Friday, May 1, 2015

Crichton Celebration

Shocking as it may seem that an Anglophile and bibliophile became this way because of one of the most popular bestselling authors of thrillers and science fiction it is still true. Michael Crichton made me who I am. My formative years were all television shows and movies, with the occasional novelization of said television show or movie as my reading for the year. I'd sometimes daringly branch out to such books as Timothy Zahn's continuation of the Star Wars saga; but reading for fun was something I rarely did. Thanks to a biology teacher who knew some kids weren't cut out for science I found a love of one author and a love of reading that would change my life.

It was my sophomore year in high school and I was finally taking biology. The previous year I was able to convince my parents that if they made me take science my first year I'd be more likely to skip school... seeing as how much I already skipped it's surprising that this ploy worked. But I really lucked out in my biology teacher. I got to build a model of a plant cell, which my teacher liked so much that he asked to keep it. In later years in high school I would use my artistic talents in as many classes as I could to my benefit, even doing a painting for my history class of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, but this was the first time I realized that I could use my skill set outside of art classes. One of these optional assignments in biology was reading Jurassic Park.

Jurassic Park was the very first Michael Crichton book that I read and over the next few years I would devour everything he had ever written. Because I still had such a love of movies whenever a Crichton book was adapted for the screen this became a big deal. The mid nineties was the perfect time to be a Crichton fanatic in this regard. Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, Congo, The Lost World, Sphere, and The 13th Warrior were all made into films! I remember the sheer excitement of getting to go to an advance screening of The Lost World at Point Cinema with my friends. Yes, the movie was awful, but I can still remember that anticipation. That anticipatory excitement is once again running through me, I mean have you seen the trailer for Jurassic World yet? This got me to thinking of all the Crichton books that I haven't read in years and all the movies I only saw in the theaters and I thought, it's time to revisit my roots. And thus my Crichton Celebration was born. I hope you'll join me the next two months counting down to Jurassic World with a look back at Crichton's and my shared past.


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