Jurassic Park, Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Book Club discussion of Jurassic Park

This section was really intense, wasn't it? It was pretty much non-stop action. Were you able to stop at the Fourth Iteration, or did you keep reading? I read ahead because I needed to know what was going to happen next. 

I was immediately uneasy when I read the descriptions of the steel bars and steel-clad doors in the guest suites. Weren't you concerned when you read that the room plans had changed and there was now a 12-foot metal fence surrounding the lodge? I was equally concerned when Hammond's grandkids showed up on the island. Didn't your heart sink when they arrived? It's hard to believe that Hammond would think they would be safe on the island when there were so many signs they would not be. 

What did you think of the lab? The coolest part for me was the nursery with the baby raptor. The DNA stuff was a little over my head, and I definitely didn't understand the graphs Crichton included. I understood how the blood of dinosaurs could be preserved in amber, but the rest was a little past my understanding. What did you think of the measures Dr. Wu took to stop the dinosaurs from breeding? By the end of this section, we know that the dinosaurs are breeding, but I did appreciate that he at least attempted to make sure they wouldn't overrun the island. The lysine dependency was another good idea—why do you think it didn't stop the dinosaurs from leaving the island? 

I was alarmed by how many of the dinosaur characteristics were a surprise for the scientists. Could you believe that they wanted to have the dilophosaur in the park, even after they realized it could spit venom 50 feet? I think I would have stopped production on the dilophosaur after making that discovery. I would have at least allowed one to be autopsied to figure out where the poison was coming from. And, they seemed surprised that the raptors hunted so viciously in packs. I think all of those unknowns would make me not want to create this type of park. How about you? 

What did you think once you realized the dinosaurs were breeding? I couldn't believe that the computer was only counting 238 animals because that was the number it was searching for. Were you shocked when it eventually found 292 animals? I couldn't believe it. I assumed they were breeding, but it was a big surprise that they had already bred so many babies. 

Dennis Nedry was just the worst, wasn't he? He shut off the power and took down the electric fences and ended up putting so many people in danger. Do you think he thought that would happen? Did he understand what his actions would do? Because of all the harm he inflicted, I almost didn't feel sorry for him when he was ultimately attacked and killed. He died a really gruesome and horrible death. Did you feel a little queasy when reading his death scene? 

The Tyrannosaurus Rex was the most terrifying thing in this section, in my opinion. There were so many T-Rex attack moments. The first one where she flipped the car and threw Malcolm through the air was really frightening, but for me, the scariest part was when they were trying to escape down the river and the T-Rex chased them through the water. Just the thought of an animal that big swimming freaked me out. I felt like the T-Rex was everywhere—I never knew when she would show up, and it made me anxious!

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be faced with the task of creating dinosaurs that would look realistic on the big screen? Stan Winston was the special effects creator for the movie adaptation of Jurassic Park. He passed away in 2008, but after his death, his family created the Stan Winston School of Character Arts to pass along his skills to another generation. The school has a great website and a blog that gives a lot of behind the scenes information about Winston's movie work. For example, you can see how his team brought a sick Triceratops to life, or how they made the T-Rex so terrifying

If this section made you eager to see dinosaurs up close, Universal Studios opened a new Jurassic World ride this summer. Let me know if you plan a visit. 

There was so much to discuss in this section, I'm sure I missed something important. Let me know if I didn't talk about one of your favorite parts. Make sure to finish the book before next week, and leave a comment to let me know what you thought of the section. I can't wait to hear what your favorite parts were!