I was fortunate enough to read both Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton before the films came out. Jurassic Park was one of those books I couldn't put down. I can tell you where I read it - on a beach in Lanzarote. I was seventeen years old, and just starting my love-affair with Stephen King and other horror/thriller writers. When I'd finished Jurassic Park, I lent it to a friend. When it came back, I re-read it. By the time I'd finished, my friend also wanted to re-read it. I no longer have that crumpled, water-marked book. I wish I did.
Even though Crichton wrote the screenplays for the Jurassic Park films, I never thought they did the books total justice. I'd come away both in awe of the special-effects, but disappointed by what was left out. But isn't that always the case? It's very rare to find perfect book-to-film translations. Sadly Michael Crichton passed away in 2008, so Jurassic World is only based on the fictional world he created. Unlike the first two films, there will be no book to compare it to. I can only hope it lives up to my expectations based on the other films.
Like another member of this writing group, Cherie Reich, I had intended to re-read both books before seeing the film. That hasn't happened yet, though I'm sure there is still time. If you haven't read Jurassic Park or The Lost World, I highly recommend them. In fact, Crichton has written many more you can choose from. The Andromeda Strain is another favourite of mine.
Are you looking forward to Jurassic World? Have you read Crichton's books? If so, what did you think of the films in comparison to the books?