Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thirteen



Yesterday, deep in denial that my weekend was over, I sat knitting the matching sock to the spruce colored pair. I flicked through the channels and came upon Antonio Banderas as The 13th Warrior in the movie based on Michael Chrichton's book, Eaters of the Dead. A favorite. I watched the movie (again) while knitting away. I got to thinking that there wasn't much Crichton wrote that I didn't like. His books, usually ahead of their times, were always thought provoking and often, down right frightening.

In 1993, I saw the movie Jurassic Park. Though too scary for my six year old son, I saw it twice. By 1997, The Lost World was in theaters and he saw the video release of the first movie and then went and saw the sequel. My son was thrilled. I remember telling him that if the movies thrilled him, the books were sure to scare him half to death. I made a promise to save those books for him to read when he felt ready. He hasn't taken the challenge, but the books are still here. Truth is, I own a lot of what Michael Crichton wrote.

I recall reading Jurassic Park while pregnant with the Rachelheimster (she of many names). I had nightmares about dinosaurs chasing me through an endless jungle. I dreamt, in desperation I laid my newborn baby in a nest with eggs.  Duh.  I had to hide her from the velociraptors.  Double duh.  Movies don't do this to me-sure they make me uneasy but not like books do. Especially Crichton's books. Reading makes me imagine I'm the one who is stuck deep within the plot. I had horrible nightmares about a certain horse's head when I read Mario Puzo's book, The Godfather. I still think that book was a thousand times better than movies 1, 2 or especially, 3.

I know it's been two months now since he died, but I have to say, it saddens me to know I won't be able to read new books from Michael Crichton. I miss Robert Ludlum the same way. I don't even need to look up the year Ludlum died, it was the same year my dad did. Certain authors do that to me. Someone else is writing Robert Ludlums books these days. Don't be fooled. It isn't that he's come back to entertain us-it's all to line the pockets of someone else. I hope the same thing doesn't happen with Chricton's books. He was a prolific writer and had a brilliant mind that I'm pretty certain none can match.

It's been years since I read Eaters of the Dead, but I think it's time to take it on again. Maybe I'll make this the year I reread The Andromeda Strain too. As for Jurassic Park, I feel no particular need to go there again anytime soon.  In fact, once may have been enough.

9 comments:

debra said...

For me, reading books is so much more satisfying than seeing the movie of the same story. The movie isn't the same. In the book, I am there---a participant; while I am an observer in a movie.

My #2 daughter is like that. She has never seen the last Harry Potter movie. And she wants to finish the Secret Lives of Bees before seeing the movie. The magic is too important to her.

Happy, healthy, peaceful and loving New Year to you.

flydragon said...

I see you and I have the same taste when it comes to some authors. Chrichton and Ludlum are favorites of mine too.
Reading the books, then seeing the movies, 9 times out of 10 I'd walk away disappointed, but not with Jurassic Park or Jaws. Although I loved the books, I have to admit I liked seeing huge, scary, eating machines on the big screen. So much so that I did buy the tapes so I could even see them on the little screen.

Brenda said...

We also have the same taste in books Rudee. I haven't read all of Ludlum or Chrichton's books but some of them. I think sometimes I am strange in that I like books that I would think more men would read? Don't know if that makes any sense. I am reading Vince Flynn's "Extreme Measures" right now, and he is an example of probably more men like him than women. (Although, my husband doesn't read fiction.) I also really enjoy Ken Follett books. I was bummed out also when Crichton passed away. Movies always disappoint. Reading a great book is the best escape from reality for me! Great subject to talk about. Happy New Year Rudee and family!

Rudee said...

Debra-I've never read Harry Potter books-I know, I'm the last hold out! I tried but didn't get past the first chapters. Happy New Year to you too.

Fly-I couldn't even swim in pool water for about a month after I saw jaws.

Brenda- I've read every Vince FLynn book. I love that genre of books. Same for Ken Follett. I loved The Pillars of the Earth and was sad it ended!

Winifred said...

Thanks for this Rudee, I've not read either of these two authors, will look them up at the library next week.

Films frequently don't match up to books. I felt that about Captain Correllis Mandolin. What a load of rubbish it was compared to the book that made me both laugh and cry. One of the reasons is that Hollywood scriptwriters like to change the story.

However the Harry Potter Films and to a certain extent Lord of the Rings have stuck closely to the original storylines of the books.

Have a lovely New Year in 2009, hope your husband is feeling better.

Anonymous said...

I have finished the First three Vince Flynn novels. I'm waiting on "Separation of Power" to be delivered to the local library. I completed Transfer of Power and the Third Option in a couple of days..Thrillers all. Go Mitch!!!!

I have a couple of Crighton books in the basement. I'll let you know what they are(after I find them).

FTM

Sandy said...

I remember reading his book "travels" and loved it. There was a lot about his spiritual search in that, if I remember right, as it's been over 10 years or so. I have never seen Jurassic Park or any of his others.

Wish you didn't have to go to work and could just sit and knit and watch movies!

Have a happy New Year. I'm glad I met you this year through blogging.

Rudee said...

You read those already FT? It's easy to devour Flynn's books.

I don't thin I read Travels Sandy. I'll have to check it out.

debra said...

I've never read the HP books either. Both of my daughters have, though....
and I only saw part of one or two of the movies on DVD. I'm really a very poor consumer :-)