‘Jurassic Park’ novel deserving of own recognition


The first thought that follows the word “dinosaur” is probably the movie “Jurassic Park.” However, what made the movie such a hit, and even possible in the first place, is the novel it was based on.

Michael Crichton’s novel “Jurassic Park” has the same general premise as the film.

The story follows paleontologists Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, as well as mathematician Ian Malcolm, as they are invited to tour a new theme park off the coast of Costa Rica on an island called Isla Nublar before its official opening, a park by the name of Jurassic Park that was conjured by billionaire John Hammond.

The park is populated with dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA, and the more the three explore the island and its prehistoric inhabitants, the more they realize that maybe the dinosaurs should’ve stayed extinct.

The novel has a very interesting mixture of action and theorization, as well as scientific theory. One moment characters are fleeing for their lives from hungry velociraptors, and the next moment is full of explanations for the dinosaurs’ existence and the overview of chaos theory.

One may think a story full of information about chaos theory and a fictional explanation for the success of bringing back extinct species would be a bit dull or dragging, but it was very intriguing and refreshing to read about.

Crichton plants details about the process of creating prehistoric DNA in various parts of the story, saving readers from reading multiple, long pages about it. The scientific and theorizing elements are merely sprinkled throughout the story, giving breaks to the characters who are trying desperately to stay alive and not keeping the readers away from the action for too long.

The dinosaurs themselves were more than passive in the story. Crichton gives each dinosaur a personality, making them characters as well. The story isn’t merely about the people and their survival. It’s about dinosaurs and their survival in the modern world. Although there were many scenes in which the dinosaurs were made out to be the bad guys, characters in the story acknowledged that many were merely following their instincts and shouldn’t be hated.

The book had many iconic scenes that really pushed the plot forward, such as the T-Rex escape, raptors in the kitchen, the Jungle River chase and multiple gruesome death scenes. Multiple people in the novel died, but it would be more shocking if as many hadn’t died.

Given the plot of the novel and the initial conflict, the point that man shouldn’t play God and bring back extinct species couldn’t be made any clearer other than the gruesome deaths that took place.

“Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton deserves to be viewed on its own without the success and greatness of the film overshadowing it. While the movie is a classic, the novel is what inspired the film and contributed to the discussion about dinosaurs, and whether we should play with science just because we’re able to.

The novel is full of realistic, strong characters and characterized dinosaurs, as well as intriguing elements of theory and science. Crichton’s novel is worth the recognition and definitely deserving of independent praise.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)