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Dragon Teeth
Cover of Dragon Teeth
Dragon Teeth
A Novel

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.

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.

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About the Author-
  • Michael Crichton (1942—2008) was the author of the groundbreaking novels The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, Prey, State of Fear, and Next, among many others. His books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, have been translated into thirty-eight languages, and have provided the basis for fifteen feature films. He was the director of Westworld, Coma, The Great Train Robbery and Looker, as well as the creator of ER. Crichton remains the only writer to have a number one book, movie, and TV show in the same year.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 13, 2017
    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.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2017
    In 1876, professor Edward Cope takes a group of students to the unforgiving American West to hunt for dinosaur fossils, and they make a tremendous discovery.William Jason Tertullius Johnson, son of a shipbuilder and beneficiary of his father's largess, isn't doing very well at Yale when he makes a bet with his archrival (because every young man has one): accompany -the bone professor- Othniel Marsh to the West to dig for dinosaur fossils or pony up $1,000, but Marsh will only let Johnson join if he has a skill they can use. They need a photographer, so Johnson throws himself into the grueling task of learning photography, eventually becoming proficient. When Marsh and the team leave without him, he hitches a ride with another celebrated paleontologist, Marsh's bitter rival, Edward Cope. Despite warnings about Indian activity, into the Judith badlands they go. It's a harrowing trip: they weather everything from stampeding buffalo to back-breaking work, but it proves to be worth it after they discover the teeth of what looks to be a giant dinosaur, and it could be the discovery of the century if they can only get them back home safely. When the team gets separated while transporting the bones, Johnson finds himself in Deadwood and must find a way to get the bones home--and stay alive doing it. The manuscript for this novel was discovered in Crichton's (Pirate Latitudes, 2009, etc.) archives by his wife, Sherri, and predates Jurassic Park (1990), but if readers are looking for the same experience, they may be disappointed: it's strictly formulaic stuff. Famous folk like the Earp brothers make appearances, and Cope and Marsh, and the feud between them, were very real, although Johnson is the author's own creation. Crichton takes a sympathetic view of American Indians and their plight, and his appreciation of the American West, and its harsh beauty, is obvious. Falls short of Crichton's many blockbusters, but fun reading nonetheless, especially for those interested in the early days of American paleontology.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2016
    Set in 1876, at the height of the frantic competition among paleontologists seeking dinosaur fossils in the American West, this newly discovered novel from the late Crichton features an ultra-entitled Yalie's fateful decision to join an expedition. A million-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 4, 2017
    Set in 1876 on the Western frontier, Crichton’s recently discovered novel tells the story of two competing paleontologists pillaging the Wild West for dinosaur fossils. To win a bet, Yale student William Johnson joins an expedition with the eccentric and world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. Prone to paranoia, Marsh becomes convinced that Johnson is working for his rival, the paleontologist Edwin Drinker Cope, and leaves Johnson to fend for himself in a dangerous part of Wyoming. The tale has all the hallmarks of a Crichton adventure: scientific discovery, dueling scientists, and bravado. Veteran voice actor Brick delivers the story smoothly and heightens the intensity of the survival on the frontier with his pacing. There’s not much for Brick to work with in the way of characterizations—Johnson, Marsh, and Cope are not all that dynamic of characters—but Brick does his best to develop them when he can, such as adding hints of wickedness when portraying Marsh’s paranoia. Crichton’s widow Sherri reads her postscript at the end, providing the context for the creation of Crichton’s novel. Despite the shortcomings of the story, the audiobook will please die-hard fans of the author. A Harper hardcover.

  • USA Today (four stars) "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."
  • New York Times "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."
  • Wall Street Journal "Rollicking.... A page-turner."
  • Washington Post "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."
  • Christian Science Monitor "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."
  • New York Journal of Books "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."
  • Sunday Times "On display... are [Crichton's] many gifts as a popular novelist and Dragon Teeth is a gripping and entertaining read."
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Any new Crichton novel is a cause for celebration."
  • Fort Worth Star Telegram "<i>Dragon Teeth</i> is history class made palatable thanks to thrilling storytelling.... Why wait for the TV adaptation when this terrific book is already on the shelves?"
  • Oklahoma City Oklahoman "A good story with a compelling plot and plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing."
  • Raleigh News & Observer "The book is packed with action, combining impeccable research and storytelling to offer an unforgettable excursion into classic Crichton territory."
  • Booklist, starred review "Among all Crichton's novels, it's one of his best, a beautifully detailed, scientifically engrossing, absolutely riveting story."
  • Library Journal "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."
  • Seattle Times "Crichton was always a terrific storyteller, and Dragon Teeth is a terrific story."
  • Publishers Weekly "Entertaining."
  • New York Times "Crichton is a virtuoso."
  • Los Angeles Times "A master."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "A terrific novelist. . . . He could make most readers lose sleep all night and call in sick the next day."
  • New York Times Book Review "Crichton's books [are] . . . hugely entertaining."
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A Novel
Michael Crichton
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