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.