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Book Details

Title:   Next
Author:   Michael Crichton
Times Read:   1
Last Read:   03.25.07

Other Books Read By This Author (5)
- Dragon Teeth
- Five Patients
- Jurassic Park
- Pirate Latitudes
- State of Fear

Notes History
Date Read Note
03.25.07 This one's about advancing genetic technology and the legal and financial problems that have sprung up to accompany it. As usual, Crichten's subject is interesting and his layman's explanations of complicated science are really great, but I think he needs to read a few less scientific journals and a few more novels because his actual prose writing is getting worse I think. He's always been dry, but at least in previous books there was still a strong story with... i wont say strong but at least human characters that you can follow through the book. With his last 3 or 4 books now, he's kind of moved away from that toward shallow excuses to posit his thoughts on subjects. And this one is a mess. I heard him say in an interview that he deliberately structured the book as a series of disconnected stories that all clump together much like proteins onto a gene... and that's all well and good but it doesn't make reading it feel any less confusing and disjointed. I ended up spending the first few paragraphs of each of the 95 chapters trying to remember which little story thread we were picking back up and who these people were again, only to remember for about a page before a new chapter starts. It wasn't until today when I sat down and read 70 pages at a time that I really fit all the generic characters and everything that was happening into my memory and could follow along with any sort of interest. But, story and structure aside, there are some good ideas and really scary scenarios in here, particularly the case of a company hiring a bounty hunter to abduct your child because he shares the same cells (which the company legally owns) as your father. Yikes! There's also a lot of transgenetic animals here like talking apes and parrots that can do math and stuff like that... stuff that seems kind of laughable at first but then gets more interesting. I guess Crichten couldn't really tell all the little anecdotes and stories in a conventional narrative, but I do wish reading this was a bit less like reading the text crawl underneath a news broadcast.



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