I’ve been on a Michael Crichton kick lately, and thought I’d group all my reviews together (except for Congo, which I read a couple of months ago.) To continue with the man vs. nature theme:
Sphere – a pretty fast paced, some times frightening thriller, that only occasionally veers into too many annoying psychological stereotypes. A little lighter on the science and heavier on the philosophy, but still a pretty enjoyable read. 7 mangoes.
Jurassic Park – to me, the apex of Crichton cannon. The science is great (I recognize some people find it too detailed, but I love it). The adventure and scary parts are spot on. It’s still gross enough to turn my stomach after countless readings over the past 22 years or so (I read it for the first time in 8th grade science class). 9 mangoes.
And, in a slightly different vein:
The Terminal Man – I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book. Published in 1972 (for reference: the Apple II wasn’t available until 1977 and the IBM PC in 1981, and deep brain stimulation was approved by the FDA as a treatment in 1997 – although applying electrical currents across the brain has been used as a therapy for a century or more), this novel was an interesting look back on the “fear of machines” genre. Unfortunately, the end fell flat for me. 5 mangoes.
Some general thoughts on Mr. Crichton – although I wouldn’t call his books “literature”, he has the ability to write a page turner that still feels a little cerebral. I’d enjoyed seeing these novels with more developed characters, less reliance on stereotype – especially towards women and minorities, better prose, etc. But as is, they make pretty good quick reads.