boss might be paranoid, but the bullets are real. This is one fantastic story! Dragon Teeth is a thriller set in the past (not a Jurassic Park novel), so the antagonists read like Indiana Jones villains in the Wild West. (Not dinosaurs.) But here’s the crazy thing: they’re actual historical figures. And the locations and surrounding events that form the novel’s setting are real too—including the intense rivalry between paleontologists Marsh and Cope. Only the direct plot line is invented, and not even all of that. Crichton blurs the line between fact and fiction just as masterfully in the distant past as he does in the near future of his best sci-fi titles. In fact, the only character that seems to be entirely fictional is William Johnson himself, and he’s one of the most realistic protagonists we’ve ever read. He’s rich. He’s spoiled. He’s arrogant. And his development over the course of the novel is one of the most fascinating aspects of the book. The beginning does a marvelous job of introducing William and laying the foundation for the world he lives in. The very idea of evolution and extinction was tantamount to heresy in 1876; the hunt for credible evidence was shrouded in secrecy; and the rivalries between fossil hunters played out with a level of intrigue and espionage worthy of Mission Impossible. Once the novel hits the Wild West, it grabs you and never lets go. This comes as no surprise from the author who wrote and directed the 1973 film Westworld, the movie on which the modern TV series is based. Crichton has a love for the time period that shines through every page, while bullets fly in the untamed badlands—where fortunes can be made and lives can easily be lost over a single “dragon’s tooth.”

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    How many of these "recently discovered" manuscripts are there?!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mwanamali

    So a manuscript of Michael's, the god behind one of my favourites ever Jurassic Park, had a manuscript lying in wait all along. And it really is original. No question,

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    What began as a measure designed to protect a young man’s pride soon turned into an adventure that William Johnson would not soon forget. Michael Crichton’s novel about the early days of paleontology in the United States is a mixture of whimsy, seriousness, humor, and just good old fun. The late Mr. Crichton’s manuscript was found in his files by his wife, and it is wonderful to read a “new” novel by a talented author. Though the character of William Johnson was born in Mr. Crichton’s imagination What began as a measure designed to protect a young man’s pride soon turned into an adventure that William Johnson would not soon forget. Michael Crichton’s novel about the early days of paleontology in the United States is a mixture of whimsy, seriousness, humor, and just good old fun. The late Mr. Crichton’s manuscript was found in his files by his wife, and it is wonderful to read a “new” novel by a talented author. Though the character of William Johnson was born in Mr. Crichton’s imagination, many of the other people featured in the book were alive back in the 19th century. As readers make their way through the pages, we meet the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp and his brother Morgan, Chicago movers and shakers Armour, Swift, and Field, and various bit players such as Robert Louis Stevenson. It was interesting to learn (after finishing the book) that the two paleontologists featured in the book, Cope and Marsh, were not fictional, and the relationship between the two men was even worse than described in the book. A simple bet sends Yale student William Johnson to the western United States in the 1870s, a trip that William thought would be dull and filled with hours of hot and dusty work. It is not long before William finds himself personally responsible for the success of the expedition, and his resulting adventures are comical and entertaining. Readers should be forewarned that despite the cover illustration, this story is not in the same genre as his more famous dinosaur tales. However, the combination of wild Indians, gun battles, famous as well as devious people and anything and everything Mr. Crichton could think of team to make this a wonderful read. Five stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    All new Crichton! New in the sense that the novel is new, but not so new in the sense that this novel takes place in the late 1800's. And the verdict: it sure is a snooze. Crichton has always been hit or miss for me. He's had his gems: Jurassic Park, State of Fear, even Airframe was all right. But with Dragon Teeth it really felt like Crichton was just phoning it in. This was a lazy, half-ass attempt at a novel. Now, I am not oblivious - I do know that Crichton is no longer alive; however, this wa All new Crichton! New in the sense that the novel is new, but not so new in the sense that this novel takes place in the late 1800's. And the verdict: it sure is a snooze. Crichton has always been hit or miss for me. He's had his gems: Jurassic Park, State of Fear, even Airframe was all right. But with Dragon Teeth it really felt like Crichton was just phoning it in. This was a lazy, half-ass attempt at a novel. Now, I am not oblivious - I do know that Crichton is no longer alive; however, this was supposedly discovered in his archives, among which there are other completed but unpublished works. So, he did write this when he was alive (obviously) and therefore isn't getting any passes from me. The only thing that this novel really had working for it was the clever jacket art, which taps into your Jurassic Park nostalgia with a bolder and more modern look. That's about where the excitement stops for me. Even though I knew this book took place in the 1800's, and even though I knew it had nothing to do with living dinosaurs, I was really hoping for that knockout punch. After all, even the book was marketed by saying: "William joins forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions." I didn't think they meant literally...sheesh. I thought he would take a more fantastical, yet believable, approach to an epic discovery. Alas, the discovery of epic proportions is just a dinosaur bone. On the writing: everyone knows Crichton was no master wordsmith. And on a sentence by sentence examination, his writing in this one isn't awful. It's not yet approaching good though, either. Crichton has always been about the story, the tale he tells that opens up your mind to knew ideas. This novel did none of that for me for two reasons. First, Crichton took what should have been an 800 page epic and squashed it down into fewer than 300 pages. Second, Crichton seemed confused over whether he wanted to tell a historical fiction novel, or just a straight up historical account of these events. An aside - someone who I think does historical fiction well is Erik Larson. Let me flesh that out a bit. A lot of the material, and almost all of the events in this novel, are based on real accounts. Crichton uses mostly historical fact and lays out a story, inside which he even uses real quotations from personal diaries of the men involved. But the 'fiction' part of it gets drowned in the true historical part of it. I felt as though I was reading a poorly constructed history textbook on the early palaeontological expeditions of late 1800's. But what annoyed me most was the complete disregard for character development. Crichton crammed a 3 month journey into a tight novel, and the tight novel was broken up into smaller chapters, which were squished down into bit-sized paragraphs. And it was inside these bit-sized paragraphs that an entire story, days (sometimes weeks) long would take place in a few sentences. Then it was off to a point down the road a month later. There were so many massive time gaps that I felt like Crichton was simply being lazy and didn't want to do any real work. He slapped down the historical accounts which were already in front of him, strung them together with a few sentences of "fiction" and called it a day. Sigh. This novel could actually have been made into an epic novel, if he had taken the time to churn out about 600 more pages of material. We then could have gotten to learn the characters more. A lot of people die in this book, and I cared not of a single one (I know, how cold blooded of me). But there is some fascinating history that could have been examined, such as the ongoing wars between the white man and the Indian tribes (their words, not mine). I would have liked to see Crichton's estate tag on another author to this work (like they did with Micro) and then made something real out of it. Instead, it falls short. And like a sucker, I paid 36 buckaroos for this puppy. I'd enjoy seeing more Crichton books publish posthumously. But I'd urge whoever is in charge of that decision to take a careful read through the next one and ask themselves if the story has been told. And if there is something missing, fill it in. We like us some Crichton, and I'm sure the germ of a brilliant idea is there, but it may need to be stretched out a bit. No harm in that. Probably less than two stars, but I'm rounding up because I'm nice like that. ;) As always, you can also see my review on my blog at: jasonramstad.wixsite.com/mysite

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

    This was such a fun book . it is the perfect book to take to the beach (specially during this hot summer), to read on the train or take on vacation. The plot is not very complex , but cowboys and dinosaurs are involved...it doesn't get any better than that . The main character goes through a tough journey and finds out that sometimes caring is an important trait for a man to have. The dinosaur bones and the rivalry between two of the characters helps give the story context and add another tier t This was such a fun book . it is the perfect book to take to the beach (specially during this hot summer), to read on the train or take on vacation. The plot is not very complex , but cowboys and dinosaurs are involved...it doesn't get any better than that . The main character goes through a tough journey and finds out that sometimes caring is an important trait for a man to have. The dinosaur bones and the rivalry between two of the characters helps give the story context and add another tier to the story. And I hadn't noticed before but this was my first "westerner" book that I have ever read...because I think that this does count as belonging to that classification. The only reason that I gave this book a low rating was because I felt like the story went too fast . Recommend it if you are in search of a fast read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce

    So sorry to say that this book was just awful. It looked to be cobbled together in such a haphazard manner that it seemed a child wrote it. I am sorely disappointed in this as I have often so enjoyed Crichton's novels. That being said this book was suppose to be "found" many years after Mr Crichton's death. Makes one wonder! This is no Jurassic Park nor is it a prequel to that amazing book that entertained so many so very well.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sud666

    In 1803 Thomas Jefferson said it would take a thousand years for the West to be settled. By 1876 he was proven gravely wrong. This is Crichton's "lost manuscript" that was been published. It is one of his historical fiction novels (much like "Great Train Robbery" or "Eaters of the Dead"). In this case the year is 1876 and the topic twofold. The first is the competition between Drs. Marsh and Cope. Marsh was a Yale man and Cope a Univ of Penn man. Both were Paleontologists. I had not realized jus In 1803 Thomas Jefferson said it would take a thousand years for the West to be settled. By 1876 he was proven gravely wrong. This is Crichton's "lost manuscript" that was been published. It is one of his historical fiction novels (much like "Great Train Robbery" or "Eaters of the Dead"). In this case the year is 1876 and the topic twofold. The first is the competition between Drs. Marsh and Cope. Marsh was a Yale man and Cope a Univ of Penn man. Both were Paleontologists. I had not realized just how recently, relatively speaking, the study of fossils and specifically dinosaurs are. It really only started in the late 1800's and these finds that the story is about were instrumental in forwarding our knowledge of the various dinosaur species. VERY interesting. The second part of the story is describing the West. In 1876 the Wyoming/Montana territories were barely settled. Plains Indians roamed and hunted. This was the time of the Army campaigns against the Sioux and the Crow in the Black Hills of the Dakotas. This is a story about lost places like Deadwood. It's about a time when law and justice did not pass west of a certain demarcation line of civilization. We not only are exposed to a West that hasn't existed for nearly one hundred years. We run into famous characters like Wyatt Erap and his brother. The time spent in Deadwood was instructive and entertaining. Rough place. While the main protagonist-William Johnson is fictitious, the story behind the Marsh-Cope conflict ,as both chased fame and academic one-upsmanship, is based on true events. This was an early manuscript from Crichton and as such is not to the level of his later works. But it is still a great read. His hallmark style of fascinating information coupled with action is indeed here. I am glad this was published and glad to have added this to my Crichton collection.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megalion

    A previously unpublished book. If you're expecting Jurassic Park, the prequel, you will not get it. This is a Wild West type of story. To be more precise, a historical fiction tale set in the Wild West of 1880s about the literally cutthroat competition between 2 key figures in the hunt for dinosaur bones. A rare step away from his normal speculative fiction back into the early days of dinosaur fossil hunting. What we now call palentology but with less bloodshed. From his research, he presents a n A previously unpublished book. If you're expecting Jurassic Park, the prequel, you will not get it. This is a Wild West type of story. To be more precise, a historical fiction tale set in the Wild West of 1880s about the literally cutthroat competition between 2 key figures in the hunt for dinosaur bones. A rare step away from his normal speculative fiction back into the early days of dinosaur fossil hunting. What we now call palentology but with less bloodshed. From his research, he presents a novelization of his interpretation of what happened in this real life clash over discovering dinosaurs. Begins with an snotty rich college kid who gets "forced" into joining a dinosaur bone hunting expedition in order to save face among his peers. Not a great start. Jerks like that, who needs them? The first hook for me was that he dedicates himself to learning photography in order to be allowed into the very selective group. Then there's the odd and seemingly paranoid stuff from the professor about credit stealing conspiracies. From there, I don't think it's an unfair characterizion to say that he became Alice and fell down a rabbit hole lined with dinosaur bones and Indian arrows. Not the best Crichton book ever, but a decent one and since he's been 6 feet under for almost a decade, I'LL TAKE IT! Thank you to the publisher for the free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ♛ Garima ♛

    Who is writing this book? "Michael Crichton passed away from lymphoma in 2008. He was 66 years old."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    When I was a little girl I went to the NY World's Fair. There were two things I remembered; Belgian Waffles and dinosaurs. Not long after that I was taken to the Academy of Natural Sciences; in Philadelphia, when I saw my first fossils. At that time I didn't know that many of those fossils were collected by Edwin Drinker Cope. I didn't learn about the 'war' between Cope and Yale paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh until I introduced my son to dinosaurs 25 plus years later. In 2007 I was able to When I was a little girl I went to the NY World's Fair. There were two things I remembered; Belgian Waffles and dinosaurs. Not long after that I was taken to the Academy of Natural Sciences; in Philadelphia, when I saw my first fossils. At that time I didn't know that many of those fossils were collected by Edwin Drinker Cope. I didn't learn about the 'war' between Cope and Yale paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh until I introduced my son to dinosaurs 25 plus years later. In 2007 I was able to visit Marsh's home, the Yale Peabody museum. There I saw the famous Age of Reptiles mural. http://peabody.yale.edu/exhibits/age-.... This posthumous book by Michael Crichton takes these two actual people and fictionalizes them to some degree to tell the story of a fictional man, William Johnson. Johnson is an 18 year old Yale student who comes from a rich Philadelphia shipping family. When he enters into a bet he MUST accompany Marsh west. In order to do so he learns photography. This is best described as an action adventure travelogue. As Johnson moves west he meets and interacts with a variety of person; real and imagined, against the backdrop of the Black Hills gold strikes and the Battle of Little Big Horn. Williams will find himself, learn about human nature and give up his pampered existence. The book is very male oriented and the few female characters are generally weak or deceitful.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I love the subject of paleontology so wanted to read this as soon as I read the description. This was a quick read but it was interesting and has me now craving Jurassic Park and the Lost World again. Think I will be heading the library soon to get those!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mattia Ravasi

    Video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N4e6... My second favorite Michael C gives us one last gem in the form of a Western adventure set within the context of the 1800s Great Dinosaur Rush. At times you can feel this is the skeleton of what may have been a longer and more complex adventure, but that only means that the pace is even faster, and indeed there's enough thrills and tension in here (and guest stars!) to make it a total pleasure to read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kandice

    That was a great read! It was fun and well researched and really had the voice of Crichton. There was just enough truth to make the fiction feel like fact. It's easy to see how Crichton's love of dinosaurs and paleontology later turned out the Jurassic Park franchise which I adore. I'm not a big western fan, but it had never occurred to me that many fossils were found in the Badlands, despite our being introduced to Alan there in the opening scenes of JP. The Badlands of today, well the 1990's, a That was a great read! It was fun and well researched and really had the voice of Crichton. There was just enough truth to make the fiction feel like fact. It's easy to see how Crichton's love of dinosaurs and paleontology later turned out the Jurassic Park franchise which I adore. I'm not a big western fan, but it had never occurred to me that many fossils were found in the Badlands, despite our being introduced to Alan there in the opening scenes of JP. The Badlands of today, well the 1990's, are very different from the same Badlands depicted in these pages. We are given glimpses into Custer and the Earp brothers personalities and since none of them are alive to disagree, I have to say they seemed pretty plausible. The rivalry depicted between bone hunters Cope and Marsh was ridiculous. I had heard of them, of course, and knew there was sort sort of hullabaloo, but as I read I felt Crichton must have exaggerated a bit. Not so! The Post Script and Afterword both attest to the fact that the rivalry was much more serious, more ridiculous and severe than Crichton felt an audience would believe. I find that every time I finish one of his books I end up spending hours on the computer or at the library looking up what he only hinted at, or didn't elaborate enough for me. For me, that is the testament of good writing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna Backshall

    Meh. It's not even worth the five minutes to review. I can't believe how long I waited for an Overdrive copy, but thankfully I didn't have to pay even a cent for this weird, goes-nowhere-interesting story. In a word, BORING. Don't believe the hype, there is no wild adventure here, no characteristically Crichton oddities to spice up the story. I toughed it out all the way to the end, even though it was as dry and dusty as Deadwood itself. Just a bunch of boring old bones.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    The blurb for this book really tells all there is to know about it. There were a lot of info dumps about Indians, Custer and paleontology. I thought it was just ok.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    This review is for the audio version of “Dragon Teeth” by Michael Crichton, narrated by Scott Brick and published by Harper audio. Audio: 4 stars Brick’s soothing, deep voice speaks to years of experience and training. He tells the story well and speaks in a consistently eloquent tone. Brick read the entire novel in his monotone voice, and did not differentiate between characters, which I don’t love. Also, his voice, although calming, has a slight tendency to be a bit too relaxing. If he This review is for the audio version of “Dragon Teeth” by Michael Crichton, narrated by Scott Brick and published by Harper audio. Audio: 4 stars Brick’s soothing, deep voice speaks to years of experience and training. He tells the story well and speaks in a consistently eloquent tone. Brick read the entire novel in his monotone voice, and did not differentiate between characters, which I don’t love. Also, his voice, although calming, has a slight tendency to be a bit too relaxing. If he chooses to leave the narrating world, he would do well as a hypnotist. Story: 4 stars William Johnson is dared to take a treacherous, harrowing journey across the United States “wild west”, with a paleontology professor, to collect infamous dinosaur bones. Never one to be outdone, Johnson immediately agrees to the dare of his friend and soon he becomes immersed in a world of shootouts, archaeological digging and attacks from unfriendly Indians. I loved the archaeological components of this novel. It started right off the bat with talks of unearthed dinosaur bones never before seen and I was immediately drawn in. I was not compelled, however, by the “wild west” tone this book took. Michael Crichton (R.I.P) is a powerhouse writer, full of talent and creativity. His research, especially for this novel, appears to be unparalled. “Dinosaur Teeth” was based on real events, with real people (including Wyatt Earp) which speaks to the amount of energy and effort Crichton dedicated to this novel. William Johnson was a great protagonist; initially a young and spoiled school boy, his journey across the American west changes him into a mature and gruff young man. The dueling professors (Cope and Marsh, who were also real people) added a bit of spice to the plot, and of course, the rough outlaws of the Wild West contributed some action of their own. Although a fan of Crichton, this novel was too much of a Western for me. I loved the setting and the historical components of the novel, and was captivated by the new dinosaurs that the groups were discovering, but was not particularly interested in the shootouts or the saloons or the cowboys playing poker. The writing of this novel was spot on (of course) and the plot was well-developed. This novel would’ve received a full five stars from me had it been in the genre I was expecting.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ~Bellegirl91~

    "Hunting for bones has a peculiar fascination, not unlike hunting for gold. One never knows what one will find, and the possibilities, the potential discoveries lying in wait, fuels the quest." (Passage from William Johnson's journal) ***PART OF THE AUTHOR'S NOTE FROM CRICHTON HIMSELF AND WHY HE WROTE THIS*** "Readers unfamiliar with this period of American history may be interested to know that Professors Marsh and Cope were real people, their rivalry and antagonism depicted here without exagger "Hunting for bones has a peculiar fascination, not unlike hunting for gold. One never knows what one will find, and the possibilities, the potential discoveries lying in wait, fuels the quest." (Passage from William Johnson's journal) ***PART OF THE AUTHOR'S NOTE FROM CRICHTON HIMSELF AND WHY HE WROTE THIS*** "Readers unfamiliar with this period of American history may be interested to know that Professors Marsh and Cope were real people, their rivalry and antagonism depicted here without exaggeration. In fact, it has been toned down, since the nineteenth century promoted a degree of ad hominem excess that is hard to believe now. Cope did go to Montana badlands in 1876, and discovered the teeth of Brontosaurus, essentially as recounted here. The Antagonism between Cope and Marsh that played out over ten years is compressed here into a single summer with some changes.... The character of William Johnson is entirely fictional. I would not read this novel as history. For history, read Charles Sternberg's detailed account of Cope's trip to the Montana badlands in "The Life of a Fossil Hunter." I am indebted to E. H. Colbert, the eminent paleontologist and curator of the American Museum of Natural History, for first bringing the story of Marsh and Cope to my attention; in his kind correspondence he suggested a novel about them; he also provided me with my first leads in his books.... The descriptions of the Indian Wars are accurate, sadly so, and from a vantage of some hundred-plus years later, it seems safe to say that the American West described in these pages, like the world of the dinosaurs long before, was soon to be forever lost." **PART OF THE AFTERWORD FROM HIS WIDOW SHERRI CRICHTON** "Michael's dedication to his craft was endless: over the course of his forty-plus-year career, he wrote thirty-two books...not only was he working on his next project, he was always working on his "next projects." Michael was constantly reading, clipping interesting articles, amassing research for new work, by looking to the past, observing the present, and thinking about our future. He loved to tell stories that blurred the lines between facts and what-ifs scenarios. You always came out of a Crichton novel, film, or television event smarter and wanting more. Because his work was so densely researched, you couldn't help but believe that, yes, perhaps dinosaurs could be brought back to life through DNA found in a well-preserved mosquito.... I quickly realized that it was possible to trace the birth of Dragon Teeth to a 1974 letter to the curator of paleontology of the American Museum of Natural History. After reading the manuscript, I could only describe Dragon Teeth as "pure Crichton.".... Dragon Teeth was a very important book for Michael--it was a forerunner to his "other dinosaur story." Its publication is a wonderful way to introduce Michael to new generations of readers around the world and is an absolute treat for longtime Crichton fans everywhere." OH MY HECK THIS BOOK! It's indescribable for me and for someone who loves history, and doing a little research of my own during this time period especially what was also a forgotten or unknown period of time known as "The Bone Wars" was well written. I have a hard time getting into westerns BUT Crichton proved even from beyond the grave that he could try write any kind of genre and bring out an amazing story and just like his widow said when you come out of anything Crichton, you want more and become smarter. And I agree on that 100%+ with that! This was also as she said, "Pure Crichton" and I couldn't agree more. If you've read Crichton, you know he loved research and science and truly telling stories and he could do it like none other and had a brilliant mind. My first Crichton novel I've ever read was TIMELINE which was also turned into a movie back in I believe 2003 (starring Paul Walker and Gerard Butler) and was one of the first Crichton movies (next to Jurassic Park that came out in 1993 when I was 2 years of age) and there my love of this man grew. I own the movie and my family have had the book for YEARS and still a favorite. I've only read Prey, Pirate Latitudes, Timeline, Great Train Robbery, Jurassic Park, and now Dragon Teeth so a total of 6 books but I own a few more of his books and can't WAIT to read him. Despite hating science and struggling with it growing up cause of a learning disability (more like comprehension with it) I did still end up loving his books when he would explain things through that one character and somehow made a thriller out of it. I mean, look at Jurassic Park and the success it still has with the Jurassic World movies now. I feel without Crichton's weird and genius mind and brain of his, we wouldn't HAVE these Jurassic World movies or Jurassic Park. Everytime I see or watch Jurassic World, I seriously think back to Crichton and the legacy he left behind and not just this franchise, but many other films and tv shows such as ER (which I never saw but know he created that show). This book later on felt like I was there with Johnson and on the excavation for dinosaur bones which was this whole new thing and especially learning more about Deadwood, the Earp brothers (Wyatt and Morgan Earp) and the good old wild west. I also felt like I was in on the action of Deadwood when our friend Johnson showed up there and the hype and everything. I loved Johnson and his development and how he changed so much from the beginning up until the end into a whole new other person and becoming more of a "man" than a typical wealthy city boy after witnessing the wild west. I could go on as to why this book should be read and probably going to be underrated but it's now a new favorite book of mine. And the book Crichton mentioned about reading for the history part, I noticed Sternberg wrote two books and now I'm really wanting to read those to really get that full feel of what it was like excavating a new species' fossil bones. So I'd HIGHY HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone. Especially if they love westerns, Wild West and/or Dinosaurs. If I could, I'd give this ten plus stars! :D so solid 5 stars and beyond that

  28. 5 out of 5

    Smitha

    Ancient discoveries An epic rivalry An adventure that made history Says the cover page. And all this is true. But somehow this book didn't have the same zing packed by Jurassic park or hid other works. Read more like a Westerner than a quest for dinosaur fossils. I am always enamoured by the scientific facts that adorn books such as this. This one sadly lacked in those , though I came to k ow a lot about the war between the native Indians and the pilgrims to conquer the wild.west. Saw some lovely scen Ancient discoveries An epic rivalry An adventure that made history Says the cover page. And all this is true. But somehow this book didn't have the same zing packed by Jurassic park or hid other works. Read more like a Westerner than a quest for dinosaur fossils. I am always enamoured by the scientific facts that adorn books such as this. This one sadly lacked in those , though I came to k ow a lot about the war between the native Indians and the pilgrims to conquer the wild.west. Saw some lovely scenes with my mental eye. Witnessed the rivalry between men of science. Thoroughly soaked in the 1876 way of life. Still.... something was lacking. I felt only a superficial interest. I wasn't engrossed or transported, which I badly wanted to be. A decent read, but not upto Crichton standard of writing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I don’t normally enjoy biographical fiction or fictionalised biography, but I loved this. I don’t know much about this era of American history. I don’t think I knew about dinosaur fossils being found in America. The only other book I’ve read about fossil hunters is Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier. The topic would not have been so fascinating to me had it not been about the Wild West too, however. Cope and Marsh were real rivals and prominent in their field. #thoroughly enjoyed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eric Mikols

    Original review found at https://ericmikols.com/2017/05/23/boo... I read Dragon Teeth months ago because I got a Advance Readers Copy because I'm a librarian, but I'm talking about it now because I'm a bad blogger. So this is a western, using dinosaur bones as a means of getting me to read a genre I tend to avoid. In fact, this might only be third western I've ever read (the other two being Doc by Mary Doria Russell and Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker, both recommended). I can't say I'm not disappoi Original review found at https://ericmikols.com/2017/05/23/boo... I read Dragon Teeth months ago because I got a Advance Readers Copy because I'm a librarian, but I'm talking about it now because I'm a bad blogger. So this is a western, using dinosaur bones as a means of getting me to read a genre I tend to avoid. In fact, this might only be third western I've ever read (the other two being Doc by Mary Doria Russell and Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker, both recommended). I can't say I'm not disappointed by Dragon Teeth, because what I wanted was dinosaur-facts and paleontology. And, to be fair, the cover wants so badly to remind us of Jurassic Park that we can't be faulted for expecting something else. But what about this book as it is? It reads like Crichton's early work, having more in common with The Great Train Robbery than Jurassic Park. This is history brought to life through action and characters that are almost on tour through the world's events. Our main protagonist, William Johnson, is that classic Crichton non-character, a cipher for the world and ideas the author wants to explore. Johnson is our lead because he has to get to the dinosaur bones, because he has to get to Deadwood, because he has to meet Wyatt Earp. He's not going down as a great character, but then, which Crichton characters do we remember apart from their movie counterparts? Even Ian Malcolm is more of machine to ramble chaos theory than a living, breathing character. The action is fine in Dragon Teeth, this isn't a book of ideas but history and the history never stands out. You miss the depth of research presented in Crichton's other work, those wonderful paragraphs of information that trick you in to learning. But we have to be patient with this book. It's not like Crichton wanted this read. He didn't submit this to be published. It strikes me that he finished it, decided the Terminal Man and Congo were better and simply moved on from this draft. Reviewing this book feels unfair because what we're reading is a draft, written by a younger man who learned better from it. While it's incredibly sad for me that this will be (most likely) the last book we see published under Crichton's name, it's not the best one to go out on. But being a book that was written so early in his career, there's a nostalgia to it as well. It almost brings all his work full circle, asking us to start all over again.

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