Whenever the subject of favourite films comes up, people are often surprised by my answer : Jurassic Park, without a doubt. However, I also love the original book by Michael Crichton. It’s been a long time since I last read it, but I must have read it a lot – it’s dog-eared, the cover is falling off and some pages are taped in.
Why do I love it so much? Quite simply, the basic premise alone still sends a shiver down my spine. For anyone who has been living in outer space for the past 20 years: An eccentric businessman creates a biological theme park filled with genetically engineered dinosaurs. One weekend he invites several experts and his grandchildren to experience Jurassic Park and give their opinions before it opens to the public. An attempt at industrial espionage goes wrong and leaves the park without power, allowing the dinosaurs to escape and feast on several of the visitors, before the few remaining survivors escape.
What’s not to love about that?
The book offers a very different experience to the film: for one thing the science can be a little heavy-handed. And the deaths wouldn’t have allowed for a PG rating if they had been included in the film as described (I counted 2 eviscerations!)
Overall (surprisingly) I would probably say the book is not as good as the film. It’s certainly not literary fiction. But it is pure adrenaline-building escapism. And what more could you want from a thriller?