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Travels Paperback – Bargain Price, November 5, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 263 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Harvard medical-school graduate, inveterate traveler and author of, among other books, The Great Train Robbery (the film version of which he directed), Crichton seeks in immediate experience of new places and cultures to "redefine" himself and uncover the nature of reality. His curiosity and self-deprecating humor animate recitals of adventures tracking animals in Malay jungles, climbing Kilimanjaro and Mayan pyramids in the Yucatan, trekking across a landslide in Pakistan, scuba diving in the Caribbean and New Guinea and amid sharks in Tahiti. This memoir includes essays on his medical training and forays into the psychic, including channeling and exorcism, that have led him to conclude that scientists and mystics share the same basic search for universal truth by different paths. 75,000 first printing; BOMC alternate; Franklin Library First Edition selection.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Library Journal

Crichton, an accomplished novelist and filmmaker, here gives us autobiography. The first quarter of the book chronicles his gradual disillusionment with medical school and his decision not to practice medicine. His accounts of visits to remote places in Asia and Africa present a perspective on his personal life. Shuffled among these chapters are accounts of psychic experiences that include channeling, exorcism, and spoon-bending and end with a defense of "paranormal experience." Crichton has had an interesting life, which he writes about in a crisp and disarmingly frank manner. His inner "travels" offer something for almost everyone.Harold M. Otness, Southern Oregon State Coll. Lib., Ashland
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060509058
  • ASIN: B003L1ZWZS
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,604,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I admit I did not buy this book. I found it in the lost-and-found bin at work; thumbed through some passages during lunch breaks; waited 30 days until no one claimed it, and took it.
Only when I read it through did I realize this is one of the most important books I own.
I am not well-traveled, but enjoy Crichton's fictional work, from "Andromeda Strain" to "Jurassic Park." He is obviously intelligent, imaginative, and writes well. His adventures abroad are fascinating. But what changed my life and the lives of several people I know are the recountings of inner experiences: the things no rational person acknowledges day-to-day.
In this book, Michael Crichton- a medical student- admits to finding Ram Dass's New Age viewpoint puzzling and strange at first. In subsequent chapters, he quits his promising medical career to pursue writing. From there his exploits become stuff of fantasy; shooting a film with Sean Connery, traveling to countries he had previously never heard of, becoming rationally convinced that auras are real and can be seen.
This is a book I read that transformed me from a skeptic to an open-minded pragmatist. That may seem like schlock at first, but think about it. Do you have the opportunity and means to travel to Thailand, or Hunza? Have you consulted intuitive psychics from around the world, or sliced open a cadaver?
Buy this book. It may inspire you to explore inner realities like me, or reassure your agnostic point of view. In any case, you will read wondrous descriptions of Crichton's personal journeys. You will be compelled.
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Format: Paperback
In the Preface of this highly informative and entertaining collection of musings, experiences and travels of the body, mind and spirit, Crichton explains the reasons that prompted him to write this book:

"If you are a writer, the assimilation of important experiences almost obliges you to write about them. Writing is how you make the experience your own, how you explore what it means to you, how you come to possess it, and ultimately release it."

Crichton explores our need for direct experience. His premise is that modern man has lost his innate sense of himself and existence, relying on opinions, concepts and information structures, second hand knowledge, in order to make sense of the world, which, in the end, is a false perception. He proposes that the modern city-dweller, for example, cannot even see the stars at night due to the false light around him, causing a serious alienation from himself and reality. We've become so reliant on the media, hyper -realty, that simulation has become the real, thus we have generally lost our bearings, we have lost track of ourselves in relation to the greater scheme of things. Travel for Crichton, then, helped him to have "direct experience", thus achieving a greater sense of himself and his place on the planet. This book is about these direct experiences.

In Travels there are twenty- eight essays covering the author's early life in medical school and his bout with psychiatry, moving on to his first years in Hollywood as an aspiring writer and filmmaker, to his experiences in exotic lands and his musings on his experiences with the esoteric and the unexplained.
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Format: Paperback
Not many people can take an outrageous idea and run with it, so convincingly that there are people walking around in the world right now that actually believe dinosaurs have been brought back from extinction to act in big-budget movies! But Crichton is THAT good. In this non-fiction "Travels" you actually get the chance to ride around on Michael Crichton's 6-foot-above-the-ground shoulders (and STILL not see over his gigantic head!), peer out the windows of his eyes, and along the journey(s) discover the author to be a very authentic, introspective, one-part cowardly and six parts courageous, confused, flawed, highly intelligent, sometimes silly, sometimes blundering and yet always a tragically deep HUMAN every bit as fascinating as his best characters, kind of a Quantum Theory mentality in tour de force action. His early days as a doctor supporting himself as a fiction writer (fainting at the sight of his own blood) are just as engrossing as his soul-seeking travels about the globe, whether he's being swept unstoppably through a cloud of sharks, dealing with the frustrating anger of his father's untimely death, nearly fainting at a 300-pound gorilla's charge, or riding on the top of a train with Sean Connery, it's very difficult to put this book down. I strongly like most of Crichton's novels, but I strongly loved this non-fiction memoir.
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Format: Hardcover
Thirty-seven stories of one writers accounts. Be it somewhere without or somewhere within, this book is the best auto-biographical adventure I have ever read. Crichton narrates his stories with comical candor and psychological accuity. He blends the exotic and phenomenal into a perfect creation until it transcends the wonderous and becomes human. Not a single story is without it's own life lesson for the author. His ability to relate each episode to the reader and make the reader understand the lesson's he learned is unmistakable. His interactions with women, (there are a quite a few) animals and spirits are humorously expelled as he entwines the audience with his wit and candor. Crichton's massive accomplishments are towered only by his impressive feats of earth and soul. All in all this book will be one your favorites, for every reason I can think of.
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