Title: Jurassic Park
Author: Michael Crichton
Summary: The dinosaur is back on earth — alive, now, in Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park.
The story, told with an almost documentary verisimilitude, is an account of the attempt, through a hair-raising twenty-four hours on a remote jungle island, to avert a global emergency — a crisis triggered by today’s headlong rush (virtually unchecked by any government or scientific watchdogs) to commercialize genetic engineering.
In Jurassic Park, Crichton makes brilliant and mesmerizing use of the unique amalgam of suspense and informed science (this time paleontology, biotechnology, and chaos theory) that he originated in The Andromeda Strain. Of all his superb scientific thrillers — all of them best-sellers — Jurassic Park is in every way the strongest. It is certain to be his most widely read, talked about, and unreservedly enjoyed novel to date.
Belle Rating: B
Bookworm Rating: B-
Overall Rating: B
Target Audience: Young Adults – Adults
D – Ahhh. Death and dismemberment. Just the book I needed to cover this week to put me in the Valentine’s day mood.
L – That’s how I celebrate.
D – Well, I don’t have the pleasure of doing so anymore now that I’m married. Unless you count gaming…we die a lot when we play games…
L – Well unlike the movie this book doesn’t start with us watching a man get eaten by a raptor. We just get a sort of secretive “I wonder what sliced open this man?” sort of perspective from a doctor.
D – Yes, I mean it’s pretty obvious to us, the readers, that its from dinosaurs. But this carries on for the first few chapters. Mostly kids getting attacked. Very sad…no one really understands what’s going on until the main characters step onto Jurassic Park and realize that this crazed, idiotic old man has actually made dinosaurs.
L – A couple of things to keep in mind if you’ve seen the movie(s). First, Alan Grant doesn’t hate kids in the book. He actually really likes them. Also the boy is the older sibling and the girl is younger. I don’t know why they changed this in the movie, they just did.
D – Also, characters like Hammond, are far more stupid in the book than in the movie. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen the movie and know that things are gonna go south, but…yea…they annoyed me so much. Which I’m sure was what Crichton was going for.
L – Well, at least you don’t get attached.
D – This is true. All the deaths are great. Because it’s all the stupid people that are killed!
L – Indeed. Back to the story. We arrive at Jurassic Park and things seem to be a bit off. Everyone keeps insisting that nothing is wrong but some of the park employees aren’t so sure.
D – Minor details, like plant life, odd security measures, and the ferocity of some of the animals, are all pointed out by the group. You can easily see that something is up. Heck, I was uncomfortable reading it. If I was one of the characters, I would’ve been up and outta there. But that makes for a crummy story, so they continued on their merry way.
L – Then, much like the movie, the computer expert Nedry has been paid by a rival company to steal some of the dinosaur embryos. And he stupidly shuts down the entire park system. This leads to him being killed by a poison spitting dinosaur and everyone else getting chased around various parts of the park by a T-rex and some Velociraptors. See kids, stealing is bad.
D – Yeah, it can get everyone killed! I know from experience!
L – Ooooookkkaaayyyy…
D – Hey, you know that Rachel and I were close to killing the group because we wanted to rob everyone blind. (D&D, people. Please don’t believe that I am a thief).
L – Oh yes. The lawyer, Regis, is the first not thief to die. He’s eaten by the T-rex and then the mathematician, Malcom is injured. Grant and the kids get chased off and Malcom is eventually rescued by the others.
D – Don’t forget Hammond. He dies too!
L -Well so does Malcom but spoilers! (I’m kidding, this whole thing is a giant spoiler). But book Hammond (unlike movie Hammond) isn’t a very nice man. So I kinda felt like he deserved it. He fell down a cliff and got eaten. It was satisfying.
D – Pfft heck yeah he deserved it. He invited his grandchildren to the park knowing that there was a problem! I was happy when he died.
L – Grant has to leave and turn on the power. And sadly while helping distract the raptors Doctor Wu (the guy that genetically created the dinosaurs) gets eaten. Oh, and the kids almost get eaten but…..eeeehhhh.
D – Yea, Crichton had to let you sweat that one out. But he couldn’t have the kids die, I guess. In the end the only real survivors were the kids and the paleontologists. Ya know. The smart ones.
L – Yep. The book ends with the Costa Rican National Guard showing up getting the survivors off the island. And then blowing the whole thing to smithereens!!! (Mwahaha)…Oh and something about a few raptors maybe escaping, but that’s not important right?
D – It’s never important. This is why you think things through people. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
L -Ahhh, the storal of the mory. (moral of the story)
D – As stated above in the summary, this has a documentary feel. Crichton is very good at looking up scientific information for his stories. That’s part of the reason why this book is so well known and so good.
L -There are some scientific explanations throughout the book. But they aren’t too distracting and they add to the overall story for the most part.
D – Nothing is forced and Crichton was able to make these ideas flow very well in his story. So not only do you have the pleasure of reading about death and dismemberment, but you can also learn something new!
L – Yep and don’t worry. Crichton does just as well with the dramatic parts.
D – Well, I think my main issue, is that Velociraptors are not as big as Crichton says they are…sorry folks. I’m married to a geologist who is obsessed with dinosaurs. I can’t help but know these things.
L – The book is pretty strong. I suppose that if you can’t stand all of the scientific stuff you might have a hard time with this book. I don’t particularly have a problem with it so I enjoyed it.
D – And it does get pretty gorey…I think I struggled with the beginning more than anything.
L -Yeah, some of the dinosaurs got off the island and they keep attacking children and babies. It’s pretty sad and kinda disturbing.
L – It’s a book about dinosaurs hunting down and (occasionally) eating people. What more do you want? The plot is solid and the characters are either enjoyable or you’re glad to see them die.
D – And I just really enjoy the sciences. It’s great to see them implemented so well in a story like this.
L – It’s a good book and a pretty fun read. I recommend it. As long as you don’t get queasy easy. People do get eaten and Crichton doesn’t make it pretty.
D – Nope, he doesn’t. Death to all the things!! But seriously if you enjoyed the movie, read the book.