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The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
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The Andromeda Strain (original 1969; edition 1995)

by Michael Crichton

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6,31382626 (3.63)128
Member:Maurizio70
Title:The Andromeda Strain
Authors:Michael Crichton
Info:Arrow (1995), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (1969)

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Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
I've seen the film version of The Andromeda Strain many, many times, but only stumbled upon the book in a second hand book shop recently. The book is pretty close to the film - there's some differences in the members of the Wildfire team (no woman for example) but the basic storyline is pretty much the same: satellite scoops up something from outer space, people start dying mysteriously and the scientist squirreled away in a top secret underground bunker have to work out what is happening and how to stop it.

Its a pretty good yarn, and the technical, scientific details is pretty good as well. It even has a bibliography at the back of some of the unclassified research papers if you want to really get into the subject!

The writing is clear and almost documentary like. The action takes place in linear time with few flashbacks, although it does mention early on what the scientists would later put in their reports so even if you've never seen the film you'll know that the nuclear bomb designed to sterilize the Wildfire lab doesn't go off.

Its also fun from the techie point of view to read this sort of sci-fi from the 1960s which relies heavily on a slightly advanced form of the computing available at the time. The book contains several "computer printouts" showing what the lab mainframe was producing for the scientists. What was amusing was whilst they could have enough remote manipulators in place to do a thorough human physical examination, the author still had the scientists go down into the bunker rather than use remote monitors to investigate the probe and its contents. That's really the biggest weakness in the story for me - why send your valuable scientists down a hole with an unknown microbe, when they can't touch it directly anyway?

Still, its a good sci-fi tale so I'd recommend it. Its also quite a short book so ideal for reading on a long journey or whilst on holiday. ( )
  jimll | Jun 22, 2014 |
An early Crighton effort. Quick and to the point. A bit of time travel back to a futuristic 1969. I remember the movie on NBC Saturnight movie back in the early 70's. A little too much scientific background but he was just starting out. ( )
  JBreedlove | Apr 5, 2014 |
The Andromeda Strain is a biological thriller, telling the tale of a crashed satellite containing foreign-to-Earth material. Landing near a small town, a doctor's curiosity compels him to tamper with and open the satellite, to disastrous results. The town is found dead - people laying in the streets, dead, casually grasping their chests - with the exception of an old man and an infant. The story focuses on a group of scientists who make up the Wildfire organization, tasked with investigating and studying any alien life-forms that may enter Earth. They must race against the clock to prevent nuclear disaster and the spread of an organism capable of killing humans in mere seconds.

Crichton has written an exciting page-turner, full of twists and excitement. The characters are interesting, though they play second fiddle to the organism, and what we learn of their methods and interactions is intriguing. The novel is fantastic up to the end, which ended much quicker than it ought to have. Had Crichton taken the ending another hundred pages and resolved it as well as the story leading up to it transpired, this would be a must-read, stellar novel. ( )
  deslni01 | Dec 23, 2013 |
I have a great dislike for deus ex machina for a reason. Not Crichton's best work. ( )
  newskepticx | Dec 18, 2013 |
I love Michael Crichton, but I was very disappointed with this book. As usual, the intense research and explanations of everything scientific in the the book was very well done. However, I feel that there was too much explanation and not enough story to carry this book along. The idea was very interesting...but the execution was severely lacking in my opinion.

Nevertheless, it's not like this book isn't worth reading. It's still Michael Crichton, who is very good at writing science fiction. There are enough tense moments that will enable one to finish the book...just not his best effort. ( )
  rsplenda477 | Aug 22, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Crichtonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chris NothNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The survival value of human intelligence has never been satisfactorily demonstrated. -- Jeremy Stone
Increasing vision is increasingly expensive. -- R.A. Janek
THIS FILE IS CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET
Examination by unauthorized persons is a criminal offense punishable by fines and imprisonment up to 20 years and $20,000.
DO NOT ACCEPT FROM COURIER IF SEAL IS BROKEN
The courier is required by law to demand your card 7592. He is not permitted to relinquish this file without such proof of identity.
Dedication
for A.C.D., M.D., who first proposed the problem
First words
A man with binoculars.
Quotations
Er is nooit een afdoende bewijs geleverd dat de menselijke intelligentie van waarde is voor de overleving van het ras. (Jeremy Stone) Verruiming van inzicht betekent verhoging van de kosten. (R.A. Janek)
"All yours, Gunner." Wilson did not answer. He dropped his nose, cracked down his flaps, and felt a shudder as the plane sank sickeningly, like a stone, toward the ground. Below him, the area around the town was lighted for hundreds of yards in every direction. He pressed the camera buttons and felt, rather than heard, the vibrating whir of the cameras. For a long moment he continued to fall, and then he shoved the stick forward, and the plane seemed to catch in the air, to grasp, and lift and climb. He had a fleeting glimpse of the main street. He saw bodies, bodies everywhere, spreadeagled, lying in the streets, across cars ... "Jesus," he said. And then he was up, still climbing, bringing the plane around in a slow arc, preparing for the descent into his second run and trying not to think of what he and seen. One of the first rules of air reconnaisssance was "Ignore the scenery"; analysis and evaluation were not the job of the pilot. That was left to the experts, and pilots who forgot this, who became too interested in what they were photgraphing, got into trouble. Usually they crashed.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the book The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. Please do not combine with any of the film adaptations.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Book description
What if there was a virus so lethal, it could kill people as quickly as they took a breath? What if it spared some people from instant death...but drove them hopelessly insane instead? What if the swiftest acting, deadliest virus ever known to humankind could be spread, by no more than a gust of wind, from the remote desert site of its first massacre to the busiest cities in America...and the world? What, if anything, could stop it?

There are no villains in this hot zone. Only the microscopic seeds of Earth's extinction. It is stealthy, sudden, savage. And we are all susceptible to it...
    ----------------------------------------

This book recounts the five-day history of a major American scientific crisis. Like most crises, the events surrounding the Andromeda Strain were a compound of foresight and foolishness, innocence and ignorance. Nearly everyone involved had moments of great brilliance and moments of unaccountable stupidity....
    ----------------------------------

Een onbemande satelliet keert terug naar de aarde. Twee mannen treffen bij de landingsplaats, een gehucht met 48 inwoners, slechts lijken aan. De satelliet blijkt besmet te zijn met een uiterst dodelijk virus. Vier briljante geleerden krijgen de opdracht het raadsel op te lossen. In een geheim laboratorium in Nevada, in volstrekte afzondering en aangewezen op elkaar, binden ze de strijd aan met de dreigende, wereldomvattende epidemie.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060541814, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:23 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to "collect organisms and dust for study." One of them falls to earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona. Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont, a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town's inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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