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Dinosaur Summer [Mass Market Paperback]

Greg Bear
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1999
Journey to return dinosaurs to their South American home.

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

Remember Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, in which an expedition led by Professor George Edward Challenger discovered an Amazonian plateau where dinosaurs still roamed? In Dinosaur Summer, Greg Bear assumes that Challenger's expedition really took place, and that for nearly 50 years dinosaurs have been relatively commonplace in zoos and circuses throughout the world. But the beasts are not easily kept in captivity, and slowly but surely their numbers are dwindling. Now there is only one dinosaur circus left, and it's shutting down. The dinosaur trainer wants to return his animals to the wild, so an expedition is organized to return the dinos to their nearly inaccessible plateau. Accompanying the group (which includes special-effects master Ray Harryhausen) is 15-year-old Peter Belzoni, the son of the National Geographic photographer covering the story. The boy is about to have the adventure of a lifetime. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Fantasy built on a fantasyin Bear's alternative 1947, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World wasn't fiction, but fact!mingling real and imaginary characters with a quite unbelievable hodgepodge of defiantly unextinct beasties from the Carboniferous on up. Circus Lothar, the last dinosaur circus, is closing down, and its animal trainer, Vince Shellabarger, is determined to return his charges to their home, the isolated Venezuelan plateau of El Grande discovered by Professor Challenger in 1912. National Geographic's Anthony Belzoni will cover the event, assisted by his 15-year-old son Peter. Filming the cavalcade will be Willis ``OBie'' O'Brien (of King Kong fame) and special effects/animation genius Ray Harryhausen. The tough journey is made more difficult by the Venezuelan Army's quarrel with both the politicos and the local Indians. Still, the expedition reaches the rickety bridge leading on to El Grande, and most of the animals cross safely. But Dagger, a vicious predator, escapes from his cage; predictably, the bridge falls, marooning Peter, Anthony, OBie, Ray, and Billie, an Indian pursuing a spirit quest. After various adventuresthe group is menaced by critters ranging from giant salamanders and hungry therapsids to huge ``death eagles''they make it back, minus assorted limbs and teeth, bearing a couple of precious eggs. Amiable, sometimes stirring incident-packed baloney: a yarn that screams I wanna be a movie! (illustrations) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start, never got going Jan. 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book reads like either, A) an early effort written before a good author learns pacing and plot development, or B) a movie or television treatment flushed out to book length.
We know the answer isn't A, since this book was published, and presumably written, years after Bear wrote memorable series like Eon and Forge of God. If the answer is B, well then, it's going to be a pretty darn slow moving movie.
Bear gets points for showing us interesting dinosaur behavior and for incorporating real people and famous fictional characters into the story line. But the story never takes off and soars.
Rating: If you are a dinosaur fiction nut: 3 stars
If not, 2 stars.
If you are looking for more quality fiction from the author of Eon and Forge of God, keep looking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE REAL LOST WORLD REVISITED! Jan. 15 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fans of the films of Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen (King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, Vally Of Gwangi etc.) must not miss this wonderful book. Bear has payed loving homage to those masters of the lost art of stop-motion animation in a thrilling, beautiful story that begs to be read again and again. A sequel to the original "The Lost World" by Arthur Conan Doyle, this book is tailor-made for those like myself who grew up glued to the TV on Saturday afternoons whenever the local UHF station treated us to any of the aforementioned films (often with a dog-eared copy of "Famous Monsters Magazine" clutched in our hands.).Indeed, reading "Dinosaur Summer" was like watching the lost O'Brien-Harryhausen film that you never knew existed.
But even if you have no idea who O'Brien, Harryhausen, Merian C. Cooper or Ernest Schoedsack are, if you love dinosaurs and/or adventure this book is a can't-miss winner. And as an added bonus the art of Tony DiTerlizzi found throughout the book-in B/W and Color-captures wonderfully the spirit of adventure and imagination that fuels the story.
As an aside, to those who have complained that the creatures inhabiting the plateau are not the dinos they would like to see; What do you want? More of Crichton's Velociraptors and rexes? Hey, don't tell me the Altovenator wasn't cool (and pretty darn close to the real-life Afrovenator.) Likewise, the Death Eagle is quite a remarkable beast and not too far removed from actual prehistoric counterparts in Titanis walleri, Phorusrachus, etc.
So if you love dinos but were dissapointed by some of the less-than-stellar efforts lately (Crichton's "Lost World", both page and screen, come to mind as well as JP3 and Dismal's...er...uh...Disney's "Dinosaur") "Dinosaur Summer" is just the ticket. Dig up those old "Famous Monsters" magazines, pop some popcorn and dig in!
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jurassic Park meets Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World in this unpretentious story about a group of adventurers returning circus dinosaurs back to the wild. The first half was a pleasingly poignant story, centered around a coming-of-age-story of a boy trying to understand his father. Much of this novel had the feel of a young adult story, in a good way; I could picture myself reading it to a young nephew someday. Unfortunately, once the adventurers released the dinosaurs into their native habitat, Jurassic Park broke loose. And so I read as quickly as possible to get to the end. P.S. The illustrations are keen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but . . . June 26 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought DINOSAUR SUMMER hoping to be transported to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost World, but ran off to join the circus instead. It took some time for me to accept the hokey notion that if dinosaurs were re-discovered on earth, they would be nothing more than sideshow acts in a circus and people would lose interest in them. I doubt it.

I can't help comparing this to DINOSAUR WARS, another recent dinosaur science fiction offering, and first of a series. In that saga, the entire world is beset by dinosaurs and the human characters are trapped by events beyond their control. The fate of humanity is at stake. Furthermore DINOSAUR WARS' dinos are realistic depictions of known Cretaceous critters, not arbitrary creations like Bear's Venator. This means you can learn about Pachyrhinosaurus, Megaraptor and such while reading a scary and exciting adventure story. Hopp's Professor Ogilvey matches Doyle's Challenger in wit, and exceeds him in hilarity. Bear's Shellabarger and other circus and Hollywood types don't quite cut it, though not bad. Bear's addition of a kid is a good element. On the other hand, the hero of DINOSAUR WARS, Chase Armstrong and the heroine, Kit Daniels, make a convincing romantic pair who add to the overall beauty of the read -- women were almost totally lacking in DINOSAUR SUMMER, as in THE LOST WORLD. DINOSAUR WARS mixes males and females in roughly equal proportions -- rare, for an adventure story.

I thought DINOSAUR SUMMER was an enjoyable book, but whatever you do, don't miss DINOSAUR WARS and the new sequel, COUNTERATTACK.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed May 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an exciting lost world dinosaurs story. It really seems pitched at young readers rather than adults, and not only due to its teenage hero. It is not particularly uuplifting fare for kids, however, as there are many nasty people here, many disappointments, and nothing much profound to pique a grownup's interest. The adventures are rather fantastical, yet there is nothing of ethereal fantasy in this gritty story by an author who is usually among the better SF authors.
If you DO like this, note that Time Warner has once again printed a book on excreble paper. I bought the first pb issue and two years later the pages are already yellowed. Does no one save their favorite books anymore, or to read to the grandkids someday, or is TW simply contemptuous of its customers?
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag of fun and disappointments
As somebody who spent his early adolescence watching old monster movies like "King Kong" and reading old science fiction like "The Lost World" by Arthur Conan... Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2000 by Robert James
1.0 out of 5 stars Formula, predictable, tired...
Definitely the weakest of all of Greg Bear's books. Not up to his usual standards of originality or depth. It'd be a good book for Jr. Read more
Published on Oct. 18 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Its a disappointment, thats what it is.
Some readers think that this is the greatest book since sliced bread. I disagree. I have always liked dinosaurs, since small I liked reading about these big animals and all. Read more
Published on July 31 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight
I'm not surprised that this book has been underrated by many readers. It comes from another age, when Doyle and Burroughs were the hottest adventure writers around. Read more
Published on July 27 1999 by D. Thierry
2.0 out of 5 stars Captivating premise, dragged out plot!
Greg Bears new book is a test! A test of one's patience, intelligence and SF devotion. The first half reads like a poorly written travel log and than the plot takes a very... Read more
Published on June 30 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't believe dinosaurs could be so boring!
I don't know about the Lost World that Bear refers to, but this is certainly a lost opportunity! To get to the 60 pages or so of reasonably exciting (if predictable) material, the... Read more
Published on May 15 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand old fashioned rollicking good time adventure!
This book picks you right up, puts you on its shoulders and strides strongly forth for a REAL adventure. Read more
Published on Feb. 24 1999 by J. Lundgren
1.0 out of 5 stars My Least favorite Bear Novel
I was extremely dissapointed with this book. It lacked excitement and characters I could care about. This was a poor attempt at 50's juvenile science fiction, sorry Greg. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 1999
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