Read June 2020 Recommended for fans of the movie ★ ★ ★ 1/2
Put me down for “liked the movie a little more.”
“But scientific power is like inherited wealth: attained without discipline. You read what others have done, and you take the next step. You can do it very young. You can make progress very fast. And because you can stand on the shoulders of giants, you can accomplish something quickly. You don’t even know exactly what you have done, but already you have reported it, patented it, and sold it.”
Edge goes to movie for Ian, by the visual. Though book-Malcolm has a number of such interesting lines and is full of 1989 version of chaos theory, eventually he grows tiresome . Interestingly–c’mon, is this seriously a spoiler?–book Malcolm is laid low by an infected wound. You can probably guess what happens.
Ending: Edge goes to the movie.
Sexism: Movie is less annoying, although the movie paired off the paleontologists who had a mentor-mentee relationship in the book. The girl child in the book is pretty much everything one might hate about children, although she is allowed to defy the stereotype by being dependent on a baseball glove and ball. She takes Tim’s computer role in the movie.
Children: better in the movie. Tim’s quite the hero in the book, role given to Lex in the movie.
And, obviously, Dinosaurs: better in the movie.
Crichton’s prose tends to be workman-like, and although he does manage to occasionally convey the immensity of the dinos, he rarely hit the from-another-epoch notes for me.
“Obviously the fitness of the animals to the environment was one area. This stegosaur is a hundred million years old. It isn’t adapted to our world. The air is different, the solar radiation is different, the land is different, the insects are different, the sounds are different, the vegetation is different. Everything is different. The oxygen content is decreased.”
However, the velociraptors were scary in both places.
Interestingly, I had very few preconceptions about the book, except that it would be different from the movie–they almost always are. Except it wasn’t–the scriptwriters had barely touched it. Sure, backstories and detailed dialogues were left out, as well as opening extraneous scenes about some baby-biting dinos in Costa Rica. Mostly though, there was trimming, and parts of the movie–especially early on the island–seemed page for page for the book. Nedry? All there, right down to the silver candy wrapper. Chain-smoking Arnold? Yep, Samuel L. Jackson nailed that too. Overall, interesting, but I was left with a curious desire to re-watch the movie.