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State Of Fear by Michael Crichton

State Of Fear (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Michael Crichton

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5,838114724 (3.4)59
Title:State Of Fear
Authors:Michael Crichton
Info:Avon (2005), Edition: 1, Mass Market Paperback, 672 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:READ >2011

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State of Fear by Michael Crichton (2004)

(15) action (22) adventure (34) audiobook (15) climate change (31) Crichton (33) ebook (19) ecology (22) ecoterrorism (26) environment (70) environmentalism (34) fiction (657) First Edition (26) global warming (148) hardcover (22) Michael Crichton (41) mystery (64) novel (56) own (27) paperback (15) politics (23) read (56) science (44) science fiction (199) suspense (90) technothriller (24) terrorism (17) thriller (301) to-read (39) unread (33)
  1. 20
    Sphere by Michael Crichton (jpers36)
  2. 00
    Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: A rebuttal to Michael Crichton's State of Fear.
  3. 00
    Global Warming and Other Bollocks by Stanley Feldman (footysphere)
  4. 00
    Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: We know the climate is changing, but which way? These books take opposite viewpoints.

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» See also 59 mentions

English (107)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (112)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
excellent ( )
  jsopcich | May 19, 2014 |
This book got me started on Torrey House. I figured two could play this game. ( )
  torreyhouse | Jan 24, 2014 |
I love this book. Michael Crichton has pleased me in every book he's written, of which I've read three others ("Jurassic Park", "The Lost World", and "Timeline"). He has a way of blending action with scientific education, and he's famous for it. He can explain complex scientific theories better than any science teacher I ever had.

Characters are a bit of a problem for him though. Maybe because scientists in complex disciplines often turn out to be egotistical jerks. Although he does good at making the bad guys bad, he's not so hot at making the good guys good. I felt indifferent towards the main characters, and I had a hard time keeping track. Everyone kinda talks the same. And you can only tell who's who by the one doing the explaining, and the one asking questions. And he tries to make it more human by inserting a "which girl will he choose?" plotline, which just fell flat.

But it's full of action between lectures, almost to a fault. In fact, as soon as the lecture's done, you know it's time for dodging a lightning storm or getting kidnapped by cannibals. Overall, the story was predictable, but that's not why I read it. I read it to get some scientific education about the human effect on the environment in an easily digestible form -- in a story. I tell you, after reading this book, I feel a whole lot better about the world surviving the human effect. Not so good about humans surviving the human effect. ( )
  theWallflower | Dec 17, 2013 |
State of Fear is part sci-fi, part thriller, part essay on environmentalism. There was some good and some bad in this novel. Philanthropist George Morton is planning on donating a large sum of money to an extreme environmentalist group until he learns about their methods, and gets more information about global warming from Dr. John Kenner. Later Morton dies in a car accident. Kenner and Morton's lawyer travel to Antarctica where a group of environmental extremists are about to create a massive explosion to create an environmental disaster to strengthen their position. They then travel to the Solomon Islands in an island with headhunters and cannibals where a similar scenario is brewing. They have to stop the wacky environmentalists to prevent disasters.

There was some good thriller components in the story and also good characters. The dialogue is wooden at best and really weak at times. The problem with it is that Crichton is trying to spew his research in the form of dialogue and it sounds terribly unrealistic. People don't speak that way. He also has a clear agenda here. The environmentalists are painted as idiots with no scientific backing to their claims. Their usual way of explaining things is "everybody knows that". Although I agree with Crichton's position, he comes off as being heavy handed. This was a solid novel, but it had enough weak points that I can't strongly recommend it.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street ( )
  Carl_Alves | Sep 21, 2013 |
Reviews for this book seem to revolve around what the reviewer thinks about global warming - the more negative reviews seem to consider the message of the book negligent and dangerous, and the more positive reviews seem to think their disbelief of global warming is validated.

Both stances seem to miss some of what Crichton is positing. Essentially he says that when it comes to our environment, we are not doing a very good job of rigorously and systematically studying it and using the results to make sound policy decisions. The "author's note" at the end where he speaks directly to the reader certainly doesn't state that global warming doesn't exist, that human activity doesn't contribute to it, or that we should do nothing about it. He basically says his three-year review of the existing research shows that we don't know anything about our environment accurately enough to be able to do anything for it in a responsible way, partly due to research being influenced by its funding sources and politics. He also opines that environmental groups are stuck in the 1970s and haven't kept up with what science has discovered since then.

Using science more responsibly to make better decisions about our world doesn't seem like such a dangerous message.

As a fictional thriller, State of Fear hit all the expected notes without rising to the quality level of some of Crichton's earlier books. It's overly long but goes by pretty quickly. Like a Dan Brown thriller, there's a lot of characters being used as mouthpieces to share things the author researched, and not always in the most natural way. Based on my expectations going in, I have no complaints. ( )
  BrookeAshley | Jun 29, 2013 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:30 -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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