Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Andromeda Strain

by Michael Crichton

I just love that the San Antonio Express-News called this book "a crackerjack of a novel." Crackerjack. When was the last time you heard that word used?

Anyway, I like this book. It's not what I would normally pick up, but I did enjoy it. On the whole, the novel is pretty cold and void of emotion. It's a technical sci-fi novel, but interesting nonetheless and, yes, Crichton was ahead of his time.

What I don't like is all the references to speeches, conferences, publications, etc. For some reason that bothers me. It's like reading a term paper. But on top of that, all the references aren't real. I understand Crichton took the time to create all these references to make the story appear more realistic; that's what the acknowledgments are all about. But it annoys me. I can't read those publications. Again, I see why he did it, but I find it unnecessary and frustrating. I am glad though that he saved the references for the end of the book instead of footnoting it all, because that would have driven me up a wall.

I will admit, I did watch the movie before the book, but I liked the book better. I felt like the movie tried to over-dramatize everything, where as the book keeps it clinical. I think that the book's lack of emotion evokes a better reaction from the readers. Crichton allows the readers to have their own reactions and draw their own conclusions. Well played.

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