Next

So I was, like, really broke towards the tail end of last month. But, you know, broke or not, I still needed something to read - I was just going to have to content myself with one of those trashy, $7.99 paperbacks. And, lemme tell ya, pickings are slim.

So I got aMichael Crichton book. I'm very ashamed. More so because I actually, well, liked it.

Crichton, I think, resonates so well with middle-of-the-road audiences because his takes on science and technology tend to play to the common man's fe

So I was, like, really broke towards the tail end of last month. But, you know, broke or not, I still needed something to read - I was just going to have to content myself with one of those trashy, $7.99 paperbacks. And, lemme tell ya, pickings are slim.

So I got aMichael Crichton book. I'm very ashamed. More so because I actually, well, liked it.

Crichton, I think, resonates so well with middle-of-the-road audiences because his takes on science and technology tend to play to the common man's fear that it's all spiraling out of control. It feeds the idea that scientists are unscrupulous, insane dirtbags.

Next really isn't that different. There's a lot of unscrupulous science going on here.

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And it's a very didactic book, a lot of exposition, a lot of information, and a clear bias. Just like most other Michael Crichton sci-fi thrillers.

The difference here is that, well, he might actually be right. When you talk about things such as corporate ownership of portions of the genome, patenting of individual genes, ownership of cells being given to someone other than the person those cells came from - this is all stuff that's happening right now. And it's stuff that cannot, in any way, be good.And, yeah, there are some subplots about transgenic animals. They're fun - mostly because, hey, who doesn't love a talking animal - but they're not what this is about. The concern here isn't even necessarily about the science, it's about the greed that has warped the science.So, thematically, it's terribly compelling. In actual execution, well... few writers are as talented at the craft of forcing you to turn the page as Crichton, even if what's on the next page is kind of hackneyed.

And that's the problem with the $7.99 mass-market paperback, isn't it? Even when you have interesting themes, they're really just the window dressing for chases, shootouts, mistaken identities, unbelievable coincidences and, yeah, talking monkeys.

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Category: Review

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