Wednesday, March 21, 2007

State of Fear

Title: State of Fear

Author: Michael Crichton

Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi

Summary: Is global warming real or a "crisis" fabricated by corporations? A lawyer must wade through the evidence to find out.

The Take-Away: Since the story is told to convince the lawyer, the reader is just as confused. Is global warming real or is it just the spin placed by inaccurate referencing, reporting and political bias? After reading the book, I'm not as sure as I was before. If I were a better researcher, I'd take the time to read some of the peer reviews and studies that the book footnotes. But I'm not.

I am, however, a data girl. If the summary doesn't quite show what I want, I'll try another presentation. I appreciated that the data girl in this novel did the same and that Crichton gave her several pages to prove her worth as well.

I believe that something needs to be done and that man could be harming the earth that we live in. History has enough case studies to show that man has through arrogance and ignorance made bad decisions with long-lasting effects. I appreciate Crichton's research and novelization of the complexity of this problem. I believe that he undermined the statement that his novel made by stating "I have no agenda" in the appendix. He does. It's subtle.

Recommendation: Great read. Watch for the denied author's agenda.

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Page Smith said...

I didn't find his position subtle at all - and the section in the back of the book where he talks about what he believes... isn't that what the novel is for?

That extra section struck me as being one of two things:
1. something that a beginner novelist would do because he or she doesn't yet believe in the strength of his or her own story-telling ability, or (more likely)
2. the writing of someone who is a celebrity and who has more of an axe to grind than a story to tell.

Whatever point he wanted to make, he could have made in the novel. A novel is "show, don't tell," isn't it?

And, as far as the actual novel, itself... I couldn't get past the beginning. I didn't believe that that young man would have let that woman (and the man with her) into his work area - no matter how attractive he found her. It struck me as classic "Plot Convenience Theatre."

'Jurrassic Park' made its point creatively and wonderfully. If I pick up a Michael Crichton novel, I want to read a novel. If I want to know what Michael "Celebrity-Scientist-Novelist" Crichton thinks, I'll go read an interview.

He needs to think more about his craft as a novelist. If I (book junkie that I am) am putting his novel down in the first section, then there really is a problem - and it isn't global warming.

slpenney said...


Did you finish the book? By the end, I was waiting for a big finale that I didn't get.

I totally agree with the "Plot Convenience Theatre" comment. I hate stuff like that.