#TuesdaysLit, 2018, Author, Books

The Man Who Started It All…

M I C H A E L   C R I C H T O N


It is quite safe to say that I don’t really know a lot about Michael Crichton, the author of Jurassic Park. Any information I put on here is what I have gleaned from his website and the About the Author bio on his books. So, below is what I have learnt about the man who started it all.

Michael Crichton was born 23 October 1942 and initially began his career as a Doctor. This is how the man himself describes his life on his website and it is better than anything I could ever say.

“When I was 15 I wanted to go to college and be a writer. When I was 20, I was in college and applying to medical school to become a doctor. When I was 25, I was in medical school but I was going to quit when it was finished. When I was 30, I was a successful film director with my first film, Westworld, in release. When I was 35, I had almost decided I didn’t want to direct any more, but I wasn’t sure what to do next. So I started a software company and did computer games. When I was 40, I really wanted to only direct movies and never write again. When I was 45, I had my first child and I was happily writing and not interested in directing. … I feel like my life has been very exciting and very unpredictable.”

Author, screenwriter, film director, film producer, television producer… there was no end to this mans talents.

At this point I would like to say that Jurassic Park was his most successful novel, however I have no idea whether that is true or not. Jurassic Park was published in 1990 and was a book well ahead of its time. I am sure that his background in medicine and science played an enormous part in enabling his imagination to conjure up this dino-tastic story. The process though began in 1983 when Crichton initially wrote a screen play about cloning a Pterodactyl from a fossil, but was not happy with it. On his website, Crichton explains that he worked on the story for several years, produced several drafts which everyone hated before actually making it work.

It wasn’t long before the book became a movie. Of Course, the book is not exactly the same as the movie, there are a number of differences. For example not everyone who gets off the island in the movie, survives to leave the island in the book.  Due to the success of Jurassic Park, Crichton wrote the sequel The Lost World. In fact, it was the only sequel Crichton ever wrote. The title of the sequel was homage to Conan Doyles work of the same name, which also involves dinosaurs. Crichton also used another trick from Conan Doyle and resurrected a previously dead character.

Sadly, Michael Crichton passed away on the 4 November 2008 so he did not get to see the newest incarnation of his franchise, Jurassic World and of course the recent sequel. I wonder what his thoughts would have been on Indominus Rex or the Indoraptor? Whatever his thoughts might have been there is one thing I am pretty sure of, Crichton would be proud that his work is still provides inspiration and joy to many people all over the world.

Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg on the set of Jurassic Park

For more information on Michael Crichton and his work visit his website :   http://www.michaelcrichton.com/


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