..is the most recent sci-fi novel i've read. Very good stuff from Michael, one of my favorite authors.
Its amazing to know this book was published in 1968 and was one of the bestsellers of that time. Some of the concepts mentioned in this book are just out of this world, and they stand relevant even to this day. Many similar themes have been shown in later sci-fi movies.
I also heard that a movie by the same name was made in 1971. It would be interesting to watch that one.
This is my third Michael Crichton novel. I've also read Jurassic Park and Sphere. After reading 3 sci-fi books from Michael Crichton, I can almost see a common pattern through his novels.
1. The main characters are always scientists, or a group of scientists.
2. The way the plot develops is very similar. An out-of-the-world incident/accident happens somewhere in some remote corner of the world, for which there is no explanation. But most of the time, some secret government agency will be aware of it or will be tracking such happenings. And they will send a group of scientists to investigate. This group will be typically 4-5 member group and might or might not include a woman.
3. The group members might not agree among themselves at all points during the investigation. There will definitely be some kind of mistrust and/or betrayal between them.
4. The antagonists are mostly: aliens from outer space/extraterrestrial organisms/man-made organisms. They will have unimaginable strength and man can only fight them with his brain.
5. At the end of the story, all the group members might not survive.
6. Most of his novels seem to feature wonderful technology gone awfully wrong and seem to have some sort of hidden message to mankind. For instance, Jurassic Park had a wonderful message - "Do not fiddle with mother nature. Dinosaurs are extinct creatures because nature wanted them to be extinct. Bringing them back to life means you are going against nature".
I really like the way he uses technology in his novels. He explains them so very well that any one will be able to understand and appreciate it. I'm now looking forward to read some of his more recent works like Timeline or Prey.