Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Micro: A Novel Hardcover – November 22, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Butterfly Garden
She’s the FBI’s key to unlocking a sociopath’s grisly garden—but can she be trusted? Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Amazon Exclusive: “Micro is Anything But Small” by James Rollins
An avid spelunker and scuba enthusiast, James Rollins holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine and is the author of the New York Times best-selling Sigma Force series, the most recent of which is The Devil Colony.
First I have to admit, Michael Crichton is why I write. In fact, if not for his books, I’d probably still be a practicing veterinarian in Northern California, dealing with flea allergies, ear infections, and all manner of medical maladies. It was Crichton’s stories of wild adventures, his explorations into the strange frontiers of science, and his truly ripped-from-the-headlines plotting that inspired me to set down my own scalpel and stethoscope and pick up pen and paper.
But his influence went beyond mere heady inspiration. His books also served as a tutorial into the practicalities of storytelling. When I tackled my first novel (a deep-earth adventure titled Subterranean), I continually kept a copy of Jurassic Park on the shelf above my desk. That book became my roadmap on how to build a story’s structure: who dies first and when, at what point do we see the first dinosaur, how do you fold science into a novel without stagnating the flow? That old copy of Jurassic Park remains dog-eared and heavily highlighted, and it still holds a cherished place on my bookshelf.
So I dove into Crichton’s latest novel, Micro, with some trepidation, fearing how a collaborative effort might tarnish his great body of work. Now, to be fair, I’d also read Richard Preston’s nonfiction masterpiece of scientific horror and intrigue, The Hot Zone. That book was as brilliant as it was terrifying. But still I wondered, could Preston take Crichton’s story and truly do it justice?
In a word: YES.
In two words, HELL YES.
Micro is pure Crichton. Dare I say, vintage Crichton, harkening back to the scientific intrigue of Andromeda Strain, to the exploration of the natural world covered in Congo, and to the adventure and thrills of The Lost World. As only Crichton can, he has taken a scientific concept as wild as the one he tackled in Timeline and exceeded in making it chillingly real. It took a clever quirk of genetics and cloning to give rise to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Likewise, a twist of science in Micro calls forth a new horror out of the natural world—but not just one line of threat. In this book, the entire biosphere becomes a vast and deadly playground. Its depiction is both darkly beautiful and stunningly dreadful. It is a terrain as foreign as any hostile planet, yet as close as our own backyard. To tell more would ruin a great adventure that will have you looking out your window with new eyes.
Similarly, this lethal and toxic terrain must be traversed by a band of gutsy heroes. But in typical Crichton style, these are not elite commandos or a highly trained black ops team. They’re simply a group of graduate students—each uniquely talented and flawed—gathered from various scientific disciplines: entomology, toxicology, botany, biochemistry. They must learn to combine resources and ingenuities to survive and ultimately thwart a danger threatening to break free into the world at large, all the while pursued by a sociopath as cunning as he is sadistic.
In the end, Micro has everything you’d expect in a Crichton novel—and so much more. But the greatest achievement here is a simple and profound one: with this novel, the legacy of a true master continues to shine forth in all its multifaceted glory. And someone somewhere will read this novel, turn the last page, and in a great aura of awe and inspiration, come to a realization: I want to try to write stories like that.
And they will.
Top Customer Reviews
The book reads much like this. The book reads like a bad book. And the book starts most of the sentences with And or But or Then. Then the book stops the plot to explain that a character is in the book because of their Passion for Robots. And for Technology. And they are not a nice character. And they did some very bad things. Then they killed someone. But we can't say who. Not yet but we will.
It doesn't read like a children's book, it reads like it was written by a child.
If I could be at all compassionate, I could speculate that much of the material is indeed Crichton's -- but a very early draft, when he was still sketching out the characters, the progress of the plot, the scenery and scenarios; constant sentence fragments and dangling participles are indicative of a rough draft. If this is the case, then micro is an even greater injustice to Crichton's body of work, as he clearly would not have exposed such coarse-hewn pages to the world before he had re-crafted them expertly.
Like several of Crichton's earlier novels, Micro has a high concept hook. Most nanotech companies fabricate on a nano scale, but Nanigen MicroTechnologies has developed revolutionary shrinking technology. Not only can they reduce machines and robots, they can reduce living beings and then return them to full size. I won't get into all the details of the novel's set-up, but seven graduate students learn about this technology the hard way once they become a threat to Nanigen's president. Seven against one is much easier to manage when the seven (and one unlucky Nanigen employee) are half an inch tall. Before they can be dispatched quickly, however, the students escape into Hawaii's verdant "micro world."
Crichton's strengths and weaknesses as a storyteller remain consistent. His primary characters are more archetypes than individuals. Rather than Rick, Erika, Amar, and Karen, these students quickly show themselves to be the Leader, the Warrior, the Know It All, the Weasel, and so forth. Each has an assigned role to fulfill. Some barely live long enough to become typecast, because the micro world is treacherous. When you're half an inch tall, a beetle is not unlike a rhinoceros. Luckily, these students are unusually well prepared to survive their hostile surroundings--or unusually well informed about the danger they're in--depending on how you look at it. Among them there are experts in insects and arachnids, poisons and venoms, and the chemical defenses of plants and animals.Read more ›
It's my great hope that "Micro", Crichton's last book (finished after his death by Richard Preston) never gets adapted into a movie... although in a time when stupid ideas get made into huge, stupid movies, it probably will.
"Micro" begins somewhat promisingly, with the mysterious deaths of several men, killed with a succession of tiny cuts inflicted by unseen forces.
And then it goes downhill.
No, that's too mild -- it CAREENS downhill.
We're introduced to seven graduate students from Massachusetts -- none of them at all memorable as characters -- who are induced to come to Hawaii to work with a new company called Nanigen. Within a short time of their arrival, they are lured into a room where a big machine shrinks them down to roughly one-half an inch tall... and a chapter or so later, they are struggling to survive in the Hawaiian jungle, fighting for their lives against insects and other creatures, as well as natural phenomena which are now potentially fatal at their vastly reduced size.
Now, that's a premise which could have been a lot of fun. I'm a big fan of stories of people being shrunk down and having to deal with life at a tiny size -- "The Incredible Shrinking Man" is one of my favorite movies. It's a scenario filled with opportunities for wonder, excitement and peril.
Of course, it helps -- no, it's NECESSARY -- to support such a ludicrous premise with consistent logic, and people it with characters you can care about.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got this book on a suggestion from a friend.
Its a fast paced easy read.
Unexpected surprises. But I couldn't read it before I went to bed. I was breathless with the action and I couldn't settle down. A terrific read.Published 9 days ago by Judy Benbow
I really enjoyed it but, too graphic. And I didn't like that so many died. I like a story that all works out.Published 12 days ago by Paula Robertson
A great posthumous work by Michael Crichton that was a real page Turner. I really enjoyed how they employed scientific background into the fabric of the storytelling. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Martin
Great novel, very creative but very believable, keeps you wondering if this could be true.Published 14 days ago by Ometha Lewis-Jack
"Micro" is Michael Crichton's last novel. Richard Preston did a masterful job on finishing the book after Crichton's untimely death in 2009. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Ogmog
Fast paced goodness, Jurassic Park meets Timeline. Bravo for a beach read. Not a Hemingway classic read if you are in AP English..Published 25 days ago by JohnBell
I enjoyed the miniaturized concept and science view of the small worldcharacter development was somewhat weak in regards to the villainous characters but overall I enjoyed the bookPublished 28 days ago