Non-fiction reviewing is my area of expertise, and since others have detailed the plot ad nauseum, I'll just share my personal experience as a person who loves to escape and relax with medical thrillers and mysteries.
I began this book last week, and although it's a large book, I finished it on Saturday. In other words, this books is an amazingly gripping tale! Not only did I have trouble putting it down (I took it with me in the bathtub and even snatched moments to read when eating!), I was highly entertained in the process.
And the idea of patenting genes and owning cell lines? Already happening and not so far-fetched. Sure the talking orang from Sumatra may be far fetched, and "monkey boy" Dave--but so what! This is like Jurassic Park, people, but with more actual science! Yes, Crichton blurs the line--but that's the point. (He says in the beginning "This is a work of fiction except for the parts that aren't.") If you want to read a tome of human genetics, then get one of the books mentioned in the Bibliography at the back of the book!
I've grown tired of Robin Cook's lame plots and diatribes, so reading Next was very refreshing to me. Although Crichton brings up legitimate concerns about genetic tampering via his characters and plot, it doesn't read like a "man on a mission" (like Cook's novel Crisis did).
Here's a funny story concerning Next: I was telling my husband about "ligers", "grolars" and "wolphins" and he began laughing at me. He said "Ligers are from Napoleon Dynamite!" I'm like, "Dude, Crichton was talking about them in Next. I think they're real."
He says "Next is fiction!" I said, OK...let's Google.
He was especially floored about the existence of grolars (especially one that was found OUTSIDE of captivity), not to mention the dophin/whale hybrids, tigons, and so on. Wild, wild stuff.
So, for me, I had no trouble following the various plotlines. (I often review scientific-type books, especially ones involving Quantum Physics such as The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart, so this book was cake for me in terms of comprehension and fluidity of plot.) I loved it and appreciate what a satisfying, thrilling read it was. The characters were believable to me, as was the dialogue. Loved it!
(P.S. My son and I are natural blondes. Say it isn't so that our type will be extinct down the road! ^_^)
'Next' is definitely a departure for Michael Crichton in some ways - lots of characters and lots of different stories, all surrounding the same subject: genetics, and how it can be manipulated to suit just about any end. Crichton's usual problem is too much story and characters that are too thin. At the best of times he overcomes this and finds a good balance (as in 'Jurassic Park'), but just as often he flops and the story completely overshadows the people in it (try 'State … more
In "State Of Fear", Crichton took on the panic mongers who have a vested interested in promoting the idea (and fear) of global warming. The environmentalists, Gaists, hands-out "scientists" and others who make fine livings promoting bad science and rampant fear didn't like it. Of course, they don't like anyone who doesn't unquestioningly accept their shaky science or dares to bring up their abortive "global cooling" scheme of decades ago. (For an excellent non-fiction evisceration of environmentalists, … more
Author of The Back in Time Tarot BookandTarot in Reverse. Co-creator of theSnowlandDeck. Amazon.com Hall ofFame/ VineReviewer; Freelance Writer/Reviewer; Blogger; Professional Tarot Reader/Teacher; Lover … more
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