Saturday, August 24, 2013

"My best friend is someone who will lend me a book I have not read" (about dinosaurs)

Book: The Lost World
Author: Michael Crichton
Published: 1995 (Knopf)
Pages: 393

Oh, man, you gotta love this book jacket copy:

Fuck yes something has survived, and that something is dinosaurs, and someone’s experimenting on them and making them go all rampage-y on a secret island that some kids and a few interchangeable biology doctors have to go find.

If you are looking for well-rounded characters that are, like, real people – look elsewhere, y’all. I couldn’t keep the docs straight, since only the lady one had a distinguishing characteristic (she was a lady). But that was surprisingly okay, because between them they all debated about extinction theories and genetics and animal culture and it was really interesting.

The plot read like the wind, too, without spinning its wheels on manufacturing anguish. Even the romance between the lady doctor and one of the other doctors was presented as long past its burning point and used as a surprisingly concise, human shorthand of why she still felt so loyal to him and his causes.

I do generally like my novels with more meat on their bones (ha!), and I’m still not convinced Crichton is a good writer, really, but he’s got good ideas, and it’s fun to read him explain them in prose.

This goes back to my friend’s bookshelf (finally – how long have I had it? No, don’t tell me).  

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