Presenting Author - Michael Crichton

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Presenting Author - Michael Crichton

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:19 am

Name of the author: Michael Crichton
Main genre: Literature, Fiction, Science Fiction, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy
Main audience: Young adult on

Short summary of the author: Michael Crichton MD (he graduated from Harvard Medical School) had a particular talent for writing a scientifically plausible story, which was fast paced and with very few (or no) weak points in either plot or narration. Famous for the Jurassic Park series of books, he also wrote several other books (see genres above) which would usually all show the same extensive and meticulous research into the subject about which the book was written. Michael Crichton also wrote under the names John Lange, Michael Douglas and Jeffery Hudson. His books have been translated into at least thirty-eight languages and several have been made into movies. The Andromeda Strain (1969) was the first book he wrote under his own name. There are 18 books with Michael Crichton shown as author.

'Michael Crichton' Books: The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery, Eaters of the Dead, Congo, Sphere, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World, Airframe, Timeline, Prey, State of Fear, Next, Pirate Latitudes, Micro and Dragon Teeth.

Good points / bad points: Basically, I have enjoyed the books I've read. Sometimes they get very technical but in a way which is explained 'simply' so that the science is understood -- the mark of a superior author. The characters are very well deveoped and the action seems believable.
As usual, I do not prefer to dwell on 'bad points' because ... what if you read this and decide to try them out? That's why there are so many kinds of books.

Specific book: Dragon Teeth
At first I didn't know if I even wanted to read it. After all, it's a 'recently discovered' book? Uh huh. But I requested it from the library and it came in for me and ... I ended up reading it in one gulp almost! It's definitely a Michael Crichton book and, even back when he had first written it, he didn't pull any punches. Social issues? Oh yeah, let's look at them!

I enjoyed reading this book a lot. It's sort of a preview of Jurassic Park and yet, it is of its own story line and independent of the other books. Set back in the 1800s, at the start of the time of searching for fossil bones in the United States, it is obvious he researched the history of that time period (all of the history, not the pablum version) and ... in many ways it was terrible to revisit it, even as a story. At the same time, the story appears to be valid and 'real' -- and the explanation of the art of photography is fascinating.

Good Reads write-up
The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition. But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions. With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.
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*Siggy by Cheeky XVIx!Cosmo* image by Susan Seddon Boulet *Avatar made by Amy*
"You have the inborn natural right to remain silent. Don't think about it, don't talk about it, shuush ....... STILL." ~ Xaris

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
Firebolt Galaxy
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 6:31 am

Re: Presenting Author - Michael Crichton

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:37 pm

Title of the book: State of Fear
Author: Michael Crichton
Series: no
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Adventure, Thriller, Mystery

Short summary of the story: The book starts out with a quote from Mark Twain. This is an excellent indication of how this story will go! "There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." Directly under that quote is a quote from George Orwell "Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss." In and of themself, they set the stage for another Crichton book which will push the envelope.

From there we go to someone who knows something being murdered (not a spoiler since it happens in the first pages of the book). But after that it becomes sort of a thriller and a mystery, where bits and pieces of information come out and are found in different parts of the globe. We don't have a 'hero' or 'heroine' so much in this book as we have a group of people that we follow as they follow one clue and another (or create the clues which are made that the others follow). (We do, however, see a lot of it from the viewpoint of John Kenner, an M.I.T. Professor, Peter Evans, an attorney, and Sarah Jones, assistant to someone who is killed, which is good, keeping the 'world-wide' sweep somewhat limited by focusing on the individuals. The bad guys are the ones who are, in the eyes of the gullible world, all that is 'good', have their own representation too, in the form of Nicholas Drake and his minions.)

Good points / bad points: Another exciting story from Michael Crichton. While he doesn't have the dinosaurs in this book, and there isn't so much in the way of physical action ('man' vs ' beast'), it's still quite the thriller and page turner. Pages 625 through 672 are Appendix and Bibliography materials. They, in and of themselves, can be read and ... I don't know enjoyed so so much as contemplated and wondered about. As he says in a page before the story starts "This is a work of fiction. Characters, corporations, institutions, and organizations in this novel are the product of the author's imagination, or, if real, are used fictitiously without any intent to describe their actual conduct. However, references to real people, institutions, and organizations that are documented in footnotes are accurate. Footnotes are real." Michael Crichton is presenting in novel form something at which many people don't want to look. The apparent story of this is about climate changes, but the underlying thing is how people attempt to control others (and nature). There was an excellent quote in the book which pointing to it -
Evans nodded sympathetically. He was familiar with this circumstance. One of the first things you learned in law school was that the law was not about truth. It was about dispute resolution. In the course of resolving a dispute, the truth might or might not emerge. Often it did not. Prosecutors might know a criminal was guilty, and still be unable to convict hm. It happened all the time.
There is the law of mankind and then there is natural law. In this story, it is obvious which one Michael Crichton regards as real (as well as true).

Goodreads write-up (one of the shortest ever I've read in there!)
In Tokyo, in Los Angeles, in Antarctica, in the Solomon Islands . . . an intelligence agent races to put all the pieces together to prevent a global catastrophe.

The book is one of those which Goodreads readers either marked mostly with 5 stars or 1 (some 4 and 2 stars). It averaged at 3.69 last time I looked. No middle-of-the-road responses!
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*Siggy by Cheeky XVIx!Cosmo* image by Susan Seddon Boulet *Avatar made by Amy*
"You have the inborn natural right to remain silent. Don't think about it, don't talk about it, shuush ....... STILL." ~ Xaris


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