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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

John Michael Crichton, known as Michael Crichton, was born on October 28, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. He wrote novels while attending Harvard University and Harvard Medical School to help pay the tuition. One of these, The Andromeda Strain, which was published in 1969, became a bestseller. After graduating summa cum laude, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute in California before becoming a full-time writer and film director.

His carefully researched novels included Eaters of the Dead, The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Sphere, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World, Airframe, and Micro. He also wrote non-fiction works including Five Patients: The Hospital Explained, Jasper Johns, and Travels. In the late 1960s, he also wrote under the pen names Jeffrey Hudson and John Lange. He has received several awards including Writer of the Year in 1970 from the Association of American Medical Writers and two Edgar Awards in 1968 and in 1979.

Many of his novels have been made into highly successful films, six of which he directed. He was also the creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning television series ER. In addition to his writing and directorial success, his expertise in information science enabled him to run a software company and develop a computer game. He died of cancer on November 4, 2008 at the age of 66.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Discovered in manuscript form among the late author's files, this new novel tells the story of one of the most notorious rivalries in the history of science. Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope were competing dinosaur-fossil hunters from the 1870s through the 1890s. Both were passionately motivated about finding and classifying new dinosaurs, but, at the same time, they often let personal antipathies and their own egos get in the way of scientific research. Crichton tells their fascinating story through the eyes of young William Johnson, an aimless boy from a wealthy family who winds up working with both men (he's dropped from Marsh's latest expedition because Marsh suspects he's a spy working for Cope, so Johnson joins up with Cope instead). The book is sure to garner a lot of attention a posthumous book about dinosaurs from the creator of Jurassic Park but it's more than just a literary curiosity. It's also a very good novel; in fact, taken among all Crichton's novels, it's one of his best, a beautifully detailed, scientifically engrossing, absolutely riveting story about the early days of paleontology. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Discovering an unpublished Crichton novel about dinosaurs isn't quite as big a deal as discovering, say, a very old dinosaur wandering about Central Park, but it's no small thing, either.--Pitt, David Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

It's 1876, and a bet sends Yale student -William Johnson off to Colorado on a paleontological expedition with Othniel Marsh. When the paranoid Marsh suspects Johnson is a spy, he abandons him in Cheyenne, WY. Johnson joins up with another famous paleontologist, Edward Drinker Cope, and heads off to the Montana badlands. Near the end of the expedition, however, Johnson is presumed dead after a mishap. In reality, he makes his way to Deadwood along with half of the expedition's haul. He must now make his way back East with the scientific discovery of a lifetime, yet escaping his enemies may prove difficult. This newly discovered manuscript by the late -Crichton, who died in 2008, returns to a dinosaur theme, this time in a historical novel based on the lives of two 19th-century paleontology giants and their "Bone Wars" rivalry. VERDICT Although not on par with the author's best works (The Andromeda Strain; Jurassic Park), this posthumously published novel is 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. [See Prepub Alert, 11/7/16.]-Laura Hiatt, Fort -Collins, CO © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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