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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
Jurassic Park Adventures Book 1
Written by Scott Ciencin
Cover montage by Peter Van Ryzin

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published June 2001)

In an unfortunate accident, 13-year old Eric Kirby becomes stranded alone on Isla Sorna.

Read the story summary at the Jurassic Park Wiki.

Didja Know?

Jurassic Park Adventures was a series of three books for readers ages 8 and up, published by Random House. Survivor is a prelude to the movie Jurassic Park III and depicts how young Eric Kirby survived for two months on Isla Sorna before his parents, accompanied by Dr. Alan Grant, arrived on a rescue mission. The other two books in the series take place after the events in the aforementioned film.

Didja Notice? 

Before the novel begins there is a sort of "author's note" by Eric Kirby. In it he mentions that he was stranded alone on Isla Sorna for 8 weeks.

Page 2 mentions that Eric's mom's boyfriend, Ben, is co-owner of Dot.Com Engineering. Although the name sounds web-related, we never learn what the business is, but apparently Ben has been quite successful at it, as Eric also describes Ben as rich.

Page 2 also reveals that Eric has recently moved from Enid, OK to San Diego, CA with his mom, following her divorce from his dad.

Page 3 reveals that Eric loves dinosaurs and that there is film footage of the T. rex during the so-called San Diego Incident, which he has watched a hundred times.

Page 3 also reveals that Eric was considered a jock at his school of Waller Junior High in Enid. Waller Junior High is an actual school in Enid, OK and their sports teams are known as the Eagles, just as Eric states here.

Page 3 also mentions Vance Air Force Base, where Eric used to see the Wings of Blue parachute team. Vance Air Force Base is a real base, located about 3 miles south of Enid. Just as mentioned in the book, it is the home of the 71st Flying Training Wing. The Wings of Blue is a parachute training squadron also known as the 98th Flying Training Squadron, based out of the USAF Academy in Colorado.

Also on page 3, Eric says he'd have loved to become an Air Force fighter pilot someday, "a real-life Top Gun." Top Gun is a reference to both the 1986 Tom Cruise movie Top Gun and the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (also known as TOPGUN) of the U.S. Navy.

Ever since the film Jurassic Park III was released in 2001, there has been controversy among fans about how the charter boat that was towing Eric and Ben's parasailer across the sea near Isla Sorna was damaged. In the film, the boat disappears into a cloud cover and then emerges damaged, with the crew vanished. The implication is that one or more dinosaurs did the deed, but how? There is no suggestion of aquatic saurians in the film, and it seems unlikely that a pterosaur could appear, grab the crew from under the boat's awning, and disappear. In this book, on page 4, Eric says merely that "something happened to the chartered boat towing us". So much for explanations!

Page 8 describes a T. rex Eric sees as being gray in color with dull red splotches. This does not match with the coloration of the rexes seen in any of the three JP films.

Pages 9 and 10 mention that Grant's book about his experience in Jurassic Park describes how the T. rex's eyesight was based on motion (as he states in the first film and novel of Jurassic Park, but which novelist Michael Crichton reversed in his Lost World novel).

On page 10, Eric encounters a gold-and-red Pteranodon. Although pterosaurs are seen only in the confines of the aviary in Jurassic Park III, some free-fliers are seen at the very end of The Lost World, though they do not appear to have the gold-and-red coloring mentioned here (being, essentially, brown).

Eric's interaction with the T. rex and Pteranodon on page 10 remind him of the children's game red light, green light. Basically, in this game a central player yells "green light" to have the other players run towards him or the goal (whatever it may be) and yells "red light" when everyone is supposed to stop moving. If someone continues to move after "red light" is called, that player is either eliminated or must go back to the starting line again.

Page 10 also mentions Ben's intention to take on Salsa Brava, a world-famous wave off Costa Rica. Salsa Brava (Spanish for "angry sauce") is a real world surf spot near the town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.

Page 11 describes the T. rex as swaying its head from side to side, without explanation. In Crichton's novel of The Lost World, the two rexes engage in similar behavior and it is suggested that they may be listening. That would also make sense in the context here, as Eric is remaining still to avoid being seen, but the rex knows something is nearby.

On page 15, Eric reflects on Ben's contention that there were 17 species of venomous snakes in the jungles of Costa Rica. This is true and there are 135 snake species in the country overall.

Page 15 also mentions that Ian Malcolm's book about his experience on Isla Sorna reveals that the island is just 22 square miles in area.

On page 17, Eric sees a Heliconia butterfly. He is referring to the Heliconius genus of butterflies.

Also on page 17, Eric encounters a two-toed sloth. It is probably a Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth, which inhabits Central and South America.

On page 19, Eric reflects that for Grant and Malcolm, in their Jurassic Park adventures, they had been rescued after a matter of hours, not days. But in the case of Malcolm's experience on Isla Sorna in The Lost World, he was there for more than a day: he and his small crew arrive during the day of Day 1; that night, he, Sarah, and Nick are attacked by the two rexes in the trailer and rescued by Roland and the InGen expedition; the next morning they trek all day into the interior of the island and make camp that night, to be awakened in the middle of the night by the rexes; that same night they radio for help and are rescued. So maybe Malcolm wasn't quite there for days, but more than hours.

Similarly to the characters on the two Land of the Lost TV shows, Eric has a tendency to give names to the dinosaurs he encounters: Big Momma, the Diplodocus; Iggy, the Iguanodon; and Red Rings, the raptor (page 92 describes the lead raptor of the pack has having red rings around it's neck).

On page 28, Eric's cooking fire draws an army of compys for some reason. Were they attracted to the light the way insects are? Or did they smell the fish he was cooking? It's left unexplained.

As Eric discovers the rotting InGen complex, he finds that the power is out on page 31. But in The Lost World, Ludlow says the complex was set up to run on geothermal energy, so the power would essentially never run out.

Eric spray paints the words ERIC IS HERE in giant letters on the roof of the complex so that rescue helicopters will know where he is. We never see the roof of the complex in Jurassic Park III, but presumably the words were still there.

Page 35 reveals that before Hammond bought Isla Sorna, there had been a small population of people on it, running a few banana plantations. The plantations are gone, but the banana trees were left behind to continue to provide food for the mammals living on the island. Hammond, in "Jurassic Time", states there was a coffee plantation there.

On page 36, Eric recalls his friend Eddie hot-wiring a car in the Westgate Shopping Center in Enid. There is an actual shopping center by that name in the city. The shopping center is also mentioned in Jurassic Park III as the location of Eric's father's business, Kirby Paint and Tile +.

Page 38 reveals that both Grant and Malcolm, in their books, called the JP Velociraptors "genetically-bred anomalies", in that they had been bred to super-sized proportions. The Velociraptors seen in the films are larger than the real ones were. Actual Velociraptors stood only a few feet high. The raptors in the film are closer to being Deinonychus, a related species, just as Eric speculates here.

On page 44, Eric has a dream of being rescued by soldiers with plenty of firepower and high-tech armor. This is not too far removed from how he does finally get rescued at the end of Jurassic Park III.

On page 47, Iggy steps into an overturned container of quick-dry glue and gets a copy of Grant's book stuck to his foot. Eric describes the Iguanodon as flopping on the floor and kicking like a Rockette. He is referring to the Rockettes, an all-women precision dance company that performs at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York. They are particularly known for their long legs and high kicks.

Page 48 reveals that there are copies of Grant's first book about dinosaurs (before he'd visited Jurassic Park) in the old InGen complex, implying that some of the researchers there were fans of his.

Page 65 mentions the water tanker which later appears in Jurassic Park III.

On page 69, the raptors are described as being green and black in color, though they are not depicted that way in any of the films.

On page 72, Eric takes refuge in what he refers to as a garlic tree. I've found no evidence of a tree by that name and, of course, the garlic plant is not a tree!

Also on page 72, Eric makes a sort of poncho of leaves to wear as camouflage. We see him wearing a similar one in Jurassic Park III.

On page 96, Eric finds and pries open a weapons locker which contains the tear gas canisters he later uses in Jurassic Park III.

After putting on the oversized clothing and stuffing the pockets with the tear gas canisters on page 101, Eric writes he felt like the kid in A Christmas Story whose winter parka and clothing were so thick, he could barely move. This is a reference to the 1983 Christmas comedy film.

On page 103, Eric seems to recognize that there are too many predators on the island in ratio to prey. This seems to be borrowed from Crichton's The Lost World novel, which has a similar postulation made by the characters of Malcolm, Levine, and Sarah. This subplot does not appear in the The Lost World or Jurassic Park III films.

On page 105, Eric recalls facing the biggest, baddest defensive line in the county on the Temple Hills Lions football field. I can find no evidence of a school called Temple Hills in Garfield County, OK (where Enid is located).

The Dinosaur Data cards that are bound into the middle of the book include data for six of the dinosaurs featured in the book. The Velociraptor and Pteranodon cards relate physical characteristics that conform to the specimens seen in the JP films, not how the fossil record actually depicts them. However, the cards do at least point out that InGen's specimens in the park are genetic giants compared to the real McCoy.

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