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Sphere by Michael Crichton

Sphere (original 1987; edition 1988)

by Michael Crichton

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6,45867597 (3.56)59
Authors:Michael Crichton
Info:Ballantine Books (1988), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:science fiction, first contact, movie tie-in, read, in library, fiction, white author, aliens

Work details

Sphere by Michael Crichton (1987)

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    Starfish by Peter Watts (Konran)
    Konran: Darker And Edgier underwater tale, including an alien (maybe) lifeform.

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English (61)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Phenomenal and caused me to buy the movie and watch it again. Good movie but the book is still better. ( )
  tillywern | Sep 19, 2014 |
I enjoyed this novel so much!
I was totally hooked from the first chapter! It reminded me of Stargate and Stargate:Atlantis, a lot (totally not a bad thing!). That may be why I enjoyed it so much. I literally did not want to put it down and once I did, I was still thinking about the storyline and how it would progress! Even after I finished reading it, I was still thinking about the story and how it could have ended.

Definitely packing this one if I'm ever strained on a deserted island :-D

Adrianne ( )
  Adrianne_p | Mar 18, 2014 |
forgettable ( )
  jdjdjd | Feb 4, 2014 |
Vlot geschreven boek met wat twists hier en daar. Ik kan niet echt aangeven wat fout was met het boek, maar toch wil ik het niet 5 sterren geven. :P Er is íets wat me met een ietwat leeg gevoel achterlaat.

Verder wel gewoon van genoten, dus zeker 4 sterretjes! ( )
  DulleNL | Oct 25, 2013 |
It seems strange to write a review for a novel that I've read over twenty times, but I'm determined to keep up with my resolution to review every book I read.

A small team of scientists are hastily assembled in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in order to investigate an aircraft that has crashed in the middle of the ocean. What they don't realize is that ship appears to have crashed over three hundred years ago, and that its alien cargo presents a danger to them unlike anything they've ever experienced. (Oh, and there's a giant squid, too.)

Michael Crichton seems to be an author that other people frown upon in the ever-present rift between "popular" fiction and "literary" fiction. I have very little patience for this argument, as there is no writing style that is more valid than another, and Crichton's writing is extremely well suited for his genre of choice.

Sphere delivers all of the features that Crichton fans can expect from his writing: snappy dialogue, a cinematic story that moves at a breakneck speed, and wildly speculative, yet seemingly plausible science. This last aspect is one of the main reasons why I've devoured Michael Crichton novels since middle school - even though the science is way beyond anything I could ever hope to truly understand, he does a great job at making the story accessible for the average reader. In this case, the science involves space, time travel, and black holes, as well as the power of psychology. And as always, there are philosophical issues to consider as well. What is the price of discovery? Will the power of discovery prove to be too much for humans to handle responsibly?

The main action takes place 1000 feet under the ocean in a military underwater habitat, so there's a distinctly claustrophobic feel to the entire story. And as the danger mounts and suspicions are raised, the claustrophobia increases.

Surprisingly, the ending for Sphere is unusually open-ended, which some readers find frustrating. I didn't mind the ending, since much of the book centered around psychology, which is not a "hard" science and does not lean towards neatly-wrapped conclusions. But if the reader has a strong preference for books where everything gets explained and tied up by the last page, Sphere might not be the best option. But thriller and/or Michael Crichton fans will likely find themselves staying up into the wee hours of the morning finishing this book.

Recommended for fans of: "soft" science fiction, scientific thrillers, novels with a strong psychological element, cinematic stories, sea monster stories.

Readalikes: Just about any of Michael Crichton's other novels would work as readalikes, but novels like Jurassic Park, State of Fear, or The Andromeda Strain best demonstrate Crichton's signature style of blending speculative science with philosophical and ethical issues.

Deception Point by Dan Brown: Both fast-paced thrillers focus on mankind's fear of extraterrestrial life, as well as the government's role in covering up the existence of extraterrestrial life. Deception Point, however, has more of a political focus. ( )
  coloradogirl14 | Sep 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Crichtonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunt, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When a scientist views things, he's not considering the incredible at all.
Louis I. Kahn
You can't fool nature.
Richard Feynman
For Lynn Nesbit
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For a long time the horizon had been a monotonous flat blue line separating the Pacific Ocean from the sky.
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Wanneer een wetenschapsman dingen in ogenschouw neemt, houdt hij absoluut geen rekening met het ongelooflijke. (Louis I. Kahn) De natuur kun je niet voor de gek houden. (Richard Feynman)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345353145, Mass Market Paperback)

Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton is possibly the best science teacher for the masses since H.G. Wells, and Sphere, his thriller about a mysterious spherical spaceship at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, is classic Crichton. A group of not-very-complex characters (portrayed in the film by Sharon Stone, Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Queen Latifah) assemble to solve a cleverly designed roller coaster of a mystery while attempting (with mixed success) to avoid sudden death and expounding (much more successfully) on the latest, coolest scientific ideas, including the existence of black holes. Somehow, Crichton manages to convey the complicated stuff in utterly simplistic prose, making him, as his old pal Steven Spielberg puts it, "the high priest of high concept." Yet there is more to Crichton than science and big-ticket show biz. He is also, as any reader of his startling memoir Travels knows, a bit of a mystic--he is entirely open to notions spouted by spoon-bending psychics that most science writers would scorn. Sphere is not only a gratifying sci-fi suspense tale; it also reflects Crichton's keen interest in the unexplained powers of the human mind. When something passes through a black hole in Crichton's fiction, a lesson is learned. The book also contains another profound lesson: when you're staring down a giant squid with an eyeball the size of a dinner plate, don't blink first.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:08 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A group of scientists journey to the bottom of the sea to explore a sunken spaceship in this thriller from the author of The Andromeda Strain (1969). A group of American scientists are rushed to a huge vessel that has been discovered resting on the ocean floor in the middle of the South Pacific. What they find defines their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation. It is a spaceship of phenomenal dimensions, apparently, undamaged by its fall from the sky. And, most startling, it appears to be at least three hundred years old.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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