Malcolm sighed. "Do you have any idea," he said, "how unlikely it is that you, or any of us, "will get off this island alive?"

Michael Chrichton was already a bestselling author when he published "Jurassic Park" in 1990. But none of his novels and few novels by other authors had the cultural impact of this one. Steven Spielberg adapted this book into an excellent movie in 1993, which spawned five sequels of varying quality but undeniable popularity.

JP is the story of a billionaire who hires a group of scientists to clone extinct dinosaurs to create a zoo / theme park on a remote island off the coast of Central America. They are confident that their redundant systems have eliminated any risk. Of course, they are wrong; and everything soon goes tragically wrong.

It is a story of the consequence of hubris and the arrogance of man playing the part of God.

But it is not only a morality tale. It is an action story and an adventure story and a horror story and a monster story and a story of corporate espionage. Chrichton - a former MD - goes to great lengths to make the science plausible, even if we are unlikely to resurrect extinct creatures any time soon in this world.

If the book has a weakness, it is the single-dimensional characters; but this did not bother me. The dinosaurs are the stars here.

As the climax approached, I felt the fear and the stress, and the danger experienced by both heroes and villains as the dinosaurs closed in on them. I related to Alan and Ellie and Malcolm and Tim and Lex and Hammond and their approach to the project.

Spielberg made dinosaurs a cultural phenomenon; but he would not have done so without this book.