Jurassic Park, book 1
by Michael Crichton
An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them—for a price.
Until something goes wrong. . . .
Jurassic Park is my favorite movie, so as excited as I was to finally read the book, I was equally nervous that I wouldn’t love the original story nearly as much as the film adaptation. After reading it, is it also my favorite book? No. Honestly, the dialogue is a little clunky at parts, some of the characters left me wanting, and there’s a decent amount of contained info-dumping. That being said, I still loved this. I had a lot of fun reading this book. The initial setup is so engaging, I loved the changing perspectives, the horror elements, the pacing, and the writing as a whole worked really well for me.
There are only two female characters in the bunch, and they leave a lot to be desired. Lex is incredibly obnoxious, and, although Ellie is a smart, capable woman, she’s mostly treated as a nice pair of legs, which is super unfortunate. Where movie Hammond is a bit kooky in a childlike-wonder kind of way, book Hammond is a fully unhinged old, rich guy. Then of course we have the rockstar of mathematics, Dr. Ian Malcolm, and the level-headed paleontologist, Dr. Alan Grant. Plus a mix of other men who are generally all smart, talented, and often arrogant. While I like the film’s revisions to the characters, I generally loved the cast as a whole in the book.
Where the writing has a few moments of odd dialogue and a couple long-winded explanations of chaos theory, the majority of the story gave just enough intrigue and tension to keep me fully engaged and wanting to keep turning the page. There’s a good balance between giving us relevant information, having the characters overcome a wide variety of obstacles, and enough horror elements to keep the stakes pretty high. The slower moments always felt like they added something intentional to the plot and the conversations being had, plus they give the reader a little time to breathe in between dinosaur encounters.
Overall, this book is a lot of fun. I loved reading it and would definitely recommend it.