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Jurassic Park: A Novel
Stock image - cover art may vary
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 0345370775
ISBN-13: 9780345370778
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: November, 1991
Length: 416 Pages
Weight: 5.6 ounces
Dimensions: 6.8 X 4.2 X 1.1 inches
Language: English

Jurassic Park: A Novel

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Unless your species evolved sometime after 1993 when Jurassic Park hit theaters, you're no doubt familiar with this dinosaur-bites-man disaster tale set on an island theme park gone terribly wrong. But if Speilberg's amped-up CGI creation left you longing for more scientific background and ... well, character development, check o...
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Customer Reviews

  Smart And Thought-Provoking With Dinosaur-Sized Thrills

Although all three of the "Jurassic Park" movies were visually spectacular, and although Crichton's "Lost World" followup was a good novel, in my opinion you have to go here, to the original "Jurassic Park" novel, to experience the true greatness of this story.

Probably just about everybody knows the basic premise - scientists clone dinosaurs to create a massive theme park on a tropical island, and everything goes terribly awry. What may have been forgotten in the years since its initial release is that this is one of the most thrilling, imagination-igniting, adventurous and frighteningly Believable (an aspect which didn't quite make it through to the film versions; most of the ethical questions, pro and con, also struggled to be heard in the movies) novels ever written. In quoting early on actual tinkerings with the biological makeup of living things for man's scientific curiosity and potential profit, the book made it seem not only plausible that this could happen, but that, if this was in Any Way possible that it could happen, that someday, somehow, somebody is actually going to go and do something like this. Not necesarily a dinosaur theme park (although who knows?) but some kind of cloning/genetic engineering scheme on this gargantuan scale. And this book was written Before humanity started cloning sheep, cats, dogs and whatever else strikes its fancy (with huge rates of failure in terms of deformities and early deaths that just get swept under the rug), before the longtime specter of genetically engineering 'designer children' started to become feasible, and, if I have my dates right, before it was known that if somebody wanted to go ahead and attempt this we don't even need to go through amber-trapped insects for prehistoric DNA; we already have reasonably well-preserved, non-fossilized dinosaur marrow. And the scientific community has been openly talking for years now about cloning mammoths from fresh specimens that were frozen in the last ice age.

To get off the subject of the book's plausibility and its connection to current real-life states of affairs in ethical and scientific circumstances, and get back to the book's own merits, this is one of Crichton's alltime gems. Vivid desciptions of everything that make you feel like you're there, deeper and better characterization than in some of his earlier works, and some of the most amazing chase scenes and 'first appearance' of the monster' type scenes ever written, with more implied 'what if's and (that the author wisely doesn't than you can shake a Sauropod tail at. It's also worth noting that not all of the dinosaurs are ferocious; some are non-threatening, even charmingly oafish.

Captivating from the get-go; hand a copy of this to a person who's never willingly (that means school assignments excluded) read a full novel and you might get a book-lover for life. Other recommended Crichton titles: "The Andromeda Strain", "Sphere" and especially "Congo" (his other crowning achievement). Also recommended in the dinosaur novel genre: "Raptor Red" by Robert T. Bakker, taking place in the Cretaceous. "Balook" by Piers Anthony is another great book, involving prehistoric mammals instead of dinosaurs, and offering one of the few reasonable theoretical arguements in favor of cloning I've ever encountered.
  Blows The Movie Away

It's a shame that a lot of people won't read this book because they saw the movie and thought it was stupid. Yes, it was a pretty good movie, but this book is a lot better, simply because it focuses more on the scientific and character development aspects, rather than pure thrills and suspense (not that there isn't any of that). Also, the movie didn't follow the book at all, there are many parallels between the two. What's cool about this book is that dinosaurs aren't definately a part of the story until over 100 pages into the book! Indeed, if the movie was not so famous and you had just read the book first, you might not have known it was about dinosaurs until rather far into it (but the title of course, gives it away). But just look at the explanation of how the dinosaurs were created, among the various other scientific aspects of the book, everything is explained in painstaking detail, without ever becoming boring. Crichton really did his homework on this one.

If you are putting off reading this book because you think it is some stupid and unrealistic fantasy about the rebirth of dinosaurs, then not only are you totally wrong, you are missing out. This is a must read.

  Uncontrolled genetic engineering.

In this novel, scientists use cloning, PCR techniques, and amphibian development to isolate dinosaur DNA from insects trapped in amber and to grow living dinosaurs for the ultimate in amusement parks. To garner support for the park, the developer has asked a number of scientists to visit and to evaluate the facilities and animals. One of these individuals is a mathematician whose field of expertice is chaos and catastrophe theory. Thus, the readers learns a little about molecular biology, paleontology, paleobotany, and an exciting new area of mathematics (a common characteristic of Dr. Crichton's novels that I find enjoyable is the education one receives over a wide area of topics). However, things go wrong and the reader is soon caught up in the adventure. But, I should point out that both the book and the 1994 film make some serious scientific errors, particularly in biochemistry and molecular biology. (For example, Dr. Crichton has his characters insert a genetic "flaw" into the DNA of the dinosaurs so that, if a dinosaur would escape, it could not survive in the "wild." The dinosaurs are made to be incapable of biosynthesizing the amino acid lysine. However, humans [and other mammals] also can't synthesize lysine! Lysine is one of the nutritionally essential amino acids [just ask any body builder who often supplement their diets with lysine tablets]. Nevertheless, humans are able to survive without this metabolic pathway!) But note that, even with thses flaws, I still gave the book five stars. These errors (and the "nonerrors") get readers to thinking about these exciting new fields of human endeavor. And, they start searching for the answers themselves. I see students doing this all the time. Crichton should be applauded. The book and the film also demonstrate the problems with uncontrolled genetic engineering.
  One of Crichton's Best?

It's been a few years since I've read this book, but it still stands out to me as one of my favorite works of (modern) fiction. This book is very fast paced and when I read it, I had a really hard time putting it down. I read it cover to cover almost non-stop. I can imagine this book becoming a little more popular again with all the talk of cloning going on and while the ideas in this book are far-fetched, I'm sure it will help some people make opinions on whether or not cloning is good or bad. So, if you're looking for a great, faced paced sci-fi thriller, you may want to pick up Jurassic Park. I also feel the book is much better than the movie despite the fact that Spielberg directed JP in 1991. The story line is MUCH more devolped and the ending is entirely different! So, if you've seen the movie and liked it and have yet to read the book, I suggest you do - you will definitely enjoy this book.
  I don't think that's tomato juice....

Jurassic Park is a gripping action title set on a private island of the coast of Costa Rica. Horrific and deep,it should please anybody with the ability to read.i couldnt put it down for all the tea in china, nor all the chinese waitresses who bring it.
John hammond is hungry to make something extraordinary.dealing with boigenetic company,ingen,they manage to create genetically engineered dinosaurs.hammond has an idea of having a dinosaur zoo where kids can marvel at these amazing creatures.unfortunately, his view doesn't include reality, and ingen comes across many problems creating this "zoo".
the way crichton writes is sheer genious.the words seem to flow together and, in time, you'll feel as if it's happening before your eyes.A modern classic written like Shakespeare for old people, jurassic park should not be missed by anybody.