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Dragon Hunter: Roy Chapman Andrews & the Central Asiatic Expeditions

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  227 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Archaeology. Lavishly illustrated with original photographs from the expeditions---is a thrilling page---turner, an epic search for fossils cloaked in a sweeping historical narrative.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 21st 2001 by Viking Adult (first published 2001)
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Description: Archaeology. Lavishly illustrated with original photographs from the expeditions---is a thrilling page---turner, an epic search for fossils cloaked in a sweeping historical narrative.

Opening: "I was born to be an explorer. There never was any decision to make. I couldn't do anything else and be happy... The desire to see new places, to discover new facts - the curiosity of life always has been a restless driving force in me."

The interest for me was seeing how the careers of Younghus
Book Riot Community
Dinosaur fossils. The Gobi Desert. Indiana Jones-ish adventures. Are you intrigued yet?? Here, Gallenkamp tells the story of Roy Chapman Andrews, an employee at the American Museum of Natural History who successfully launched and led a series of wildly successful expeditions into the Gobi Desert (Inner and Outer Mongolia) during the 1920s. And while he was seeking to prove his mentor’s theory that modern humans originated in Asia, he instead uncovered, with the help of his talented team, ...more
More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.

This book is not about hunting dragons. It's about looking for dinosaurs. This is evident from the jacket flap, so I knew it before starting; I just wanted to toss it out there so everyone knows it's a non-fiction biography of Roy Chapman Andrews, focusing on his time fossil-hunting in the Gobi Desert, and not a fantasy story about a guy who hunts dragons. The title evidently comes from the nickname "dragon hunters" bestowed upon Andrews
Todd Martin
Dec 24, 2015 Todd Martin rated it liked it
“Always there has been an adventure just around the corner – and the world is still full of corners.
― Roy Chapman Andrews

Dragon Hunter is the biography of Roy Chapman Andrews an explorer and naturalist who worked with the American Museum of Natural History for many years, eventually becoming its director.

Beginning in the early 1920’s Andrews led a series of expeditions into the Gobi Desert of Mongolia to search for fossils and animal specimens. The goal of the expedition was to provide evidenc
Mar 24, 2009 Stephen rated it really liked it
If you remember your movie trivia, you know the slogan: “If adventure has a name, it must be Indiana Jones!”

Well, long before fedora-wearing, revolver-toting Harrison Ford traveled to the far reaches of the world looking for lost antiquities, there was Roy Chapman Andrews. Many believe that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg patterned their celluloid adventurer after this charismatic American explorer-scientist.

Sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and wealthy patrons, Chapman organ
Jul 21, 2011 Lindsay rated it liked it
Fun to hear about the adventures and expeditions of Andrews, but also the most colorful re-telling of the events comes from quotes from Andrews' autobiographies rather than the author. Although Andrews was known to embellish a tale and Gallenkamp endeavors to stick to the facts, there were times when I would have appreciated a little more pizazz when telling about Mongolian bandits, snake-filled tents, and discovering fossils of dinosaurs locked in a fight to the death in quicksand. However, ...more
Karolinde (Kari)
Roy Chapman Andrews is regarded by many as an "unconscious" inspiration for Indiana Jones. He was an academic who felt trapped in his own museum, a man with a brash plan who changed the way the world looked at the Gobi and the past. He was a man of his times and because of that, he was often looked down on by those who came after.

Gallenkamp's biography is well written and yet feels stunted. This may be because so much of the emphasis is on the Gobi expeditions. The historical climate is captured
Jul 21, 2008 Trevlix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Indiana Jones lovers, dinosaur freaks
Recommended to Trevlix by:
While I normally shy away from biographies, this one was well worth the read. It details the life of Roy Chapman Andrews, an archaeologist from the early 20th century who explored Mongolia in search of ancient man and dinosaur fossils. I highly recommend this book.

Andrews is rumored to be an inspiration for Indiana Jones and after reading the book there is good reason as to why. There are some parallels between the two (including a fear of snakes) and like the beloved Dr. Jones, Andrews was a gr
Jan 28, 2016 Fishface rated it liked it
Someone read this to tatters before turning it in to the used bookstore where I found it. I can certainly see why. It traces the career of a fossil hunter who drummed up tremendous amounts of money, dragged his family halfway around the world and became a towering figure among paleontologists and adventurers everywhere as he explored the Gobi desert, finding dinosaur bones. You know those characters you see in the movies, Victorian gentlemen who lecture adoring audiences or smoke quietly over a ...more
Sep 01, 2016 John rated it it was amazing
I loved all the Indiana Jones movies. And the goofie Adventurer's Club at Disney World. So it was fun to read about a real live Indiana (from Wisconsin) who stormed about Mongolia unearthing treasures in the romantic days of the 1920s--when the real Explorer's Club still met regularly. This guy was remarkable to say the least. But unlike Indiana, he was also a planner-he used to remark that "adventures are a mark of incompetence" i.e., if you planned well, things should go without ...more
Sherry (sethurner)
Scientist, adventurer, hunter, museum curator, socialite, all of these terms - and more- describe Beloit native Roy Chapman Andrews, the probable model for Indiana Jones. While there are plenty of biographies written with the young reader in mind, this well-written biography explores colorful Andrews' personal life and significant scientific achievements with the thoughtful adult reader as an audience. Here fact reads as entertainingly as fiction, and we get to see the rise and fall of the man ...more
John Branney
Aug 05, 2013 John Branney rated it really liked it
As a rock hunter and geologist this looked like the ideal book. These early explorers lived dangerous and harsh lives and this book did not disappoint. Chapman had to fight politics, weather, logistics, bandits, corruption, and ten other things at the same time. What they saw in the Gobi desert in the 1920s and 1930s will never be seen again. They were there to see it at its most rugged and unspoiled.

Good book. I would have liked to see more about the digging and less about the politics, but the
Sep 04, 2015 Liam rated it it was amazing
"Andrews was fond of asserting, 'Adventures are a mark of incompetence,' a dictum coined by the noted Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. 'If the explorer has a clear-cut problem to solve,' wrote Andrews, 'and an honest desire to contribute something of worth ... he will prepare against adventures. It will disappoint the newspapers but facilitate his work. How infinitely more credible it is to eliminate difficulties through foresight and preparation before they are encountered than to suffer ...more
Jan 14, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
Roy Chapman Andrews, some say, was the inspiration for the character of Indiana Jones. It's easy to make the connection when you read about Chapman Andrews' exploits in Outer Mongolia. His approach now reads to be rather imperialistic, somewhat racist and not especially eco-friendly. But one can be more forgiving when you consider that this was the norm of the time - - see a rare specimen? Kill it, stuff it and stick it in a museum, instead of preserving it or its habitat. And Chapman Andrews' ...more
Mar 03, 2015 D rated it it was amazing
A fascinating read about the real explorer and fossil hunter that was likely the model for the fictional Indiana Jones. Reading this interesting account will help you to maintain the upper hand with your dinosaur loving children:) Roy Chapman Andrews found the first skeleton of the Velociraptor, the super scarry creature featured in the Jurassic Park movie! Loved Andrews' interaction with the various foreign expatriates that he encountered during his travels.
Jul 13, 2014 Sandy rated it liked it
This book recounts the trials and triumphs of Roy Chapman Andrews and his expeditions to Asia. It was one of the last truly brave expeditions, going out in hostile, unexplored territory without modern technology.

The book was fascinating from the viewpoint of Andrews' issues dealing with the fluctuating Chinese government, and I enjoyed reading about the finds in the Gobi desert, however it was a bit dry. I was expecting a little more panache since the book is billed as a "page-turner."
Porter Versfelt III
Feb 09, 2013 Porter Versfelt III rated it really liked it
I am now reading "Dragon Hunter, about famed American paleontologist Roy Andrews, who lead groundbreaking expeditions into Central Asia (China, Inner and Outer Mongolia) in the 1920's and 1930's. He also headed New York City's Museum of Natural History. This is a compelling book that is a read page-turner, rare for a non-fiction book. Andrews was quite a character, a brilliant and persistent man, thought by many to be the original "Indiana Jones".
Daniel Milano
Jul 01, 2012 Daniel Milano rated it liked it
Supposed to be the true life inspiration for Indiana Jones,Roy Chapman in China looks for fossils, uses improvised medical skills to perform surgeries, going so far as to amputate limbs,and has to contend with brigands, difficult weather, adverse conditions, without using his temper and his good nature. The Museum of Natural History in New York owes him a lot as the dinosaurs he brought back remain the major attractions.
Trink J.
May 17, 2008 Trink J. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adventurers and explorers, history of science buffs
Recommended to Trink J. by: My dad
The first "Indiana Jones" indeed! 10 years of thrilling indisciplinary expeditions to Inner and Outer Mongolia; huge finds, especially in paleontology, and fine history of science case study. However they were in part were responsible for the closing of China to foreign scientists and others for many years, and of course, methods have changed.
Jul 02, 2016 Wordsaresilent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is about Roy Chapman Andrews, who was an explorer and zoologist in the 1920's. This book focuses on his explorations of Mongolia and the surrounding areas he did under the NY Museum of Natural history. So far it is really really interesting. This guy is just really a pioneer and did some amazing things. He's a real life Indiana Jones naturalist style!
Alex Bledsoe
Feb 14, 2008 Alex Bledsoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roy Chapman Andrews wrote the very first book I ever read about dinosaurs as a boy, and it included a child-friendly description of his fossil-seeking trips into China. This tells that same story in full detail, from the personal drama to the political situation. They don't make scientists that kick ass like this any more.
Nov 09, 2007 Marilyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history and adventure buffs
Roy Chapman Andrews was a familiar name to me from the early 1960's when I read his children's books about Dinosaurs to my children. I had no idea he had lead expeditions to discover fossils in the Gobi Desert in the early 1900's until I read this book. Try it-you'll like it!
Kyla Squires
Jan 12, 2013 Kyla Squires rated it liked it
Great biography. Picked it up knowing nothing of the subject. Interesting look at attitudes of the day.
Sep 11, 2010 Virginia rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008books, nonfiction
This could have been a very dry history but it wasn't. I do wish they spent more time with Dinosaurs and less with political maneuverings of the times.
Feb 05, 2012 Micheal rated it it was amazing
A thrilling account of the life of one of my greatest heroes - Roy Chapman Andrews - leading up to and including the Central Asiatic Expeditions.
Steven Monrad
Dec 23, 2007 Steven Monrad rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Central Asiatic expeditions of the early 20th century dashing explorer for science, associated with American Museum of Natural History
Nov 28, 2013 Sarahandus rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on, iography
It's a biography of an adventurer with pictures of him posed in front of numerous things. I was expecting an aeorchology expidition. There was darn little about bones and fossils.
Chris Agnitti
Feb 17, 2014 Chris Agnitti rated it liked it
I found it inspirational. I liked the way the main character was determined not to let present realities get in the way of his big dreams.
MonkeyBusiness rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2011
همت مراد
همت مراد rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2015
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