‘Dragon Teeth’ Is An Unforgettable Adventure Into the Wild West [REVIEW]


In 1876, a Yale student joins forces with a world-renowned paleontologist and travels west in search of extraordinary treasure in Michael Crichton’s Dragon Teeth. (Photo by John Sonderman, Flickr)

A spoiled Ivy League student. A crusty paleontologist. An unforgettable adventure into the Wild West that will never be forgotten. All these elements colide in legendary author Michael Crichton’s delicious new novel, Dragon Teeth. 

Michael Crichton's DRAGON TEETH


When Crichton died in 2008, he left behind an already impressive collection of work. After all, his novels like Congo, SphereRising Sun and others had thrilled readers around the globe. Then there is Jurassic Park, published in 1990, which continues to captivate our imaginations both in print and on screen 27 years later.

So when Harper sent me an advance reader’s edition of a recently discovered manuscript called Dragon Teeth, I was beyond excited. This is a book Crichton’s wife Sherri found among Michael’s archives, and as she says, it captures “Michael’s voice, his love of history, research, and science, all dynamically woven into an epic tale.”

Growing up, I’d cut my teeth on Crichton’s books, devouring each one as they had each been published, delighting in his mastery of words, his knack for crafting cliffhangers, and his ability to transform serious scientific research into popular fiction that was as easy to gulp down as a bucket of buttery popcorn. However, as excited as I was to dive into the new book, I was also a bit nervous to do so because, let’s face it, sometimes an author’s posthumously released work is better left buried. Thankfully, I need not have worried.

In Dragon Teeth, all of Crichton’s trademark skills are on display, and readers will undoubtedly be captivated by a story that seems to blend Michael’s love of dinosaurs with his penchant for historical facts. So here’s the scoop.

In 1876, there is a spoiled 18-year-old Ivy League student named William Johnson from Philadelphia. He’s arrogant and entitled and always in trouble, and yet he is also charming and determined to prove that he is a man. A gambler, he suddenly finds himself bound by a wager with a classmate which sends him deep into the Wild West with the eccentric, yet paranoid, world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. But Marsh thinks Johnson is a spy for his arch rival, and halfway across the country he leaves Johnson high and dry in Wyoming.

With few choices left to him, Johnson actually does join ranks with Marsh’s rival, Edward Drinker Cope, and his ragtag group of misfit students who are embarking on their own scientific treasure hunt. But when they eventually make a discovery of historic proportions, Johnson’s newfound fortitude is soon tested as he finds himself in hot water once again, this time with some of the West’s most notorious characters.

This is a book that blends everything we came to love about The Great Train Robbery with the scientific marvels of Jurassic Park, and as such, is a book that only Michael Crichton could write. The storytelling is effervescent and fun. The story itself is steeped in history and science, yet dealt with a light touch which makes for a read that is endlessly entertaining. William Johnson is reminiscent of a young Indiana Jones (think River Phoenix in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), and readers will happily join him on his adventure to find dinosaur bones, love, and his own inner strength.

Yes, Crichton may have died nearly a decade ago, but the hits just keep on coming, and we’re grateful he left us with such an impressive body of work. Dragon Teeth easily takes its place on the shelf beside the best of the author’s previous books. It is yet another galvanizing tale destined to inspire yet another generation of diggers.


Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton (1942 – 2008) was the author of the groundbreaking novels The Great Train RobberyJurassic ParkDisclosurePreyState of Fear, and Next, among many others.

His books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, have been translated into 38 languages, and have rpovided the basis for 15 feature films.

He was the director of WestworldComaThe Great Train Robbery, and Looker, as well as the creator of ERCrichton remains the only writer to have a number one book, movie, and TV show in the same year.

By Michael Crichton
304 pgs. Harper. $28.99

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

One Response to ‘Dragon Teeth’ Is An Unforgettable Adventure Into the Wild West [REVIEW]

  1. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    The dinosaurs of Jurassic Park meet the Wild West of The Great Train Robbery in Michael Crichton’s latest posthumous adventure yarn, Dragon Teeth.

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