What readers think of Dinosaurs, plus links to write your own review.

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A Novel

by Lydia Millet

Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet X
Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2022, 240 pages

    Aug 2023, 256 pages


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There are currently 25 reader reviews for Dinosaurs
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Claire M. (Wrentham, MA)

Survival Depends on This
A jewel of a book, Dinosaurs is a novel of a carefully shaped life. Gil keeps a low profile, calling little attention to himself amidst a showboat culture. He uses his powers for good, and therefore has the leisure to notice. He makes a quiet study of the life around him. Gil is an observer of birds and animals, even the insects. What he notices in his new home in the desert is the flora and fauna, acquainting himself with a landscape nothing like the NYC he left behind. When new neighbors move in he observes them too, through the aquarium-like view of their window wall.

Much has happened offstage and is loosely recounted. Building his new life cautiously, the reader learns along with Gil about the human inhabitants of the landscape.There are subtle dangers and challenges to be navigated. A community of connections grows around him. He survives and he begins to evolve. Beyond the final page, his story, and yours, is waiting to unfold.
Catharine L. (Petoskey, MI)

Gil, independently wealthy at 45, has few friends and no family. He feels guilty about the money and spends his time volunteering. The book is about his developing relationship with the family next door.
This is a simple story - dryly funny, insightful, and emotionally moving.
I enjoy her writing and would also recommend A Children's Bible and Mermaids in Paradise.
Lynn D. (Kingston, NY)

People in glass houses
I really enjoyed this quiet, thoughtful novel. The main character, Gil, is looking for a new start and for purpose in his life, having no need to 'make a living.' Along the way he exemplifies his humanity in his daily life with his neighbors and others. He cares for the desert birds, the surviving dinosaurs, and we're asked to wonder if they can survive the changing world. Gil doesn't see violence as the answer to conflict, but rather it's relationships that give us life and freedom. Beautifully written. Would be great for book clubs.
Eileen C. (New York, NY)

In this gentle novel, Lydia Millet uses deceptively simple prose to explore the psychological intricacies of a wealthy, 45-year-old white man, uncomfortable with his privilege, who is trying to do good in the world. This seemingly quiet novel is actually a powerful and moving exploration of ordinary human cruelty, all the different forms love can take, and the importance of human relationships. It would make an excellent book club selection.
Darlene G. (Allegany, NY)

Why Five Stars? Or Very Good
I gave this book five stars. One for its starkness, perhaps like the glass wall of the neighbors' home- clear, economical, and open to the wider world. Two for the protagonist who is kind, naïve and grows kinder as he becomes wiser. Three, for creating complex characters that burp, fart, swear and are mostly lovable anyhow, without losing sight that there are humans who are not kind (yet). Four, for an easy and unusual read whose structure was interesting and accessible. Five, for its invitation to see, forgive, be better, and keep love at the center as best as we can. Although the connection to Dinosaurs becomes clear early in the book, I see this as a brilliant allegory.
Judy G. (Carmel, IN)

Dinosaurs Still Reign
I highly recommend this book for book club discussions. This was the best book I've read this year. Moderately paced writing that describes daily life for the key characters yet consistently and deftly introduces new and timely discussion topics throughout the book. Best for readers who like to think about what and how we are to be in this world as well as what the role of animals in nature is meant to be. Excellent writing and subjects!
Helia R. (Goodlettsville, TN)

We need more men like Gil
I love this book so much I'd marry it if I weren't already married. As things stand, my rushed affair with Millet's novel left me feeling bereft when it was over. At 230 pages, the book is slim and easy to gobble up in two sittings. Take your time, reader, to savor this compulsive story so it may last you a while longer. There's much to relish: the relatable characters all but one of whom I wish could be my friends; the themes of love, loss, privilege, and purpose; the spare and elegant prose that manages to highlight just the right kind of detail. A novel for anyone hoping for a bit of light and enlightenment in what too often feels like dark times.
Nicole S. (St. Paul, MN)

What happened? I don't know. I love it!
So I tried to explain this book to a friend. It's a book where nothing terrible happens and nothing too dramatic happens. The main characters are all likable and reliable in some way. The story meanders but you really are not sure where it's going. I really liked the book.

I am not sure what about the book I liked- the language was sparse but evocative. The story was going somewhere, but slowly. I can't quite say why I enjoyed this book but I really did. I immediately gave it to a friend and told her to see if her book group would like it. I think I might retry Millet's other work because I enjoyed her voice so much in this book.

Beyond the Book:
  Novels About Trying to Do Good

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