Jurassic Park. Dinosaurs, gene manipulations, chaos theory and screaming. Lots of screaming. I ask you, "What's not to love?"
So like the millions of people across the globe, I enjoyed the movie Jurassic Park when it hit the cinemas back in the early nineties. Back when I had to be driven to the movies by my folks or take my life in my hand and ride the city bus. I recall being impressed by how real the graphics looked and how utterly impressed I was by the whole concept. I really didn't know who Michael Crichton was and wouldn't recognize the ridiculous UNIX access screen for many years.
These many years later, I finally decided to read the book. For whatever reason, I didn't think the book would bring anything new to my idea of Jurassic Park. On a lark I brought it in tow during my training earlier this month. It was my anchor from the pointless drivel that the TV tried to throw at me.
The movie is great. There is no doubt about it, but as always it is quite different from the book. A seriously intense read and well worth the few hours it would take to complete it. The downside is this. In the movie, you're given a quick two hour glimpse of a fantastic world. It's scary, but hopeful. There is a problem, but there is also a solution. This isn't so in the book.
Give Michael Crichton 400 pages of your time and he will utterly convinced you that things you know to be impossible are coming. Dinosaurs embryos ARE being grown by a firm in Palo Alto (where I happened to be during the training). This book doesn't read like fiction. It reads like news.
Add to that the horrific deaths described within those pages and you've got yourself a full blown phobia. How many sentences does it take to explain why a corpse was found holding a steaming pile of his our intestines? Too many...
"I'm not really that hungry..."
"We're having spaghetti and meat-"
"...or we could have sandwiches..."
Add to that this newfound fear of Raptors. In the movie they were scary. I literally jumped out of my seat and screamed like a toddler (honest). My 15 year old sister was mortified by the immaturity of her baby brother but I was seriously scared!
As a 33 year old man, I felt the same panic flipping through these pages. Yelling to the book as a systems engineer tried to restore power for the computer at his place of work. I cannot seem to believe it's just a book. Crichton is a master of persuasion. He could wheedle an Eskimo to strip down to the nude and stock up on suntan lotion.
The wife isn't exactly helping.
"I just got a page from the servers. Network error."
"Do you think the velociraptors are in the Operations Center?"
"Probably. Better pack the cattle prod."
Anyway. I think I'm going to go off the deep end and pick up Lost World. Well see how my brain survives...