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Micro: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – September 25, 2012
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From the Back Cover
#1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Crichton reveals a universe too small to see and too dangerous to ignore
In the locked office of a Honolulu building, three men are found dead, with no sign of struggle except for ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies.
In the lush rain forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Here, seven brilliant graduate students recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up company are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power—armed only with their knowledge of the natural world—they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself to survive.
Melding scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction in vintage Michael Crichton fashion—completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston—Micro is an instant classic of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment.
About the Author
Michael Crichton (1942-2008) was the author of the bestselling novels The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery, Jurassic Park, Sphere, Disclosure, Prey, State of Fear, Next and Dragon Teeth, among many others. His books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, have been translated into forty languages, and have provided the basis for fifteen feature films. He wrote and directed Westworld, The Great Train Robbery, Runaway, Looker, Coma and created the hit television series ER. Crichton remains the only writer to have a number one book, movie, and TV show in the same year.
Daniel H. Wilson is a Cherokee citizen and author of the New York Times bestselling Robopocalypse and its sequel Robogenesis, as well as ten other books. He recently wrote the Earth 2: Society comic book series for DC Comics. Wilson earned a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as master’s degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. He has published over a dozen scientific papers and holds four patents. Wilson lives in Portland, Oregon.
Michael Crichton has sold over 200 million books, which have been translated into thirty-eight languages; thirteen of his books have been made into films. Also known as a filmmaker and the creator of ER, he remains the only writer to have had the number one book, movie, and TV show simultaneously. At the time of his death in 2008, Crichton was well into the writing of Micro; Richard Preston was selected to complete the novel.
Richard Preston is the internationally bestselling author of eight books, including The Hot Zone and The Wild Trees. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. He lives with his wife and three children near Princeton, New Jersey.
- Lexile Measure : HL700L
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 560 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780060873172
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060873172
- Product Dimensions : 4.19 x 1.26 x 7.5 inches
- Publisher : Harper; Reprint Edition (September 25, 2012)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0060873175
- Best Sellers Rank: #348,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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A group of graduate students is lured to Hawaii to work with a tech company, with a natural purpose. Nanigen is looking for the next big find in pharmaceuticals in plants, insects, etc, at the molecular level. The easiest way to find that is to shrink people to 1/2" in size, by means of a large magnetic field. Really?
I have been a fan of Crichton's work since The Andromeda Strain, but this was a difficult book to get through. The action was there, but putting reality on hold for 400+ pages is a little difficult, based on his previous solid performances. The characters are very stereotypical, and they bored me to tears. If you want a futuristic sci-fi book to read, this one isn't too bad, but this does nothing but lessen the legacy Michael Crichton left behind.
My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
— STORY —
The story of Micro is high-concept: a Rated-R version of 'Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.' What would happen if you took that old movie, kept the adventure, but had very serious consequences? That's Micro. After a mysterious introduction to hook you in, Micro follows the story of seven scientists with various specialties relating to the fields of biology. They are recruited as potential job candidates by a big corporation when something happens, and they are stuck as shrunken people. Using their brains, they have to work together with their specialized knowledge to escape the harrowing real world of Mother Nature.
The concept of shrunken people is a big stretch but go with it. This book explores that concept as realistically as possible, with Michael Crichton bringing some real world science to help sell it.
— DRAFT —
Knowing that this was still in draft mode, I'm sure Crichton still had a lot of research to do to explain and convince us of certain plot elements. Because of this, the story is not as fully detailed as a typical Crichton book. I think Richard Preston did his best to translate and get across what I can only assume were ideas that were still in development.
The writing and dialogue seemed... simplistic. I think I'm not the only one with this opinion. It reads very high school. I'm not sure if this was because it was rushed, or because they wanted the writing at a level that would reach a larger audience. In any case, I'm just glad that we got one more Michael Crichton book.
— SUMMARY —
If you want a fun adventure story, Micro is for you. The book reads almost like a screenplay, and I could already imagine the soon-to-be-released DreamWorks film. Recommended.
Having a mean guy try to kill everyone as a resolution is illogical especially when he could have easily solved the problem otherwise. Furthermore it’s illogical that he releases his captives to kill them, it’s illogical that he then sends people after the captives he believes to be dead. It’s illogical that he throws a person in HIS Bentley off a cliff to erase traces. It’s illogical that no one notices that all the people in his immediate surrounding suddenly all disappear and die. It’s illogical for a company to specialize in miniature electronic engineering, in bio engineering, in AI and robot engineering, in pharmaceutical manufacture, etc. This book is one volume filled of Deus Ex Machina flaws. I can only contribute this to Michael Crichton having passed prior to the completion of this book and the continuing author not having bothered too much to clean up an early draft. Usually Crichton’s does a rather good job making the reader buy into an absurd story, but this one just keeps getting worse and less believable as it goes. Sorry but after a couple hundred pages I’m no longer willing to waste time on this. I’m grabbing another book.
2 short stories came out in the 40s about people shrinking that are MUCH better than this dreck; "He Who Shrank" by Henry Hasse & "A Matter of Size" by Harry Bates. Not that they're easy to find...
Top reviews from other countries
So it saddens me to say I was disappointed by 'Micro'. The story never really seemed to to gain momentum. The principal conceit of the story, a science facility set on the beautiful island of Oahu, experimenting with nano technology and being able to shrink everything from planes to humans to pin size, was fascinating and held promise. However, once the main protagonists the students from Harvard who are invite to visit the facility are shrunk and lost in the flora and fauna of Oahu, it is just man versus bugs, and it got a bit like and then there were none. It was the island itself that kept me going, I have visited the city of Honolulu, and found myself as a result of the books descriptions of the area reliving the Waikiki beach experience, and the stunning view of Diamond Head.
Although once I had reached about halfway through the novel I had became very bored of the gratuitous descriptions of each character being disembowelled. I also felt a little like I was being given mini studies on each insect that the group encountered, it felt as if I had stepped out of daylight and paperback reading, into a college lecture, mistaken for a cinema auditorium. Anyway, I skipped to the end just to see who survived, ultimately.
In fairness to Mr Crichton, this book wasn't completed by him, and although the flow of the story was seamless, each writer has their own style of storytelling.
Anyway I am still glad I read this book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the author, and science fiction.
Add to that, it carries all the Crichton hallmarks of engaging science with the sense that you're reading science faction rather than fiction; "is this really possible?" One asks oneself. It is at the very least engaging and thought provoking.
On the downside it follows a typical Crichton script: bright young students, some at war with each other, on an adventure against an evil demagogue who is also a wealthy entrepreneur with ground-breaking technology. I worked out the end result half way through because I had already read "Timeline" and "Nano" (for me, "Timeline" isn't just Crichton's best book, it's one of my all-time favourite books). Those two follow the same script.
But in the final analysis, it's a good read, ideal holiday fare and a cut above Dan Brown on that score; at least Crichton adds a note of feasibility and leading edge science.
A truly excellent novel