Jurassic Park - Book Review

Series: Jurassic Park (Book #1)

Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller

Pages: 466 pages (Kindle edition)

Published: November 7, 1990

Review Date: 02/10/2024

Tags: #michaelcrichton #jurassicpark #dinosaurs 

Jurassic Park is master class writing that captivates. Also, dinosaurs are badass!


Jurassic Park is an iconic franchise that is known around the globe. From the success of the first movie, Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg, five additional mega box office features were rolled out to audiences around the world. 

The first movie in this franchise is known to many people as being cinema gold in terms of it being a movie that will remain a “classic” for years to come that still captivates audiences today. Dinosaurs and Steven Spielberg, I mean where can you go wrong, right?

What if I told you that this mega acclaimed franchise is the result of a book? Well, you probably already knew that Jurassic Park was based on a book and you most likely have all ready read it. 

I however have not read Jurassic Park until just a couple weeks ago. I can tell you though that I of course have seen the move and like many other people, I loved it. The movie is suspenseful, full of action, makes you think, and most of all really paints a terrifying & awe inspiring picture of dinosaurs.

I mean will you ever be able to get that toilet scene out of your memory? You know the scene I’m talking about…

Beginning this year, I decided that I wanted to finally read the book that inspired a movie that I love. I had no idea how much of the book actually inspired what we saw on the screen so essentially, I dove into Jurassic Park knowing three things. One, there would be dinosaurs. Two, there would be a park. Three, things would not go as expected.

Now this book has sold over 12 million copies according to Publishers Weekly and somehow…my eyes have not laid upon a single copy. Well it was time to change that so I finally read Jurassic Park. Did it live up to my expectations and love for the movie? Well, you can see below how it turned it.

So, if you’re ready, welcome to my review of Jurassic Park.


Michael Crichton is an author that alluded me for several years until I read a book that had a dinosaur skull on the cover. And no, it was not Jurassic Park, it was actually one of his latest publications being Dragon Teeth. What is interesting about Dragon Teeth is that it was actually published in 2017 after Crichton sadly passed away in 2008.

This was my first introduction to Crichton and I had a blast. There was not necessarily live dinosaurs on the loose in this book but paleontology did have a huge focus within the story.

Let me know if you want a review on that book too as I would love to dive back into Dragon Teeth.

So Jurassic Park was published back in the 90s and now currently sits with close to 1 million ratings on Goodreads. Obviously this book became very popular and for a good reason. It captivates.

I mean really the premise is not that complicated when looking at it from a 1000 ft view, you have dinosaurs brought back to life and things do not plan out in a very violent way.

Jurassic Park is actually the first book in this series with only one more coming out afterwards being The Lost World. I actually bought the Jurassic World edition of these stories where both books were packaged into one binding.

Now Michael Crichton has certainly written way more than just Jurassic Park with him writing over 20 books. With me personally now reading two of his publications and loving both, I know I will continue reading more Crichton.


“An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them—for a price.

Until something goes wrong. . . .”

Going into the book, initially, I was expecting it to start out similar to how the movie started with that being chaos. In the movie, we are quickly shown how dangerous these “animals” are with somebody literally being taken by a velociraptor within minutes of the movie starting. Then somebody screaming “shoot her…SHOOT HER…” So yeah, the movie starts off on a very dramatic note which is NOT what we got in the book.

The beginning of the Jurassic Park book, we learned that there are numerous biotechnology companies forming in the hopes to capitalize on the scientific breakthroughs in genetic engineering.

Additionally, the introduction to this story discussed the dramatic shift in the scientific community to move away from sharing and openly discussing ideas to the commercialization of the scientific process keeping research behind closed doors.

A much different beginning to the story compared to the violent start of the movie. I think it’s actually really fascinating that Jurassic Park and the cloning of dinosaurs was just one of the biotechnology ventures that we explored in this universe.

From here, we do have many similarities found within the book and movie. For one, the plot is essentially the same with some scenes being pulled out of the book perfectly.

Dinosaurs cloned for the park, disgruntle employee sabotages park accepting bribe to steal embryos, security goes offline, huge storm rolls through the park, and finally dinos get loose. Even the shaving cream can and its intended purpose were exactly the same!

Another part that was similar was the majority of all our characters. We had Alan Grant, Muldoon, Nedry, Dr.Wu, Ellie, Malcom, the kids, and of course Hammond.

I thought that the movie did a fantastic job representing the characters presented within the story with some slight deviations.

Hammond. Hammond in the movie comes across as a loveable grandpa type of figure that you cant help but to root for. You just end up loving him as he warmly welcomes you into his park. In the book, well, he comes off as an egotistical over confident prick. This is a guy that is in complete denial from start to end within his story in the book. I also have to mention that Hammond’s ending in the movie compared to the book has uhh…a different ending for sure. I am a bit partial to the book ending as I think it’s a better suited ending for this character.

I also loved how Malcom’s character in the book was way more explored than what I remembered him being in the movie. Malcom is a widely known mathematician who continually talks about “chaos theory” with it being something he specializes in. Chaos theory meaning the study non-linear equations or simple and complex systems that seem to have unpredictable behaviors. There are many many scenes within the book where Malcom goes on a almost monologue of how even the idea of Jurassic Park is a bad idea that came out of ignorant fantasy. Literally, within minutes of meeting Malcom in the book he basically says “yeah, this park is doomed to fail.”

Overall, the book had a great cast of distinct characters outside of just Hammond and Malcom. I will say though that there wasn't exactly a story of “character growth” where we have a particular character going on a personal growth journey. As I met each character, my initial impression basically held throughout the rest of the story. For instance you meet Alan Grant, a very successful paleontologist who is not adept at computers and loves to teach & learn. That remains consistent throughout the rest of the story so on that note, me as reader was able to easily differentiate each character.

One thing that I thought the movie did well though is that Alan’s character quickly came off as a person who does not enjoy being around kids which was hinted at multiple times early on. Then later on, he develops that connection with the two kids that make it on the island which shows that he did go on some sort of personal growth arc where he thinks “maybe kids aren’t so bad after all.” In the book, I didn't get much of this initial hesitance towards kids but…maybe I missed it in my read.

The Jurassic Park book was also full of so much more technical details compared to the movie. There were literally pages of code in the book that I found to be pretty cool as this is something I dive into in my day job. From security, cameras, storage, waste disposal, dinosaur versioning, and so much more we got to learn a lot more about how the park was “supposed” to function once it was open to the public.

Last of all, the book successfully immersed me into this traumatic and terrifying potential reality where multiple dinosaurs are trying to eat you. Slowly, Malcom’s chaos theory prediction of the park’s ultimate doom surrounds you as a reader from multiple angles. People screaming, dinosaurs roaring, metal screeching, keyboards typing, rain pounding, this book pulls your brain into a reality where dinosaurs rule the world.

To sum my review up into a few words, I loved it. This is a book that is packed with great characters, thought provoking ideas, immersive cinematic scenes, a very engaging plot, and of course terrifying & awe inspiring dinosaurs. While slightly different, I love both the book and the movie for their own reasons.

I rate Jurassic Park 5 out of 5 stars and recommend to anyone that likes to read. I am very confident that you will find something that you will enjoy in your read of this book. Sci-fi, horror, dinosaurs, and so much more.

Life finds a way.

I also have a video review of this book that can be found here!

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