Bones of the Earth

Posted by : atcampbell | On : December 2, 2003

Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick

Nine attended with 2 people emailing comments. Seven people started the book and 6 finished it. Five people had read Swanwick before.

Time travel and dinosaurs, what could be better? This book was one of the more popular reads with one reader starting the discussion by saying “this was a Book!” Many people in our reading group are interested in dinosaurs, and I suspect not just paleontologists would want to go back and check out the Jurassic.

The novel begins with researchers given the chance to journey back in time to study dinosaurs. Rules for travel are rigid and strictly enforced by a mysterious Old Man. The whys and hows of all this are revealed to the patient, which many of us readers were not. So we had nagging doubts through most of the book which weren’t resolved until the very end.

We noticed that the author didn’t spend time explaining time travel or its paradoxes figuring that readers were already familiar with them (which we were), which left more time for– dinosaurs! It was obvious to everyone that Swanwick had really done his homework and it made for a solid read. We all caught and enjoyed the reference to Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder.”

Whether it was Swanwick’s writing, the dinosaur themes or both, we would recommend this one as a fun, quick read.

— Judy Strange