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….
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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