On the shelf of any good boys dorm room sat two books. The first you’d expect: The Bible. Jurassic Park came next.
After that the next most likely was probably Chicken Soup for the High School Graduate.
By saying this I date myself a little. Now one of many books or series like “Harry Potter”, “Divergent”, and “Hunger Games” probably adorn the shelf. “Jurassic Park” lost it’s crown to the flow of time. Nothing captures the imagination of ten year olds like dinosaurs, and getting ready to go the their first dorm years later, there the books sat.
Even if it’s now old hat – it was still an impressive feat.
Jurassic Park lost it’s place on my shelf in middle school replaced by other books, and after I graduated college I picked it up again, the battered copy that had ended up in a box. When I did, I realized the most remarkable thing – the book was actually meant to be scary. It was a thriller.
Those tattered pages held together long enough for me to reread it a couple of times, and I was amazed to find in the place of the bloody and gory romp of dinosaurs a genuine attempt at trying to scare or to thrill. Mr. Chrichton did a great job.
A ten year old didn’t see it like that.
All I saw was dinosaurs and coolness.
Maybe that’s why Grim’s Fairytales were just so violent. Hans Christian Anderson’s tales weren’t much less violent. I wonder why kids can gloss over the violence and miss it. Or I wonder if I was unique in being so oblivious to what was going on in the story. I wonder what psychologically that implies about children.
Either way, I know a chunk of my imagination as a kid was occupied thinking about those dinos and genetics and all those little details of the story.
Then there’s the other book.