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Book details of 'Jurassic Park'

Cover of Jurassic Park
TitleJurassic Park
Author(s)Michael Crichton
PublishedMarch 1999
PublisherBallantine Books
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Score: score: 4.4 ****-  Vote for this book

The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Jurassic Park':

Reviewer Koos van den Hout wrote:
Last holiday I reread Jurassic Park. It starts out as trying to establish an erie atmosphere in which threatening situations are a constant. The book looks for the extreme in what is believable in the developments in gene technology, which makes the reader wonder about the credibility. Crichton has done his usual amount of research and uses his well-known writing style of not spanning more than a week (in this case, only a few days) of very intense events leading up to a climax. In this case the climax isn't that much of a climax. In the book version quite a number of people die, and it gets very noticable (to me) that all the 'good people' survive, and all the 'bad people' (who have in common that they don't really understand the dangers) die.

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
Crichton's book is fun and I understand that it made a good movie and a lot of money. Crichton, however, came under a fair amount of fire for insisting that the book was close to reality. Those in the field stated that Crichton did not know as much about DNA as he thought he did. Crichton doesn't know an awful lot about computers either. A number of the programming bugs that he cites/proposes could have been lifted from the RISKS.FORUM Digest, but that is why no software house would touch a realtime development project like that without being able to see the hardware. An "assumption" is made that hides an important factor in the story, but this also assumes that, during the whole test period, no animal was ever out of sight of the monitors, that no count was ever done after animals died, and that the veterinarian didn't notice that some of the populations under his care doubled. Crichton also has to fall back on chaos theory to explain what every programmer knows already: some projects are too big. This was amply demonstrated during the "Star Wars" debacle without recourse to black-robed eccentrics. It is likely that the mathematician, Ian Malcolm, is Crichton's alter ego. Although Crichton kills him off, Malcolm is right, cheerful, and personable for all his hurling of jeremiads. He also gets the best speeches, and most of the best lines. One of the speeches Malcolm gets, though, is exceptionally applicable to the hacker community. On page 306 of the paperback version (about midway through the "Control" chapter of "Fifth Iteration") there is a speech about how scientific knowledge is a form of inherited wealth and is acquired without discipline. There may be a germ of truth in that, although it may come as a surprise to many scientists who have put long years into their discipline and research. In the computer world, however, it is very definitely true. The subtitle of Steven Levy's "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution" may not be true of all of the computer community, but it certainly seems to be the general attitude that the public holds. The computer community has very few "grand old men" but a substantial number of young icons whose only prodigious achievement lies in being able to so trivialize their focus that they can believe that flying toasters are important. (Crichton also doesn't know anything about boats. In a last minute-what else- attempt to prevent an escape of animals to the mainland, Crichton has the Captain order, "Full ahead stern." I guess that means you paint a scary face on the bow before you rush the dock.)

Reviewer Koos van den Hout wrote:
Well-known for the movie, but the book is a much better story. The shocking possibilities of gen technology being used without control and chaos happening.

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