8. “State of Fear”, Michael Crichton

December 19, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Oh man. This is some classic Crichton. It has four plot lines that come together much more quickly than the last book and deals with the Hubris of Man. It even comes equipped with paranoid fantasies about humans and science, a man named Peter, and an eccentric, rich old man!

Crichton’s conclusion (he includes an Author’s Message section that discusses his feelings on global warming) that global warming is, at best, not yet proved, is a bit troubling to me. He includes good evidence throughout the book– any reader of Jurassic Park will know his love of charts– but too often, the assertion that global warming is not real or is an unproven phenomenon is expressed as justification for shitty environmental practices. Crichton advocates responsible environmental attitudes and advocates, via his rich old guy character Mason, environmental observation over environmental “management”. It also cracks me up that he predicts that over the next century, the world’s temperature will increase by “0.812436 degrees Celsius”. It’s a ridiculously precise number made even worse by the fact that he is a non-practicing medical doctor who read and then wrote some books. I love him.

Anyway, this book had tons going on. They went from LA to Chile to Antarctica to Nevada to Guinea. There are several characters whose chapters end with something like, “He could not believe this was happening to him. He could not believe he was dying this way. […] Then he sank beneath the surface again and he felt the cold blackness close in around him.” This book also inspired several incredibly action-packed dreams that basically involved running or being chased a lot. It was great.

If you liked “classic” Michael Crichton– Jurassic Park, Congo, even Sphere— this is a good one.

Page count: 630 Page total: 3151

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