Jurassic Park: The Book: My Review

Yeah, I get it, why the heck would anyone feel the need to write a review of a book that was published two decades ago, especially if that book was made into a series spawning motion picture that even today is still discussed in Hollywood (especially now that they are officially moving forward on JP4!).

The thing is. . . I needed something to write about, and, well, this seemed as good as any.

If you haven’t read the book yet in your life, it’s probably safe to assume you never will.  Knowing that, I still suggest you give this book a read if you have any interest in science fiction, or, even more importantly, action-packed techno-thriller dinosaur books involving a return to your own childhood’s awe of these fantastic monsters.

Heck, this book/movie is considered the catalyst for the dramatic increase in kids enrolling in paleontology programs over the last  two decades.  In other words, Crichton (with some definite credit given to Spielberg) did such an amazing job in showcasing his awe for these mystical creatures that an entire generation responded by wanting to learn more about them and study them for life.  That says a whole lot about a book that is, at its core, simply an action-adventure novel.  Crichton fits so much detail about these monsters into his tale that it becomes impossible to not want to know more.  Sure, some of the details he outlines have been determined to be, at least in part, inaccurate, but that doesn’t matter, it creates this sense of awe and a need to know more. . . all while having dilophosaurs rip out the intestines of Dennis Nedry while he attempts to perform his dastardly deed.

Based on my previous post regarding this book/movie series, I think it’s easily seen that I’m a big fan of them.  I hadn’t read Jurassic Park since it first came out, back in ’93, so I’m happy to state that re-reading it two decades later (and two decades older), I still came out of it feeling rather grateful for the experience.  Sure, I’m pissed at Mr. Crichton for killing off a character that he brings back in the book’s sequel with the lame explanation of “the doctor’s worked miracles”, but that’s forgivable considering how much I love the character of Ian Malcolm. . . and how much his character makes The Lost World a strong book.

Crichton loves to fill his books with as many facts as possible, attempting to make his fictional worlds appear that much more realistic because of how much reality it is based on.  This can bog the story down somewhat, especially as Ian Malcolm pontificates on whether or not science should even be allowed to perform the things they do, but it also manages to give the book an extra level of interest.  In my older age, I found myself wanting to look into the ideas behind the genetic experiments they developed in the book, see how close they were to the reality of the time, and to see how close they are to possible today.  I found myself gaining more and more interest into the world of genetic science, even in my old-man hatred of gene patents.

But, in the end. . . I just wanted to read about dinosaurs vs humans, to experience again this theme park gone awry and to feel those same feelings of how much I want to be in that same position, even though it would mean certain death.

The book holds up even twenty years later, and that’s a true testament to the author’s abilities.

That’s all I can really say.  20 years later and it’s still a damned fine book.  Can’t wait to get back into reading the sequel. . .

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