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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

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    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.

15 of 17 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.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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wonderful

I love this book, after the 3rd chapter, I bought a hard copy to have as reference. I highly reccommend to anyone interested in the History of Dinosaurs & our planet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great book and narrator🤓

this book was a great! perfect for every dino need out there and those just curious about our natural history. The writer combined with the narrator made what some people may consider a dry or boring topic action packed and exciting living in the time of the dinosaur. Ever since I’ve started reading this Ive been telling people to look at the “dinosaur” in the trees or flying in the air. they look confused and I recommend this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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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!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best dinosaur book I've read.

Steve knows his stuff, he goes into deep detail about who these creatures were and how they lived their lives. I especially enjoyed the section concerning the extinction of the dinosaurs. He goes into great detail speculating on the meteor impact and the immediate effects on the dinosaurs. He then writes about the days, decades centuries and millennia after the extinction.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful