Weekly Booktalk: Let’s park it in the Jurassic era

Literally, because I’ll talk you back to my childhood for a bit. There are phases in life you

Dinosaur I can handle

grow out of, like wanting to be like Barbie and live in my little pony world. There are some you never grow out, like freaking out when there is a cat because omg that’s a cat and it needs cuddles. And then there are the phases you kinda forget until something reminds you. Like how I was into dinosaurs when I was younger and used to carry a brachiosaurus around (a toy one, mind you). Somewhere in my dino-phase, I went to see one of the Jurassic Park movies in the cinema and it freaked me out. Everything with people being hunted makes me uneasy. So I stopped watching the big screen and watched the movie in a reflection because small dinosaurs hunting people are less frightening, and stuck with Dinosaur, the Disney movie.

Until about 15 years later when I was alone and wanted to watch something. That something became Jurassic Park and I was hooked. Still freaked out by the hunting dinosaurs, but since I was more freaked out by the hunting zombies from the walking dead, dino’s seemed not so bad. At least its somewhat natural. Kinda.

Anyway, I binged watched the movies once or twice (maybe three times…) And then a friend introduced me to the book. It wasn’t much of an introduction, I wouldn’t even say we’d be acquaintances but I knew of its existence. She also told me the beginning was a bit hard and very technical, but the rest was good. And I didn’t read it. Until about two weeks ago, when I was in the mood for spending money (which is always), and I figured books are a sound investment. So I bought Jurassic park amongst others, read the others first and decided to give this book a shot. And boy, I still do not handle people being hunted well.

Oh no

The beauty (and scary part) of this book are the details. Michael Crichton managed to write so many small details about the animals that they become alive and feel very, very real. So real that one night I woke my boyfriend up by screaming ‘please help me, will you help me’ while hiding from the (tiny) dinosaurs under the blanket (true story). He especially writes down their behavior in an uncanny observing manner, like he spent some time watching the animals and analyzing them. It’s like looking out the window, seeing birds hunting and finding patterns in that. Except that the dinosaurs aren’t real and he couldn’t watch them.

The characters are cool, but a bit more predictable. You have the dino-man (grant), the side-kick (who is actually very smart, so that’s cool), the too-cool-for-school man (who did a lot of studying and stayed in school), the kids (one smart, one annoying) and a crazy scientist who stops listening to common sense. Every character in the book has a purpose in the story, and it’s quite clear from the beginning which purpose that is. During the book in changes a little though, and some are challenged to change and take actions they normally wouldn’t think about. However, the main characters didn’t show a lot of growth, which is a bit of a shame.

dna-2858794_640I’m not sure how solid the science/biology part of it is since I’m neither a biologist or a scientist but it seemed pretty all right. There is a big focus on the chaos theory, explained somewhat clear but I sorta skimmed over that. Math wasn’t really my strong suit (Still isn’t, I hefty rely on calculators), but I could understand what he was trying to say and how it would affect the outcome of the park. The cloning/DNA part is explained, but not too thoroughly. They actually address that in the book as well, with scientist Wu stating: ‘why shouldn’t they? It’s all quite straightforward, in the broad strokes. It’s only the details that get sticky’ when asked if the group accepted his DNA talk. Since I don’t know anything about DNA and cloning, I’m accepting as well. Without the sticky details.

Overall, the book is way better than the movie, and I loved the movie! I’m off to buy part 2: The Lost World.