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Michael Crichton is a big reason I’m now such a fan of reading. Jurassic Park is the first novel I read that I truly enjoyed, before that it had been stuff I was forced to read in school. I remember being initially disappointed in the film because it had left so many scenes from the book out; ultimately I fell in love with the film. In quick succession after that I read his books Congo and Sphere and loved both of them. Since then I’ve read every single one of his books, none of them reaching that initial enjoyment. I don’t know if his books have gotten worse or if my tastes have changed, but his last few have been particularly bad.

is what I would consider his worst book to date, State of Fear is a close second. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad read; it’s interesting and moves along at a decent pace, but his books have changed from exciting stories with a background in realistic science, to science guidebooks with a bit of story thrown in. With Next he tackles genetic engineering and the bad idea of letting companies patent genes. Which is a really ridiculous idea. How can someone claim ownership of something that occurs in nature? I’m glad that Crichton uses his popularity to spread the knowledge of something atrocious going on hidden from the publics view, I only wish he’d wrote a better book.

There are too many characters in Next, none of them very interesting. He’s constantly jumping from a scene with mother trying to save her son from a bounty hunter who’s been sent after them for their genes, which a company believes it owns the rights to; to a story about a half-chimp, half-human boy; to the owner of the company who’s being systematically destroyed by a rival company, and quite a few other stories and characters. Each time one of them starts to get interesting, the book jumps to another set of characters; instead of ramping up the suspense, it gets tiresome, so by the time you get back to the story you were getting into, you no longer care. All together about half of what happens in the book is worthwhile, the other half felt like filler, simply so he can round out the entire world of genetics. If you’re a Crichton fan you’ve probably already read it; otherwise find the book, flip to the back pages and read his epilogue about patenting genes. I think it’ll serve you well to know about this before it gets worse.

2 Responses to Next (Book):

  1. Yeah dude. That's exactly it. I like earlier Crichton, even though it isn't exactly what I'd call literature, but his later stuff is too much preachy-preach for my liking.
    I also dig your blog. I'll read pretty much anything that comes down the pike, but as someone who doesn't watch a lot of movies, I hate getting stuck watching something crappy.

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