- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Baen; First Ed edition (June 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671878808
- ISBN-13: 978-0671878801
- Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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BONE WARS Paperback – June 1, 1998
"How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals" by Sy Montgomery
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There's not a great deal of geological science-fiction extant, so I'm pleased to report that Bone Wars is worthy of your attention.
Montana Territory, 1876: Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope are both digging in the Judith River fossil beds, with no great success, and spying on each other's camps. They learn of another bone-digger, who shields his camp behind a "ghost wall," and has found some truly magnificent dinosaur specimens. A *fourth* paleontologist appears, an odd-looking fellow who claims to be from Iceland, and wants help to save the prize bones from being shipped off to "Sweden"....
Stir in a cowboy who's really a girl, a Sioux who's a Yale graduate, a deserter from the Little Big Horn, and a wild ride on a ceratopsian -- all done in impeccable late-19th century prose -- and you have a most entertaining confection. Recommended, with the usual caveat that others' reaction to (alleged) humor is notoriously unpredictable.
Brett Davis, whose writing I haven't previously encountered, has clearly done his historical homework. He writes in a spritely mock-Victorian style that's just right for the tale. This is a very amusing book. Fluff, but *good* fluff. I picked this one up on a whim, having heard of neither author nor title. I'm glad I did.
Consulting Geologist, Tucson & Santa Fe (USA)
When rival paleontologists, O. C. Marsh and Edward Cope, find themselves in direct competition for what few dinosaur bones they can find in Montana during the mid-1870's, imagine their amazement (and this reader's) when they discover that the two other scientists who are competing for fossils and bones as well may actually be visitors from another world. It seems these "foreign" scientists have technology far beyond anything they have seen. This technology both mystifies and terrifies the paleontologists, so Marsh and Cope soon realize that if they're going to succeed in keeping the bones here on earth, they will need reinforcements. To add to an already bizarre plot, the reinforcements come in the shape of the Sioux Indians under the direction of Sitting Bull himself.
To paraphrase Yogi Berra, if this all sounds just a little too weird for your tastes, then it probably is! I'm sure that the "dinosaur crowd" will enjoy it, even though there are not enough references to dinosaurs in the book for my liking. The "Western crowd" should like it because author Brett Davis does a creditable job taking the reader back to the world of 1870 America. And those who like stories about Indians will enjoy the scenes that include the Sioux and Crow tribes. There's even a little love interest in the book for the romantic in all of us!
Oh, it's a descent story and a quick enough "read", it's just that "Bone Wars" is not the type of novel that the average reader will want to dig up and put above their fireplace.
RECOMMENDED (to the groups mentioned above)