Jurassic Park is one of those franchises that is ingrained in our popular culture. I know few people who haven’t seen at least the first film (if not the mediocre to straight up lousy sequels and reboot), and even fewer who haven’t enjoyed it on some level or another. For my money, it’s one of the most quotable films from my childhood. But so many people forget that before Hollywood patented it, packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, Jurassic Park was a novel written by Michael Crichton.
That novel has been on my reading list for quite some time. I’d been hesitant to read it at first, because Jurassic Park is something those in the science fiction community call hard sci-fi. I don’t like hard science fiction. I’m a story-teller, not a scientist, and I find that a lot of hard science fiction focuses on complex scientific theories which go way over my head, to the detriment of the actual story. I was terrified that this would be the case for the novel which inspired one of my favorite movies from childhood.
Well, I finally decided to be brave. And it turns out, I didn’t really have anything to fear. I enjoyed the novel so much I had a difficult time putting it down. The science, which definitely still to complex for me to have a perfect comprehension of it, was explained well enough (without dumbing it down) that I could follow along without getting confused. (Although, the fact that I’ve seen the movie so often may contribute to my basic comprehension of the science of Jurassic Park).
Without revealing any spoilers to those who haven’t read it (since there a re a few changes from novel to movie), here are a few of my initial thoughts and observations on Jurassic Park the novel (hold on to your butts):
- Michael Crichton seemed to really like is Dr. Ian Malcolm character.
- The change of Dr. Alan Grant’s attitude from the novel to movie is an interesting choice, considering that particular quirk is essential to the character’s development in the film.
- Baby raptors sound adorable and I want one (Just not for it to grow up. I don’t want to die).
- The death count is slightly altered from the novel.
- The almost lovable John Hammond who claimed to have wanted to create something wondrous but couldn’t quite comprehend the consequences of his actions from the film is not nearly so douchey as the John Hammond from the novel.
Overall, Jurassic Park was a fantastic read. I strongly recommend it to those who enjoyed the film, and would like to see what changed, and what stayed the same.