How Michael Crichton Mined Classic Literature to Write Modern Science Fiction

The Black Cat Moan

Years after his death, Michael Crichton is still dominating American culture. Jurassic World  shattered records at the box office upon its release, demonstrating that Crichton’s dinosaurs-run-amok brainchild still holds wide appeal. HBO’s remake of Crichton’s early film Westworld  was met with great fanfare, both from critics and audiences. And in 2017, a newly-discovered Crichton manuscript will be making its way to bookshelves around the world.

In spite of his stunning success (he is the only writer to ever have the #1 book, movie and television show released at the same time–a feat he managed twice), Crichton has often been undervalued as a writer. Time and again, critics poo-pooed his prose style, attacked his character development, dismissed his plotting, and denied him a legitimate place in the Club for Great American Literary Writers.

Crichton’s prose certainly doesn’t dazzle the way, say, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s does. Nor do his characters…

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5 thoughts on “How Michael Crichton Mined Classic Literature to Write Modern Science Fiction

      1. I watched all of them after they became movies and before I realized he wrote them! If that makes sense.

        One of the things I loved was looking at Spielberg’s movie of Jurassic Park where the Tyrannosaurus Rex is attacking the cars, then reading the scene the Book and comparing them.

        Spielberg is obviously a master and that is probably my favorite scene from my favorite movie, but The genius of the idea to come up with it in the first place. Brilliant.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mine was a bit of both, I read Jurassic park after the movie, but the rest the other way round. In every case I enjoyed both the book and the movie. I think he has some really diverse book themes, then delivers it with great pace. Some of his ideas are not particularly original or new, but he sure knows how to make it interesting. I am a big fan of the way he jumped between the characters. 🙂 Ah, need to go and dig out a book!

        Liked by 1 person

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