Paperback Perils: Jurassic Park

Title: Jurassic Park

Author: Michael Crichton

Publication Date: 1990

Publishing House: Ballantine Books

Currently I am reading Crooked Kingdom and due to life I am behind on my reading and thus reviewing. In the meantime I am going to review one of my favorite books: Jurassic Park. Most of you have probably seen all of the movies and many of you probably knew that the original two movies were based off books: Jurassic Park and The Lost World. I first read Jurassic Park in fifth grade; for my readers not here in the states, I was ten years old. This may seem like too mature a book for a ten year old but the same year I also read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. I may not have understood everything at that age but I understood enough.

Jurassic Park is a science fiction thriller. Quick synopsis: InGen Corporation owned by John Hammond buys an island named Isla Nublar off the coast of Costa Rica for the purpose of building the greatest attraction the world has ever seen: a zoo of dinosaurs. However, some accidents on the project prompts the legal counsel to require an inspection of the island by experts in various fields: paleontologist, paleobotanist, and a mathematician. Once on they are on the island mayhem ensues along predicted and deadly paths.

Many of Crichton’s books talk about, what is now very outdated technology, that at the time was state of the art. The technology required to view and replicate DNA and clone an animal has undoubtedly changed since 1990 when this book was published but since it is not something that the majority of us use every day this book is still something that seems far fetched.

This book can be separated into sections. The initial one being the events that lead up to and cause the incidents that require the investigation into the island. The second section is the introduction of the main characters: Hammond, Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, and Ian Malcolm. The reader is also introduced to the secondary: Tim, Lex, Dr. Wu, Gennaro, Arnold, Muldoon. There are a number of minor characters that move the plot here and there but because they aren’t seen as often I’m listing them as minor, such as: Regis, Nedry, and Dr. Harding. The third section of this book is the loss of control: dinosaurs escaping, people dying, and Hammond denying that this is possible. The final section is the resolution, conclusion and escape from the island.  

As a kid I loved that there were dinosaurs. Lex and Tim were relatable characters for a ten year old. They had this terrifying but grand adventure and came out of it relatively unscathed. As an adult, I still love the adventure but I also listen more to Malcolm’s morphine induced philosophising and I note Hammond’s denial. His inability to take any responsibility for the failures of the park.

All books contain conflict and some might argue that the dinosaurs are the antagonist but I don’t believe so. They act as their instincts say they should. I feel the true antagonist is human drive and greed. Hammond and Wu are a modern Dr. Frankenstein. They create creatures they don’t understand and expect them to act in a certain way despite not taking the time to get to know them.

Jurassic Park is a great book for a number of reasons. It contains adventure, dinosaurs, a decent amount of blood, and man vs nature conflict. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest that you do. Most used bookstores should have a copy or two. If you are interested in newer books, check out Book of the Month. I’d love to know your thoughts on Jurassic Park, please comment below. Have a great week and happy reading!

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9 thoughts on “Paperback Perils: Jurassic Park

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  1. Jurassic Park is one of the FEW movies based off books where I have not read the book. I should really check it out though! I normally read the book first before watching the movie or movies, and 9 times out of the 10 always enjoy the book more.

    How would you compare the movie and the book? Did the movie do the book justice and represent it pretty good?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The movie is very slimmed down compared to the book, which is often the case. There is a bit more science, a few more dinosaurs, and major differences in some character personalities (mainly Hammond).

      Be that as it may, I really enjoy both the book and the movie but I choose to look at them as separate entities.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes that is often the case because the book is able to give so much more detail and is normally a lot more in length. Which I normally expect when sitting down to watch a movie that was based on a book. I now have this kind of rule where I don’t put such high expectations when watching a movie based on a book, this way I tend to enjoy the movie a bit more. xD

        But yeah I normally always try to read the book before watching the movie based on it, this time I didn’t. Maybe because the book is much older? But I have read a lot of books way before my time, so I don’t know. xD Sometimes looking at both as seperate helps you appreciate both too!

        Liked by 1 person

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