Book Review: Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

Dragon TeethDragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Posthumously published by Michael Crichton’s estate, Dragon Teeth brings us one more dinosaur-related Crichton adventure, this time focused on the intense and very personal paleontology wars of the late 1800s. The novel is based on real history–the rivalry between professors Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh is really enjoyable and chuckleworthy, even more so because it’s historically accurate. The core story, however, is fictional; the main character William Johnson is Crichton’s invention, who seems to embody the romanticized sense of adventure that is often associated with the Wild West. I hesitate to criticize the book, as it wasn’t truly finished by Crichton, but I would simply inform would-be readers that it’s a simple, pulpy, predictable but fun read. Anyone looking for an enjoyable fictionalized primer on the early days of American paleontology can dig this read. Anyone looking for an appropriately complex exploration of how scientific expeditions factored into the European colonization of the American West will want to seek out meatier fare.

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