Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Anybody who knows me can attest to the fact that I am super excited about the Jurassic World release on 6/12/15.  In preparation for this, I've decided to read Jurassic Park and The Lost World before the movie opens.  I am also planning to watch the first three movies as well. 

Speaking of the movies...

When reading Jurassic Park, I was struck by how little the movie follows the book.  Now, I'll admit it's been decades (literally) since I saw the Jurassic Park movie, and perhaps I've forgotten some things, but honestly it seems the only things the book and movie share in common are the characters and the name.  Beyond that, there is so little that I find similar.  We'll see when I watch the movie again if I'm remembering correctly!

As for the book...

Frankly, I truly enjoyed the book.  This book appeals to me on my nerd level.  It just speaks to my nerdy little soul like few other books can.  There is no point in lying.  I love science.  And this book has just enough real science in it to tickle the fancy and make me think what if.  Of course, this book should not be read if you're looking for complete and accurate scientific detail.  Thankfully I am no paleontologist, nor am I a geneticist, so I am blissfully ignorant of what I am sure are the mangled finer points of each field of study.  For me, this book is just good entertainment.

Of course, I have nothing to complain about with Crichton's writing ability.  I find his writing easy to read.  His technique is varied enough to hold my attention and thankfully he employs a decent vocabulary.  I find his skills of description to be wonderful.  With his descriptions, he enabled me to envision Isla Nublar and all of its inhabitants quite well.  Especially my favorites -- the velociraptors!

Crichton also did a good job with the plotting and pacing of the book.  Although the start was a bit slow, once all the characters were introduced and the reader had all of the necessary background information, the story really kicked into high gear.  And I really enjoyed the last little part of the book that I don't remember from the movie at all.  Perhaps it was in the movie, but I certainly don't recall it.  I really liked how just when you thought it was all over, it was time to go find the wild velociraptors. 

The author also did a great job with his characters.  I feel as though Crichton knew his characters as well as one would know a long time friend.  He stayed true to the character throughout.  It's true you don't see a lot of character development in the classic sense, but I wouldn't expect to.  This book covers a time period of not even 48 hours.  The scope of this book doesn't allow for classic character development.  Rather, this book demands that characters be strong and engaging throughout and Crichton certainly delivered.  The only character I didn't like was Lex (the little girl).  I would have loved, and I do mean loved to have read the part where my true favorite characters, the velociraptors, had a snack of whiny, petulant, spoiled brat little girl.  And truly, not liking the character had nothing to do with the author's ability to create and bring to life a character.  It had everything to do with I just can't stand whiny, petulant, spoiled brat kids. 

And let's just take a moment to talk about the dinosaurs.  I loved them!  By now you know who my favorites are!  But really, I liked all of them.  Crichton just brought them to life with his well researched writing.  The whole idea of the theme park with dinosaurs was great.  And I appreciate the fact that he took the time to do research and make the dinosaurs as accurate as possible. 

All things considered, I really can't think of anything to complain about with this book.  I truly enjoyed the book.  Perhaps I would caution those who may be turned off by gore, but even then, this book wasn't really all that gory.  I just know that some of my regulars on this blog don't care for any description of gore, so I would say if you fall into that category you may want to skip this book.  After all, certain dinosaurs are carnivores and humans happen to be on their food chain thus one must expect a certain amount of the "circle of life" to take place.  Even so, it's not bad at all and I would recommend this book to everyone!