Justin’s #24 – Jurassic Park: A Novel, Michael Crichton, 466 pages

You have to be living under a rock if you don’t know the basic premise of Jurassic Park. So, if you’re on of those people, stop reading now.

But if you, like me, have seen the films and have never read the book, read on! I not only have never read Jurassic Park, I’ve never written a Michael Crichton novel. I have heard lots of great things about Crichton, so I was curious to see what he had to offer. It did not disappoint!

It’s hard to compare a book you’ve read to a movie you’ve seen. In some ways, I think that the book is moderately better than the movie. There are so many similarities in the first half of the book that it follows pretty much identically to the movie. Then the movie does its Steven Spielberg magic and goes in its own direction. I thought the character development in the book was much different then in the movie. For example, I was surprised that Dr. Sattler (the woman with Dr. Grant) had such a little role in the book while she had a moderately important role in the movie. In the movie, the two children are unofficially led by the older sister, while in the book this is in the reverse.

I also thought that the book solidifies the message Crichton wanted to portray, at least more than the movie does. Ian Malcom, a mathematician assigned to helping assess the stability of Jurassic Park, is one of the founders of “chaos theory.” In this theory, Malcom explains that if you bounce a ball in a linear system, you can predict every bounce that will happen. But, according to chaos theory, the ball bouncing will inevitably not go according to plan; perhaps because of an imperfection in the surface or some other variable. Malcom argues that Jurassic Park will never work because of chaos theory. What can go wrong will go wrong, in a sense. I think this idea underpins the entire novel. The moments where Malcom is receiving more morphine to help cope with his wounds, he goes on ever longer orations about the futility of the experiment and how it will be doomed to fail.

Jurassic Park is much better than the movie. Check it out. 5/5

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