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review 2018-11-30 03:24
Next - Michael Crichton

Aside from the obvious puns about how this was the Next book I was going to read, and that my wife was going to read it Next....



So this was one of the least enjoyable Michael Crichton books out there.


All about genetics, genetically modifying organisms, gene editing, gene therapy, etcetera.


Crichton comes off kinda heavy handed and preachy in this one. Although I enjoyed learning a lot about genetics (see, that's what you get from reading Crichton-- you learn about stuff without realizing it), the story was really fragmented. It's like the author had lots of okay ideas about stories involving genetics, but no real good ideas, so he just mixed them all together.


One thing this book suffered from is lack of any real good guys. Nearly every character was slimy, underhanded, despicable, or weak in some way. Part of me wonders if this is a deliberate way for Crichton to get his readers to involuntarily dislike genetic engineering, but based on his diatribes (spelled out awfully clearly in-text, and even more deliberately in the afterword), he's not opposed to genetic engineering, and in fact, thinks it's the wave of the future.


Anyway, some of the sci-fi stuff was a little out there (a human-chimpanzee hybrid that we're supposed to sympathize with?), but I guess I shouldn't  rag on this book too much. After all, it was a fun, quick read, and I learned stuff.


...but if you're looking for a good Crichton book to start with, this is not it. Instead I'd recommend Sphere, Congo, Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain, Prey.


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review 2018-11-07 18:49
Battle of the Sexes: "Congo" by Michael Crichton
Congo - Michael Crichton

(Original Review, 1980-11-15)

Here is how Michael Crichton describes Amy, the principal love object in "Congo": "She could be coy, she responded to flattery, she was preoccupied with her appearance, loved make-up, and was very fussy about the collar of the sweaters she wore in the winter." Although she is quite short, Amy weighs 140 pounds. She has a vocabulary of 620 words, which is remarkably good for a gorilla. Karen Ross, the other female in "Congo," is almost six feet tall, attractive but ungainly. She is a mathematical prodigy, brilliant but insensitive, determined to succeed at any cost. Her feminine wiles have been confined to technology. 




If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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text 2018-11-05 00:44
Starting: Jurassic Park - audio book version!
Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton,Scott Brick

Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton
narrated by Scott Brick
Book 1 of Jurassic Park

Progress:  31 of 910 minutes listened to

So the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of "rereading" Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.  Jurassic Park is really one of those old favorites you will always think back on fondly of, if only because it was such a novelty of a movie and book back in the day.

I don't often reread books, especially books I loved when I was younger.  I'm deathly afraid of finding out how much my tastes have changed and how much I DON'T like certain elements of a once favorite read.

But with the reading of our Flat Book Society book, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte, my mind started wandering to Jurassic Park, both the movie and the book.  Then I recalled one of the 24 Festive Tasks' Book Tasks for 'Dia de los Muertos':  "Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico."

The next thing I know, I'm thinking it might be a great idea to add Jurassic Park (or maybe another old Michael Crichton favorite) to a list of possible books for this square.  "Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author."  It fits perfectly!

Then I decided to just go for it!

I will be listening to the audio book version, narrated by Scott Brick.

And crossing my fingers that I enjoy this book as much as I did so many years ago.



24 Festive Tasks

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/starting-jurassic-park-audio-book.html
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review 2018-10-29 17:13
Airframe - Michael Crichton

I read this in about 24 hours, so that speaks of how compelling of a read this one is.


Somehow I missed this Crichton thriller when it came out. It's a gripping thriller, plus I learned a lot more about aircraft manufacture in 1 day than having a brother work at Boeing for a few years.


What makes Crichton books interesting is that he takes you into the minds of experts, and you inadvertently learn a lot about the subject material (dinosaurs, archeology, medicine, what-have-you). This didn't have any really sci-fi technology (we're not bringing dinosaurs to life), but was still super interesting.


That being said, I don't think this book is one that will stay with me like Sphere, Jurassic Park, or Andromeda Strain. A fun read, though.

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review 2018-09-14 01:58
Airframe by Michael Crichton
Airframe - Michael Crichton

Synopsis: After a disastrous air travel accident that left passengers injured and dead, a company rep races to discover what happened amid a background of unfolding drama and deception.


Review: I wasn't super excited to start this book, suspense fiction isn't really my thing, and suspense fiction based around airplane manufacturing doesn't really sound any better, but I've had this book on my shelf for awhile so I decided to give it a go.


I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I went on a Crichton binge when I was 13 and I have fond memories of Jurassic Park, but I haven't been back since. I liked the main character even though she was never given a lot of depth, but I did find the chapters with the reporter vaguely irritating.


I don't think the mystery plotline lined up exactly at the end (and that's all it is, there are no subplots or side stories whatsoever to engross the reader; proof Crichton had a thoroughly one track mind), I had some questions about it that weren't really explained.


Finally, reading this I was reminded of another one of Crichton's books that I read years ago while waiting in an airport, State of Fear. The story structure seemed to remind me of that book, but I read it much to long ago to make further comparisons. Good read 3 1/2.

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