- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harper; 1st Edition edition (May 23, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062473352
- ISBN-13: 978-0062473356
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 918 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dragon Teeth: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 23, 2017
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“Among all Crichton’s novels, it’s one of his best, a beautifully detailed, scientifically engrossing, absolutely riveting story.” (Booklist, starred review)
“A totally unexpected flashback to the days when Crichton was central to the entertainment world.... If you like a good Crichton paleo-action story incorporating real historical figures, you’ll like this one.” (New York Times)
“Rollicking.... A page-turner.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Bears all the narrative traits of its techno-thriller ancestor, Jurassic Park. It’s a fun and diverting romp.... Dragon Teeth is filled with colorful Wild West characters... and Crichton writes vividly.” (Washington Post)
“A fast-paced page-turner that showcases Crichton’s singular ability to combine action, science, and history into one fantastic story. Fans will be thrilled, while new readers will discover what makes his books so enthralling.” (Library Journal)
“Dragon Teeth isn’t ‘literary’ fiction. Plain and simple, it’s Crichton fiction — a fun, suspenseful, entertaining, well-told tale filled with plot twists, false leads and lurking danger in every cliffhanging chapter. When you’re done, you’ll wish for more.” (USA Today (four stars))
“A lean, propulsively readable adventure story, filled with seamlessly interwoven exposition and sharp dialogue. It’s easily the best thing with Michael Crichton’s name on it since 1999’s Timeline.... Linking the word ‘dinosaur’ and the name ‘Michael Crichton’ is about as sure-fire a recipe for magic as the modern publishing world can muster.” (Christian Science Monitor)
“Dragon Teeth is an effective, page-turning combination of historical fact and fast-paced fiction.... A distinct pleasure to read.... [Readers will] be anxious to know if there might be more unpublished treasures waiting in the Crichton Archives to be excavated and brought forward for our reading delight.” (New York Journal of Books)
“A page-turner.” (NBC 2)
“On display... are [Crichton’s] many gifts as a popular novelist and Dragon Teeth is a gripping and entertaining read.” (Sunday Times)
From the Back Cover
NOT SINCE JURASSIC PARK HAS DIGGING UP THE PAST BEEN SO DANGEROUS
The legendary number one New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling 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. While the civilized East debates Mr. Darwin’s heretical new theory called evolution, 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 archrival, 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, Edward Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice.
His honor at stake, William joins 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 from some of the West’s most notorious and wily characters.
Top customer reviews
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I have read with pleasure and benefit almost all of Crichton's previous novels. From that perspective, I would say this novel is OK but not striking--it certainly is not a page turner that grabs the reader. It is typical Crichton in that he instructs while entertaining. For example, he once again attaches a bibliography of related books for readers interested in pursuing the topic. He also stops the narrative at several places (107; 116;and 153) to explain the context of what is happening, so that the reader can fully appreciate the story. Since paleontology is the setting for the story, these brief explanatory interruptions are quite helpful. Crichston also attaches an author's note and postscript at the end explaining a few things.
He also adopts the practice of intermixing real figures with the story's characters. This technique requires real skill and discipline in not overdoing it, and Crichton does not abuse the practice. The two central figures in the novel, aside from the young Yale student narrator, are two real professors of paleontology who during 1876 are competing for the academic title of King of Bones. The prize goes to whomever digs up the most important and numerous fossils, generally drawn from the far west. So almost immediately, in effect, Crichton has shifted the story into almost a conventional western--an area I only previously saw him involved with in "The Great Train Robbery" and indirectly in "Westworld." So we have gunfights, Indian attacks, Deadwood, the U.S. Calvary, dance hall girls, stagecoach attacks, and other trappings of a western story. Yet throughout, Crichton keeps the theme of dino fossils first and foremost. Additional real life characters appear, including Collis Huntington (one of the big four founders of the UP railroad) and especially Wyatt Earp, who had come into prominence during the 15 years Crichton was crafting the novel.
So, folks interested in the West and/or paleontology (the title relates to actual fossil dino teeth) should enjoy this book. Its 283 pages pass quickly, and the author thoughtfully has converted the end papers into a detailed map which makes it easy to follow where all the stages of the story occur. It is good to read Crichton once again!
I knew about those real people and events, so I particularly enjoyed the first half of the book, which focuses on them. During that half I could well believe that the novel was what it claimed to be, a lightly fictionalized account based on the diary of someone who actually took part in the Cope and Marsh digs. (In a way it was, according to the author’s afterword, but the account was from Charles Sternberg, mentioned briefly in the story, not the fictional “William Johnson” who is cited at the novel’s beginning.) That part of the book gives a vivid picture of the feuding paleontologists and of what it must have been like to dig out the bones and teeth of unimaginably huge creatures—whose reality many people of the time found impossible to accept—in the hot, dusty badlands of a West still filled with hostile (with good reason, most people would say today) Indians and stagecoach robbers.
I found the second half, in which Johnson becomes separated from the Cope party and must try to bring their heavy cache of excavated bones to safety, much less interesting, even though that is where most of the perils occur. They were the sort of perils that occur in just about any Western novel, so I felt like I’d seen it all before. I didn’t find Johnson a very interesting or well-developed character, either. In short, I’d recommend the first half of the book to anyone interested in the colorful early history of paleontology, but they can skip the so-so Western it’s attached to—and readers looking for a “Michael Crichton thriller” should never even start it.
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