Genre:  Sci-Fi

Notes: Better than the movie.  And from me, that’s saying A LOT because I love the movie. 

Review: Oh. My. God.  5 stars!  5 stars!  I loved this book and literally could not put it down.  (It’s amazing how much you read when you move into a new city and have no friends)  I started it at the beach yesterday and finished it this morning.  One of the best books I’ve ever read.

Jurassic Park is literally one of my favorite movies of all time.  I still remember the first time I saw it.  I had nightmares for like a week.  I think I had a Jurassic Park nightmare before I went to college.  But I could never turn away or stop watching the movie.  Even today, if Jurassic Park is on TV, I stop whatever I’m doing and sit down and watch it.  In college, I had a science professor explain to my class why Jurassic Park genetics could never happen.  But when I read the book, I forgot about the fact you can’t just splice DNA from different animals willy nilly just because and totally believed everything Crichton wrote.

I don’t know what took me so long to finally read this book, but it’s incredible.  The plot line is ridiculously original, even for a sci-fi book.  It break all boundaries and seems totally and completely possible.  Getting DNA from the fossilized remains of mosquitoes in amber?  GENIUS!  Why hasn’t anyone cloned a dinosaur yet?  The book gets into a little more detail about the genetics and the fail-safes of Jurassic Park, which make it that much more believable.  Having some basic science knowledge make the book a little easier to read because they talk about restriction enzyme and DNA extraction.  But even if you don’t, the action and pure adrenaline is enough to keep you going.

And speaking of action, I didn’t think the book would compare to the movie.  How can words on paper show a T-rex biting someone in half or a velociraptor slowly and calculatingly stalking its prey? But, I was wrong.  This book delivers on the action front.  And to be honest, the book is even scarier than the movie.  Reading some of the scenes gave me the shivers.

Crichton writes this book superbly.  The characters are more fleshed out than in the movie.  They have motives and drive and imperfections, like real people.  John Hammond is much more maniacal and egotistical to a degree that he’s almost psychotic.  His relentless drive to get the park open at any expense and his refusal to see the problems facing Jurassic Park make him a foreboding character.  Definitely not the genial old man of the movie.

Bottom Line: Read it.  This book makes me wish I had stuck with science in college.  Crichton does an incredible job of bringing this world to life.  I’ve read one of his other books before, Andromeda Strain, but this is a million times better.  I might just read “The Lost World” next!