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State of Fear
 
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State of Fear [Kindle Edition]

Michael Crichton
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,475 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon.com Exclusive Content

A Michael Crichton Timeline
Amazon.com reveals a few facts about the "father of the techno-thriller."

1942: John Michael Crichton is born in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 23.

1960: Crichton graduates from Roslyn High School on Long Island, New York, with high marks and a reputation as a star basketball player. He decides to attend Harvard University to study English. During his studies, he rankles under his writing professors' criticism. As an act of rebellion, Crichton submits an essay by George Orwell as his own. The professor doesn’t catch the plagiarism and gives Orwell a B-. This experience convinces Crichton to change his field of study to anthropology.

1964: Crichton graduates summa cum laude from Harvard University in anthropology. After studying further as a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University and receiving the Henry Russell Shaw Travelling Fellowship, which allowed him to travel in Europe and North Africa, Crichton begins coursework at the Harvard School of Medicine. To help fund his medical endeavors, he writes spy thrillers under several pen names. One of these works, A Case of Need, wins the 1968 Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award.

1969: Crichton graduates from Harvard Medical school and is accepted as a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Science in La Jolla, Calif. However, his career in medicine is waylaid by the publication of the first novel under his own name, The Andromeda Strain. The novel, about an apocalyptic plague, climbs high on bestseller lists and is later made into a popular film. Crichton said of his decision to pursue writing full time: "To quit medicine to become a writer struck most people like quitting the Supreme Court to become a bail bondsman."

1972: Crichton's second novel under his own name The Terminal Man, is published. Also, two of Crichton's previous works under his pen names, Dealing and A Case of Need are made into movies. After watching the filming, Crichton decides to try his hand at directing. He will eventually direct seven films including the 1973 science-fiction hit Westworld, which was the first film ever to use computer-generated effects.

1980: Crichton draws on his anthropology background and fascination with new technology to create Congo, a best-selling novel about a search for industrial diamonds and a new race of gorillas. The novel, patterned after the adventure writings of H. Ryder Haggard, updates the genre with the inclusion of high-tech gadgets that, although may seem quaint 20 years later, serve to set Crichton's work apart and he begins to cement his reputation as "the father of the techno-thriller."

1990: After the 1980s, which saw the publication of the underwater adventure Sphere (1987) and an invitation to become a visiting writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988), Crichton begins the new decade with a bang via the publication of his most popular novel, Jurassic Park. The book is a powerful example of Crichton's use of science and technology as the bedrock for his work. Heady discussion of genetic engineering, chaos theory, and paleontology run throughout the tightly-wound thriller that strands a crew of scientists on an island populated by cloned dinosaurs run amok. The novel inspires the 1993 Steven Spielberg film, and together book and film will re-ignite the world’s fascination with dinosaurs.

1995: Crichton resurrects an idea from his medical school days to create the Emmy-Award Winning television series ER. In this year, ER won eight Emmys and Crichton received an award from the Producers Guild of America in the category of outstanding multi-episodic series. Set in an insanely busy an often dangerous Chicago emergency room, the fast-paced drama is defined by Crichton's now trademark use of technical expertise and insider jargon. The year also saw the publication of The Lost World returning readers to the dinosaur-infested island.

2000: In recognition for Crichton's contribution in popularizing paleontology, a dinosaur discovered in southern China is named after him. "Crichton's ankylosaur" is a small, armored plant-eating dinosaur that dates to the early Jurassic Period, about 180 million years ago. "For a person like me, this is much better than an Academy Award," Crichton said of the honor.

2004: Crichton’s newest thriller State of Fear is published.


Amazon.com's Significant Seven
Michael Crichton kindly agreed to take the life quiz we like to give to all our authors: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.

Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: Prisoners of Childhood by Alice Miller

Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Witter Bynner version)
Symphony #2 in D Major by Johannes Brahms (Georg Solti)
Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa

Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: Surely you're joking.

Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: Small room. Shades down. No daylight. No disturbances. Macintosh with a big screen. Plenty of coffee. Quiet.

Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: I don't want an epitaph. If forced, I would say "Why Are You Here? Go Live Your Life."

Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: Benjamin Franklin

Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be?
A: Invisibility

From Publishers Weekly

For his latest foray, Crichton alters his usual formula--three parts thrills and spills to one part hard science--to a less appetizing concoction that is half anti-global warming screed and half adventure yarn. This adds a mission impossible element to Wilson's narration: how to make pages of research interesting enough to hold the listener's attention until hero and heroine face their next peril. Unfortunately, Wilson approaches the statistical information like a newscaster communicating via Teleprompter. This earns him an A-plus for elocution and timbre, but a more average grade when it comes to dramatic interpretation. Consequently, the scientific material that Crichton spent three years researching seems even more copious in audio format than in print. And it's certainly much harder to flip past. Wilson is more successful in handling conversational passages, employing accents and adding subtle touches to various voices--a cynical tone for the hero, who's a mildly hedonistic corporate lawyer, and an edgier, less patient attitude for the beautiful, ready-for-anything heroine. As they hot-foot it around the globe, assisting an Indiana Jones-like MIT professor in thwarting evils perpetrated by a mass-murdering environmentalist, Wilson stirs up a little suspense by speaking faster and more energetically. But the book's abundance of statistics would slow any narrator's momentum, and Wilson is no exception.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

State of Fear, Crichton’s 14th novel (Prey, **1/2 Mar/Apr 2003), is polarizing to say the least. Crichton’s obvious political intent rubbed several critics the wrong way; some felt that he sacrificed story and character to make his points. These points, however, resonated with others, who found the thriller form an effective way to pose questions about the politicization of post-Cold War science to a large audience. Most agree that Crichton is neither stylish nor subtle, but few dispute his ability to whip up suspense. Fans of his earlier work will likely enjoy this effort, if they’re not turned off by his politics.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

From Booklist

Crichton's novels often tackle cutting-edge technology and its implementation, but his latest addresses an issue that's been around for a bit longer: global warming. Millionaire George Morton is about to donate $10 million to the National Environmental Research Fund (NERF) when he suddenly decides against it. His lawyer, Peter Evans, is as surprised as anyone and is drawn into a web of intrigue after Morton's car careens off the road and Morton is presumed dead. Just before his "death," Morton was in contact with Dr. John Kenner, a researcher at the Center for Risk Analysis, who opposes NERF's agenda and presents Evans with some startling evidence about global warming. With Evans and Morton's assistant, Sarah, in tow, Kenner travels to Antarctica, where he learns that a group of environmental extremists are planning several attacks of environmental terror to convince the world of impending ecological disaster. The thrills in Crichton's latest are interspersed with fascinating but occasionally dense ecological facts and data, but he backs his assertions about the unpredictability of climate change with copious research and footnotes. Perhaps his most serious and important book yet. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

…Plenty of thrills, chills and spills. STATE OF FEAR is required reading.”

Review

Praise for Prey and Michael Crichton: 'One of the most ingenious, inventive thriller writers around... Prey sees him doing what he does best -- taking the very latest scientific advances and showing us their potentially terrifying underbelly. Another high-concept treat... written in consummate page-turning style.' Observer 'This is Crichton on top form, preying on our fears about new technology and convincing us that we aren't half as afraid as we should be.' The Times 'Mixing cutting-edge science with thrills and spills, this is classic Crichton'Daily Mirror 'Crichton masterfully maintains the suspense throughout the fast-paced story. Crichton's knack for characterisation, combined with his impeccable research, persuades the reader that the tale is dangerously close to becoming reality -- and therefore ensures that Prey will invade your nightmares for a long time to come.' Time Out

From the Back Cover

In Paris, a physicist dies after performing a laboratory experiment for a beautiful visitor.

In the jungles of Malaysia, a mysterious buyer purchases deadly cavitation technology, built to his specifications.

In Vancouver, a small research submarine is leased for use in the waters off New Guinea.

And in Tokyo, an intelligence agent tries to understand what it all means.

Thus begins Michael Crichton's exciting and provocative techno-thriller State of Fear. Only Crichton's unique ability to blend scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction could bring such disparate elements to such a heart-stopping conclusion.

About the Author

Michael Crichton is the author of The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, The Terminal Man, The Lost World, Airframe and Timeline. He is the winner of an Edgar Award (1980; The Great Train Robbery) as well as an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Writer's Guild of America Award for the television series ER.

From AudioFile

Michael Crichton and John Bedford Lloyd make a great audio team. Crichton pits mainstream environmentalists against tree-hugging terrorists set on using high-tech machines and explosives to create "natural" disasters that will make the world take notice and fear global warming. When the heroes find themselves trapped in a glacier, Lloyd makes listeners feel their frigid straining to escape. When they're surrounded by lightning, listeners feel their hair-raising terror. When they face a tsunami, listeners see the wall of water approach. When they're tied to stakes by island cannibals, listeners feel their stomachs churn. Lloyd adds emotional layers to Crichton's characters and makes real what some would call science fiction. D.J.M. 2006 Audie Award Finalist © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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