Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton
published: Ballentine Books, 2012 (originally 1990)
pages: 448

John Hammond had a vision and he made his vision a reality.  Now he needs Dr. Alan Grant along with Ellie Sattler to make sure everything on his special island is functioning correctly.  The mysterious vision in question, live dinosaurs.  Mr. Hammond has found a way to recreate the extinct.  His Jurassic Park is meant to be an exhilarating experience for families, but when his own grandchildren come to test it out, a couple little mishaps occur.  It's up to the people on the island to take back control and prevent the worst case scenario: dinosaur takeover.

This book is crazy.  I mean, I can't imagine reading this when it first came out.  We know a lot about dinosaurs now, but in 1990 dinosaur knowledge wasn't so common.  In fact, I can't decide if knowing about dinosaurs makes this book more or less frightening.  The storytelling was quite good.  I liked that there was a understandable technical side to the story.  The chaos theory thrown into the plot and explained by a character throughout the book, makes this story more plausible and destructive.

I usually devote my review time to characters I loved in the book, but it needs to be said.  Mr. Hammond is a deplorable character.  Everything about him is greedy and self-serving and he puts his park before everyone, including his grandchildren.  One would think that he would be protective of his own flesh and blood, but when it comes down to it Dr. Grant does most of the protecting.  And thank God for that because those kids would have been dead a hundred times over otherwise.

Aside from the time I spent being incredibly angry at Mr. Hammond, I spent quite a bit of time tense and scared for the characters.  There are some intense scenes with those dinosaurs.  I mean, they're dinosaurs so it's going to be scary, but I always forget how powerful words can be on a page.  I've seen the movie a dozen times and this book is right on par when fear is involved.  I put the book down a couple of times because I didn't want to know what came next.

Michael Crichton created a complex world in which the morals of humans were questioned and personified through terrifying dinosaurs that were as dangerous as they were beautiful.  I can safely say that I would never visit an island of dinosaurs, but I would definitely marvel from afar.

Stars: 4/5


"Frighteningly real...compelling...It'll keep you riveted."
     --The Detroit News

"Crichton is a master at explaining complex concepts in simple terms."
     --Library Journal

"one of the great storytellers of our age...The best Michael Crichton novels are...edifying reads, whose gripping plots contain real ideas."

An Alphabet Soup Challenge book. 


  1. Great review! I really want to read this at some point, because I love the film. :)

  2. Awesome review^^ I've seen the movie a few times too but I've never read the book. Reading your thoughts here definitely makes me want to pick it up sooner rather than later! It sounds addictive, thrilling and intense! :)