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State of Fear by Michael Crichton

State of Fear (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Michael Crichton

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6,569125578 (3.39)66
Title:State of Fear
Authors:Michael Crichton
Info:Avon (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
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State of Fear by Michael Crichton (2004)


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English (118)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All (125)
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
This book got me started on Torrey House. I figured two could play this game. ( )
  Mark-Bailey | Jul 1, 2017 |
In this tale of big money, conflicting theories regarding global warming and climate change, eco-terrorists launch a worldwide conspiracy to generate weather-related natural disasters while environmental lawyer Peter Evans and his team set out to stop them.

Page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, impeccable research combine to make this a thought-provoking, suspense-filled, factual tale as timely as the latest headlines. Readers will find it difficult to set this one aside. ( )
  jfe16 | Feb 6, 2017 |
the underlying premise, a 'state of fear', is chilling when held up to recent events.
  petrichor8 | Jun 6, 2016 |
The novel takes place in 2004; the plot is built around a group of eco-terrorists who are attempting to create a state of fear to further advance their agenda regarding global warming.

The protagonist is an environmentalist lawyer named Peter Evans. Evans is a junior associate at a large Los Angeles law firm that represents many environmentalist clients (although they also have clients in industry). Evans is described as someone who eagerly accepts all conventional wisdom about global warming, but not unquestioningly. He is also described as something of a weak willed person who has lukewarm relationships with women. Evans's chief client is a millionaire philanthropist, George Morton, who donates large sums to environmentalist causes. Evans's main duties are managing the legal affairs surrounding Morton's contributions to an environmentalist organization, the National Environmental Resource Fund (NERF) (modeled after the Sierra Club).[citation needed]

Morton becomes suspicious of NERF and its director, Nicholas Drake, after he discovers that NERF has misused some of the funds he has given the group. Soon after, Morton is visited by two men, John Kenner and Sanjong Thapa, who appear on the surface to be researchers at MIT, but, in fact, are international law enforcement agents on the trail of an eco-terrorist group, the Environmental Liberation Front (ELF) (modeled on the Earth Liberation Front).[citation needed] The ELF is attempting to create "natural" disasters to convince the public of the dangers of global warming; all these events are timed to happen during a NERF-sponsored climate conference that will highlight the "catastrophe" of global warming. The eco-terrorists have no qualms about how many people are killed in their manufactured "natural" disasters and ruthlessly assassinate anyone who gets in their way (their preferred methods being ones few would recognize as murder; the venom of a rare Australian Blue-ringed octopus which causes a form of paralysis most hospitals mistake for a disease and therefore never successfully treat and "lightning attractors" which cause their victims to get electrocuted in electrical storms). Kenner and Thapa suspect Drake of involvement with the ELF to further his own ends (garnering more donations to NERF from the environmentally-minded public).

Morton pulls his funding from NERF and has Evans rewrite the contract so that Drake can't access the money except in small amounts. This earns Drake's wrath resulting in strained relations between Evans and the partners at his firm (Drake is a major client of the firm and accuses Evans of being a spy for corporate industry). NERF holds a banquet in Morton's honor citing him as "NERF's Concerned Citizen of the Year"; at the event Morton gives a rambling speech in which he announces the pulling of his funding. Morton subtly makes this look due to his having drunk too much on the flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco where he was accompanied by two of NERF's biggest supporters (Ted Bradley, an actor and celebrity endorser of NERF, and Ann Garner, a wealthy socialite) and Evans. Soon after the speech, Morton dies in a car accident under mysterious circumstances. Following Morton's last instructions, Evans teams up with Kenner and Thapa on a globe-spanning trip to thwart various ELF disaster schemes. Also along for the ride is Morton's beautiful assistant, Sarah Jones. Evans is intimidated by Sarah because of her beauty and because she possesses a self-confidence Evans lacks. By the same token, Sarah also finds Evans attractive, but is put off by his lack of bravado.

A subplot parallels the main plot and is the driving force for many of Evans' actions later on, at the behest of Morton. Morton has promised to donate $10 million to support a class action lawsuit on behalf of the people of the fictional island nation Vanutu. The suit claims that by its inaction to curb global warming the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has doomed Vanutu to destruction, technically an act of war, because when sea levels increase by the amount that "most" climate models predict the nation will be buried underwater. At the behest of Morton, Evans pays a visit to the offices of the legal team that is preparing the suit where he volunteers to be a pre-jury selection interviwee. The interviewer is Jennifier Haynes who presents him with various pieces of evidence that she feels the defense will use in an attempt to discredit the "science" behind the lawsuit. Later, she reveals that the lawsuit is just an elaborate publicity stunt. The parties who initiated it know that it will never succeed. They only want to create a legal action that will drag on for years giving them numerous opportunities to dramatize the plight of the islanders as they cope with the "catastrophe" of global warming. Later, Haynes reveals herself to be Kenner's niece and in league with him.

Kenner, Sanjong, Evans and Sarah travel to various locations to sabotage the ELF's planned "natural" disasters: first, the detonation of several explosives in an Antarctic ice shelf to release an enormous iceberg, then the use of special rockets and filament wire to produce a man-made lightning storm and flood in a crowded national park. During his travels, Evans finds his convictions about global warming challenged by Kenner and Sanjong who present him with reams of data suggesting that global warming may not be happening at all, may be insignificant if it is, and may not be caused by human activity. Evans's convictions are further shaken as he observes the ELF trying to manufacture disasters that will kill thousands of people, discovers that Drake is directing these terrorist acts, and narrowly escapes several ELF assassination attempts. He also begins to shed his weak-willed demeanor and grows more enamored of Sarah after he saves her life on several occasions. After NERF disbands the legal team that was preparing the Vanutu suit Jennifier joins the group for the final leg of the trip.

In the finale of the story, the group travels to a remote island in the Solomons to stop the ELF's "piece de resistance", a tsunami that will inundate the coastline of California just as Drake is winding up the international conference on the "catastrophe" of global warming. Along the way they battle man-eating crocodiles and cannibalistic tribesmen (who feast on Ted Bradley, whom Drake had sent to spy on Kenner and his team). The rest of the group are rescued in the nick of time by Morton who resurfaces. It turns out that he faked his own death to throw Drake off the trail so that he could keep watch on the ELF's activities on the island while he waited for Kenner and his team to arrive. The group has a final confrontation with the elite ELF team on the island during which Jennifer is almost killed and Evans kills one of the terrorists who had tried to kill both him and Sarah in Antarctica. The rest of the ELF team is killed by the backwash from their own tsunami which Kenner and his team sabotage just enough to prevent it from becoming a full-size tsunami and reaching California. Drake and his cohorts are arrested. Evans and Sarah finally admit their feelings for each other. Evans quits the firm and goes to work for Morton with his new (unnamed) organization, which will practice environmental activism as a business, free from potential conflicts of interest.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
This is really a half/half book. Half of this book is an adventure thriller, and half is a boring lecture (complete with graphs!) about the lack of scientific evidence for global warming. I wish they had been separate! And this is the second book I've read where a murder weapon has been a poisonous octopus! What the? Still, I do agree with the "state of fear" concept, and I am glad I read it. ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
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There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. - Mark Twain
Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss. - George Orwell
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Introduction. In late 2003, at the Sustainable Earth Summit conference in Johannesburg, the Pacific island nation of Vanutu announced that it was preparing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States over global warming.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061015733, Mass Market Paperback)

Amazon.com Exclusive Content

A Michael Crichton Timeline
Amazon.com reveals a few facts about the "father of the techno-thriller."

1942: John Michael Crichton is born in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 23.

1960: Crichton graduates from Roslyn High School on Long Island, New York, with high marks and a reputation as a star basketball player. He decides to attend Harvard University to study English. During his studies, he rankles under his writing professors' criticism. As an act of rebellion, Crichton submits an essay by George Orwell as his own. The professor doesn’t catch the plagiarism and gives Orwell a B-. This experience convinces Crichton to change his field of study to anthropology.

1964: Crichton graduates summa cum laude from Harvard University in anthropology. After studying further as a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University and receiving the Henry Russell Shaw Travelling Fellowship, which allowed him to travel in Europe and North Africa, Crichton begins coursework at the Harvard School of Medicine. To help fund his medical endeavors, he writes spy thrillers under several pen names. One of these works, A Case of Need, wins the 1968 Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award.

1969: Crichton graduates from Harvard Medical school and is accepted as a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Science in La Jolla, Calif. However, his career in medicine is waylaid by the publication of the first novel under his own name, The Andromeda Strain. The novel, about an apocalyptic plague, climbs high on bestseller lists and is later made into a popular film. Crichton said of his decision to pursue writing full time: "To quit medicine to become a writer struck most people like quitting the Supreme Court to become a bail bondsman."

1972: Crichton's second novel under his own name The Terminal Man, is published. Also, two of Crichton's previous works under his pen names, Dealing and A Case of Need are made into movies. After watching the filming, Crichton decides to try his hand at directing. He will eventually direct seven films including the 1973 science-fiction hit Westworld, which was the first film ever to use computer-generated effects.

1980: Crichton draws on his anthropology background and fascination with new technology to create Congo, a best-selling novel about a search for industrial diamonds and a new race of gorillas. The novel, patterned after the adventure writings of H. Ryder Haggard, updates the genre with the inclusion of high-tech gadgets that, although may seem quaint 20 years later, serve to set Crichton's work apart and he begins to cement his reputation as "the father of the techno-thriller."

1990: After the 1980s, which saw the publication of the underwater adventure Sphere (1987) and an invitation to become a visiting writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988), Crichton begins the new decade with a bang via the publication of his most popular novel, Jurassic Park. The book is a powerful example of Crichton's use of science and technology as the bedrock for his work. Heady discussion of genetic engineering, chaos theory, and paleontology run throughout the tightly-wound thriller that strands a crew of scientists on an island populated by cloned dinosaurs run amok. The novel inspires the 1993 Steven Spielberg film, and together book and film will re-ignite the world’s fascination with dinosaurs.

1995: Crichton resurrects an idea from his medical school days to create the Emmy-Award Winning television series ER. In this year, ER won eight Emmys and Crichton received an award from the Producers Guild of America in the category of outstanding multi-episodic series. Set in an insanely busy an often dangerous Chicago emergency room, the fast-paced drama is defined by Crichton's now trademark use of technical expertise and insider jargon. The year also saw the publication of The Lost World returning readers to the dinosaur-infested island.

2000: In recognition for Crichton's contribution in popularizing paleontology, a dinosaur discovered in southern China is named after him. "Crichton's ankylosaur" is a small, armored plant-eating dinosaur that dates to the early Jurassic Period, about 180 million years ago. "For a person like me, this is much better than an Academy Award," Crichton said of the honor.

2004: Crichton’s newest thriller State of Fear is published.

Amazon.com's Significant Seven
Michael Crichton kindly agreed to take the life quiz we like to give to all our authors: the Amazon.com Significant Seven.

Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: Prisoners of Childhood by Alice Miller

Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Witter Bynner version)
Symphony #2 in D Major by Johannes Brahms (Georg Solti)
Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa

Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: Surely you're joking.

Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: Small room. Shades down. No daylight. No disturbances. Macintosh with a big screen. Plenty of coffee. Quiet.

Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: I don't want an epitaph. If forced, I would say "Why Are You Here? Go Live Your Life."

Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: Benjamin Franklin

Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be?
A: Invisibility

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:29 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In Paris, a graduate student in a secret laboratory reveals a powerful new technology to a beautiful and mysterious woman. A few hours later, the student is drugged and dumped in a river. Radical environmental terrorists are launching a fanatical campaign--and the very future of the world they seek to protect may be at stake. Only MIT scientist and federal agent John Kenner can stop the deadly plot before the terrifying consequences are realized--and millions die.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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