Michael Crichton is one of my favorite fiction authors. “Jurassic Park” the novel was instrumental in starting my career in screenwriting. When I was a teenager I read the book and then I saw the movie. I was devastated to say the least because of all the great material that never made it into the actual film. That outrage sparked my interest in creative screenwriting and adapting books to films. Admittedly, I thought I could do a better job.
That doesn’t blot out my love for Michael Crichton’s work. Sphere, Andromeda Strain, and Congo are still lingering favorites of mine. His books read like movies. Crichton’s style of writing is certainly science fiction, but it is also unpretentious, similar to the pulp fiction work of an early Aasimov. There is less focus on flowery writing and more focus on situation (plot) and dramatic tension (suspense). That formula works well for the modern reader. This is the new era of pulp fiction and Michael Crichton is certainly an author worth studying.
Now, it’s off to the movies to see Jurassic World, the latest adaption of the billion dollar franchise. It’s insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Yet, are the producers of Jurassic World really expecting a different result? In its opening weekend, the film has already grossed over 500 million dollars worldwide. It staggers the mind because the plot has been driven over more times than a U.S. highway.