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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review of the Dinosaur Hunter by Homer Hickam

I have been waiting to read this book. Everyone I told I was anxiously awaiting its arrival said "Who is the author?"

You probably know him. Remember the movie October Sky? That was him. I recently read his book Red Helmet. And if you have seen an author talking about the Chilean Mine Disaster...or any tragic mine's usually him. Or, if you have seen an author talking about our space's probably him.

See, you DO know who he is!

So, I was very excited for this book to come out in our area. I looked every time I was out. But to be honest, the only places I have time to look for books is when I am out grocery shopping. I haven't seen it yet. So when Alicia at the local library I love so much pulled it out of the box of new books for me, I felt it was Christmas early.

I am the very first person from our local library to read this book. I feel honored.

First of all, do you see how pretty it is?
Can one call a book pretty?
I think you can.
Because it is.
And not too thick either! I started the book on the day I got it...and then was able to finish it later that weekend when my wonderful Husband let me read it ALL AFTERNOON AND EVENING. Not like he had to twist my arm to read it...he just let me take it easy and took over the boys for me. THAT was the best gift!

Because this book is a gift. It tells the story of Mike, a former CA cop turned cowboy in Montana. It is his story about the summer a Dinosaur hunter came to the ranch he worked on and the events (and murders) that then occurred.

Immediately upon first starting this book, I was reminded of the hours I have spent reading Louis L'Amour books. That alone was enough to make me feel like I was just hearing the story of an old friend.

The simple way Homer uses his words is powerful. In the beginning I read "See you," Jeanette said as Ray carefully edged down the road, trying to keep his boots out of the mud. "See you," Ray said over his shoulder. There were never wasted words on the Square C. To translate, what Jeanette and Ray had just said was: "I love you, I will always love you, and I would die for you in a heartbeat." I said "See you," which meant the same to both of them.

And I cracked up at Homer's constant humor. This one had me snickering for a bit (because it is sad but true) "There, predictably, a Chinese fire drill was goin on (as we used to call confusion and turmoil before we all became politically correct and the Chinese bought our country)...."

But page 163 was where my favorite part of the book began, because there is where Mike visits the library, where he meets the impressive and lovely Mary Dutton Parker. And we all know that there are cool smart and pretty librarians out there.....okay, I may be prejudice on this! Mary is a character written after the Mary we all know and love over here, Mary is the Farmer's Wife at Cohagen Chronicles. For this reason alone I would love this book.

But it's not the only reason I like this book.

The story had me guessing until the end, I appreciate stories like that. Homer did such a superb job making his characters real that when the end happened, you wondered why you didn't figure it out sooner...they all did just what you knew they were capable of.

It is a delightful read, it made my wish to visit Montana stronger. Homer fell in love with this state, with these wonderful people he met there and it is obvious his love of the area and the way of life.

When the book ended, I felt I had said goodbye to good friends. I wanted to sit in a folding chair with ol' Mike and clink our gin and tonic and watch the sun rise and the sun set talking about ranching, dinosaur's and life.

The only bad part about having read this book is that now I MUST own it. I would have liked the read no matter what, I think, being bias with the friendship I have with Mary and the times I have been blessed to chat with Homer on Facebook and Twitter....but I did not expect to love this book as much as I did.

Read it. Winter is a great time to curl up with a great book. But if you are getting toward the end, know you will be completely unable to put it down and you may even tear up (honestly, I cried).

And when you are done with that, read Red Helmet. It's another one of those books I need to own too.

I was not asked to write this.
The opinion is totally my own.
I just wanted to share it with you,

Thank you, Homer, for writing this book. For spotlighting Montana and
the wonderful people and way of life they live there.
I knew this book would be good.
But it was wonderful...better than I could have imagined.
Thank you.


Megan (Best of Fates) said...

It sounds good - I'll have to check it out! And just hearing about it makes me want to visit Montana!

Anonymous said...

I just posted a link to my friend who leads our book club. Great review Denise! xoxox