Jurassic Park (novel)

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Jurassic Park (1990) by Michael Crichton

  • "I believe my life has value, and I don't want to waste it thinking about clothing. I don't want to think about what I will wear in the morning. Truly, can you imagine anything more boring than fashion? Professional sports, perhaps. Grown men swatting little balls, while the rest of the world pays money to applaud. But, on the whole, I find fashion even more tedious than sports."
    • Ian Malcolm - Second Iteration "Malcolm"
  • "You know, at times like this one feels, well, perhaps extinct animals should be left extinct"
    • Ian Malcolm (p. 189)
  • "There is a problem with that island. It is an accident waiting to happen."
    • Ian Malcolm - Second Iteration "Malcolm"
  • The reason I ask," Malcolm said, "is that I'm told large predators such as lions and tigers are not born man-eaters. Isn't that true? These animals must learn somewhere along the way that human beings are easy to kill. Only afterward do they become man-killers."
    • Third Iteration "The Tour"
  • But we have soothed ourselves into imagining sudden change as something that happens outside the normal order of things. An accident, like a car crash. Or beyond our control, like a fatal illness. We do not conceive of sudden, radical, irrational change as built into the very fabric of existence. Yet it is.
    • Third Iteration "Breeding Sites"
  • "Broadly speaking, the ability of the park is to control the spread of life forms. Because the history of evolution is that life escapes all barriers. Life breaks free. Life expands to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even dangerously. But life finds a way." Malcolm shook his head. "I don't mean to be philosophical, but there it is."
    • Ian Malcolm - Third Iteration "Stegosaur"
  • "Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet - or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves."
    • Ian Malcolm - Seventh Iteration "Destroying the World"
  • Discovery is always a rape of the natural world. Always.
    • p. 284
  • I hate being right.
    • Ian Malcolm

[Harding watches over Malcolm, delirious, weak, morphine-drugged and dying.]

Malcolm: [Weakly] Everything looks different ... on the other side.
Harding: On the other side?
Malcolm: When ... shifts.
Harding: Shifts?
Malcolm: paradigm.
Harding: Paradigm shifts?
Malcolm: No, not ... paradigm ... beyond.
Harding: Beyond paradigm?
Malcolm: Don't care about ... what ... anymore ...
Harding: What don't you care about?
Malcolm: Anything. Because ... everything looks different ... on the other side. [And he smiles]


  • The other thing was, at that time, that I really had trouble believing that this might ever happen. Of course, it's a fantasy, but I had trouble for myself, believing that it might be true. And in the next few years there was more and more research that suggested that it wasn't so unlikely. And I began to take it in that way more seriously.
The other thing that happened was, I began to feel that if I was going to do this story, I'd better do it soon. I was then in my middle 40s, and it was starting to seem like an inherently juvenile fantasy story, no matter how you cut it, which, I think it still has those aspects, which are very pleasant.
So I finally sat down and really tried to do it, and do it as a book. The solution, which at the time I had found very unsatisfactory was to make it a theme park. And the reason why the dinosaurs were set in a theme park was just a logical problem. Although I, by then, believed that it was possible to genetically engineer these creatures so that eventually it would be possible I couldn't see who would pay for it. Who's gonna... Because it's not a cure for cancer. You know, it's very entertaining, and the only thing I could think of was that it would be some form of entertainment.
Hammond, I suppose, is the least based on anybody. And certainly he has that quality in the novel anyway which is a certain unscrupulousness. And he was, in my conception, a much darker character than what Steven finally made. I really wanted to do the dark side of Walt Disney
It seems to me that we live in a society in which technology is continuously presented as wonderful. We were less exposed to the negative aspects of technology which were inevitably there. One of my interests is to provide that kind of balance to these notions that cell phones and faxes are all wonderful and great. Isn't it fabulous that we all have computers? Well, yes and no is my response.
I was particularly interested in that, in working on Jurassic Park that aspect of what are the negative parts. Because in talking with the people who were doing this kind of research what I was hearing was that the most responsible of them were deciding not to proceed down certain lines of inquiry which is really a new phase in science. Traditionally in science what the scientists themselves have said is: "I might as well do it, because if I don't, someone else will. It is going to happen inevitably." I think there's recognition now, that it's no so inevitable and it's quite conceivable that if I don't do this research neither will anyone else. It's simply too dangerous.

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