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West of Eden (West of Eden #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,214 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Sixty-five million years ago, a disastrous cataclysm eliminated three quarters of all life on Earth. Overnight, the ago of dinosaurs ended. The age of dinosaurs ended. The age of mammals had begun.

But what if history had happened differently? What if the reptiles had survived to evolve intelligent life?

In West of Eden, bestselling author Harry Harrison has created a rich,
Paperback, 483 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by iBooks (first published 1984)
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Grass by Sheri S. TepperParable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerThe Anubis Gates by Tim PowersThe Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry HarrisonBlood Music by Greg Bear
Most Under-rated Science Fiction
59th out of 1,116 books — 1,262 voters
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. DickWatchmen by Alan MooreFatherland by Robert   HarrisThe Eyre Affair by Jasper FfordeThe Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove
Best Alternate History Novels and Stories
62nd out of 387 books — 723 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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If you've been searching for ages for a book where someone has sex with a dinosaur, then look no further. You've found it.
Jan 30, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sf-top-20
John Steinbeck's East of Eden is one of my all-time favorite novels, the late great Harry Harrison’s West of Eden is another one. So whether you choose to go east or west of Eden you would be on to a very good thing in either direction.

The following paragraph is lifted entirely from Wikipedia:

“In the parallel universe of this novel, Earth was not struck by an asteroid 65 million years before the present. Consequently, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event which wiped out the dinosaurs and ot
May 30, 2011 Marvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I was at a science fiction bookstore back in the 80s shooting the bull with a few people. This included a well known science fiction writer who will remain nameless. Someone mentioned West of Eden by Harry Harrison which recently came out and asked if anyone liked it. The SF writer said "I read it. This is how Harrison came up with the idea", then proceeded to imitate a man pulling something from his ass.

I didn't think it was all that bad but it isn't up to Harrison's best. In style, Harry Ediso
Apr 18, 2015 IDNHDJRI rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Whoa, what a ride! Here are some quick & random points:
1. Amazing portrayal of Yileni culture and advanced biotechnology. Very vivid and creative.
2. Vast differences of Tanu (humans) and the Yileni (reptiles) made the extreme xenophobia of both species very much understandable. Solid Othering on both sides.
3. Rampant anthropocentrism even though there was no right or wrong side. I could even argue that it was the human who started it all. Yet the book sided with them. Not exactly disagreeab
Oct 20, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
Harrison has created a stunning ‘what-if’ scenario – what if the dinosaurs had not become extinct, but had gone on over millions of years to create a civilisation based on bioengineering? Sounds a trifle far-fetched, but just think how far mankind has come in just a few thousand years: what might another enterprising species not have done, given an extra seventy million?

The great brontosaurs, theropods and ceratopsians are still there, but they are small-brained and are hunted and herded by the
Aug 07, 2012 Carmen rated it it was amazing
This series is one of the best, if not THE best, series I've ever read. Am currently rereading it after 20 years!
Apr 13, 2013 São rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quando peguei neste livro, para o começar a ler, confesso que tinha alguma expectativa e curiosidade. No entanto, nada previa que se tornasse num dos livros mais fantásticos que li nos últimos tempos.
Resumidamente pode-se dizer que “A Oeste do Éden” conta-nos a história de um rapaz, Kerrick, pertencente a uma tribo de nómadas e que vê o seu sammad (grupo de pessoas que vivem em comunidade) ser totalmente destruído por uma raça desconhecida e que fazem dele seu prisioneiro, aos 8 anos de idade. D
Cherie In the Dooryard
Oct 04, 2011 Cherie In the Dooryard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Look, I'm not going to pretend that this series is going to change your life or that it's a great contribution to the literary canon. The prose is serviceable and...that's about it. But that's okay, because this is plot- and scenario-based writing, and I think it works.

The premise is pretty simple: what if dinosaurs had never gone extinct, but instead continued to evolve, with one particular species, the Yilane becoming as intelligent as the humans living just north of them? Now imagine that th
Jun 17, 2010 Lee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
West of Eden takes place on an alternate Earth timeline where the K-T meteor event never took place and thus never wiped out the dinosaurs, paving the way for a race of mosasaurs (marine lizards) to evolve into a sentient species with some pretty cool biotechnology at about the same time humans reach the cusp of their neolithic revolution. However, the Yilanè and humans are extremely hostile to one another and unrelentingly seek to annihilate each other. The main character is a boy who is captur ...more
Kaho Liang
May 26, 2010 Kaho Liang rated it it was amazing
What if dinosaurs survived the disaster that had wiped every single one of them out? This book imagines that the reptiles have developed a human-like nature and have excelled in bioengineering and that the humans are just appearing on Earth. The dinosaurs, who now call themselves Yilane, are out to kill the spear-wielding humans in an attempt to conquer the Earth. The humans are at a disadvantage with their primitive technology and a human boy named Kerrick is captured by the Yilane. Over the ye ...more
Jason Bloom
You know those books that stay with you long after the cover closes? The ideas float around in your head, images rattle in your brain for days, weeks even. Well, for me, this was one of those books. The kind of books that puts the science back in sci-fi. Do you like dinosaurs, alternate history, Clan of the Cave Bear paleolithic kinda kinky stuff? Well, this book has all of that, and more; an entire appendix chock full of zoology and cultural anthropology and even a description of two entirely t ...more
Luka Novak
Jan 19, 2013 Luka Novak rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
This book is set in alternate universe where meteor impact that wiped out dinosaurs didn't happen. Dinosaurs then evolved and developed intelligence, building a complex society. However along them exist small number of dispersed humans. When Ice Age starts pushing both societies in different directions they collide with cathastrophic results. Both species share deep rooted hatred for each other and will do everything to wipe the other one out.

Dinosaurs, or Yilane, shape the environment with gene
Adebayo Oyagbola
Dec 15, 2012 Adebayo Oyagbola rated it it was amazing
An alternate civilisation on earth based on the triumph of the reptile family and the extreme exploitation of biological rather than mechanical advances and engineering. An extremely well crafted work of fiction that explores and details events in the narrative but that also examines the psychological, emotional and social differences that would exist in societies with foundations so distinct from ours. In my opinion an excellent work on xenology albeit set on earth. I enjoyed this and the two s ...more
Tony Nalley
Nov 18, 2012 Tony Nalley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember when I read it, but I know I'll never forget it. The author created an alternate world, a different reality and his story line pulled you into it. I've read the complete trilogy at least 3 times just because I found it to be that interesting. Not only do you come away with new ideals that relate to our own political world in relation to ones own abilities to communicate effectively, you also come away with the knowledge that you have also learned and understand a completely diff ...more
Andrew Dombrowski
Jan 04, 2015 Andrew Dombrowski rated it really liked it
Very engaging book - a lot of fun to read, and also very intelligently imagined and executed. The plot was fairly snappy if also fairly predictable, and the characters were vividly rendered but on the flat side, with the exception of the two main protagonists. This is definitely a work where the world-building shines much more than the plot or characterization, but on the other hand, the world-building was truly remarkable. The visualization of how language and technology might have developed am ...more
William Korn
Jan 04, 2015 William Korn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Harry Harrison did a lot of things very well, but one of the things he did best was writing "alternative histories" - histories in which one particular thing happened differently than in real-world history.

In this case, the one thing that happened differently was that the "Dinosaur Killer" meteor reputed to have hit Earth 65 million years ago did not happen. As a result, the more or less contemporary Earth (that is, Earth around the start of the last Ice Age) has two intelligent species - one ve
Sep 03, 2015 Francesco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L'ucronia assoluta.
Immaginate una storia alternativa per il nostro pianeta. Ma non semplicemente una delle tante variazioni del flusso degli eventi storici, bensì qualcosa di più radicale.
Immaginate che sulla Terra si sia sviluppata una civiltà il cui progresso scientifico sia imperniato sulla manipolazione genetica di ogni forma di vita. Una civiltà in grado di costruire città con il tessuto vivente di multiformi specie arboree, di solcare il mare a bordo di grandi pesci-nave, di attaccare i su
Apr 23, 2014 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
A Oeste do Éden surpreendeu-me bastante. Além da curiosidade com que estava para o ler, não tinha expectativas muito altas uma vez que não conhecia totalmente a história da obra.

Decidi ler este livro devido às sugestões do Fiacha, da São Bernardes e do Marco Lopes, que me disseram que o livro era fantástico e cujas opiniões me deixaram rendida. Assim, ao ir à biblioteca, trouxe-o para casa e comecei a lê-lo.

E fiquei completamente satisfeita com a história. A obra é como que a História da Terra
Aug 10, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, my-collection
This series has to be the best depiction of alternate biology, and consequences of such differences to human biology, in the genre. Heinlein has meticulously depicted a dinosaur, life-sciences based society and contrasted it with our evolution towards a technologically based society. Contrasting solutions found by the clash of these two races is fascinating.

All three books in the series are equally good. A classic.
Gostei mais da primeira parte (a vida de Kerrick entre as Yilané) do que da segunda (a guerra entre os Tanu e as Yilané), mas vale seguramente as 4 estrelas, pela imaginação e pelo desafio aos conceitos estabelecidos, que competem no mesmo nível com os melhores autores de ficção científica.

Recomendo vivamente, a toda a gente.
Wraith Tate
Apr 08, 2010 Wraith Tate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A really cool example of "speculative fiction:" What would the world be like if the dinosaurs hadn't died out? In this case, it's the dinosaurs who have the technology (all based on genetic manipulation) and "civilization," and humans haven't passed beyond hunter-gatherers.
I loved this alternate-world series. The basic premise, that dinosaurs and humans evolved in parallel on the earth, is highly original. The adventure story that evolves from that premise, and the intertwined nature of both societies, is fascinating.
Jan 30, 2011 Malenkoe_zlo rated it it was ok
i have no clue why did i take this book from the library's shelfe. my suspicion is that i've thought first it's about parallel world but in fact i'm reading so-so fantastic called genre about stupid people and advanced dinosaurus. boring actually
Dec 10, 2012 R rated it it was amazing
I read this book initially at ge 16. it struck a chord in my blossoming curiosity of life and religion science and politics. I appreciate it enough to plan to one day own an iguana deserving of the name Vainte (I already had a turtle named Fargi)
Heidi Eisenhauer
Dec 12, 2012 Heidi Eisenhauer rated it it was amazing
A life where dinosaurs rule while plants and animals are machines and humans are pets.

This series took me away into a world of wonder. I ate it up and wanted it never to end. I passed along the series countless times.

Fun an whimsy.
Jun 09, 2012 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
This is a good read about an alternative world where the dinosaurs were not wiped out by a meteorand gives a very good story of what might of occurred if a form of saurian achieved intelligence before meeting mammels with intelligence
Aug 29, 2015 Inukie rated it did not like it
Got through an hour of audiobook. Absolutely unbearable. About tribal conflicts or something between the humans and dinosaurs, with ample flavor text in their own languages for no reason. Also for no reason, the dinosaurs travel in some sort or semisentient whale or peliosaur, and it just makes no sense without pictures and why on earth make a book about an alternate timeline with sentient dinosaurs if you're going to make bizarre tech for them?
Its just another story of cultures with wildly inco
Travis Bird
Nov 09, 2008 Travis Bird rated it it was amazing
A real breakthrough in imagination. Although there are loose ends which I thought might be leading to another book or two.
Jun 21, 2010 Rose rated it it was amazing
i gave this book 5 stars because even though it is science fiction, i still remember it after many, many years
Dec 14, 2012 Tammy rated it it was amazing
This book is crazy nuts, fun and imaginative. It is so over the top. It is sci fi at it's best.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Harry Harrison (born Henry Maxwell Dempsey) was an American science fiction author best known for his character the The Stainless Steel Rat and the novel Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis for the film Soylent Green (1973). He was also (with Brian W. Aldiss) co-president of the Birmingham Science Fiction G
More about Harry Harrison...

Other Books in the Series

West of Eden (3 books)
  • Winter in Eden (West of Eden, #2)
  • Return to Eden

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