S.G. Browne

J is for Joy, Jaws, and Jurassic

I think this is the first post where all three books were all made into films. And, unless my brain is more full of cobwebs than I realize, I believe I saw all three of these in the theater before I read the novels.

However, I will be honest and say that none of these three would make my Top 50 books of all time. Maybe not even the Top 100. I really should make that list. But since I’m doing this alphabetically, every letter gets to participate.

So with that enthusiastic build-up, here are my favorite novels that start with the letter J:

Number 1:
Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
Whether you consider it a straight science fiction novel or a cautionary tale on biological tinkering, the novel is a lot of fun, especially to imagine that it could be possible. One of the aspects I enjoyed most about the book as opposed to the film was that the Velociraptors, not the T-Rex, were the star dinosaurs. The whole storyline about them breeding and getting off the island by boat was left out of the movie.

Number 2:
Jaws, Peter Benchley
I saw the film when I was nine years old and that was pretty much it for me ever taking up surfing. While it’s tough to beat Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss, I still enjoyed the book, which I read just a few years after seeing the movie. But I can’t help but think the film had some impact on the book ending up on this list.

Number 3:
The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
Again, a book I’d read after the film, the book was written in vignettes from the different POVs of four immigrant Chinese mothers and their daughters who live in San Francisco. I don’t really have anything else to say, other than the fact that I liked it. How’s that for a ringing endorsement?

Favorite Short Story Collection:
Just After Sunset, Stephen King
Not my favorite of all time, but I didn’t have another J book to slot into the wild card spot. So I went with this one. Not King’s best collection (that nod goes to Skeleton Crew), but enough to renew my appreciation in his short stories. Plus he’s got a way with words that I can’t help but appreciate. He’s just a good storyteller.

Filed under: Movies and Books — Tags: , , — S.G. Browne @ 5:54 pm