Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Another posthumous offering from Crichton. I hope they keep finding them because I would love to keep reading books from him! This one is a must read.
If you’re looking for an early version of Jurassic Park you will be disappointed, but this book has a feel to it that will keep you turning the page! This is the story of two ruthless pioneering paleontologists, historical figures and great rivals in the 19th century during “The Bone Wars” while digging in the old dangerous west, in canyons, hills and deserts. You know, places where lethal accidents or unfriendly incidents can occur in the search for dinosaur fossils, an ancient extinct animal or recently discovered. College professors Othniel Charles Marsh from Yale and his younger, former friend Edward Drinker Coke, from the small Quaker university in Philadelphia, Haverford are both are mad. Any underhanded trick to spoil and discredit the other is fine, they seriously hate each other with a passion. Newspapers, grown men , seeking glory in new finds… And loathsome childish pranks that kept readers amused.
Then in comes William Johnson 18, a lazy freshman at Yale, a rich man’s son, quite full of himself, during the centennial celebrations of 1876, held in his hometown, Philadelphia, a short trip from the New Haven, Connecticut campus were he doesn’t study…twice put in probation, wrecking private property he gets bored easily and father pays for damages…what’s the big deal? Professor Marsh is taking students out west this summer, and Mr. William Johnson, not wanting to lose a bet from his nemesis a fellow arrogant student , an insufferable archenemy. Instead of a leisurely pleasant voyage to Europe and a sightseeing tramp around the continent… it becomes a dirty, awful, backbreaking dig for some old bones as the relentless sun and boss, burns your hide. To make matters worse, the Sioux are on the warpath, all this nuisance just to show how brave he is! Famous people he encounters, Wyatt Earp in particular, is charismatic on trains and western boom towns, some less known. Quickly after a brief acquaintance, they enter boot hill, everything seems to be not very happy going…
Marsh and Coke he works for the unscrupulous duo, not at the same time obviously, neither one tells the truth very often or fails to kick a man when he is down. An unexpected, enjoyable romp into history, for people who like to experience the atmosphere of a bygone era and walk in other men’s and women’s boots. They too can join their hazardous adventures for a short duration!