Jurassic Park, Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of Jurassic Park

What did you think of the first section? When I read the introduction, "The InGen Incident," I was really scared that the book was going to be too technical or science-y to be interesting. Thankfully, the action picked up during the prologue. I was surprised the book began with the "lizard" attacks. I thought it would start right in with the dinosaurs and the park itself. Why do you think the book introduced the "lizard" attacks first? Was it just to make us think that dinosaurs may have escaped from the island? I thought it was interesting that all the scientists believed the sample of the creature that was attacking everyone was a lizard, but that lab technician took one look at it and thought it was a dinosaur. It was even better that she identified it based off of illustrations that her small children had made. 

We first hear about John Hammond through a conversation between Dr. Alan Grant, a paleontologist, and Bob Morris, an EPA officer. They describe Hammond as an eccentric, mysterious character. He only funds cold-weather digs, he's purchased huge quantities of amber, and he has a private island in Costa Rica. Do you think it's interesting that Grant allowed Hammond to fund his research without knowing more about him? What do you think the EPA assumed Hammond was doing? Do you think they could have ever imagined that he was setting up a place like Jurassic Park? It was lucky that the EPA agent contacted Grant because it allowed Grant to be one of the consultants to come to the island. 

What did you think of Malcolm? Did you understand the chaos theory he explained? He puts it much more simply in the movie. Check out the scene below if you're interested to see how the explanation played out on screen. 

Throughout the Second Iteration section, there are hints that there are some interesting animals on Hammond's island. When talking with Gennaro, Hammond explains that there are 238 animals of 15 different species existing on the island. But he never utters the word "dinosaur." Dodgson is the only one who says anything about dinosaurs, and he only mentions them in a meeting where he is trying to get the Biosyn Corporation to invest in dinosaur cloning. Why do you think Hammond never mentions dinosaurs? Do you think he just wanted to see Grant's reaction when he realized what was actually on the island? It was pretty cool when Grant realized that he was looking at a dinosaur, not a part of a tree. 

Did you think everyone had appropriate reactions to seeing a live dinosaur in person? I thought their reactions were pretty tame. I probably would have screamed in terror and run away, but I am not a paleontologist, so that might explain why my reaction is more fear than wonder. Can you even imagine what it would be like to see such huge creatures in real life? 

Did any other parts of the section stand out to you? Did I forget to mention anything that you really loved? 

If you're enjoying the book so far, visit Michael Crichton's website to read about the inspiration behind the book. Check out some of his other books, movies, and television shows, too. He was a prolific and interesting man. 

I can't wait to hear what you thought of this first section. I hope you'll leave a comment. Make sure you read the Third and Fourth Iterations before you join us next week. 

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