6.02.2015

Jurassic June: Re-visiting Michael Crichton

This month sees the fourth film in the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World. I can't wait to see it at the cinema. I loved the first three films. They were visually stunning, and nerve-jangling enough to scare you silly the first time you watched them. But I also liked them for another reason - Michael Crichton.


I was fortunate enough to read both Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton before the films came out. Jurassic Park was one of those books I couldn't put down. I can tell you where I read it - on a beach in Lanzarote. I was seventeen years old, and just starting my love-affair with Stephen King and other horror/thriller writers. When I'd finished Jurassic Park, I lent it to a friend. When it came back, I re-read it. By the time I'd finished, my friend also wanted to re-read it. I no longer have that crumpled, water-marked book. I wish I did.

Even though Crichton wrote the screenplays for the Jurassic Park films, I never thought they did the books total justice. I'd come away both in awe of the special-effects, but disappointed by what was left out. But isn't that always the case? It's very rare to find perfect book-to-film translations. Sadly Michael Crichton passed away in 2008, so Jurassic World is only based on the fictional world he created. Unlike the first two films, there will be no book to compare it to. I can only hope it lives up to my expectations based on the other films.

Like another member of this writing group, Cherie Reich, I had intended to re-read both books before seeing the film. That hasn't happened yet, though I'm sure there is still time. If you haven't read Jurassic Park or The Lost World, I highly recommend them. In fact, Crichton has written many more you can choose from. The Andromeda Strain is another favourite of mine.

Are you looking forward to Jurassic World? Have you read Crichton's books? If so, what did you think of the films in comparison to the books?

18 comments:

  1. When it comes to Jurassic park, I've been born under a rock. Didn't read the books, didn't see the movies.

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    1. You have to at least read the books, Misha!

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  2. I loved Crichton's writing. It's been a long time since I've read the books or watched the movies, something I'll have to do before I see the newest movie. Thanks for the reminder, Ellie!

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    1. Only ten days. Already getting excited!

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  3. Enjoyed reading his works indeed!

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    1. Always great to meet another Crichton fan.

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  4. I'm excited for Jurassic World, although I agree that Jurassic Park was a far better book than movie.

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    1. I'm sure most be people who read the books would agree. Going a long queue at the cinema.

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  5. I finished re-reading Jurassic Park and The Lost World in May. Now I'm going to watch the movies again this weekend. I'm so ridiculously excited about Jurassic World. It looks amazing, and I'm excited to have dinos back on the big screen. I really miss Michael Crichton too. I've read almost all the books he's written that I could get my hands on. If I didn't have other books I planned to read, I would go on a Crichton binge again.

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    1. Ellie GarrattJune 2, 2015 at 10:14 AM
      I've already re-watched the first two movies. A Crichton binge would be perfect, but so many books waiting to be read on my list already. Sob.

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  6. I have not read the books because the films gave me nightmares and the books would really set my mind going. I enjoyed the movies even though they are now endlessly played on TV

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  7. I never read the books, but now I think I'm going to!!! I can't wait for the movie!

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  8. Read and very much enjoyed The Andromeda Strain, and yet never read Jurassic Park. But I enjoyed both movies. so will end up seeing III

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  9. I have not read his books. But for me, being a visual artist on top of being a writer, the images and environments in the films are mind-blowing and quite inspiring.

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  10. I remember watching The Andromeda Strain when it was on TV, as one of those Saturday afternoon horror/scifi matinees that were popular in the 70s and 80s. That movie has always stuck with me. I should read the book some time. Hope the movie meets your expectations.

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  11. I saw AS when it came out in theaters! Yeah, that gives an idea of my age. Went with my parents and sister. It scared me to death and I have never forgotten finding out (a bit) what being color blind can do to someone. MC was a great writer. I couldn't read a lot of his stuff, like Stephen King, but I admire their skill. Thanks for dropping by today for the #IWSG Lisa @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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