Thursday, April 14, 2016

Book Review: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

It almost seems silly to write a synopsis of Jurassic Park since the movie is so ingrained in our pop culture nowadays, so I'm not going to. While the film was exciting enough to make me want to read the book, I'm pleased to say that the book was just what you'd want when reading the book after seeing the film: more involved and deeper characters. There are certain notable differences, such as Lex being younger than Timmy, and Dr. Sattler being a 24 year old master's student while Dr. Grant is the older teacher. There is even a character that the movie completely ignores, combining the traits of two book characters to be the lawyer who the t-rex eats. The story begins with accounts of unfortunate instances with people on the land nearest the island, immediately establishing that the dinosaurs have escaped the island which I thought was a strange thing for the film to exclude. Also the t-rex plays a much larger role through the first 3/4 of the book than the raptors do, while the film has the raptors as the main bad guys. That t-rex is downright nasty and hunts them through the entire compound in the book.

The real underlying theme of Jurassic Park is man's illusion of control over nature. Mr. Hammond fully believes in his "control" over the island even as things crumble around him and people are killed. Even at the end, he shows zero remorse, blaming the incompetency of others for the failure at this park and he plans on making another at a different location. The Dr. Malcolm character is there to point out the delusions of the other characters, and while he's kind of arrogantly annoying at times, he ends up being right about all of his predictions. The story consistently illustrates that these people are messing with a force they do not understand, and therefore cannot possibly control. I enjoyed how much science went into the research for the book, as well as Crichton's ability to keep me on my toes in spite of me growing up watching the movie every so often. All in all it was a very interesting idea and I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

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