20 August 2010

Day 146: The Lost World

The Lost World by Michael Crichton.  ISBN: 9780788737251 (audiobook).

This was another audiobook I planned to listen to on the way to/from ALA.  I feel like you guys got cheated out of a really great story in the war between me and The CD Player, so I'm going to treat you to a little story from my childhood.  Technically this is a story about the movie, but since that was my first exposure to the work, let's call it "fair" and I'll make two other posts about the book to make up for it.  

The movie came out during my parents' divorce in 1997.  At that point we were on Guam, a strangely exotic place to be going through a rather hideous stage in one's life.  I was at my fourth school, having just that year transferred from the off-base F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School* to the newly developed on-base Department of Defense school.  Which makes it sound like we were all being trained to be secret agents, but it was much less cool than that.

For whatever reason, I did not particularly like this school, mostly because it was in a cinder block building that was one part strip mall and one part prison.  At the time I was being 12/13 and dealing with my parents' divorce the best way I knew how and with little to no guidance from anyone else because I was stuck in a brand new school without any friends at a time when I probably needed them most.  What does this have to do with a movie about dinosaurs, you ask?  Shut up and listen, whippersnapper, this is my story!  I'm gettin' crotchety in my old age.

During recess one day I was sitting in the corner in the sunlight, reading, and some prepubescent boys wanted to play Wall Ball.  Wall Ball was the phenomenon on Guam where you would throw a blue racquetball ball against a wall and people would try to catch and hurl it back at the wall, ad nauseam.  For some reason they chose to do this against the wall where I was sitting rather than one of the many other walls they could have chosen in the courtyard.  When I asked them to stop, they didn't.  I continued reading and they started aiming the ball at me.  It wasn't so much that the ball would hurt if it hit me (although it did): it was the principle of the matter.  The fact that the teachers were blatantly ignoring this behavior pissed me off even more.  When the ball finally did hit me, I chased down a couple of the kids, cuffed the ones that were slower than me (being a reader I was not prone to speed), and then proceeded to shriek about how they were assholes before walking off campus towards home.

My house was probably about a mile away from the school.  I had probably gone maybe a quarter of a mile, seething all the way despite the beautiful, calming view of the Pacific Ocean on my left, when my mother pulled up in her car and told me to get in.  I didn't want to at first, I just wanted to be angry, but I didn't have anywhere to go but home, and then she said something I never thought my mother would say to me: "Get in the car, we'll go to the movies."

My mother may not have be the best parent in the world, and she's probably made more than her fair share of mistakes in raising me, but if I had to choose moments for a list of Top Ten Things My Mom Did Awesome, that would be number one.  It was pretty much just what I needed at that moment, to sit in the dark and be distracted by the amazingness of CGI dinosaurs (which were still pretty new back then) and Jeff Goldblum's mediocre acting.  I definitely didn't need a huge judgment or a lecture from someone who had been ignoring me for the last six months or so (with good reason, since my dad was being a big baby and an even bigger asshole).  

So even though I can't tell you what the movie was like in comparison to the book, it will always hold a fond place in my heart.  Oh, and during the first one, I totally spilled Diet Coke all over myself when the T-Rex foot dropped from nowhere.  My dad mocked me terribly, so in that way the second movie was much better than the first.

Do you have any memorable movie-book related experience, readers?

*Which hilariously has the same website as it did when I attended it.  If you want a bit of a 90's flashback and a peek at my old days, clicky. 
**As a side note, Happy 120th birthday to H.P. Lovecraft.

The best review I've seen on this is from the now defunct blog, Prehistoric Pulp.


  1. I was only 7 when the first film came out but I still remember going to the movies to watch it (and staring at my shoes during the scary parts lol). I don't think I saw the second one at the movies but I could be wrong. I've never read the books but I really need to :)

  2. Hi Tink,

    I was about the same age, I wasn't scared so much as jumpy. It annoys me, but I always jump exactly when the directors tell me to (i.e. even when I know to expect it because they're gearing up the creepy music and the killer is right behind the bimbo).

    I actually haven't read the first book, I just grabbed the audio of this because I know I like Michael Crichton for car trips. His stuff is so great though, always makes me think. I have a post scheduled tomorrow about that.

    Thanks for commenting and reading, welcome to the blog. :-)


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