Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
A Novel

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...the best thing about “Dragon Teeth” might be the escape it affords us from such philosophical complexity.


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. 


About Michael Crichton

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Michael Crichton’s novels include The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, and The Lost World. He was as well the creator of the television series ER. Crichton died in 2008.
Published May 23, 2017 by Harper. 304 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Jun 11 2017
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Dragon Teeth
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2


Below average
on Mar 07 2017

Falls short of Crichton’s many blockbusters, but fun reading nonetheless, especially for those interested in the early days of American paleontology.

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NY Journal of Books

Reviewed by Michael J. McCann on May 22 2017

Not only will readers want to explore at greater length this period of history inhabited by Cope, Marsh, Sternberg and others after reading Dragon Teeth, but they’ll also 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.

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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Rien Fertel on May 22 2017

Unfortunately, Dragon Teeth will offer little to Jurassic Park junkies. Even William’s accidental discovery of a set of Brontosaurus bones—the titular “teeth of dragons”—become little more than a MacGuffin in a protracted, Yojimbo-esque stage piece set in the town of Deadwood.

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Christian Science Monitor

Reviewed by Steve Donoghue on May 24 2017

“Othniel Marsh was always good copy,” a character snidely comments at one point in the book. The same can also be said about the appearance of any new book under the Michael Crichton byline. These Crichton fossils being unearthed with such regularity are archeological gold.

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Above average
Reviewed by John Wilwol on May 19 2017

...the best thing about “Dragon Teeth” might be the escape it affords us from such philosophical complexity.

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