I cant help but think about all those dads that are going to be so disappointed on December 26th when they crack open the book and find a collection of plot lines with confusing characters and stories that seem to go nowhere. There are around five to seven plot lines each with their own vague characters that the reader has to struggle to keep straight going on in their own seemingly inane direction. Near the end of the book a few of these plot lines cross over forcefully at the authors hand, and then the book ends and the reader is left wondering where the rest of the book is.
Next by Michael Crichton is a ridiculous, silly book. But I bet a lot of people said the same thing about Brave New World, Dune, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land, and 1984 when they came out. But do we only produce children in test tubes like in Brave New World? Crichton might be mentioned more frequently in a list that includes John Grisham and Danielle Steel, then with the likes of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, but he is a satirical science fiction writer, and a pretty good one.
I assumed he listened to CAA too much about how to structure his books because his agents cared not at all about them as literature, only about how much they would fetch for movie rights. The best Crichton book, by far, is "The Great Train Robbery." Not sci-fi at all, just meticulous research, loads of detail, and great storytelling.
The stuff on stem-cells and genes and biotechnology was excruciatingly boring.
Don't know why majority readers thought this book was overrated.
Occasionally, I pick up a book completely outside of my usual genre just to see what others are reading and what's actually out there. The book deals with the dangers of humans meddling in genetics from all different angles. The author has created a world where genetics have gone haywire as things that wouldn't even have been thought about twenty years ago, are actually happening. People are playing God as they experiment with lives and the consequences are unknown...A scary prospect, even more so when the sources at the end of the book, in the author's note, document cases where some of these things have happened in the real world! As a Christian, I liked that the author highlighted the dangers of messing with these things. However, we know from books like 1984 that we can never say never....
CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B plus to A minus; STORY/PLOTTING: A; HOTNESS OF SAID TOPIC AND FUTURE DISCUSSION: A; NEW WORLD EXPOSURE: B plus; WHEN READ: October to January 2011 (review formatting change 8/23/2012); MY GRADE: B plus to A minus.
More so because I actually, well, liked it. Just like most other Michael Crichton sci-fi thrillers. The difference here is that, well, he might actually be right. When you talk about things such as corporate ownership of portions of the genome, patenting of individual genes, ownership of cells being given to someone other than the person those cells came from - this is all stuff that's happening right now.
I don't think I've been more excited to read a Crichton book after reading up on the premise of this story!!!
Michael Crichton passed away from lymphoma in 2008.