Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, 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. 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.
A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic.
Crichton pays homage, again, to Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World in this entertaining historical thriller whose manuscript was discovered posthumously. But instead of the living dinosaurs of Jurassic Park, the focus here is on the fossilized ones at the center of the late 19th century's feud between rival pioneering paleontologists. As in Conan Doyle's novel, the hero is a callow young man who volunteers for a perilous expedition, headed by an eccentric academic, to prove a point, and grows up in the process. Here, it's Yale undergraduate William Johnson, who is embarrassed by a classmate's taunt into a bet that he will spend the summer in a West still populated by hostile Indians. By pretending to be a photographer, Johnson persuades Yale's Othniel C. Marsh to include him on a fossil hunt. Marsh is worried that Professor Edward Cope, a one-time friend, will try to take credit for his discoveries, and Johnson finds himself dealing with the consequences of their rivalry in a West made even more perilous in the aftermath of Custer's last stand. Fans of Crichton's historical suspense books, such as The Great Train Robbery, will be pleased.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I got lost in the pages several times. Great read! The only thing is I wish it would have ended a different way. Just kinda seamed like it was way to short for such a great read. 💯 recommend the book! Loved it
Great story. I’m only sorry it isn’t true!
A Western + Dino Bones!
I loved this story. I admit, this was my first Crichton novel, but it was a pleasure. Lots of juicy historical references, many of which I’ve stumbled across elsewhere since reading it. Seeing Cope, Marsh, or Sternberg listed under different species of dinosaurs has different meaning after reading this. Besides any praise I can give, this was a Dino (bone) western— How could it have gone poorly? It was great!