August 27, 2016

Review: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Title: Jurassic Park
Author: Michael Crichton
Published: June 10, 1991
Publisher: Ballantine Books (Random House)
Paperback: 399 pages

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A billionaire has created a technique to clone dinosaurs. From the DNA that his crack team of scientists extract, he is able to grow the dinosaurs in his laboratories and lock them away on an island behind electric fences, creating a sort of theme park. He asks a group of scientists from several different fields to come and view the park, but something goes terribly wrong when a worker on the island turns traitor and shuts down the power.

I know...I know...this is a random book to find on Good Choice Reading!

Jurassic Park is over 25 years old (time flies, doesn't it?) and I've already watched the movie more times than I can count. But one day, while I was sitting on the couch watching the latest remake of the film, I wondered whether the book would be better than the movie. Now, we all know that most books are infinitely better than their films, but Jurassic Park is such a phenomenal movie, could the book actually top it?

Yes, yes it could.

This book is everything you love about Jurassic Park and more. Interestingly, most of the movie stayed quite true to the book, with no major plot points changed. But the book had even more action, more intensity, and more gore!

This book turned me into a true Michael Crichton fan. Don't be surprised if you see more books on GCR by this late, great author. I've already added all his novels to my to-be-read pile! Crichton's writing style is so unique and fun to read. He cuts off his characters in the middle of their thoughts; He keeps his descriptions short and to the point (which allows the reader to really use their imagination to fill in the blanks); and it's just so damn educated. He will blow you away with his facts and figures -- you would think he were ready to go and build Jurassic Park right then and there.

But my favorite part of his writing is the commentary Crichton makes on life and the world, in general. This book focuses on the actual moral implications of creating a park like Jurassic Park. Should we do something like this? Should we be playing God? It really makes you think about every angle and every side.

Seriously, if you like the movie, read the book. You will not regret it!

5 out of 5 stars!

Bonus: I found this on the website for Jurassic Park:  

In His Own Words

Michael Crichton - In His  Own Words
I wrote a screenplay about cloning a pterodactyl from fossil DNA in 1983, but the story wasn’t convincing. I worked on it for several years since, trying to make it more credible. Finally I decided on a theme park setting, and wrote a novel from the point of view of a young boy who was present when the dinosaurs escaped. I then sent the book to the usual people who read my first drafts.
Over the years, I’ve come to rely on five or six people who read my drafts; generally they have a range of responses. Not this time. They were all in agreement: they hated Jurassic Park.
I got angry reactions such as, “Why would you write a book like this?” But when I asked them to explain exactly why they hated it, they couldn’t put their finger on anything in particular. They just hated it, that’s all. Hated every bit of it.
I wrote another draft. They hated that one, too. Just as strongly as the one before. Whatever I had done in the latest draft, it hadn’t helped.
I wrote another draft, but the result remained the same.
Finally one of the readers said that they were irritated with the story because they wanted it to be from an adult point of view, not a kid point of view. They said, “I want this to be a story for me.” Meaning for an adult.
So I rewrote it as an adult story.
And then everybody liked it.
Michael Crichton Signature

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