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Jurassic Park is a novel written by Michael Crichton, the best-selling author of various other books, such as the Andromeda Strain. Jurassic Park was released in November 1990. In the Spring of 1990, an earlier draft of the novel was given to Steven Spielberg, who immediately started the production of a movie adaptation. The movie of the same name was released in 1993. Michael Crichton wrote the sequel The Lost World in 1995.

Plot

The narrative begins by slowly tying together a series of incidents involving strange animal attacks in Costa Rica and on Isla Nublar, the main setting for the story (in one horrific incident, three Compsognathus killed a baby at a hospital in Bahía Anasco). Paleontologist Alan Grant and his paleobotanist graduate student Ellie Sattler are abruptly whisked away by millionaire John Hammond (founder and CEO of 'International Genetic Technologies', or InGen) for a weekend visit to a "biological preserve" he has established on an island 120 miles west off the coast of Costa Rica.

Recent events have worried Hammond's considerable investors, so, to placate them, he means for Grant and Sattler to act as fresh consultants. They stand in counterbalance to a well-known mathematician and chaos theorist Ian Malcolm and a lawyer representing the investors, Donald Gennaro. Both are pessimistic, but Malcolm, having been consulted before the park's creation, is emphatic in his prediction that the park will collapse, as it is an unsustainable simple structure bluntly forced upon a complex system.

Jurassic Park novel logo created by H.Z. Tomassi

Upon arrival the park is revealed to contain living dinosaurs. The creatures were cloned dinosaurs using ancient DNA found in amber-entombed mosquitoes that had sucked ancient paleo fauna blood. Gaps in the genetic code have been filled in with reptilian, avian, or amphibian DNA. To control the population, all specimens on the island are bred to be female as well as lysine-deficient. Hammond proudly showcases InGen's advances in genetic engineering and shows his guests through the island's vast array of automated systems.

Countering Malcolm's dire predictions with youthful energy, Hammond groups the consultants with his grandchildren, Tim and Alexis "Lex" Murphy. While touring the park with the children, Grant finds an eggshell, which seems to prove Malcolm's earlier assertion that the dinosaurs have been breeding against the geneticists' design (the population graphs proudly introduced earlier were naturally distributed, reflecting a breeding population, rather than displaying the distinct pattern that a population reared in batches ought to display).

Malcolm suggests a flaw in their method of analyzing dinosaur populations, in that motion detectors were set to search only for the expected number of creatures in the park and not for any higher number. The park's controllers are reluctant to admit that the park has long been operating beyond their constraints. Malcolm also points out the height distribution of the Procompsognathus forms a Gaussian distribution, the curve of a breeding population.

In the midst of this, the corrupt chief programmer of Jurassic Park's controlling software, Dennis Nedry, attempts corporate espionage for Lewis Dodgson, a geneticist and agent of InGen's archrival, Biosyn. By activating a backdoor he wrote into the system, Whte rbt.obj, Nedry manages to shut down the park's security systems and quickly steal 30 frozen embryos (2 of each kind). He then attempts to smuggle them out to a contact waiting at the auxiliary dock deep in the park. But his plan goes awry: during a sudden tropical storm Nedry becomes lost and stops his stolen Jeep at a dead end. He exits the Jeep to determine his location. A Dilophosaurus approaches him from afar, blinds him with its poisonous saliva, and then kills him by tearing apart his intenstines and bites him in the head. Nedry's plan called for him to secretly deliver the embryos and return to the park's control room within fifteen minutes, but, without him to quietly patch the system, the park's security is left off, leaving the electrified fences deactivated.

Without the barriers to contain them, dinosaurs begin to escape. The adult Tyrannosaurus rex (nicknamed "Rexy") attacks the guests on tour, destroying the vehicles, and leaving Grant and the children lost in the park. During the attack, Ed Regis runs and hides from the adult Tyrannosaur. He falls down a hillside and is eventually eaten alive by the Juvenile Tyrannosaur.

Ian Malcolm is gravely injured during the incident but is soon found by Gennaro and park game warden Robert Muldoon and spends the remainder of the novel slowly dying as, in between lucid lectures and morphine-induced rants, he tries to help those in the main compound understand their predicament and survive.

The park's upper management — engineer and park supervisor John Arnold, chief geneticist Henry Wu, Muldoon, and Hammond — struggle to return power to the park, while the veterinarian, Dr. Harding, takes care of the critically injured Malcolm. For a time they manage to get the park largely back in order. But a series of errors on their part plunge the park into greater disarray. The viciously intelligent Velociraptors, referred to by characters as "raptors", finally escape. They soon kill Wu and Arnold, and injure Muldoon, Gennaro, and Harding. Finally, Grant and the children slowly make their way back to the central compound, carrying news that several young raptors, bred and raised in the island's wilds, were on board the Anne B, the island's supply ship, when it departed for the mainland.

Grant is then able to turn the power back on, while Ellie distracts the Velociraptors so that they won't get to him. After escaping from several Velociraptors, Grant, Gennaro, Tim, and Lex are able to make it to the control room, where Tim is able to contact the Anne B and tell them to return. The survivors are then able to organize themselves and eventually secure their own lives. Word soon reaches them that the crew of the Anne B has discovered and killed the raptor stowaways.

cmd体育网址Gennaro tries to order the island destroyed as a dangerous asset, but Grant rejects his authority, claiming that even though they cannot control the island, they have a responsibility to understand just what happened and how many dinosaurs have already escaped to the mainland. Finally Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, and Gennaro set out into the park to find the wild raptor nests and compare hatched eggs with the island's revised population tally. Cautious in this pursuit, they emerge unharmed. Meanwhile, Hammond, while taking a walk around the park, decides to salvage and restore the park to its original state, but gets injured, then killed and eaten by a pack of compys. As for the dinosaurs' breeding, it is eventually revealed that the frog DNA used to fill gaps in certain strands somehow enabled some of the dinosaurs to change sex, as some species of frogs can do.

In the end the island is suddenly and violently razed by the Costa Rican Air Force. Survivors of the incident are indefinitely detained by the United States and Costa Rican governments. Weeks later, Grant is visited by Dr. Martin Guitierrez, an American field biologist who lives in Costa Rica, and has found a Procompsognathus corpse. Guitierrez informs Grant that an unknown pack of animals (presumed to be the compys or the raptors) has been eating crops rich in lysine (the molecule the animals were designed to be deficient in) and killing livestock as they migrate toward the Costa Rican jungle. He also informs Grant that none of them, with the possible exception of Tim and Lex, are going to be leaving any time soon.

See Jurassic Park (novel)/Chapters for plot summaries by chapter.

Characters

Development

and his wife Roberta Hess were the first scientists who came up with the idea that ancient DNA could be extracted from insects fossilized in amber. The idea that extinct animals could be recreated from paleo-DNA quickly arose afterwards.

Michael Crichton started to use this notion as a plot element for a story. In an interview Crichton said that it took "10 years from start to finish" for this novel. Since the novel was published in November 1990, it was in 1980 that his first ideas formed.

In 1983 Crichton wrote a screenplay about a young graduate student who genetically engineered a pterodactyl from fossil DNA. Crichton said in an interview, "the screenplay didn't work out. It was too fantastic an event to be kept secret, which was what happened in that story." Crichton worked for years to make the story more convincing. "The problem always with these creatures is that once you have them, then what do you do with them? I mean, what is the story after they exist? It wasn't very satisfactory in that way, and I gave it up."[1][2]

Michael Crichton also stopped working on "Jurassic Park" in the early 1980s also because "America was in the grip of a dinosaur fad . . . I decided to wait until the fad waned to resume work on my fantasy story."[3]

Crichton also didn't believe at first that it was possible to recreate dinosaurs, and that was one of the main reasons why he abandoned the idea. But during the following years "there was more and more research that suggested that it wasn't so unlikely, and I began to take it in that way more seriously."

Crichton did years of research before he started to write the story. In the acknowledgments section of the novel Crichton listed some of his sources for the novel.

"I have drawn on the work of many eminent paleontologists":

"I have also made use of the efforts of the new generation of ":

The discussions about Chaos theory were inspired by books like Mathematics and the unexpected[6] of and by .

All characters for the novel where "based even loosely on real people". The works and the personality of physicist provided the inspiration for the character of Ian Malcolm. Alan Grant was based on the paleontologist Jack Horner. John Hammondcmd体育网址 "is the least based on anybody".

cmd体育网址Crichton started to write the actual novel by the time that his daughter Taylor was born in 1989. Crichton said that there was a causal link between the two events. "I bought a lot of stuffed toys, and they were all dinosaurs because that was what was available at that time. My wife didn't like it. She had a colour scheme for the nursery and I was disrupting that. There were all these large, brightly coloured animals. So we had a kind of agreement that I wouldn't buy any more but then I bought some more. It was clearly obsessional. I had to begin to wonder, at some point, what it was about dinosaurs that fascinated me so much or why I thought that they were so tied to childhood. And some of those concerns found their way into the book."

One problem that Crichton had to solve was why the dinosaurs would be recreated in the first place. "Although I believed that it was possible to genetically engineer these creatures ... I couldn't see who would pay for it. Because it's not a cure for cancer. You know, it's very entertaining, and the only thing I could think of was that it would be some form of entertainment." This was why the novel took place in a theme park. Crichton wrote the story from the point of view of a young boy who was present when the dinosaurs escaped.

When his first draft was finished he sent it to the usual five or six people who read his drafts. But all of them hated the story. Crichton got angry reactions like "Why would you write a book like this?" But when he asked what was precisely wrong with it, they couldn't point at something particular. "They just hated ... every bit of it." Crichton wrote two more drafts but the response was the same.

cmd体育网址Then one of the readers said that the most annoying feature of the story was that it had a child's point of view. They said, "I want this to be a story for me." Then Crichton rewrote his novel, this time it had an adult point of view. And then everybody liked it.

Reception

The book became a bestseller and Michael Crichton's signature novel. It was also given good reviews by critics. GoodReads has given it a 3.82 out of 5 based on 404,831 ratings.[7]

The success of the book was sparked again by the film adaptation. Paul Bogaards, Knopf's director of promotions said "We've sold over 70,000 copies this year (1993) alone. And there's a tremendous demand for Michael Crichton's books."[8]

Notable Versions

The Gift Edition

In August 1993, publisher Alfred A. Knopf released 15,000 copies of a special-edition hard-cover printing of Jurassic Park named Jurassic Park - The Gift Edition. It was packaged with a transparent vinyl jacket, colored endpapers, a preface by Michael Crichton and Crichton's autograph. The book also contained 12 color paintings of dinosaurs.[8]

Audio Version

cmd体育网址Cover Art for the Complete and Unabridged Version

The first novel had three audiobook versions released; two Complete and Unabridged versions and an Abridged version.

cmd体育网址The Unabridged is read by William Roberts, and is approx 13 hours, 55 minutes and is on 12 CDs. However, this variant was only released in the United Kingdom, and is thus very difficult to find. It was released in early 2000.

The Abridged version is somewhat easier to find, but was released on cassette only. If you look online, you can find digital versions of this variant. It is read by John Heard and is approx. 2 hours and 51 minutes.

A 25th Anniversary unabridged audio edition narrated by Scott Brick was released in May 2015. The digitial version is readily available.



Cover art

Dinosaurs

cmd体育网址The following prehistoric creatures were featured in the novel.

The following prehistoric creatures were only given a passing mention in the novel and are neither featured alive or seen on the head count

Named Dinosaurs

Trivia

Map

Further reading

Sources

  1. Beyond Jurassic Park interview
  2. Jurassic Park - The Gift Edition, preface by Michael Crichton.
  3. , GoodReads.com, information retrieved 10-12-2013.
  4. 8.0 8.1 Warren T., Jurassic Park strikes again. The Baltimore Sun, August 20, 1993. .
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