Back in 1994, in New Delhi, my imagination was stirred by a Hollywood movie that I would later go on to watch 5 more times. Jurassic Park was the first Hollywood movie I watched that I completely understood. Maybe it was so because my first viewing of the movie was in Hindi. Besides, I had never managed to watch a complete Hollywood movie before.

Besides introducing a 13 year old boy to the science of cloning, it also introduced me to the rich experience of a Steven Spielberg movie and Computer Generated Imagery but the most profound and long lasting was the effect that Michael Crichton had on me. He was the author of Jurassic Park and there was a world out there to be read.

I had just started reading “The Three Investigators” and my insights into the English language and it’s literature were few. What I was not afraid of was, to pick up stuff that at first glance made little sense for someone my age. Nor was I afraid of picking books that were big in size.

I made my parents buy Jurassic Park, the book. It was a costly purchase, I remember. But more importantly, it was the start of a tradition that would serve me well — to buy books that are later made into movies.

I made myself a promise that from then on I would read every Michael Crichton book. I went on to read The Terminal Man, The Lost World, Airframe, Timeline, State of Fear and Prey. I started reading Sphere but during the course of it I once woke up to a terrifying dream. I could not complete the book. The back cover of “The Terminal Man”, the second Crichton book that I read, informed me that the author’s last name, “Crichton” rhymed with “Frighten”.

As you can see, the effect of Jurassic Park, the movie and then the book, was quite strong.

It has to stop now.

Michael Crichton, October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008. You will be remembered as a writer who captivated minds. You fired my imagination.

And You will be missed.

14 thoughts on “Crichton

  1. Hey,
    He was my favourite author. Have read all his books, except for the latest one, Next. Have it at home… need to get to it. Hard to believe there wont be more Crichton novels anymore….

  2. I’ve never read a book by Crichton! :) I do remember that Jurassic Park was extremely popular back when I was little kid though – but I’ve never watched it.

  3. I liked this tribute – more so because of the personal touch you have added to it.

    By the time Crichton really came on to the screen I was too old for Jurassic Park kind of movies. But you are right – he did fire one’s imagination even if I didn’t go ga-ga over him.

  4. I read “Terminal Man” and “Andromeda Strain” when I was a teenager, I think before Crichton was born …

    … but seriously, those two books were outstanding. Also liked “Congo”. But I didn’t much care for “J Park”, either the movie or the book. And I was distressed by Crichton’s explorations of aliens and the like (“Sphere”, for example).

    Have you read Carl Sagan’s “Contact”? It’s a novel about SETI, which Crichton was very critical of.

  5. and oh! I forgot to add – you read the three investigators!! I LOVED them as a child. Along with ‘The Famous Five’, ‘The Hardy Boys’, and ‘Swallows and Amazons’. :)

  6. Yes I heard *a lot* about Jurassic park, but have to admit that I never went to watch it either in theaters or at home because of some obvious prejudices towards such exaggerated (and unidirectional) narratives about science per say. Though I would also admit that I am a big fan of Douglases (Adams and Hofstadter).

    That he wrote and wrote so many of them, is in itself a feat and I would say that it’s a tall ask. That some movies also got made inspired by his work shows that he did stir some imaginations. And simply because of this fact he would have his place under the Sun.

    Long live the art and science of writing… and that of reading too.

    To life!

  7. Hi.. Even I am an avid fan of Crichton books. I have particularly liked the Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Airframe, State of fear. The world would miss him. One of the authors I admired most (after Aurthur C Clarke)

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  9. hi aditya.. U were visiting my blog (fisher.rediff..)and left me a message there.. what was ur old blog? good to read u again though.. :-)

  10. actually i don’t know about the author MIchael Crichton, but i saw his movie Jurracic Park, it’s really excellent.

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