- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Harper (October 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006170315X
- ISBN-13: 978-0061703157
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (637 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Andromeda Strain Mass Market Paperback – October 28, 2008
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Some biologists speculate that if we ever make contact with extraterrestrials, those life forms are likely to be--like most life on earth--one-celled or smaller creatures, more comparable to bacteria than little green men. And even though such organisms would not likely be able to harm humans, the possibility exists that first contact might be our last.
That's the scientific supposition that Michael Crichton formulates and follows out to its conclusion in his excellent debut novel, The Andromeda Strain.
A Nobel-Prize-winning bacteriologist, Jeremy Stone, urges the president to approve an extraterrestrial decontamination facility to sterilize returning astronauts, satellites, and spacecraft that might carry an "unknown biologic agent." The government agrees, almost too quickly, to build the top-secret Wildfire Lab in the desert of Nevada. Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to Stone, the U.S. Army initiates the "Scoop" satellite program, an attempt to actively collect space pathogens for use in biological warfare. When Scoop VII crashes a couple years later in the isolated Arizona town of Piedmont, the Army ends up getting more than it asked for.
The Andromeda Strain follows Stone and rest of the scientific team mobilized to react to the Scoop crash as they scramble to understand and contain a strange and deadly outbreak. Crichton's first book may well be his best; it has an earnestness that is missing from his later, more calculated thrillers. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Michael Crichton and The Andromeda Strain
“Compulsive reading. . . . [Crichton] has perfected the fusion of thriller with science fiction.” —Los Angeles Times
“Canonical.” —The Atlantic
“A reading windfall—compelling, memorable, superbly executed. . . . Achieves something important.” —The New York Times
“The master of the high-concept technothriller. . . . [Crichton] has a knack for plotting at megahertz speed.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“The Andromeda Strain invented a new genre, the technothriller. . . . [Crichton] could make most readers lose sleep all night and call in sick the next day.” —San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
What I found most intriguing is Crichton’s clinical style in telling the story of a military satellite that has returned to earth, infected with a virus from space. The writing is meticulous as it carefully describes the protocols around retrieving the satellite and examining the only two victims still alive—a Sterno-huffing old man and a baby—after the virus wipes out the tiny population of Piedmont, Arizona. This is an interesting approach to building tension without resorting to hysterics. But don’t fool yourself—the terror is real as we learn that nuclear weapons may be needed to halt the spread. In the movie, the lead scientist Dr. Jeremy Stone is played by Arthur Hill—not the most exciting guy on the planet but one whose quiet ways can come off as disturbing. I can imagine Hill narrating the audio book, letting the horror unfold as the small group of scientists deep underground in Nevada go about trying to stop something they don’t fully understand.
Here’s my recommendation. Read the book, then rent the movie. You’re welcome.
The climax of the story, in my opinion, kind of comes and goes without a whole lot of memorability and the story ends pretty suddenly. I found myself thinking, "Wait, is that it?" towards the end. Felt like a lot of build up for a kind of mediocre finish.
As usual, Crichton did a ton of research while writing his book and it shows. There's no lack of very specific terminologies and procedural descriptions.
One thing that may not affect other people like it did me - sometimes my wife and I like to read together with each of us taking turns reading sections out loud. We started this book that way, but had to stop because of the many graphs and charts that we kept having to try to describe. Curious how an audiobook version would handle this.
Overall, I'd read it again in several years but it didn't leave much of an impression.