Baxlala’s #CBR4 Review #1: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Everyone knows what this book is about, right? Because of the movie? Duh, DINOSAURS. You know the dinosaurs are coming but Crichton tries to stall for a while by saying some “strange lizards” are roaming around Costa Rica, biting children and eating the face off of a baby (TRUE STORY) but, I mean, there’s a picture of a dino-skeleton on the cover and, again, there’s the movie. The book delves much more into the science of the thing, as if Crichton was preemptively all, “no, wait, this is seriously possible!” which…dude, I’m not worried about it. I just want to read a story about modern day dinosaurs. Save your amphibian DNA nonsense for Ross Geller.
Jurassic Park, the movie, came out when I was 11, and so I spent most of my tween and teen (and beyond!) years watching the hell out of it. I eventually read the book once I got to high school, but it just didn’t make the same impression as the movie. Maybe I should have listened to the John Williams score while reading it, I don’t know. There are significant differences between the book and the movie, the most jarring, I think, is that in the book Tim is the oldest, the dinosaur-lover, AND the computer nerd. Book!Lex is younger and…um, likes baseball. In truth, Book!Lex is pretty annoying and only serves to be really loud and cough at inopportune times. I’m so very glad they gave Lex something to do in the movie, even if she does spend a significant amount of time whining. Still, I’d like to see how you react after almost being eaten by a T-Rex.
The other significant (to me) difference is that Grant and Sattler in the book? Not together. Broke my little shipper heart. Book!Grant is 50-something widower, rugged and burly and prone to wearing Hawaiian shirts, and Sattler is a 24-year-old scientist engaged to some doctor in Chicago. Boo! I rejected all knowledge of this as I read and left Sam Neill and Laura Dern as my stand-ins for the characters, which I highly recommend.
I feel bad that I keep saying the movie is better because obviously the book is still awesome. Come on, it’s about dinosaurs! At a theme park! And things go all haywire! Plus, and I think this is something the book really has going for it, there are about a billion more velociraptors than in the movie, including some adorable baby ones. Spielberg may have had all the money in the world at hand to make his movie but Crichton could write whatever the hell he wanted and it cost zero dollars for the reader to imagine it. You win this round, books!
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