Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton (Book Review)

Despite it being a posthumous release, I picked up Dragon Teeth for two reasons; the first is because I am a fan of some of Michael Crichton’s earlier works, and the second because the book cover resembles those of his Jurassic Park novels, which I adore. You can read my Jurassic Park and Lost World reviews via this link.

 

Unfortunately, this book is nothing like Jurassic Park, in both style and substance. Instead, it is an old Wild West story in which a group of scientists dig up dinosaur bones, in a hostile land filled with Indian tribes and pistol fights.

In hindsight it became glaringly obvious that Dragon Teeth was not my type of novel. Originally written by Crichton back in the 70s and shelved for decades, this book appears to have been pieced together from both the early manuscript, and copious notes which had been added on to it over the intervening years, and it shows. As a result the finished product doesn’t feel like it was written by the Michael Crichton that we’ve all come to know and love.

While I enjoyed reading about the excavations; the scientific processes and procedures, the names of the dinosaur species etc. there just wasn’t enough of it to keep me interested in the overall story. It is ok as a stand-alone novel, though just not my usual cup of tea. At 2 out of 5 stars fans of historical fiction and/or Westerns may enjoy Dragon Teeth, just don’t expect it to be anything like Jurassic Park, or indeed any other novel from Michael Crichton. If you’re interested you can find more information about Dragon Teeth on Amazon.co.uk here.

 

See also:

Jurassic Park

The Lost World

Advertisements

The Lost World by Michael Crichton (Book Review)

Many years after John Hammond’s disastrous resort, Jurassic Park is condemned and the genetically engineered inhabitants are destroyed, a number of unknown reptile-like animals start to show up around Costa Rica. Paleobiologist Richard Levine begins to take an interest in these animals, theorising that they may be dinosaurs that have survived extinction and flourished within a so-called ‘Lost World’ deprived from human intervention.

When Levine suddenly goes MIA right before his team is due to test some brand new equipment and vehicles in the field, his young associates get worried, prompting an investigation into his whereabouts. This leads Dr. Ian Malcolm into the discovery of the Jurassic Park testing and breeding ground, Site B: A location in Costa Rica that Malcolm and Levine have been searching for without success for a number of years.

Realising that Richard Levine may be in great danger amidst dangerous animals, Malcolm and the rest of Levine’s team hastily organise a rescue mission to Isla Sorna, but refusing to be left behind, young Kelly and Arby, Levine’s young associates hide themselves amid the equipment and smuggle themselves into Costa Rica along with the adults.

Unfortunately, they are not the only ones searching for Site B and John Hammond’s dinosaurs. Lewis Dodgson has been watching Levine for a long time and Ian Malcolm inadvertently supplies him with the location of the island, allowing him an opportunity to retrieve the specimens that he so badly desires.

Can anyone stay alive long enough to leave the island and return to civilisation, or will the mighty predators protect their territory at all costs?

 

While not quite as gripping or enthralling a read as the original Jurassic Park novel, at 4 out of 5 stars The Lost World is still a rather fine book from best-selling author Michael Crichton.

It heralds the return of mathematician Ian Malcolm as he once again returns to the islands of Costa Rica, coming face to face with yet more vicious and thought-to-be-extinct dinosaurs. Coupled with the idiotic Lewis Dodgson, still intent on retrieving his dinosaur specimens, the story unfolds in a slightly predicable but rather satisfying manner.

You can pick up a copy of The Lost World from Amazon here.

 

See also:

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (Book Review)

Entrepreneur John Hammond is attempting a feat never before imagined. To open a brand new amusement resort on Isla Nublar, a small Island about 100 miles off the West coast of Costa Rica. His park will play host to a variety of living attractions in the form of genetically engineered dinosaurs, recreated from the DNA extracted from amber.

Unfortunately John’s company InGen Inc. is drawing unwanted attention and there are a number of suspicions that his elaborate venture is an unnecessary risk. Mathematician Ian Malcolm, through his studies in chaos theory declares the park “an accident waiting to happen.”

Hammond immediately sets out to prove that his park is completely safe by allowing his lawyer, Donald Gennaro access to the resort during a routine inspection. He also invites Ian Malcolm, Paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, Paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler and his two young grandchildren, Tim and Alexis to discover their thoughts on the project.

Of course, things don’t quite go as planned for John Hammond when a number of unexpected problems arise, made all the worse by Dennis Nedry, a member of Hammond’s own staff who has been paid by InGen’s main rivals Biosyn to steal precious dinosaur embryos.

Nedry puts the lives of everyone on Isla Nublar in danger when he turns off the power grid, allowing the dinosaurs to roam freely around the Island, with Hammond’s grandchildren and the scientists conducting the inspection caught completely unaware right in the middle of the park.

Unfortunately, dinosaurs have also escaped the island onto the boat that ferries the supplies to and from the mainland. Can the maintenance and IT staff resolve the electrical problems and rescue the visitors from the tour within the park grounds in time to prevent the boat docking in Costa Rica? Will Hammond get his park open to the public or will the inspection shut him down?

 

Favourite Quotes:

“What burns me is that we have made this wonderful park, this fantastic park, and our very first visitors are going through it like accountants, just looking for problems. They aren’t experiencing the wonder of it at all.” – John Hammond. (p177)

 

Jurassic Park is one of those franchises in which the original book is much more entertaining and enthralling than any of the movies. Compared with Steven Spielberg’s original Jurassic Park film adaptation, the novel has a longer, more complicated plot with intricate detailing of the different species of dinosaurs. There is also plenty of action, and suspense.

Michael Crichton is a well known best-selling author who knows how to write a great story, and at 5 out of 5 stars, Jurassic Park is no exception. If you haven’t already you can pick up a copy of Jurassic Park at Amazon here.

You may also wish to check out its sequel ‘The Lost World’.