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Thread: Jurassic Park Novel: Thoughts

  1. #1

    Jurassic Park Novel: Thoughts

    So I must admit I just finished reading Jurassic Park for the first time. I had read The Lost World years ago but never the original. Since the Novel Nublar Challenge was posted on here I decided to read the book myself, I don't know why I never did sooner. Im a BIG Michael Crichton fan, my favorite books from him are The Sphere and Andromeda Strain, I also REALLY enjoyed Prey (think that was it's name).

    So first off a general book review. I thought it was a really good read, hard to put down. I would say the first 75% of the book was amazing, the last 25% kinda sucked. But that could be because im biased and always wanted the Park to succeed. Which brings me to my thoughts on plot holes and such.

    Plot hole 1: How did the Raptor manage to breed a huge population inside the Park when the 8 they had were secured near the Visitor Center? Only way I could see it occurring was they were originally in the normal Park area and they must have had the river pass through their paddock in order to create a nest that wasn't detected. Or perhaps they easily escaped their paddock and had free reign of the Park without the staff realizing it, but eventually they got to the Visitor Center area or somewhere like that and killed an employee which is why they were then rounded up and put into the secure holding pen. But this all depends on a lot of assumptions. First you have to assume they only escaped their paddock at night (since they say no one paid attention at night) but then they would have to go back to their original paddock by morning to not be detected leaving at night. This seems highly unlikely. Another thing that makes no sense is that their nest turned out to be near the volcano in a maintenance cavern area, how would this go undetected? But even harder to believe is that the original 8 would have had to change sex to some degree, yet they had to be tranqed and moved to the holding pen so how did no one notice some were now males? Along with all of this, if there were an extra 29 Raptor on the loose on the island how would they have not already killed someone else or been detected on the cameras and motion sensors before this? Surely there would have been deaths of the other animals they would have noticed by now. Tim saw them out during the day during the tour so they weren't hiding.

    Plot hole 2: Why did they only have 1 tranq gun/launcher big enough to take down the Rex?? And why would Muldoon seriously have to beg for it? I understand Hammond not wanting to lose any creatures, but come on man you have to think about security!!!! No staff or company in their right mind would have no guns or lethal measures in place for security. This is just stupid. And of course this is after some staff had been killed, do you really think Hammond could have argued against the outrage of his staff to be armed after people were killed??? I mean honestly, if Muldoon had a SPAS Shotgun like he had in the film all 8 original raptors would have been killed without any human fatalities. They would have had power back on in minutes.

    Plot hole 3: I understand wanting automated systems, but minimizing staff to the point you only have 2 people (3 if you count Wu) who know how to run the computers in Control is pretty ridicules. An if you only had 2, why wouldn't you have 1 on day shift and 1 on night shift? There's no way anyone wouldn't have the foresight to watch the animals at night. Did they really think no animals could escape at night and be knocking their door down by morning? What if a dinosaur fell down a moat and broke its' leg and needed medical attention, it's just out of luck if it occurs at night? If you have enough money to lease an island and create dinosaurs and afford to feed them.....im pretty sure you can afford to hire 10 to 20 more employees for your park. I mean seriously.

    Plot hole 4: The idea that ALL of these animals are so dangerous they should all be destroyed... Really? That pink baby triceratops needs to die? The poor sick Stego's need to be killed? The skittish Hadrosaurs needed to be napalmed? The magical sauropods should be machine gunned? Really? This is a miracle, the worlds most amazing and beautiful creatures of all time are ALIVE and you blanket statement want them all dead??? I totally understand needing to retake the Park and maybe you put the raptors down or the Rex, they've killed people. But the herbivores, really? We have so called dinosaur experts who love these creatures spent their whole life studying them and dreaming of seeing a living one and they're totally okay with killing them all at the end? YET....Grant doesn't seemed too concerned at the end of the book when it sounds like Raptors have made it to the mainland. But he was gung ho about extermination right before this.. now he's like, meh.. interesting.

    Plot hole 5: The Costa Rican govt bombing the island at the end???? Say what?! First how the hell did they know they needed to wipe out all of the wildlife on the island? Who told them to do this? Would the govt actually believe someone if they said dinosaurs were killing people on this island please send help??? No one would have made a decision to use military force on something they haven't even confirmed exists. An why would you even need such harsh measures? A few men with guns could clear out most of the carnivores.

    Plot hole 6: Going to find the Raptor nest at the end... why the hell would they do that? They even ridiculed this in the book, asking why are we doing this they are just going to bomb the island anyway... and certainty the Costa Ricans never consulted with the survivors as to where they should bomb. An of course on top of this the nest was underground so it probably was just fine after the bombing anyway. I mean these people, are people right? They just saw several people killed, they barely survived, would they really want to go find the Raptor nest which may hold up to 29 Raptors?

    So yeah, I found a lot of issues with the overall story. I know Crichton always wants to show mankind as having no control in all of his books, but this was a bit of a leap in this book. He tried to pound in how the Park was going to fail no matter what with Malcolm's constant ranting.....but by the end of the book I wasn't buying it. They retook the Park within a day, if Arnold had turned on the Main Power instead of leaving it on Aux Power the last 25% of the book wouldn't even have happened. I came away thinking this Park was very manageable, all it needed was an intelligent man in charge and not some moronic libtard like Hammond that didn't believe in guns or adequate staffing.

    All in all a great book, I enjoyed reading it. But there are many plot holes and Crichton didn't do a good enough job conveying this Park was impossible to manage.

  2. #2
    1) They originally had 20-30 raptors out in their own paddock but the introduction of the latest alpha led to (from what they could see) her killing all but 8 of the most vicious so they moved them to the smaller pen with tighter security where they could more easily be watched. Remember the flaw in the counting system? I took it as they had already been breeding beyond the expected number and had been secreting themselves away before the move of the 8 to the small pen by the lodge. Since the raptor nest had its own alpha female, maybe they mistook a power struggle for an outright takeover, again because their automated tracking system had a flaw in it.

    2&3) This isnít so much plot holes as peices of the story that stretched believability in pursuit of the books themes. Hammond isnít a good boss, far from the loving grandfather of the film heís just an entitled who is full of big dreams that he expects others to ďjust make it happenĒ. Recall when he shouts at Wu cause the dinos donít behave the way he wants them to and Wu has the impossible task of getting him to understand that they canít just flip a switch and get trained circus performers. Muldoon was a friend of Hammond who had only previously managed a petting zoo; he was entirely unprepared for his post and I think the book even mentioned he had never even tried to operate the dart gun before he was out there trying to tranq the Rex. These people were simply incompetent, although I agree with you that some descisions certainly strain the suspension of disbelief.

    4&5) I agree that the universe will be alright if we spared a herd of dryosaurs, and I think the Costa Rican government went from 0 to Exterminatus real quick, but I felt that the government probably knew more about the SIDS cases and other mysterious maulings and were actively covering up behind the scenes while the bookís narrative followed disconnected civilians who each witnessed one or another case and were starting to put things together on their own. So when an SOS comes from the newly revealed origin point: they tried to make the problem go away the way governments often enough do.

    6) There may have been a better way to write it in, but I think the story had to conclude the mystery from the beginning. You could kind of already piece it together yourself from other important scenes, but the raptor nest part neatly wraps up how the dinos were getting off the island and where they were getting out of the perimeter fence.

  3. #3
    I dont remember reading they originally bred 20 to 30. I dont think they ever even said they were moved, just They werent ready to put them in the park. It's all just movie assumptions. Im also pretty sure Muldoon didnt just work at a petting zoo. He had real zoo experience. He showed he was good by actually tranqimg the rex without lassr guidance, he just thought he missed the 2nd shot because it took so long for the Rex to go down. Hammond hired top notch guys, he just didnt listen to their advice and rushed them. Wu was really smart, arnold had supervised all the top theme parks in the world. Nedry was a really good programmer, hammond just double crossed him on his contract with him and forced him to do extra work when his time was up instead of renegotiating with him.

    Hammond was an idiot and severe understaffing crippled the park.

    I think Crichton rushed the ending of the book or didnt have the ending planned out when he started writing. He spent alot of time pre-park and once he got there just winged it i feel like.

  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Flint2025 View Post (Source)
    I think Crichton rushed the ending of the book or didnt have the ending planned out when he started writing. He spent alot of time pre-park and once he got there just winged it i feel like.
    Thatís possible. Crichton had told Spielberg about the book while he was still working on it and Spielberg got instantly hyped for a movie adaptation. The novel mentions the year Ď89 in the first few line cause thatís when he intended to release but the book didnít hit shelves till Ď90, might have had trouble with wrapping it up.

  5. #5
    That's a good point. He may have even scrapped his original ending to write something that would be different then how a movie version might end. It definitely felt rushed towards the end to me.