User rating -
I can't watch Jurassic Park without feeling like we have missed out. And the reason is that, having read Michael Crichton's original book, the two simply don't compare.
The novel is a much darker, gruelling experience than what you've seen. John Hammond is not a nice guy, like Richard Attenborough's Hammond: he's a selfish, scheming shyster out to make a fast buck with a spectacular new show, and the consequences be damned. Not only is the mood different, half the content never made it to screen. The early foreboding where the dino numbers don't add up, who Lou Dodgson really is, what lurked on the boat heading for the mainland, Muldoon's efforts to tranquilise the T-Rex as it roams loose in the park. The journey made by Alan Grant and the kids is much longer and far more hazardous; a river journey (subsequently used in Jurassic Park 3) has the T-Rex stalking them from the opposite bank, and it is only Muldoon and Satlers' unknowing intervention that keeps them from being devoured in the shallows. Also missing is the aviary, under which the river runs and where the Pterodactyls have been causing havoc for the beleaguered construction crews employed by the park (used later in JP3). Presumably the film was stretched for time, but it would have been nice, all the same...
That's not all that's "new". The ensemble cast of characters is much more comprehensive, notably with Doctor Harding and Muldoon playing a larger part, as well as geneticist Henry Wu; and their actions in the story are sorely lacking on celluloid. Even the lawyer Genarro has far much more to offer and he is actually one of the heroes of the piece, not just another legal blood-sucker. Usually thrillers are too short to bond with characters much, but these people have depth, and you actually start to care what happens to them.
On its own merit this is a ripping tale of science, human failing and the power of nature, and ultimately of endurance and sacrifice. It is definitely recommended for holiday reading and is also pretty good for when those winter nights start to close in. So look for that loose change down the side of the sofa and pick up a copy; because this book will give you hours of enjoyable reading.
User - mreger3 from East Dereham, Norfolk United Kingdom
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