Sunday, June 4, 2017

[Book Review] Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

 Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton book review

When I first heard that this manuscript had been discovered and would be published, I couldn't believe it! Michael Crichton is my all time favorite author, and I'm not afraid to admit that when I heard the news, I started crying from excitement.

I pre-ordered the book just as soon as it was available and started reading the day it made it to my doorstep.

This book did not disappoint!

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton book photo

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton


Goodreads Summary:
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.

Click here to add Dragon Teeth to your Goodreads TBR!


My thoughts:
I absolutely loved that Mr. Crichton spliced together strands of fiction and history for this book! I loved learning about the real characters and events in the typical Crichton fashion.

For example, some of the characters were real-life figures of early paleontology. These characters included:

Othniel Charles Marsh
A very well connected and eccentric man. 
Also very paranoid! 
Professor at Yale University.
He led groups of students West to dig for bones. 

Othniel Charles Marsh, character in Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton


Edward Drinker Cope
Upbeat, honest, and laid back. 
Though Cope had anger issues that turned violent when provoked.  
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 

Edward Drinker Cope, character in Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton


These two were were involved in the Bone Wars, a time of intense fossil speculation and discovery,  which spanned the years from 1877 to 1892. In this "war," Cope and Marsh had a very heated rivalry where they resorted to bribery, theft, destruction, and other such methods to out-compete the other. Each scientist also tried to ruin the others reputation in the process.

Other real characters included:

Wyatt Earp 
A gambling gunman.
Known for his gun and boxing fights.

Wyatt Earp, character in Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton


Charles Hazelius Sternberg
A fossil collector and paleontologist.

Charles Hazelius Sternberg, character in Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton


The storyline organization and pacing was absolutely thrilling. I was hooked right from page one and did not want the book to end. There were many situations that got my heart pumping, times that made me sad, and times where I found myself cheering the characters on.

I really loved the anticipation that I felt when I read the lines that were thrown near the very end of chapters!

Examples:

The trouble the teeth would soon cause them, they could not have imagined.

But it was also the beginning of trouble between... that would later cause him so much misery.

The characters were so well developed! I really enjoyed each of them, even the rotten ones. I will say that I was nervous when we first met the first (fictional) main character, William Johnson. He was your stereotypical entitled rich boy that couldn't care less about the consequences of his actions. But I loved seeing him change over time.

And of course the writing was incredible. I love Mr. Crichton's style so much.


A few of my favorite passages:


quote from dragon teeth by michael crichton

...and then his eyes met those of the new girl, and the raucous sound of the theater faded away, and time seemed to stop, and he was aware of nothing but the dark intensity of her gaze and the pounding of his own heart.

This is the nature of fanaticism, to attract and provoke extremes of behavior. And this is why fanatics are all the same, whatever specific form their fanaticism takes.

In the middle of the still hot afternoon, Johnson was riding alongside Cope, talking quite peaceably to him, when his hat suddenly flew away in the air, although there was no wind.
A moment later they heard the snapping report of a long rifle.
Then another, and another. Someone was shooting at them.

One never knows what one will find, and the possibilities, the potential discoveries lying in wait, fuels the quest.

To ride out under the great dome of blue sky, with the plains stretching in all directions around him, was an experience that approached the mystical.

Photographs provided a tangible reality to men who were far from home, fearful and tired; they were posed proofs of success, souvenirs to send to sweethearts and loved ones, or simply ways of remembering, of grasping a moment in a swift changing and uncertain world.


My final thoughts:
I will most definitely be reading this book over and over again. I absolutely loved it! 5 STARS!


Thanks for reading! 
Have you read any of Michael Crichton's books? If so, which is your favorite?
SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

8 comments:

  1. Oooh I love that passage! I'm so happy you loved it E! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the added history to give us a better sense of these historical figures. So happy you enjoyed it. Though, it's Crichton, can't go wrong there. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course! I found this all so incredibly interesting!

      Delete
  3. I was the same as you, a new MC book!! I must have it, am waiting for it to plop through my letterbox!
    Thanks for for your review !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! I hope you love it as much as I did!! :)

      Delete
  4. I have seen this book around before! It sounds like the photographs added a new dimension to the story that was particularly enjoyable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely did!! I only looked up the actual people after finishing the book...but with Michael Crichton's descriptions in the book, they looked exactly like I expected!!

      Delete