Bending The Bookshelf's Reviews > The Dinosaur Hunter

The Dinosaur Hunter by Homer Hickam
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Jan 07, 11

bookshelves: paleontology
Read in January, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Although I enjoyed this one (for the most part), it was a very awkward read. There are really three stories being told here, one of which I felt was unnecessary, and another just silly.

Number one, we have the story of the science - the trials and triumphs of the dinosaur hunters. That's what I bought this one to read, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. The detailed description of the digs was very well done, and the narratives about how those dinosaurs lived and died were fantastic.

Number two, we have a story of frustrated cowboy love. While I can fully appreciate how it was intended to add some sexual tension to the story, it was unnecessary. The relationship between Mike and Jeanette is cold and one-sided, and his affair with the town mayor is probably one of the weakest aspects of his character, especially coupled with his spite for her husband. Toss in two hot, fliratatious, conveniently available young women to assist with the dig, along with a tryst between Jeanette and Pick (the dinosaur diggger himself), and it just gets soap operaish.

Number three, we have a silly subplot involving an ex-porn mogul, the Russian mob, rich Mexican dinosaur smugglers, a family of anti-government survivalists, and an inexplicably cruel and crooked majoy. Perhaps, if it hadn't been resolved in such a cartoonish fashion, and if there had been some real consquences of everbody's actions, this might have been easier to stomach, but it just didn't work for me at all.

Having said all that, the dinosaur elements were strong enough to carry the book. It's not my favourite Hickam work, but still a (mostly) enjoyable read all the same.
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