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Raptor Red

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,641 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
A pair of fierce but beautiful eyes look out from the undergrowth of conifers. She is an intelligent killer...

So begins one of the most extraordinary novels you will ever read. The time is 120 million years ago, the place is the plains of prehistoric Utah, and the eyes belong to an unforgettable heroine. Her name is Raptor Red, and she is a female raptor dinosaur.

Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published September 7th 1995)
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Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonThe Lost World by Michael CrichtonHorizon Alpha by D.W. VogelRaptor Red by Robert T. BakkerDragon Dawn by Deborah O'Neill Cordes
Best Dinosaur Books
4th out of 111 books — 173 voters
Horizon Alpha by D.W. VogelDragon Dawn by Deborah O'Neill CordesJurassic Park by Michael CrichtonRaptor Red by Robert T. BakkerThe Lost World by Michael Crichton
Dinosaur Fantasy and Science Fiction
4th out of 44 books — 84 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Henry Avila
Dec 07, 2015 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She coldly looks for her next victim, hiding in the bushes, as does the male consort, ready to kill again, the duo frequently work together and enjoy butchering the helpless, the fierce, bright, intelligent, pretty eyes, always searching and moving , she is patient and can wait for hours, finally there, a short distance from them, the cripple... a silent signal to the companion, both running from opposite sides, they attack, slashing and slashing, blood squirting out, from gaping holes, it is so ...more
Brenda Clough
Aug 08, 2012 Brenda Clough rated it really liked it
You've heard the rule for writers: only steal from the best? Bakker obviously knows it. Naturally he knows everything about dinosaurs and uses all that knowledge in this novel. But, aware of his limitations, he stole a plot engine and stuffed it under the hood. Yes, it's PRIDE & PREJUDICE, with velociraptors! It's a hoot to read this, with that in mind. Every fan of Austen should pick this up.
James Steele
Nov 29, 2010 James Steele rated it it was amazing
Finally, a dino book with the dinos as the main characters and not a human in sight. The descriptions of raptor social structure (and the world itself) are so real they must be true. After reading this it seems impossible for dinosaurs to have behaved in any way other than what Bakker describes. I felt like I was watching a documentary with running commentary from an omniscient narrator, and this is much better than interrupting a dinosaur’s thoughts with human interjection. National Geographic ...more
Mar 15, 2015 rachel rated it it was amazing
After reading Jurassic Park, Goodreads was kind enough to recommend this book to me (What absolutely amazing books would I have never come to know without Goodreads?). Already captivated by the cover, the summary had me thinking: "Yes! Finally a book from a dinosaur's point of view!" and I quickly ordered it. I was excited when it finally came, and I read it within two days, as I was quickly sucked into this prehistoric tale.

Dinosaurs are often portrayed as savage carnivores that kill everything
Rebecca McNutt
Feb 16, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
From the look of the jagged title font and gloomy-looking shadows on the front cover you might think that this book is a thriller or horror, but actually it's a book that features a dinosaur as the main character, giving readers a dramatized view of what life as one of these large reptiles was probably like at the time when tyrannosaurus rexes and raptors ruled the earth.
Tara Hall
Nov 17, 2010 Tara Hall rated it it was amazing
A consistently underrated, forgotten classic with an extremely unique point-of-view. I read this book over and over when I was young. I loved how realistic it made dinosaurs, how personal the view into Red's life became. The same struggles we deal with, the death of a loved one, illness and danger, family bonds, are shown to us through her eyes, broken down from their cultural definitions into something simple and pure - science. It is an amazing study in point-of-view and the power of prose wit ...more
Nov 21, 2011 Zola rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite novels! My parents gave me this book when I was younger, and I admit that I cried the first time I read it and Red went through all her troubles. I'm generally not a fan of anthropomorphizing animals, but when the animal has been extinct for millions of years I don't suppose anyone really gives a fuck.

The narrative is engaging, really--not like a lecture which is as dry as the bones it's discussing.
Dave Sippel
Jan 30, 2014 Dave Sippel rated it really liked it
I read this book forever ago but it stuck in my memory. I take that as a positive sign. I found it at my library recently, thumbed through it and liked what I saw.

Raptor Red follows the life of a Utahraptor after the death of her mate. She reunites with her sister and her sister's hatchlings, despite her sister's apprehension of having another adult around the chicks. Together, they travel in search of food, escape predators and play. Red continues searching for a new mate, despite her sister's
I used to give this book two stars in my first review, and I honestly don't know what my problem was 10+ years ago. This book is incredible and will be re-read regularly. (My guess is that the German translation must have been terrible and lifeless. Especially with authors like Bakker, who use rather a lot colloquials and a natural, "spoken tone" language, German translation fail me regularly and spectacularly. I refuse to read any German Stephen King anymore for this reason. They are just diffe ...more
Santiago Hernandez
Oct 05, 2015 Santiago Hernandez rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dinosaur or Science Enthusiasts
Dr. Robert T. Bakker is a very famous and great Paleontologist. He was one of the first paleontologists to link modern day birds with Theropod dinosaurs and to propose that dinosaurs were actually warm blooded creatures who were active and relatively intelligent. His work was so revolutionary that it eventually landed him an unofficial role as an adviser for the Jurassic Park the movie and is pretty much responsible for the way we view dinosaurs today.

Briefly, Dr. Bakker's "Raptor Red" is an ent
Barry Abel
Aug 07, 2015 Barry Abel rated it really liked it
i enjoyed it. Dated slightly as Bakker is still arguing against the early misconceptions of dinosaurs as reptiles - i.e. cold blooded, slow, etc. They weren't; like the remaining line of dinosaurs - birds - they were warm blooded and many were quite fast - just as mammals today. To show what life was like during the Cretaceous, Bakker follows one dinosaur - a Utahraptor he calls Raptor Red. While he speaks of one family making the walk from Asia, across the ice bridge to Greenland and then Easte ...more
May 14, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic!
I loved how the author usedsuch a unique approach when writing this book. I mean come on how often does a person come by a book that is written from a raptor's point of view?
It was heart warming and touching in a lot of parts and other parts served as a reminder of how cruel the world can be and how it has been in the eons before us.
I recommend this to everyone. It will surprise you.
Dec 23, 2015 Katie rated it liked it
This book combines a beautiful knowledge of the Cretaceous period with the witty humour and language of the author. Very detailed when describing dinosaurs, scenes etc.
Peter Dack
Mar 18, 2015 Peter Dack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far one of my favourite books ever, really felt for Raptor Red through out the story and the author brings his unique palaeontological views into the book with him. I have to admit that through reading the epilogue, I started to feel like maybe his views of the Dinosaurs behaviour and various extinctions makes complete perfect sense. The way Bakker ends the book leaves me unable to look at a bird of prey the same way, most of all the Golden Eagle.

I highly recommend this book if Dinosaurs are
Mariko True
Aug 06, 2014 Mariko True rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of paleontology, science, psychology
Recommended to Mariko by:
Shelves: shelf-san
This book details the lives of a pack of raptors, called Utahraptors (a giant species of raptor dug up by amateur fossil hunter, Bob Gaston in 1992) that lived in the Cretaceous Age in what is now Utah This is an intelligently written book which seems to accomplish the impossible by combining the genres of science and adventure to produce entertaining knowledge.

I discovered this book while scanning a reddit IAmA listing to see the upcoming Q/A events. I saw a paleontologist was on the future lis
Alicia Kaiser
Apr 27, 2015 Alicia Kaiser rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2015
This book is everything to me.
Henry Hakamaki
Jul 23, 2014 Henry Hakamaki rated it really liked it
Pleasantly surprised with this book!

I originally bought it from a secondhand store because it sounded so weird that I couldn't pass it up. I mean, really, a book written from a dinosaur's perspective? As weird as it sounds though, it was actually very entertaining, and even managed to invoke some emotion.

The book is written by the world famous paleontologist, Robert T. Bakker, and he succeeds in showing that not only does he know WAY more than almost anyone about dinosaurs and other prehistoric
Andrew Frueh
Feb 09, 2014 Andrew Frueh rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, science
Great concept; teaching through narrative. Textbook authors take note, Bakker effortlessly conveys an enormous amount of information within these pages. The fundamental idea is quite similar to James Paul Gee's concept of "externalization of identity". As he discussed in Why Video Games Are Good for Your Soul: Pleasure and Learning, playing immersive video games blends the player with the virtual character; they are joint actors in a virtual world. This construct opens up enormous possibilities ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Written by an archaeologist, this book is cleverly written. The majority of the book is written from the point of view of Raptor Red, a five year-old female velociraptor who lived in prehistoric Utah. However, in some chapters the narrative switches. We share a chapter with a prehistoric turtle about to lay her eggs, a prehistoric rodent whose burrow gets trampled by large dinos battling above, and a wise pterodactyl who bemusedly observes it all. Using what he knows of these animals' anatomies, ...more
Feb 05, 2016 Johnny rated it really liked it
This was a great book, it was from the point of view of a female Utahraptor which was really cool, it was so much different from Jurassic Park in that way. It went from the early stages of her life to her finding a mate and her finding her sister again and her sister dying. I would suggest this to anyone.
Jody Ellis
Apr 12, 2016 Jody Ellis rated it it was amazing
I read this back in high school in Scotland and I loved it. I want to read it again!
Dec 01, 2014 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dinosaur fans
Recommended to Alexandra by: reddit
I was in love with this book from the very beginning, and I'm delving in for an immediate reread once I've passed my copy along and forced it onto all of my friends. It was funny and well-written, and the elements of humor and humanity weren't excessive - nor did they distract me or draw me out of the story. Raptor Red is definitely a new favorite, and I will now spend the rest of my life hunting for another dino-POV novel since I now have a hunger for more. I loved it so much I mailed it to a f ...more
Jan 27, 2016 Line rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, dinosaurs

Ehm. Ok, attempt in progress to write something someone could actually find useful.

This book is not particularly well written, nor is the story as well structured and neat as I usually prefer, but I enjoyed it immensely anyway. Mainly because DINOSAURS!

The main character is a female Utahraptor, which happens to be the reason why I bought the book, introduced as Raptor Red. We follow her life over the span of a very eventful year, in the Cretaceous period of our earths long history
Kristi Schoonover
Jun 25, 2015 Kristi Schoonover rated it it was amazing
I read this book when it was first released, and recalled only that it was fantastic. When re-reading a book you love—especially two decades later—there’s always a risk that it won’t live up to expectations. That’s not the case with Raptor Red. This tale of one year in the conflicted life of the discovered-in-1992-Utahraptor from her point of view is as eloquent and fascinating as I’d remembered.

Where Bakker excels is making each of these creatures—not just the raptors, but acrocanthosaurus, pt
Jonathan Anderson
I've owned a copy of this since I was a kid, a paperback with a hologram of Raptor Red that fascinated me, but I'm not sure I ever really read it. I'm sure I paged through it for highlights, but when Goodreads asks me below this how many times I've read it, I'm putting it down as one. So I'm not predisposed to any reaction here other than whatever my love of dinosaurs gets me.

I might have gotten more out of it if I read it as a six year old.

It's not a terrible book at all, it's often very compel
Breanna Green
Oct 10, 2015 Breanna Green rated it really liked it
An interesting look at what life may have been like for Utahraptors as they fought for survival of themselves and the species. Definitely not the 'cold-blooded killers' dinosaurs used to be considered as. Raptor Red is far more of a 'clever girl', and gives rise to the questions of just how social interactions went between dinosaur predators. All in all, a good afternoon read.
Barbie Lapointe
Jul 01, 2015 Barbie Lapointe rated it really liked it
A rather delightful journey into the life of an intelligent carnivore... Reads like a cross between historical fiction and science fiction. I enjoyed the titular character, a female Utahraptor. It was exciting to read about the way she (probably) lived and learned. At times I felt like the "asides" about how many millions of years were involved in the times of the dinosaurs were just a little overdone. (Although I also found myself appreciating some reiteration when I had set it down for a day o ...more
Lorenzo Giangregorio
Sep 29, 2015 Lorenzo Giangregorio rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the characterization of the animals. They are portrayed in a realistic, primitive manner with simple animal like thoughts consisting of Basel ideas such as whether a new object/animal is a threat, food or just a new piece of the environment. These thought their deepness and contents changed drastically between different animal species with more intelligent animals having a greater variety of thoughts. It was also conveyed that the animals thought in pictures not words. One example of t ...more
Oct 14, 2015 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I first read this book when I was younger and obsessed with dinosaurs, so it seemed a lot more interesting - definitely better for those who actually care about dinosaur trivia, but when I read it now I can still see how much the way the book is written appeals to my brain, because of how it describes the dinosaurs as sentient animals having thoughts about their own everyday behaviors, their goals and limitations, their places in the food chain, etc.

There's this one line I especially liked but
Caleb Bomske
Sep 29, 2014 Caleb Bomske rated it really liked it
This book is a beautiful picture of life among dinosaurs from the Cedar Mountain Formation of Utah. The portrayal of thought patterns in intelligent predators is intriguing and the introduction of the various species (cast) throughout the duration of the book is exciting and riveting.
It is written from a standard, billion-year old Earth/one single common ancestor to all life perspective, so Christians need to be aware that not all discourse on the progress of evolution over time is necessarily f
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Bakker was born in Bergen County, New Jersey. He attributes his interest in dinosaurs to his reading an article in the September 7, 1953 issue of Life magazine. He graduated from Ridgewood High School in 1963.
At Yale University, Bakker studied under John Ostrom, an early proponent of the new view of dinosaurs, and later gained a PhD at Harvard. He began by teaching anatomy at Johns Hopkins Univers
More about Robert T. Bakker...

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