Monday, December 27, 2010

Carnosaur, by Harry Adam Knight

Sex, violence, and dinosaurs. That's what Carnosaur boasts. Comparisons to Jurassic Park are surprisingly apt (Carnosaur came first), but where JP offers adventure, Carnosaur emphasizes the horror behind the premise of dinosaurs being reintroduced into a modern ecosystem. And where Jurassic Park takes place on a remote tropical island, Carnosaur occurs in the middle of civilization. And where Dr. Hammond is basically a decent guy who took some alarming risks, Lord Penward is an antisocial megalomaniac who would prefer to see the human race wiped out and replaced by the obviously evolutionarily superior dinosaurs, genetically returned from extinction.

The story was adapted into a movie, also like Jurassic Park (in the same year, apparently), although the movie version veers somewhat away from the original novel. But I always liked Carnosaur the film as the gritty horror version of Jurassic Park. Harry Adam Knight (a pseudonym, I believe) may not be on a level with Michael Crichton as a fiction writer, but Carnosaur is a really fun story to read. And the premise is hard not to like. You'll probably enjoy it for many of the same reasons Jurassic Park was so much fun, but in addition to the dinos, be warned that there is quite a bit of sex and violence. Which only makes it more exciting, if you ask me.

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