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Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park (1990)

by Michael Crichton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jurassic Park (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,656188188 (3.92)184
  1. 100
    The lost world by Arthur Conan Doyle (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: An obvious rec, I admit. Doyle's story is the original "modern men interact with dinos" tale and Crichton's is the best one since.
  2. 101
    The Lost World by Michael Crichton (DeDeNoel)
    DeDeNoel: Kind of an obvious choice, The Lost World is a sequel to Jurassic Park. I think it's just as good, if not better.
  3. 41
    Carnosaur by Harry Adam Knight (caimanjosh, tottman)
    caimanjosh: There's been some speculation that Crichton actually got the idea for Jurassic Park from this book, which was written well before. This one's gorier.
    tottman: Both are stories about trying to bring back dinosaurs, and the ultimately destructive outcome of such an attempt. Carnosaur leans more to the horror side of the equation and Jurassic Park more to the thriller side.
  4. 20
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (mcenroeucsb)
  5. 20
    The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Mad doctor's breeding program on a remote island. What could go wrong?
  6. 31
    Relic, The by Douglas Preston (VictoriaPL)
  7. 10
    King Kong by Edgar Wallace (Hedgepeth)
  8. 11
    Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker (Konran)
  9. 11
    Meg by Steve Alten (Hedgepeth)
  10. 11
    The Cartesian Machine by Dr. Nick E. Tran (NickETran)
    NickETran: The Cartesian Machine by Nick E. Tran and Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton are both based on the newly discovered sciences and the terrible disasters that ensued.
  11. 13
    When the Wind Blows by James Patterson (themephi)

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Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
This was crazy fun!! I didn't think it would be my style, but it gobbled it in less than 24 hours. Literally un-put-down-able. ( )
  Jackie_Sassa | Nov 20, 2015 |

[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]

(As if everybody doesn’t already know this one…)

It’s nearing the twenty-first century, and great leaps in bioengineering have resulted in a bajillion companies taking off and trying to manipulate genetics in the coolest new ways. John Hammond, a rich, eccentric old billionaire, starts up a company of his own, with the ultimate goal of resurrecting dinosaurs so he can build an expensive theme park.

Flash forward a few years, and he’s actually done it! Jurassic Park has been established on an island off of Costa Rica, Isla Nublar, and Hammond’s scientists have created over two hundred dinosaurs to awe the world. There’s only one problem: reports about freaky lizards appearing on the Costa Rican coast have made Hammond’s investors nervous, and so, in order to the get park approved to start operations, Hammond invites some experts to the island for a tour.

Those experts would be paleontologist Alan Grant, his partner, paleobotanist Ellie Sattler, mathematician Ian Malcolm, the concerned lawyer, Donald Gennaro, and…for some reason, Hammond’s grandkids, Tim and Lex.

At first, everything is swell. The tour is fantastic. The dinosaurs are awesome. And then…

Dennis Nedry, the crack computer guy hired to build the park’s systems, betrays Hammond to steal some dinosaur embryos for a major payday from a competitor. To do so, he sabotages the park’s systems and runs off with the embryos. Unfortunately, due to the fact he’s a complete idiot, he gets lost on the way to the handoff location and ends up getting eaten by dinosaurs, which leaves the other clueless employees to try and fix the mess he’s created.

This results in Tim, Lex, Grant, and Malcolm getting attacked by the T-Rex, which fatally injures Malcolm and sends the other three on a dangerous trek through the park to safety. Then, because the super-smart raptors escape from their pin, a whole crap ton of other people die as they desperately try to get the park’s security measures up and running again.

When the chaos finally comes to a close, most of the park’s workers are dead, including Hammond himself. Then the Costa Rican military shows up, snatches Grant, Ellie, Tim, and Lex, along with any other survivors, and bombs the island to kingdom come.

At the end, Grant and Ellie are in limbo in Costa Rica, as the government refuses to let them leave due to their knowledge of what happened. And, best of all, any dinosaurs that escaped from the island are probably still roaming around in the wild somewhere.

The end.

My Take

Obviously, I picked this one up in honor of the release of Jurassic World, which I thought was a fun movie (though not much of a critical masterpiece). This book, of course, is a classic thriller with a sci-fi twist attached that sparked a whole generation of dinosaur fascination, a bunch of movies, and some 90s culture stuff I’d probably be better not bringing up in this review.

So what did I think of the book that started it all?

Well…it was all right. And that’s pretty much all I can say about it. I found the characters interesting for the most part — although I did find Ian Malcolm to be one of the most annoying morality preacher characters I’ve ever come across in all my reading years — and the plot was pretty exciting, if not fairly predictable. And before anyone says it was predictable because I’ve seen the movie (which is partially true), the book itself is actually written in a way that makes the plot predictable.

Malcolm pretty much tells you everything that’s going to happen before it happens because he’s the master of “chaos theory,” and a lot of the characters make such obviously boneheaded mistakes that it’s not all surprising what happens to most of them in the end. The whole plot pretty much boils down to so-called smart people doing incredibly dumb things, making huge oversights that should have been glaring, and generally being so full of themselves that they adamantly refuse to admit they could be wrong about anything…until they get eaten by dinosaurs.

If I had read this book back when it first came out, I probably would have been more enthralled by it because, well, dinosaurs. But reading it with twenty plus years worth of movies and fan culture behind it…it really comes off as a rather mediocre story. Crichton had a lot of awesome ideas stuffed in this, for sure, but I feel like the actual structure of the story and the characters could use a little work.

Is It Worth Reading?

If you’re interested in reading about bioengineering and dinosaurs, sure. If you’re looking for a more well-rounded thriller, maybe not.


3/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Great book, I don't really dig Malcom's arguments all the time but I they are okay. I'm not quite as worried about what science can do as Malcom is but I do feel skepticism in science is almost always preferable to absolute faith.

The story is fantastic and a significant amount of it made it into the movie which I first saw many many years ago. There is enough different in the book that it is still entertaining, especially the later parts.

Good, fun, entertaining read. ( )
  JaredChristopherson | Nov 16, 2015 |
absolutely loved reading this book. this book, is the reason my young son. started reading novels. he didn't like reading. he asked "why, do i always read. instead of go see the movie." ( )
  andreancarr | Oct 27, 2015 |
absolutely loved reading this book. this book, is the reason my young son. started reading novels. he didn't like reading. he asked "why, do i always read. instead of go see the movie." ( )
  andreancarr | Oct 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Crichton, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kanmert Sjölander, MolleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Reptiles are abhorrent because of their cold body, pale color, cartilaginous skeleton, filthy skin, fierce aspect, calculating eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation, and terrible venom; wherefore their Creator has not exerted his powers to make many of them."

~ LINNAEUS, 1797
"You cannot recall a new form of life."
For A-M and T
First words
The tropical rain fell in drenching sheets, hammering the corrugated roof of the clinic building, roaring down the metal gutters, splashing on the ground in a torrent.
Out of curiosity, she looked in the little English dictionary, and to her surprise she found the word there, too:
raptorn[deriv. of L. raptor plunderer, fr. raptus]: bird of prey.
Parties to that settlement, including the distinguished scientific board of advisors, signed a nondisclosure agreement, and none will speak about what happened; but many of the principal figures in the "InGen incident" are not signatories, and were willing to discuss the remarkable events leading up to those final two days in August 1989 on a remote island off the west coast of Costa Rica.
The late twentieth century has witnessed a scientific gold rush of astonishing proportions: the headlong and furious haste to commercialize genetic engineering.
Mike Bowman whistled cheerfully as he drove the Land Rover through the Cabo Blanco Biological Reserve, on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Reptielen zijn weerzinwekkend vanwege hun koude lichaam, hun bleke kleur, hun kraakbeenskelet, hun vuile huid, hun wrede uitdrukking, hun berekenende blik, hun afstotelijke geur, hun scherpe stemgeluid, hun smerig nest en hun vreselijk vergif; daarom heeft hun schepper zijn macht niet gebruikt om er vele te maken. (Linnaeus, 1797) Een nieuwe levensvorm kun je niet ongedaan maken. (Erwin Chargaff, 1972)
Because the history of evolution is that life escapes all barriers. Life breaks free. Life expands to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even dangerously. But life finds a way.
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An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now, one of mankind's most thrilling fantasies has come true. Creatures extinct for eons now roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them--for a price.

Until something goes wrong....
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345370775, Mass Market Paperback)

Unless your species evolved sometime after 1993 when Jurassic Park hit theaters, you're no doubt familiar with this dinosaur-bites-man disaster tale set on an island theme park gone terribly wrong. But if Speilberg's amped-up CGI creation left you longing for more scientific background and ... well, character development, check out the original Michael Crichton novel. Although not his best book (get ahold of sci-fi classic The Andromeda Strain for that), Jurassic Park fills out the film version's kinetic story line with additional scenes, dialogue, and explanations while still maintaining Crichton's trademark thrills-'n'-chills pacing. As ever, the book really is better than the movie. --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:32 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A wealthy entrepreneur secretly creates a theme park featuring living dinosaurs drawn from prehistoric DNA. Before opening the attraction to the public, he invites some scientists to experience the park and help calm anxious investors; but, during the visit, the security system breaks down and prehistoric creatures break out.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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