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Next by Michael Crichton
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Next (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Michael Crichton

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4,727135995 (3.23)78
Member:JeffV
Title:Next
Authors:Michael Crichton
Info:HarperCollins (2006), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fiction, Science-fiction

Work details

Next by Michael Crichton (2006)

  1. 10
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    Prophet of Bones: A Novel by Ted Kosmatka (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Maybe there is a reason some DNA experiments are off limits.
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  4. 00
    Sims by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
  5. 00
    Rubicon Harvest by C. W. Kesting (Desmorph)
    Desmorph: In Next, Crichton takes genetic engineering to comical commercial heights; but with Rubicon Harvest, Kesting brings the future of stem cell science right into our world. Gritty and stunning in it's realism, Rubicon Harvest is a roller coaster ride of tech thrillers. Think Blade Runner meets CSI!!… (more)
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English (129)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Romanian (1)  French (1)  All languages (136)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
I found this book to be frustratingly fragmented, to the point where it was virtually impossible to keep track of all of the characters and to identify (much less follow) the central flow of the narrative. There really is no clearly defined protagonist or antagonist, and I couldn't find any character for whom I felt sympathy. Crichton's point seems to be that the "wild, wild West" of genetic engineering / biotechnology is pure chaos, a world tied into so many legal and ethical knots that it's impossible to disentangle at this moment in time. Everyone involved in this world seems to be portrayed as selfish, ruthless, and avaricious, completely ignoring the consequences of their self-serving actions.

There's certainly compelling science here, and Crichton makes a strong case for why we need to impose some semblance of order and sanity on this emerging area of technology that is fraught with potential dangers for human society. But this felt more like a polemic than a novel. ( )
  btburt | Dec 14, 2014 |
Of course this was terrific although the audio had me puzzled for a good chunk of the first disk because Crichton had to introduce the characters in the different and/or overlapping stories and all the names were a little confusing---I'll admit I started over about three times. The interview with him at the end is a little old but just as the book covers some very current happenings, so do his answers to questions. He knew that the world was catching up too fast to anything he could possibly write---in many ways, very sadly. Dylan Baker made for terrific listening with all the different voices---particularly Dave and Gerard, very special characters in the book. ( )
  nyiper | Nov 18, 2014 |
Next is Michael Crichton's last book to be published during his lifetime and explores the present-day world of genetic engineering.

Unlike his earlier works (such as the famous [b:Jurassic Park|7677|Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1)|Michael Crichton|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348796998s/7677.jpg|3376836]), Next does not have a central character from whose viewpoint the reader experiences the story but rather there are a series of episodic tales that feel more satirical than the techno-thriller one expects from Crichton.

In spite of this, there is a genuine feeling that what he describes could happen sooner rather than later; advances in genetic technology have come a long way even since 2006.
( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
excellent ( )
  jsopcich | May 19, 2014 |
The Good: A fantastic premise, as always, from Crichton. Fact based, with completely terrifying implications, Next takes science today to that "next" step. If furthers things just a bit more, the ramifications of which give the readers a lot of troubling thoughts to consider.

The Bad: Crichton lost me at the money. Apparently, if you mix human and monkey DNA, a monkey will be born with human vocal capabilities. A monkey that you can pass off as a child with a hairy birth defect and some impulse control issues. The fact that this monkey was able to fool more than one person in this book was just ludicrous. I had a hard time taking anything seriously in the book after that. ( )
  TequilaReader | May 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
All science fiction has some element of titillation — a strategy of taking known facts and stretching them to the limits of credulity, for the purposes of both entertaining and enlightening. But Crichton seems intent on confusing his readers, pummeling them with a barrage of truths, half-truths and untruths, until they have no choice but to surrender. As one of the author’s numerous stand-ins warns a naïve interlocutor, “Disinformation takes many forms.” Here, finally, Crichton has a point that should be heeded.
 
''Next'' would be a narrow, uninteresting book if its sole point were to condemn such tactics as transgressive. Instead Mr. Crichton moves far beyond questioning the morality of such experiments and acknowledges that they happen. His whole thriller-tutorial boils down to one troubling question, asked about each freakish breakthrough described here: Now what? Since ''Next'' is one of Mr. Crichton's more un-put-downable novels, the reader may experience some frustration. It's tempting to stop and look up each of the genetic, legal and ethical aberrations described here in order to see how wild a strain of science fiction is afoot. Save a step. Just believe this: Oddity after oddity in ''Next'' checks out, and many are replays of real events. ''This novel is fiction, except for the parts that aren't,'' Mr. Crichton writes, greatly understating the book's scary legitimacy.
 
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Epigraph
This novel is fiction,
except for the parts that aren't.
The more the universe seems incomprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.
—STEVEN WEINBERG
The word "cause" is an altar to an unknown god.
—WILLIAM JAMES
What is not possible is not to choose.
—JEAN-PAUL SARTRE
Dedication
First words
Vasco Borden, forty-nine, tugged at the lapels of his suit and straightened his tie as he walked down the plush carpeted hallway.
Quotations
Our bodies are our individual property. In a sense, bodily ownership is the most fundamental kind of ownership we know. It is the core experience or our being.

That is why when an individual donates tissue to a doctor of a research study, is is not the same as donating a book to a library. It never will be. If the doctor or his research institution wishes later to use tht tissue for some other purpose, they should be required to obtain permission for this new use. And so on, indefinitely.

Because the descendants of a dead person share his or her genes, their privacy is invaded if research is done, or if the genetic makeup of the dead person is published. The children of the dead person may lose their health insurance simply because contemporary laws do not reflect contemporary realities.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060872985, Hardcover)

Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why a chimp fetus resembles a human being? And should that worry us? There's a new genetic cure for drug addiction--is it worse than the disease?


What's coming Next? Get a hint of what Michael Crichton sees on the horizon in this short video clip: high bandwidth or low bandwidth

We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps, a time when it's possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars and to test our spouses for genetic maladies.

We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes...

Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn.

Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and the bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.

The future is closer than you think.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:04 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In a near-future world where biotechnology and genetic research has become big business, the discovery of several transgenic animals leads to a legal and ethical battle over the rights to genes that can be used for commercial purposes.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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