Jurassic Word: Classic Books Improved With Dinosaurs (and Maybe Some Jeff Goldbum)
The Jurassic Park franchise has created entire generations obsessed with dinosaurs. And what’s not to like? They were giant, scaly (OK, probably feathery) monsters ripped straight from the pages of a fantasy novel. As Jurassic Park has proved over and over again, dinosaurs can make anything better. With that being said, we injected the terrible lizards into some of our favorite books. Welcome to…Jurassic Word!
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Jake Barnes, veteran of the Great War, harbors a crushing fear of dinosaurs after his time in the 7th dino-cavalry division. A year after the fighting, he travels from Paris to Pamplona via brontosaurus bus, distracting himself by describing the Spanish countryside to anyone who’ll listen. He meets up with his expatriate friends in Pamplona, including Robert Cohn and the gorgeous Lady Brett Ashley. They drink the days away in Spanish arcades and watch the triceratops fights. As Jake and Robert clash for Brett’s attention, she falls in love with a strapping young dino-matador who is, inexplicably, Jeff Goldblum. The three men decide to prove their machismo through a triceratops-wrangling extravaganza. In order to win Brett’s heart and come to terms with his past, Jake must overcome his fear of dinosaurs once and for all.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A group of school-aged children are marooned on a tropical island after their plane gets shot down. The kids, led by Simon, struggle to form a new society—especially after they learn dinosaurs live in the nearby jungle. Simon wants to befriend the seemingly peaceful creatures. Jack Merridew, leader of the hunters, wants to kill them and conquer the entire island. One night, Simon sneaks out of camp to visit the forbidden jungle. He meets the Lord of the Flies, giant Carboniferous-era dragonfly who speaks English with, inexplicably, Jeff Goldblum’s voice and cadence. The sagely insect teaches Simon about the power of friendship and acceptance. Armed with these lessons, Simon rallies the gentle dinosaurs and launches a hug offensive on Jack and the choir boy hunters. After an epic battle full of friendly embraces and “I feel” statements, Simon emerges victorious. The boys enjoy the rest of their time on the island until they’re rescued, vowing to always remember what the Lord of the Flies taught them.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The brilliant and ambitious Victor Frankenstein unlocks the secrets of life, using science to create a hulking creature out of human body parts. Victor is appalled by his creation, though, and casts it out into the wilderness while vowing to do better next time. The dejected creature seeks refuge with a rural family, but they chase him away because of his terrifying appearance. Right before the creature ends its pitiful existence, a T-rex attacks. The creature uses its awesome, unnatural strength to defeat the dinosaur. Intrigued, it returns to Ingolstadt only to find the city overrun by more dinos of all shapes and sizes. Civilians flee the burning streets, shrieking about mad Victor Frankenstein and his latest creations. The creature realizes he’s the only one powerful enough to stop his creator and end the lizard menace, but will he stand up for the world that shunned him?
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Fern saves a young velociraptor from slaughter and raises him as a pet on her family’s farm. When the raptor gets older, Fern’s father sells him to Homer Zuckerman. The raptor is quite lonely on Homer’s farm, but makes a few animal friends after promising not to eat them. He especially enjoys getting to know Charlotte, a barn spider, and settles into his new life. Unfortunately, the raptor learns Homer is sending him to slaughter so he can make a pair of feathery boots. Charlotte talks the raptor out of doing anything drastic and promises to help. In the dead of the night, Templeton the rat sneaks out and finds a piece of trash with some words on it. Before Charlotte can finish her web message, the raptor breaks out of the enclosure and eats Homer. The police prepare to shoot the raptor, but Fern runs into the line of fire to protect him. At the height of the standoff, Charlotte finally finishes her web: SOME PIG! The cops lower their weapons as they search quizzically for the pig in question. Fern hops on the raptor’s back during the distraction and rides off into the sunrise.
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
The whale is Jeff Goldblum.
Neil Floyd is a Chicago-based writer with bylines at The Hard Times/Hard Drive, Quirk Books, Game Informer, and more. He’s currently working on a supernatural comedy novel and a supremely silly D&D campaign. You can find him on Twitter & Facebook, his personal website, and near the buffet table at parties.