How to Build a Dinosaur

Customer Reviews

76 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars
By Robert on 06-19-15

Good book but misplaced title

I enjoyed the book a lot but found the title and the actual book mismatched. As somebody interested in both paleontology and biology I enjoyed the discussions of microbiology, genetics and paleontological findings. To be sure the emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology as described by Horner, is related to his idea of building a dinosaur from a chicken by turning on and off genes to create a non-avian dinosaur-like chicken. That being said the entirety of the book is not about how to build a dinosaur. Rather it is a mix of paleontological findings over the course of the past 50 years mixed with interesting narratives about Montana and the Badlands along with the identification debates surrounding the discovery of proteins and cells in the fossils of a T-Rex and other fossils. I enjoyed the book overall and like this narrator. If you are not familiar with biology at all the technical parts will be hard to follow, but that's in only about 15 percent of the book.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 08-13-16

Love it

Jack Horner is my hero and I love his work , this book is amazing.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Eric Duchanin on 03-31-16

Maybe a different title?

I felt like very little of this book actually dealt with the process of building a dinosaur and was mostly just his thoughts on paleontology and genetics. I didn't mind it too much though because he brings up great topics and discusses interesting hypothesis while offering expert opinion on them. Overall, I would recommend but only if don't mind a writer who can be all over the place.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Masheed on 11-25-15

Definitely recommend

Great! Took a very complicated topic (Evo Devo) and made it interesting, proactive and digestible. The narrator was very clear, easy to listen to dynamic. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in science as it also outlines the key ways to ensure proper experimental design.

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3 out of 5 stars
By Russ McClelland on 09-22-15

Good but...

The story and science were good. However, many of the ideas could have been expressed using far fewer words. The whole first chapter could have been about 10 words: Hell Creek is desolate and we founds lots of fossils there. OK: 11 words.

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1 out of 5 stars
By Tim Jorgensen on 11-16-10

Lost Potential

This book wanders all over the place. It starts with a very interesting hypothesis about how embryonic development of a chicken might be manipulated to recreate the morphology of dinosaurs (i.e the great great grandfathers of birds), but then it digresses. The author is not content to educate us about dinosaurs. We're also told about Clovis people, Lewis and Clark, buffalo hunting, a dog attack by a beaver, Indian use of horses, etc. etc. It also is full of silly analogies (e.g. post-meteorite earth is compared to the wild West). I could only get halfway through it. If there's no thief like a bad book, then this is the John Dillinger of books. If you're interested in dinosaurs, Audible has several good books. Unfortunately, this isn't one. Hard to believe the author (Jack Horner) had the assistance of a professional writer (James Gorman). I'm sure Horner could have done this badly on his own.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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