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Jurassic Park: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – November 13, 1991

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,808 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Jurassic Park Series

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Mass Market Paperback, November 13, 1991
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Unless your species evolved sometime after 1993 when Jurassic Park hit theaters, you're no doubt familiar with this dinosaur-bites-man disaster tale set on an island theme park gone terribly wrong. But if Speilberg's amped-up CGI creation left you longing for more scientific background and ... well, character development, check out the original Michael Crichton novel. Although not his best book (get ahold of sci-fi classic The Andromeda Strain for that), Jurassic Park fills out the film version's kinetic story line with additional scenes, dialogue, and explanations while still maintaining Crichton's trademark thrills-'n'-chills pacing. As ever, the book really is better than the movie. --Paul Hughes

From Publishers Weekly

Bioengineers clone 15 species of dinosaurs and establish an island preserve where tourists can view the large reptiles; chaos ensues when a rival genetics firm attempts to steal frozen dinosaur embryos, and it's up to two kids, a safari guide and a paleontologist to set things right. PW called this, "A scary, creepy, mesmerizing technothriller with teeth."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 13, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345370775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345370778
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,808 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although all three of the "Jurassic Park" movies were visually spectacular, and although Crichton's "Lost World" followup was a good novel, in my opinion you have to go here, to the original "Jurassic Park" novel, to experience the true greatness of this story.

Probably just about everybody knows the basic premise - scientists clone dinosaurs to create a massive theme park on a tropical island, and everything goes terribly awry. What may have been forgotten in the years since its initial release is that this is one of the most thrilling, imagination-igniting, adventurous and frighteningly Believable (an aspect which didn't quite make it through to the film versions; most of the ethical questions, pro and con, also struggled to be heard in the movies) novels ever written. In quoting early on actual tinkerings with the biological makeup of living things for man's scientific curiosity and potential profit, the book made it seem not only plausible that this could happen, but that, if this was in Any Way possible that it could happen, that someday, somehow, somebody is actually going to go and do something like this. Not necesarily a dinosaur theme park (although who knows?) but some kind of cloning/genetic engineering scheme on this gargantuan scale.
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By A Customer on July 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I saw the movie 'Jurassic Park' when I was about ten years old and I liked it, I guess, but I mean, I was TEN, I didn't really understand all the scientific stuff. Just a few months ago, I read the book and I absolutely LOVED it! At first, I was wary about reading it, it had a lot of techno science talk in it which I thought I wouldn't understand, but I did get the basic idea and I thought the book was fantastic! It is suspensful and really enjoyable. I recommended it to my friends, but they were like "Why would you want to read THAT?" (I'm a thirteen-year-old girl and they were like...whatEVER!) But I really really liked it. I love the movie too, but the book is more thrilling, if you ask me. I don't see how anyone could not like the movie though and refuse to read the book afterward. The movie was excellent too.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's a shame that a lot of people won't read this book because they saw the movie and thought it was stupid. Yes, it was a pretty good movie, but this book is a lot better, simply because it focuses more on the scientific and character development aspects, rather than pure thrills and suspense (not that there isn't any of that). Also, the movie didn't follow the book at all, there are many parallels between the two. What's cool about this book is that dinosaurs aren't definately a part of the story until over 100 pages into the book! Indeed, if the movie was not so famous and you had just read the book first, you might not have known it was about dinosaurs until rather far into it (but the title of course, gives it away). But just look at the explanation of how the dinosaurs were created, among the various other scientific aspects of the book, everything is explained in painstaking detail, without ever becoming boring. Crichton really did his homework on this one.
If you are putting off reading this book because you think it is some stupid and unrealistic fantasy about the rebirth of dinosaurs, then not only are you totally wrong, you are missing out. This is a must read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sometimes, in reading science fiction books, readers get lost in the scientific mumbo-jumbo of it all. Other times, the story is the predominant feature and the scientific parts of the book are overlooked. Jurassic Park is one of the rare books that pleases both perspectives. While some of the ideas are far-fetched (what sci-fi book doesn't have those?), the story makes it all believable and entertaining at the same time. The book was so well-written that it puts the movie version to shame! Even Steven Spielberg (in my opinion) could not capture all the book had to offer. This is a quick read that could be completed in a weekend or over a few nights. This made me a Michael Crichton fan!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
There are some spoilers in this review.

The movie is better than the book, although it is hard to compete with the movie's score, special effects and realistic imagery. However, I love books and really wanted to get swept away to this island with dinosaurs and feel the characters' terror and exhilaration but it fell flat. I never once felt panicked, maybe because the story is seen from so many different characters that you never really get a cohesive feel for the atmosphere.

There are plot holes throughout that left me confused. I had to flip back a few pages to see where a character was because they inexplicably showed up in the next scene. Sometimes the timeline didn't add up; it was sunny and bright for one person on the island but at the same time it was dusk for another. Long stretches of time were summed up quickly while short intense scenes were stretched out making them seemingly long.

A few characters, whom have been on the island all of a day, seem to have an expert geographical understanding of the island and buildings simply by looking at blue prints once and taking a short interrupted tour. Highly unlikely anyone new to the island would know where hidden maintenance buildings were or where the lagoon leads to.

The opinion that dinosaurs were like birds was repeated ad nauseam.

Conflicting observations were made about the raptors. It's said throughout the book that raptors are unforgiving predators that will kill anything, to be feared more than a t-rex. You watch two raptors tear apart a juvenile raptor, then eat eggs, and finish off a fellow hurt raptor. Then later, in the underground nest, you see three sets of parent raptors watching over eggs and juveniles as a big happy family.

The computer images were unnecessary.
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