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The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

A New History of a Lost World
Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,614 ratings)
Regular price: $31.95
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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping and groundbreaking history of the age of dinosaurs, from one of our finest young scientists.

The dinosaurs. 66 million years ago, the Earth's most fearsome and spectacular creatures vanished. Today their extraordinary true story remains one of our planet's great mysteries.

In this stunning narrative spanning more than 200 million years, Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field - discovering 10 new species and leading groundbreaking scientific studies and fieldwork - masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.

Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers - themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period - into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex, Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs' peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth's history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a "sixth extinction".

Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research - which he calls "a new golden age of discovery" - and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.

An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs' epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.

©2018 Stephen Brusatte (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Patrick Lawlor's narration injects Brusatte's enthusiasm into the informative writing.... Listeners who love dinosaurs will thrill to the latest developments in their history." (AudioFile)

What members say

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"The Rise of the Scientists Who Study Dinosaurs"

Are you interested in learning about dinosaurs? You should probably find another book. Are you dying to learn about the individual talents and idiosyncrasies of the people who research dinosaurs for a living? Then you're going to love this book! Steve Brusatte utterly fails to make a compelling narrative about dinosaurs, but he succeeds in telling you which "celebrity" scientist identified each dinosaur, where they were born, where they got their PhD, who they studied under, etc. As a scientist by trade I think one of the worst traits of our culture is the tendency to laud the scientist over the science. I came to this book hoping to learn about another scientific discipline and was very disappointed to get a crash course in modern history. The book is roughly 30% dinosaurs and 70% scientist. What a disappointment.

49 of 52 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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so surprised -- I loved it!!

This was a total whim purchase (yeah, never been interested in Dinosaurs and also not much of a nonfiction reader)... and it was great!!! I found myself telling my friends and family all these dinosaur facts throughout my listen. I really really enjoyed it, and the writing style was done in such a way that it was never dry or boring-- really felt like he was just telling an engaging story he loved. It kept me coming back for more.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good topic. Okay narration.

As a science teacher, I was very excited to listen. Overall, the book is good. If you're interested in dinosaurs or in the sciences you should definitely listen. The author is a paleontologist and writes knowledgeable about earth history, evo!ution, the history of American palentology, dinosaur physiology, and more. I certainly did learn a great deal.

The narrator does over emphasize a lot of the time, and it took me some getting used to. His voice is good, but is at some times over dramatic, annoyingly so. The content is so that the listener can excuse this, though.

The author's writing is good. Informative, entertaining. Sometimes the analogies are weak or a phrase seems unpolished, but, hey, I haven't written a book so this guy has one up on me.

Again, if you like any or a combination of the sciences listed, or just dinosaurs, buy. Totally worth it.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

what a great book!

loved this book. the author's writing style is informal, fun, and energetic and the narrator translates it like a pro.

the book is a nice blend of personal annecdote and intro to paleontology. should satisfy those who love layman's history and science plus the adventure book crowd.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Meh

I wanted more info about the dinosaurs and less about fashion habits of the people that found the fossils. I had high hopes and wanted so much more.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Me Me Me Me Me - and a Few Dinosaurs

If I were a dinosaur, or a descendent of one, I would sue. The title of this book makes it look like a book about dinosaur history - but no, it's actually a book about Steve Brusatte. Oh, and all the amazing, brilliant, outrageous paleontologists he knows and all the fun things they do when they are not finding dino bones - which is a lot of the time, as it turns out.

I already thought 10 hours was too little to do justice to the topic - but this book doesn't seem to have more than a few hours about dinosaurs themselves.

For a better survey of life on Earth, try A New History of Life or Great Courses Origin and Evolution of Earth.

Now we just need a real book about dinosaur history!

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Dinosaurs! Oh my!

Narration: clear, fast paced, enthusiastic, contagious excitement.

Structure: seems to follow chronological order some of the time, topical at others. Organization could be more coherent, facilitating more memorable understanding.

Content: so many interesting facts and explanations that above flaws Are worth enduring.

Evaluation/recommendation: lots of fun. Go for it.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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A general update on modern dinosaur science

Great book written in a breezy fashion. Does not deal with the minutia but gives a grand overview of dinosaurs: where they cam from, what they were like, and what happened to them. A good book for the interested layman and for those who want to caught up on the latest findings in Paleontology.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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When you can't sleep

While there is some good Dino info in there, this is duller than dull. The writing sounds contrived, as if a thesaurus was frequently employed. The personalities encountered were not interesting. The reader's voice? Snxxx. Yes, a very useful book when I can't seem to drop off to sleep.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Good coverage of the topic

The author did a good job covering the biology, research, people and events of the time and Fall of the dinosaurs. The book renewed my interest in vertebrate paleontology. I wish he was less teleological in his discussion of change and used less anthropomorphic language at times. I find that those ways of writing increase misconceptions about how natural selection works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful