My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures once extinct now roam Jurassic Park, soon-to-be opened as a theme park. Until something goes wrong...and science proves a dangerous toy....
'Jurassic Park' is one of those books you sit down, fully intending on reading a relation to the well-known film, and then realize the two have about as much in common as a Vegas stripper does with a Brazilian nun.
Then after reading through 400 pages of a novel you shut it, sit back, and curse yourself for believing it could have been anything like the movie. Then you experience this awkward moment of thinking, 'What did I just read?' And then you realize what you've read is a novel that, looked at in the proper light, was a hell of a lot more entertaining than the movie.
The characters are nothing alike, for those of you who've seen the movie. The plot is a bit shaky when it come to the film version as well.
Crichton paints this scientific symphony of genetic engineering marvels; the re-creation of prehistoric dinosaurs on a small island off the coast of Costa Rica. Hammond, the man with the dream, wants to create a theme parker/zoo/resort for the entire world to marvel in, charge thousands of dollars, and laugh in the face of impossibility. He invites paleontologists, mathematicians, big-game hunters, his lawyer (of course), and, because where would a novel be without annoying children? his grandkids!
And then all hell breaks lose.
The novel was enjoyable, fast-paced, and gritty in a good way. The characters were either likable, or you hated them s deeply that you could not help but love to hate them. The science was interesting, premise understanding, and it was just a novel that I believe should be counted among the modern science-fiction classics.
The only part of the novel that had me not enjoying it was the author. That's right, he's a clear example of the target for which I can scream 'Show, don't tell!' at. He had a lot of stopping in the middle of dialogue or action to explain something in a long drone in which he could have explained in a different, and much better, fashion. There were times I loved his writing and the power it carried, and then other times I was a little surprised at his inability to carry that power along.
In all, I'm glad to have had the chance to read the novel, despite its few but still recognizable flaws. I'm looking forward to reading more of Crichton's work, now that I have an eye on how to handle him.
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