The Annotated Cretaceous Park.pdf

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Children's minds are similar to adults' in many ways but are also very different in many
ways, and this story provides something of a demonstration of that concept. What's
more, despite all the silliness, this story was quite an accomplishment for a pair of fifth
graders. It's over 14,000 words in length, 33 pages of single-spaced 12 point Arial font,
and the quality of the writing? Well, for fifth graders, I think it's pretty good. (One thing
that's striking to me is that the writing toward the end of the story, although still certainly
far from “good” by adult standards, is noticeably better than the writing toward the
beginning of the story.) Plus, there are a few ideas we came up with that were genuinely
clever and not just copies of the original story.
Inspired by the release of the latest blockbuster movie in the series, this summer
I re-read my old, tattered copy of Crichton's novel for the first time in many years, and
then proceeded to re-read the sequel that Jay and I wrote so many years ago. And then
a thought came to me – it would be fun to go through the story and make detailed
annotations (in the form of footnotes) of all the reactions that I, as an adult, have to this
story that my friend and I wrote when we were kids. Many of the annotations are things
that Cara and I talked and laughed about back in 2006, and I also go into a lot of detail
about what went into the making of this story and how it relates to the Jurassic Park film
and novel.
Jay and I were very proud of Cretaceous Park. Reading the story as an adult, it's
silly, it's hokey, its a blatant ripoff of its predecessor – but despite all that, I think our
feeling of pride was well-earned. So now, I'd be honored if you'd join me on a journey to
the past – a journey back to 1993.
Jeff McManus, August 2015