Into the Book

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If you’re familiar with Steven Spielberg, summer blockbusters, or dinosaurs in general, then you have probably heard of this story at one point or another, but what became the massive summer blockbuster film by one of America’s most popular directors, was first a bestselling novel by one of the masters of the techno thriller genre: Michael Crichton.

On an island near Costa Rica, an astonishing scientific discovery has been made, finally, they have found a way to bring the forgotten past back to life. But a few too many accidents has brought the need for consultants to visit the park to calm the investors of this strange biological preserve.

Enter, Dr. Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler, a paleontologist and a paleobotanist, the two are whisked away to the island to see what it is Mr. Hammond, the owner of the preserve, has accomplished. Accompanied by Dr. Ian Malcolm and Donald Gennaro, the team begin to tour and investigate the park. As they investigate, flaws in the system begin to materialize as the team takes a tour, accompanied by Hammonds grandchildren, A boy, Tim, and his little sister Lex, despite Mr. Hammonds optimism.

But the consultants aren’t the only ones interested in what InGen has accomplished on their little biological preserve, and through an inside job gone awry, the security of the park is compromised, and along with a horrible tropical storm raining down on the island, and night fast approaching—the animals, that have been so long extinct, are again loose to roam free…

This is definitely one of the best books by Crichton I’ve read yet. It’s thoughtful and intelligent as well as engaging and suspenseful. This novel doesn’t hold back on the detail that is so often seen in Crichton’s writing, but neither is it boring because of that. With masterful skill, Crichton is able to intertwine genetic science, mathematical theories, great characters and first-rate suspense into one grandly entertaining novel.

In other words: it’s a darn good yarn.

However I must issue a small content advisory, for this is a secular novel. While the book is thankfully devoid of sexual content, it does have a fair amount of profanity that for some would make it unreadable. While not containing near as much as some of Crichton’s other work such as Rising Sun, this does chalk up a fair number of expletives for itself. Nothing too strong that I would say makes it unreadable, but more than some care to read, and probably not the best for younger readers especially.

All in all, I think this is Crichton at his best. It was one of the largest novels of his career and with good reason, I haven’t been this entertained with a book in a long time. It moved quickly, but still kept you informed, enlightened and in suspense the whole time. As always, too, a hundred times better than the movie adaptation. From a Christian perspective, my enjoyment was only slightly disturbed by the typical atheistic and evolutionary messages speckled throughout the book, as well as most books of its type, but that does not leave the book itself or the quality of the story without it’s redeemable elements – and by no means renders it completely unenjoyable. I believe most will enjoy this one.


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Published on 9 June, 2012. Last updated on

2 Comments

  1. Jake P.

    Excellent review, Mike! You summed this book up well. This was first taste of Crichton and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. And though I thought the movie( which I watched before reading the book) was good, I do agree that the book was better in just about every way.

    Thanks for the review!

    • Michael Wright

      Crichton is usually a good read, I’ve run into a couple bad ones, but this was clearly not one of them!

      Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for stopping by.

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Into the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. Since 2009, we've been providing high-quality book reviews to the world through our blog. Into the Book has grown around reviews since then, but it remains our oldest project.

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