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Next Mass Market Paperback – October 28, 2008
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What's coming Next? Get a hint of what Michael Crichton sees on the horizon in this short video clip: high bandwidth or low bandwidth
We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps, a time when it's possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars and to test our spouses for genetic maladies.
We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes...
Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn.
Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and the bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.
The future is closer than you think. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel's central theme is genetic manipulations and the ethical issues surrounding them. There are many subplots, all revolving around the famous philanthropist, Jack Watson (is the name a pure coincidence?), who advocates scientific progress and donates money to biotech companies. The plethora of characters includes bounty hunters, lawyers, drug addicts, physicians, teachers, secretaries, security guards, and, of course, scientists of all levels, both from academia and biotech (the difference between the two becoming less and less clear). The animal-human hybrids are made in secret; the genes are patented, the genetic screens are used to the advantage of insurance companies and in numerous trials as a tool to extort money; the scientists are depicted as vicious breed. The only two families who seem honest are the Burnets, who because of Frank Burnet's precious cancer cell line become involved in a massive scheme, and the Kendalls, who decide to adopt Henry Kendalls genetic son Dave, a hybrid between human and chimpanzee.
The novel is fast-paced and the characters flick like in a caleidoscope, some being introduced only for the sake of presenting another problem connected with biotechnology (for example, the whole story of the MD who donated sperm as a resident is very loosely connected to the main plot, only by the implied involvement of Watson).
Initially, I could not stand this book, but after about 200 pages I reflected and realized several things:
1.Read more ›
Where should the line be drawn when it comes to patents, copy writes, intellectual property?
What if these patents and the like involve the very building blocks of all life as we know it, the very genome?
While we're at it, how far should various companies, corporations and even research institutes be allowed to go when it comes to mixing genomes.
When does playing god go too far?
These are just a few of the questions that are not only raised, but speculated upon and answered in Michael Crichton's latest thriller, Next.
The novel delves into the world of genetic engineering, transgenics, chimera's patents on genes and everything that is involved.
The human side, how people react and are affected by all these factors.
I'll come out and state it. Because of various genetic defects that are prevalent in my bloodline, I've always had a keen interest in biogenetics and the entire field. Not enough to go into it as a career, but still, more than a passing interest.
This novel was right up my alley. It took me three days to read it, and it wasn't a small book by any stretch of the imagination, it was a massive five hundred pages long.
People who pick up the book and read it, I should warn you right now, without giving away any spoilers, that it can be quite confusing.
There is a massive cast of characters. Each character has a role to play in the novel, and at first, all these different roles, stories if you will, don't seem to be connected.Read more ›
If you geniunley enjoy Crichton's writing (whether or not you agree with any or all of his conclusions), if you are willing to be taken into a complicated story that mirrors the world about which he is writing and if you are willing to enjoy the way he weaves all the stories together (sometimes humorously) then I think you will enjoy this book. And this post is only about what I think.
I agree that if you are either (1) too politically blinded by ideology to enjoy anything out of line with your ideology (don't read State of Fear either), (2) unable keep up with complicated, intelligent story telling or (3) unwilling to devote time and brain power to reading, this is not the book for you. If any or all of the above are your case I reccomend you go watch MTV, you'll enjoy it more, you won't have to hurt yourself by reading and you can use your brian cells for more important things, like the latest bands in the top 40.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I usually like Michael Crichton books and movies but this one left me lost. Really couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll try it again later in the year.Published 23 days ago by Gary Johanyak
By no means his finest work. This novel was like all Crichton novels. Hard to put down. But in the end it was not what I was hoping for. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
Not his best, but a fun read. Humorous, quirky. Opens up the conversation of genetics in daily life.Published 1 month ago by John G.
Definitely a unique book, but lots of fun to read. Crichton delivers as always.Published 2 months ago by A. Harandi
to enjoy this "thing." It's not a novel. It's not a collection of short stories. It's a written work where scores of unrelated characters do different things that have... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Austin reader
With 623 reviews ahead of me, I'm not going to waste time summarizing the plot or characters. My reaction to this book was sharply divided. Read morePublished 3 months ago by TomA
This is Michael Crichton at his finest. This is his science-y jargon to the limit with a wide range of effects of genetic modification.Published 4 months ago by Richard Brantley