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Review: Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember going and watching Jurassic Park with my parents when I was kid. The theater was packed, the popcorn was hot, and there were big ass dinosaurs on the screen giving me chills. At the time, I felt that it was a spectacular movie! It became my favorite and has been ever since. I recently discovered the book at my favorite bookstore and couldn’t resist. The novel was a wonderful piece of science-fiction literature, so much so that I wish I had never seen the movie.

Now, I still think that Jurassic Park the movie was a great feat for its time and I will still have a special place for it in my wee little heart. But the book has made me realize just what a horrible film adaption it truly was. Michael Crichton created a piece of writing that was filled to the brim with imaginative science. In the notes following the story, he spoke of all the research that went into this work. He gathered as much factual stuff as he could and then built Jurassic Park around that knowledge.

In case if anyone has never heard of this book (or movie), here’s a brief snippet of what it’s all about. An eccentric, wealthy man, who has always had an affinity for dinosaurs, has a vision for opening a zoo that is devoted entirely to these animals. Through the magic of genetic engineering he is able to recreate actual dinos and moves forward in setting up his park on an island in Costa Rica. But due to some accidents that occur on the island, he is forced to have the place examined by experts before the investors will allow it to open for business. Everything that happens afterwards (and prior to and during) is what creates the lovely bulk of this book.

There are so many fantastic components to Jurassic Park. I found the characters to be very entertaining. It was fun watching the different intellects getting into ethical and scientific arguments of the dilemma of recreating something that is supposed to be long dead. Each person was a delightful little hologram in my head as I read. I could see their expressions and mannerisms unfold like a movie. The creatures themselves are depicted so beautifully and with such immense details. Crichton didn’t just showcase their physical attributes, but he illustrated their natural behaviors and instinctive attributes, all without making it sound academic and dry.

The suspense was something else that surprised me. Sure, I went into this piece knowing the basics of what would happen, but I wasn’t expecting to be on the edge of my seat for most of the ride. The characters all have a nonstop shadow of terror that just hangs over their heads, creating an extremely tense and horrific atmosphere. Just when you think the situation is starting to look up, something pops out from behind and takes a bite out of your momentary peace of mind. It’s rather fun.

The last, but not least, element of the book that makes it stupendous is the science involved. Crichton takes the time to explain the science in the book without detracting from the plot at all. He weaves the explanations right in with intricate intelligent arguments and self-centered scientists who are too proud of their work to keep it bottled up inside. It’s a lavish pageant of egos, intellect, and common sense that bring light to the biology of this novel.

Jurassic Park is a book that I probably should have read a long time ago, but just never got around to. I am happy that I did finally get to read and experience it! It’s science-fiction at its absolute finest and is a great jewel to remember the author by. I highly recommend it with 5 out of 5 dinos.

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