REVIEW: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

REVIEW: Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonJurassic Park (Jurassic Park #1) by Michael Crichton
Published: Ballantine Books (1990), Paperback, 399pg
Genres: Fiction, Sci-fi

three-stars

Summary:

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures once extinct now roam Jurassic Park, soon-to-be opened as a theme park. Until something goes wrong…and science proves a dangerous toy….

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For once I went into reading a book fully knowing what I’d be getting. I’ve read a Michael Crichton book before (Timeline), and I was pretty familiar with his writing style and his lackadaisical use of science. Furthermore, I’m a fan of the movie version of Jurassic Park— so I knew what was going to happen and what it’d be like reading it, basically. No shocks here! I knew it wasn’t going to be super-duper fabulous, and it wasn’t.

But! I still liked it. Michael Crichton isn’t ever going to be my favorite author, but I enjoy his books because they’re brain candy with bite. Jurassic Park was fun, and though it was very different from the movie I did enjoy reading it. I was kind of surprised at how much Dr Grant’s character had changed from the book to the movie; in the book he’s much more…realistic, I guess. He doesn’t go help yank the kids out of their jeep when the T-rex attacks, for instance. He’s no movie hero.

That was kind of disappointing. I wanted a big hero character, someone who could kick the dinosaurs’ butts and then write an article about it afterwards. But no one’s really a hero in Jurassic Park, and I can’t decide if that’s good or not. On the one hand, no heroes means it’s more realistic (as realistic as a book about dinosaurs living in modern times can be). On the other hand, it didn’t endear anyone in the book to me. I got into the actual story, because, hello. Dinosaurs in real life. But I didn’t like any of the characters.

Besides that, there was the typical Crichton things like weird dialogue, bad science, and people dying that you don’t want to die. Oh! And characters that show up in random places, tell you their life story, and then disappear for the rest of the book. You know, one-use only characters. And there’s some “we must be responsible with science” speeches– mostly by Dr Malcolm– that were interesting in theory but boring to read (I skimmed them). But if you can get over that and let your brain go on auto-pilot for a bit, Jurassic Park is a fun book that’ll appeal to any dino lover out there (and possibly even science lovers).

Just don’t expect it to be like the movie, because you’ll be disappointed. Throw the movie out of your mind, and go into the book with a clean slate. And then, afterwards, read this Wikipedia article to learn about what science went weird where. (It’s actually not as much as you’d think.)

Read: March 26-27, 2010

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5 thoughts on “REVIEW: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton”

  1. Am I living a bleak and empty life if I have never seen the film? And also, do you think it’s better to read the book first and then see the film, or the other way round? Or actually my question is: Assuming that whatever version of it I consume first will spoil the other version for me permanently, which version do I want to keep forever, book or film?

    1. Yes, yes you are. 😀 And…I don’t know. If you read the book first you might enjoy it more, because you’re not expecting it to be like the movie. BUT if I had to pick one and only one for you to see, I’d pick the movie. The characters are better heroes, certain people don’t die (but other ones do), and it cuts out a lot of stuff that was rather superfluous in the book.

  2. I read this a long time ago and didn’t love it or hate it. Kinda meh. Then I saw the movie. The movie is so much better. And I don’t say that about many books made into movies.

  3. Reading the book ruined the movie for me because the book is so much better. The movie would be so much better if it was a true adaptation of the book.

    1. Really? I liked the movie better, I think, though some of the characters were more interesting to read about than to watch on film.

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