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La amenaza de andromeda B. 49.051

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"La ciencia-ficción, que un día impresionaba porque parecía tan lejana, ahora lo hace porque parece tan próxima… Michael Crichton, por ello, nos recuerda a Julio Verne" MELVIN MADDOCKS, en Life "El relato de Crichton se enciende con el tempo dramático de un cohete de acción retardada. Errores, descubrimientos, accidentes, imprevisiones, todo se produce en u "La ciencia-ficción, que un día impresionaba porque parecía tan lejana, ahora lo hace porque parece tan próxima… Michael Crichton, por ello, nos recuerda a Julio Verne" MELVIN MADDOCKS, en Life "El relato de Crichton se enciende con el tempo dramático de un cohete de acción retardada. Errores, descubrimientos, accidentes, imprevisiones, todo se produce en un ámbito científico absolutamente convincente (computadoras, microscopios electrónicos, escenarios del Instituto Hudson); trama y personajes se precipitan hacia el punto de la inevitable explosión… Pero Crichton nos brinda algo más que emociones. LA AMENAZA DE ANDROMEDA aborda desde el ángulo de la ficción, la lógica de la investigación operativa y nos introduce en el totalitarismo estadístico del establishment militar-científico-espacial." WEBSTER SCHOTT, en The New York Times


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"La ciencia-ficción, que un día impresionaba porque parecía tan lejana, ahora lo hace porque parece tan próxima… Michael Crichton, por ello, nos recuerda a Julio Verne" MELVIN MADDOCKS, en Life "El relato de Crichton se enciende con el tempo dramático de un cohete de acción retardada. Errores, descubrimientos, accidentes, imprevisiones, todo se produce en u "La ciencia-ficción, que un día impresionaba porque parecía tan lejana, ahora lo hace porque parece tan próxima… Michael Crichton, por ello, nos recuerda a Julio Verne" MELVIN MADDOCKS, en Life "El relato de Crichton se enciende con el tempo dramático de un cohete de acción retardada. Errores, descubrimientos, accidentes, imprevisiones, todo se produce en un ámbito científico absolutamente convincente (computadoras, microscopios electrónicos, escenarios del Instituto Hudson); trama y personajes se precipitan hacia el punto de la inevitable explosión… Pero Crichton nos brinda algo más que emociones. LA AMENAZA DE ANDROMEDA aborda desde el ángulo de la ficción, la lógica de la investigación operativa y nos introduce en el totalitarismo estadístico del establishment militar-científico-espacial." WEBSTER SCHOTT, en The New York Times

30 review for La amenaza de andromeda B. 49.051

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    The writing was drier than a cracker in the desert... But I loved the book anyway! It definitely reads like a scientific/army report but this was such an interesting twist on the classic sci-fi (first contact?). I only recommend it if you already love sci-fi and diseases apocalyptic books. Left me wanting more... I'll definitely read more from the author!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Nine years before Stephen King’s heavy, genre defining smackdown novel The Stand, intelligent tall guy Michael Crichton quietly blew people away with his own hard science Big Bang Theory epidemic story. Similar to Andy Weir’s brilliant 2011 mega success The Martian, this is hard science fiction told by an actual scientist. But whereas Weir stepped it down for the rest of us with some laugh out loud humor, the good Dr. Crichton put his best bedside manner forward and patiently explained his biological horror story in a way Nine years before Stephen King’s heavy, genre defining smackdown novel The Stand, intelligent tall guy Michael Crichton quietly blew people away with his own hard science Big Bang Theory epidemic story. Similar to Andy Weir’s brilliant 2011 mega success The Martian, this is hard science fiction told by an actual scientist. But whereas Weir stepped it down for the rest of us with some laugh out loud humor, the good Dr. Crichton put his best bedside manner forward and patiently explained his biological horror story in a way that – made it scarier. Like a Jonathon Edwards sermon, his straight man delivery creates a technical tension that informs as it terrorizes. True, some of the overly technical sections dragged and I recalled moments from HS when I daydreamed the lecture away; but Crichton never let his lesson stray too far from the subject at hand – scaring the Heeby Jeebies out of us. Scared to death. That’s an actual line from the book and describes one of the hero scientists’ attempts to come to grips with what was going on. Seems an alien organism is making folks die – immediately. An incubation period of a few seconds. A super team of science hotshots that makes Sheldon and Leonard look like middle schoolers takes it down to the line to pull us all from the brink. Or do they? A +.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    liked the beginning, thought the end was unbelievably anticlimatic.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    This book is a good example that sometimes the rating that one gives to one book isn't fault itself of the book but due the timing of when you read it in relation with having read other books of the same author. All that long introduction is to explain that my very reason to give only 3 stars to this very good book is because I happened to read it after of reading Sphere (see review of that book: HERE), that I find quite similar in the general premise. Both books have the calling of a expert sci This book is a good example that sometimes the rating that one gives to one book isn't fault itself of the book but due the timing of when you read it in relation with having read other books of the same author. All that long introduction is to explain that my very reason to give only 3 stars to this very good book is because I happened to read it after of reading Sphere (see review of that book: HERE), that I find quite similar in the general premise. Both books have the calling of a expert scientific team to deal with an alien threat. Beyond that, both books deal differently with the story, it's not like that they are clone books or something. But the only sin that commit this poor book was to be chosen by me right after of reading Sphere, that it was a book that I loved a lot and I still think very high of it, so when I started to read this other book by Crichton, I got an odd feeling that I was reading again the same book and that I liked more the other book. I know that this book is older, but it's nobody's fault that I bought it right after Sphere. I do think that if I decide to read it now, I may enjoy it more, maybe sometime I will. Anyway, this book is very good, since it has all the right elements that Crichton used to include in his books. Maybe my only advice here is that I recommend you to read this book, The Andromeda Strain and Sphere too, just please, don't read them one after the other, give them at least 6 months or so, and read something else in between. Recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paul O'Neill

    There's a good story in here, somewhere. If Crichton tackled this idea later in his career it would have undoubtedly been a great book. There's just far too much science and not enough thriller.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tucker

    ************ Everyone at the end of the book: The world is saved! Book two: ************ I just got my ARC of The Andromeda Evolution in the mail (thank you, HarperCollins!!!!) so, even if it's unnecessary, I'm going to read this

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joe Valdez

    The sixth novel by Michael Crichton but the first published (in 1969) under his own name and the first in which he bent science fiction and suspense together in ways that would propel Crichton to the top of the bestseller lists and into cinemas for the next thirty years, The Andromeda Strain didn't retain many surprises for me, but in its own delightful way, reminded me of a science and technology museum exhibit and the docent giving me a tour: "And here we have a pioneering thriller of technology run The sixth novel by Michael Crichton but the first published (in 1969) under his own name and the first in which he bent science fiction and suspense together in ways that would propel Crichton to the top of the bestseller lists and into cinemas for the next thirty years, The Andromeda Strain didn't retain many surprises for me, but in its own delightful way, reminded me of a science and technology museum exhibit and the docent giving me a tour: "And here we have a pioneering thriller of technology run amok, where mankind's hubris unleashes terror from a top secret laboratory which only white men can stop. Some of you may recall this theme in Jurassic Park." Oooh! Aaah! Divided into four sections representing four days--Contact, Piedmont, Wildfire and Spread--the conceit of the novel is to document a scientific clusterfuck classified top secret. Outside the town of Piedmont, Arizona (pop. 48), an Army lieutenant and private have been dispatched to recover a crashed Air Force satellite. Observing no movement in the town, the men roll into Piedmont and report to Mission Control at Vandenberg Air Force Base lots of bodies in the streets. When Mission Control loses contact with the unit, a reconnaissance jet is dispatched to Piedmont and confirms the dead bodies but at least one civilian who seems to still be alive. Project Wildfire is put on alert. Dr. Jeremy Stone, a thirty-six year old professor of bacteriology at Stanford and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is retrieved by MPs from a dinner party he's hosting with his wife. The other members of the Wildfire team are: Dr. Peter Leavitt, a clinical microbiologist experienced in the treatment of infectious disease. Dr. Charles Burton, a professor of pathology at Baylor College of Medicine known as "The Stumbler" for his clumsiness. A Yale anthropologist is in the hospital for an appendectomy and unable to respond, so the last man on the team is Dr. Mark Hall, a surgeon and compromise candidate chosen by virtue of being a single man who fits something called the Odd Man Hypothesis. An MP hands Dr. Stone a report on Project Scoop, brainchild of the Army Medical Corps tasked with sending satellites into near space to hunt for organisms that might exist there. Any scientific benefits of this project conceal the true aim of Project Scoop: to recover organisms which might be developed into biological weapons. Seventeen orbital satellites weighing thirty-seven pounds have been built and six launched. Scoops I-VI either burned up in the atmosphere or were retrieved with only standard earth organisms. Scoop VII, believed to have been launched February 5, 1967, leaves stable orbit after two and a half days and mysteriously crashes in northeastern Arizona. Stone and Burton are dispatched to Piedmont by helicopter pilot who has orders, upon Stone and Burton's unlikely demise, to return to Wildfire installation in Nevada where his craft is to be incinerated in midair, with the pilot. Stone and Burton note that the corpses in the street died suddenly, clutching their chests. The victims didn't seem to be in pain. Recovering the Scoop satellite in the clinic of the town doctor, Burton performs a field autopsy on the physician and finds the victim's liquid blood has coagulated into solid. More interesting, they find two survivors: a one-year male infant crying in his crib, and a sixty-seven-year old drunk who collapses in the street. Meanwhile, Leavitt escorts Hall into the Wildfire installation, a zero contaminant facility buried underneath a functioning U.S. Department of Agriculture station in Nevada. Each of the levels is more sterile than the last and requires extensive decontamination before the visitor is admitted to Level V, where the satellite and the two survivors have been moved. In the event of a containment breach, an atomic device will automatically destroy the facility in t-minus three minutes. Hall is given the only key to cancel the self-destruct sequence and learns the psychology behind the Odd Man Hypothesis, which holds that bachelors are less likely to chicken out and abort the self-destruct if worse comes to worst. * Helpful tip: When a scientist in a Michael Crichton novel assures you that some awesome new technology is perfectly safe, you don't walk, you run. The flaws in The Andromeda Strain are numerous and easy to spot if you choose to dwell on them. In the days before integrated workplaces, the name characters are uniformly white and male. Worse, they're driven by archetype. Stone, the 36-year-old Nobel prize winning protagonist (Crichton was 27 years old at the time of the novel's publication) is a Gary Stu, a leader in his field who commands respect and adoration, keeps a steady hand at the wheel and was likely considered a bore by everyone except the author and his mother. The sterile work environment of the book doesn't inject any life into the characters either. For most of the story, I was rooting for the bacteria. The reasons I enjoyed the novel were manifold. The conceit that extraterrestrials will visit earth in spaceships is turned on its head by Crichton with the eerie possibility that first contact could take place with a plague brought back by astronauts. This concept remains as potent today as it must have been in 1969 and is dealt with cerebrally, with the Wildfire scientists considering they may be destroying a highly advanced form of alien life in their petri dishes. A science dunce, I enjoyed Crichton detailing the various biological responses the human body undertakes to combat pathogens and how we co-exist with bacteria, 97% of which has evolved to pose no health risk to humans. Crichton's dry, methodical take on the material (there's no room for flirting or even witty banter in the Wildfire installation) lends the book a sense of reality. This makes is more suspenseful and at times, terrifying. I find my inherent paranoia toward military research programs, the hubris of brilliant minds and the violence of scientific discovery to be well bred in Crichton's work. His high concept plots--involving space plagues, dinosaurs, time travel--are effective because I can imagine them being hatched in an undisclosed location where proper security protocols have been overlooked by the lowest bidder. Whoops. The Andromeda Strain is the book that started it all.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Last night Trish and I watched the 1971 Robert Wise movie. And while I did like it better than the first time round, I still prefer Crichton's book. This might be due for a re-read and a proper review in 2019. In short, a returning space probe brings something with it that instantly kills almost all the people in the small town nearest to the landing site. But what is it? And why are there two survivors? A team of scientists is put into the Wildfire installation, a zero contaminant facility that's buried in the Nevada desert, and Last night Trish and I watched the 1971 Robert Wise movie. And while I did like it better than the first time round, I still prefer Crichton's book. This might be due for a re-read and a proper review in 2019. In short, a returning space probe brings something with it that instantly kills almost all the people in the small town nearest to the landing site. But what is it? And why are there two survivors? A team of scientists is put into the Wildfire installation, a zero contaminant facility that's buried in the Nevada desert, and are tasked with sciencing the shit out of it. Can they do it? If you think about picking this up, be prepared for a lot of science and a lot of scary. The book: 4.5 stars The movie: 7/10

  9. 4 out of 5

    Russ

    This book is all about the tension, not the payoff. As with most entertainment, this book pulls you in by asking some questions. "What is it?" "How does it work?" "What happened?" While those questions are still being asked, this book is a fairly thrilling read. If you don't like books that get too technical about things, though, this isn't the book for you. It's full of pages from government documents, computer readouts, and the like. That only helps the book go by quicker, because I This book is all about the tension, not the payoff. As with most entertainment, this book pulls you in by asking some questions. "What is it?" "How does it work?" "What happened?" While those questions are still being asked, this book is a fairly thrilling read. If you don't like books that get too technical about things, though, this isn't the book for you. It's full of pages from government documents, computer readouts, and the like. That only helps the book go by quicker, because I just skipped most of that stuff. For the most part, the book lacks a main protagonist. Even the best candidate for main protagonist isn't given too much to do, and when he is, it's forced. I guess this book works because of the fear of the unknown. Without that, it would be full of boring descriptions of scientific and medical procedures.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Andromeda Strain (Andromeda #1), Michael Crichton The Andromeda Strain is a 1969 techno-thriller novel by Michael Crichton. A team is deployed to recover a military satellite which has returned to Earth, but contact is lost abruptly. Aerial surveillance reveals that everyone in Piedmont, Arizona, the town closest to where the satellite landed, is apparently dead. The duty officer of the base tasked with retrieving the satellite suspects that it returned with an extraterrestrial contamin The Andromeda Strain (Andromeda #1), Michael Crichton The Andromeda Strain is a 1969 techno-thriller novel by Michael Crichton. A team is deployed to recover a military satellite which has returned to Earth, but contact is lost abruptly. Aerial surveillance reveals that everyone in Piedmont, Arizona, the town closest to where the satellite landed, is apparently dead. The duty officer of the base tasked with retrieving the satellite suspects that it returned with an extraterrestrial contaminant and recommends activating "Wildfire", a protocol for a government-sponsored team of scientists intended to contain threats of this nature. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و دوم ماه اکتبر سال 2002 میلادی عنوان: ن‍ژاد آن‍درم‍دا؛ نویسنده: م‍ای‍ک‍ل‌ ک‍رای‍ت‍ون‌‏‫؛ مت‍رج‍م: ف‍ائ‍زه‌ دی‍ن‍ی‌ (طب‍اطب‍ای‍ی‌)؛ ت‍ه‍ران‌: روزن‍ه‌‏‫، 1379؛ در 372 ص؛ مصور، جدول، کتابنامه از ص 364 تا ص 369؛ شابک: 9643340546؛‬ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20 م در یکی از شب‌های سرد زمستان سال 1964 میلادی، ماهواره ی آمریکایی «اسکوپ هفت»، در نزدیکی دهکده ی دورافتاده‌ ای، در بیابان «آریزونا»، فرود می‌آید. جویندگان ماهواره، که از سوی «ناسا»، برای بازگرداندن آن فرستاده شده‌ اند، دهکده را، در وضعیتی غیرعادی می‌یابند، زیرا نشانه‌ ای از حیات، در آن جا مشاهده نمی‌شود، البته جز لاشخورهایی که بر فراز دهکده چرخ می‌زنند. آنان در دهکده، با صحنه‌ ای هولناک روبرو می‌شوند، زیرا شبحی سپیدپوش، به سوی آنان می‌آمد؛ و...؛ داستان «نژاد آندرمدا»، روایت داستان پردازانه‌ ای از بحران علمی هراسناکی، در دهه ی هفتم سده ی بیستم میلادی است، که در پی آزمایش‌های «ناسا»، برای دست‌یابی به شکل‌های تازه‌ تری از جنگ افزارهای میکروبی، در آمریکا رخ داد؛ سپس دامنه و پیامدهای آن بحران، تا مدت‌ها از سوی مقامات امنیتی آمریکا، پنهان نگاه داشته شد. در کتاب «نژاد آندرمدا»، ابعاد پنهانی همان بحران آشکار می‌گردد. ا. شربیانی

  11. 5 out of 5

    Apatt

    “Recent theoretical considerations suggest that sterilization procedures of returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee sterile reentry to this planet's atmosphere. The consequence of this is the potential introduction of virulent organisms into the present terrestrial ecologic framework.” That quote represents the basic concept of The Andromeda Strain quite well. A more sensational - and rather crude - short description may be “Bacteria from outer space”, but this makes it seems like a low-brow alien invas “Recent theoretical considerations suggest that sterilization procedures of returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee sterile reentry to this planet's atmosphere. The consequence of this is the potential introduction of virulent organisms into the present terrestrial ecologic framework.” That quote represents the basic concept of The Andromeda Strain quite well. A more sensational - and rather crude - short description may be “Bacteria from outer space”, but this makes it seems like a low-brow alien invasion sort of story when, in fact, this book is not strictly sci-fi. It was first published in 1969 and set around the time of writing (late ‘60s). This is the book that puts Crichton on the path of blockbusting bestsellerdom. 1971 movie poster The Andromeda Strain is a medical/techno/thriller though it is also sci-fi in the sense that it involves an organism from outer space, not to mention various gadgets that seem to be ahead of their time. The plot is straightforward. A satellite falls near a small town called Piedmont in Arizona, most of the townsfolk immediately die of mysterious causes, and the ones that do not die immediately soon commit suicide in bizarre manners; except an old man and a baby who are strangely unaffected. A secret government’s team of scientists and doctors called “Wild Fire”, assembled for such a contingency, is activated to investigate and prevent any more deaths. The Wild Fire lab is located deep underground with four levels, the deeper the level the more stringent the level of security and sterilization, including an anal probe by robots and such. As you would expect in a thriller, things eventually go south. Will this be the end of the human race? (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] . As mentioned earlier, this is the book that put Michael Crichton on the map, by the time he published Jurassic Park he is practically his own continent. The Andromeda Strain is very tautly written, thrilling and even educational! Crichton is very good at explaining scientific details without dumping the info in huge, incomprehensible blocks. If you are looking for lyricism and deep character development you had better look elsewhere. For the general reader, this is an immensely readable and gripping little novel. Quotes: “These considerations lead me to believe that the first human interaction with extraterrestrial life will consist of contact with organisms similar to, if not identical to, earth bacteria or viruses. The consequences of such contact are disturbing when one recalls that 3 per cent of all earth bacteria are capable of exerting some deleterious effect upon man.” “Physics was the first of the natural sciences to become fully modern and highly mathematical. Chemistry followed in the wake of physics, but biology, the retarded child, lagged far behind. Even in the time of Newton and Galileo, men knew more about the moon and other heavenly bodies than they did about their own.” “According to Lewis Bornheim, a crisis is a situation in which a previously tolerable set of circumstances is suddenly, by the addition of another factor, rendered wholly intolerable. Whether the additional factor is political, economic, or scientific hardly matters: the death of a national hero, the instability of prices, or a technological discovery can all set events in motion. In this sense, Gladstone was right: all crises are the same.” Unpopular 2008 TV series adaptation

  12. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton's contagion procedural, has more in common with Sjowall & Wahloo's Roseanna than anything created by anybody widely associated with the science fiction genre but the biological investigation by Stone, Leavitt et al is most assuredly science fiction and most importantly a fascinating account of how an extraterrestrial bacteria might react to human beings and how human beings might react in return. It's a methodical, slow burn thriller that's h The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton's contagion procedural, has more in common with Sjowall & Wahloo's Roseanna than anything created by anybody widely associated with the science fiction genre but the biological investigation by Stone, Leavitt et al is most assuredly science fiction and most importantly a fascinating account of how an extraterrestrial bacteria might react to human beings and how human beings might react in return. It's a methodical, slow burn thriller that's heavy on the scientific explanations but done in such a way that the layman can easily follow. The novel almost takes the form of a matter of fact report after the fact, eschewing the exaggeration and hyperbole of lesser "blockbuster" thrillers, avoiding cheap thrills in favour of casually revealing that things will did go smoothly down the line after the scientists believe they've made progress in finding a cure. It's this that could cause dissatisfaction in some readers, he threatens disaster throughout but the delivery whilst not necessarily an anti-climax is somewhat akin to ignoring that old Chekov maxim "If in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jason Parent

    I'm not sure if this book is a 4 or 5, but I think I liked it more on second reading. It is really engaging, heavy on the science, which for the most part, great added to the authenticity of the novel. On rare occasions, (view spoiler)[ e.g., toward the end where Crichton introduces unnecessary commentary on some experimental disease treatment that is irrelevant to the story and seems awfully forced (hide spoiler)] , the science is burdensome. The story is I'm not sure if this book is a 4 or 5, but I think I liked it more on second reading. It is really engaging, heavy on the science, which for the most part, great added to the authenticity of the novel. On rare occasions, (view spoiler)[ e.g., toward the end where Crichton introduces unnecessary commentary on some experimental disease treatment that is irrelevant to the story and seems awfully forced (hide spoiler)] , the science is burdensome. The story is a slow burn, building tension over the course of 5 days after discovery of a microscopic alien organism that has laid waste to a small Arizona town. It is not fast-paced (until the end), heavily dependent and science and scientific theory, and overly intellectual - not traits I look for in a thriller generally, but here, they all work together to form a fantastic novel, still great and timely despite decades since first publication. Highly recommended for fans of science thrillers, medical thrillers, and science fiction.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    Scientists! Making things happen! Getting called out of their homes in the middle of the night! Rigorously sanitizing every inch of their bodies! Looking over ascii-image printouts! Performing exhaustive tests! Debating theories of exobiology! And it's a total blast! Michael Crichton made microorganisms scary and cool for the masses with science that isn't laughable 40 years later. Is it any wonder that when he got his hands on dinosaurs he set the entertainment industry on fire? Worth no Scientists! Making things happen! Getting called out of their homes in the middle of the night! Rigorously sanitizing every inch of their bodies! Looking over ascii-image printouts! Performing exhaustive tests! Debating theories of exobiology! And it's a total blast! Michael Crichton made microorganisms scary and cool for the masses with science that isn't laughable 40 years later. Is it any wonder that when he got his hands on dinosaurs he set the entertainment industry on fire? Worth noting that the movie is even better; with fine performances, tight direction and the wild decision to include a female scientist. So check out either and be prepared to turn-pages at the speed of propagating germs or have your eyes glued to the screen as if the human race depended on it. You may never look at anti-bacterial soap the same.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    Perhaps I'm influenced too much by my nostalgic love of the feel of '70's and '80's sci-fi and horror, but I did enjoy this. I'd watched the old movie many years ago, so there were no surprises, but I enjoyed it anyway. It helps that I read this as a real possible event as well, as I think it's highly possible that it will happen (or has already). Great classic sci-fi, in my opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom Quinn

    I've shared this before and am never hesitant to cop to it: I grew up with an outsized fear of germ warfare. By my youth, the nuclear scare was winding down and just about over so I never feared death by atomic fire from above. But I did fear death from biological agent. Anthrax. Weaponized smallpox. Germ warfare. And I read The Andromeda Strain when I was young, possibly too young. I was in third grade when Jurassic Park hit theaters which led me to Crichton by way of my parents, who checked out dog-eare I've shared this before and am never hesitant to cop to it: I grew up with an outsized fear of germ warfare. By my youth, the nuclear scare was winding down and just about over so I never feared death by atomic fire from above. But I did fear death from biological agent. Anthrax. Weaponized smallpox. Germ warfare. And I read The Andromeda Strain when I was young, possibly too young. I was in third grade when Jurassic Park hit theaters which led me to Crichton by way of my parents, who checked out dog-eared copies of JP, Eaters of the Dead, and the rest from our public library. I'd usually get the copies to myself for reading on family road trips after they'd finished with them. So I've read more than a few of his titles (and seen their TV/movie adaptations) but over time I've lost a lot of the details. All I remembered about The Andromeda Strain on this second reading was that there were guys in big, bulky biohazard suits. I knew it was about germs, but forgot all about the extraterrestrial origin angle. Germs... FROM SPACE! Spooky! Crichton occupies an interesting space in sci-fi: too technical to qualify as strictly pulp reading, not technical enough to qualify as hard sci-fi. "Techno-thriller" is the term you'll see bandied about. He gets the germ of the science topic set up (har har!) and then explores the thrilling human dramas that might take place within the general confines of that premise. He's very good at that, the thrills part, the gripping sense of "what happens next?" And the opening of The Andromeda Strain is quite effective as a thriller, given how it's framed not as a wild and extreme "what-if" scenario but rather as a dramatization of real events, comprised of interviews, military files, and fleshed-out details of what may or must have happened, after the fact of some catastrophe. When the plot is moving fast, this is indeed thrilling. But when the action slows the faults become harder to ignore. All the characters sound alike, wooden and monotone. The minutiae of technical details pulled from classified files and woven into a traditional narrative become dry and easy to gloss over. There is no doubt that Crichton can write effectively, driving readers forward with feelings of suspense and curiosity. But he does not always write consistently, and at the times he runs out of steam his books begin to falter. What's more, in this title he has a tendency to undercut his own suspense with spoilers and commentary about things the characters missed or forgot to take into account. 3 stars out of 5. It passes the time sufficiently well but doesn't have much staying power.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*

    3 stars. I’m sure in 1969 this was cutting edge, but it doesn’t quite stack up in 2018, either in terms of suspense, science, or inclusivity. This book fails the Bechdel test so hard, it reminds me of why the Bechdel test was invented. The only women I can remember are a switchboard operator, a nurse, and a (literally, I can't make this up) recorded voice that is described as sensual, almost sexy, UNTIL the male hearer realizes it belongs to a woman in her sixties, at which point he presumably l 3 stars. I’m sure in 1969 this was cutting edge, but it doesn’t quite stack up in 2018, either in terms of suspense, science, or inclusivity. This book fails the Bechdel test so hard, it reminds me of why the Bechdel test was invented. The only women I can remember are a switchboard operator, a nurse, and a (literally, I can't make this up) recorded voice that is described as sensual, almost sexy, UNTIL the male hearer realizes it belongs to a woman in her sixties, at which point he presumably loses interest. Ugh. Still intriguing though! Read so I could thoroughly immerse myself in the Jurassic Park series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael Jandrok

    Yes, it’s nostalgia time again as I once more take a trip down memory lane to rediscover one of the books that I read in my formative years. This installment of “Books That Mike Read As A Kid That Made Him Into the Nerdy Adult He Is Today” is brought to you by Tang, the official drink of the astronauts! I probably first read “The Andromeda Strain” when I was about 12 years old. I had seen the 1971 movie version of the story several times by then, but I had never tackled the book. But both the mo Yes, it’s nostalgia time again as I once more take a trip down memory lane to rediscover one of the books that I read in my formative years. This installment of “Books That Mike Read As A Kid That Made Him Into the Nerdy Adult He Is Today” is brought to you by Tang, the official drink of the astronauts! I probably first read “The Andromeda Strain” when I was about 12 years old. I had seen the 1971 movie version of the story several times by then, but I had never tackled the book. But both the movie and the book were absolute milestones for me. Here was hard science-fiction that didn’t scrimp on the science. In point of fact, “The Andromeda Strain” made science look absolutely COOL, at a time in American education when we as a society still valued the importance of a solid grounding in rational thinking. Goodreads is a book site, so I won’t go overboard with my love for the movie. Suffice it to say that it was way ahead of its time and managed to do a great job of bringing the story to the big screen. Taut and suspenseful, it keeps the science intact while still telling a riveting tale. The novel version of “The Andromeda Strain” was first released in 1969. It was the book that pretty much established Michael Crichton as a genre author, and it introduced themes that he would expand upon in later works. I have seen the book labeled as a “techno-thriller,” but make no mistake, “The Andromeda Strain” is pure science-fiction. The central story of the introduction of an alien organism into the Earth’s biosphere is the stuff of nightmares, and its sheer plausibility gives an air of authority to the proceedings. Crichton himself had an educational background that lent itself to biological thrillers. He had a Bachelor’s Degree in biological anthropology and later earned his MD, though he was never actually licensed to practice medicine. Crichton’s experience and gravitas in biology and medicine give “The Andromeda Strain” a serious air of authenticity, with solid science to propel the events of the plot along. The basic story itself is easy to summarize. A secret government project to collect possible extraterrestrial organisms called “Scoop” is utilizing specialized satellites to fulfill its mission. The latest “Scoop” launch encounters some sort of a collision with an object in orbit, and it quickly comes back down to Earth, landing near the fictional town of Piedmont, Arizona. Piedmont is a sleepy little burg, but things go quickly awry when the capsule is brought back to town and opened by the town physician. All hell breaks loose as the residents of the town either experience almost instantaneous death, or worse yet, seem to go insane and commit suicide in various bizarre ways. All the residents but two, that is, a 69 year-old Sterno drinker and a howling infant. The book opens as surveillance of the town increases after the deaths of the two Army grunts whose job it was to retrieve the wayward satellite. The capsule is recovered and sent to a top-secret underground facility named Wildfire, a five-level containment laboratory specifically designed for biological emergencies. A team of hand-picked scientists and a surgeon have been chosen to study and isolate the new organism, code-named Andromeda. Wildfire has a fail-safe atomic weapon placed in its bowels in case of a contamination emergency…….and I just bet that you can see where all of this is headed. The infant and the old man survived, but why? What mechanism killed the population of Piedmont, or drove them crazy enough to kill themselves? How can it be isolated and stopped before it escapes into the general population? All of these questions can be answered by…...SCIENCE!!!! Pure, methodical, grindingly exact SCIENCE!! And it’s exciting as all hell, because Crichton is smart enough to assume that his intended audience is just as smart. He goes into great detail about the chemical and biological characteristics of the Andromeda organism, and he makes no effort whatsoever to dumb down the information. The whole thing comes off as entirely believable and it is all the more terrifying because of it. Even the Wildfire facility comes off as totally plausible, and the sterilization protocols encountered as the team descends in levels makes for great fun. There is a constant yet muted theme of covert government shenanigans going on, and Crichton uses that tension to keep things on the periphery of the story interesting. It’s a far cry from the paranoia of Stephen King’s “The Shop,” but it’s clear from the outset that Wildfire is not your standard-issue experimental installation. BONUS GEEK POINTS 1A: At one point in the book, Crichton references a real concept in astrobiology, known as The Messenger Theory. This postulates that radio waves and other forms of communication at galactic distances are inherently inefficient. Messenger Theory holds that the cheapest and easiest way to send information across long distances would be to encode data in cellular form. Each single organism would carry the potential to replicate itself and eventually grow into a form that would be able to interact with its new environment. Thus if an extraterrestrial civilization wanted to touch base with us, it would make the most sense to send an emissary in the form of a microscopic spore or other type of host. This makes perfect sense. Cellular structures carry the potential to encode massive amounts of information. If Andromeda were such a bug, then killing it might amount to intergalactic murder. BONUS GEEK POINTS 2B: Crichton also uses a fictional device to drive the plot along, this one called the Odd Man Hypothesis. Odd Man states that an unmarried male will be more able to perform a task which carries inherent potential for self-destruction in the event of a crisis situation. In this case, we have that nasty thermonuclear device at the heart of Wildfire…..set to detonate three minutes after loss of containment unless otherwise stopped by an agent….the Odd Man. Yeah, I know. Easy to guess where this all leads to…… “The Andromeda Strain” has a couple of small flaws that become evident, but given the era in which it was written, it’s more or less easy to excuse them. There is a distinct lack of female characters in the book, and the ones who are there fill stereotypical roles such as nurses or telephone operators. The movie version tried to correct this by changing the sex of one of the main players from male to female, but the book itself is pretty much a sausage-fest. Crichton also writes his primary cast in very broad strokes, offering little in the way of personality or character development along the way. The novel still works, though, because the real star of the show is the Andromeda organism itself. All of the tension, all of the suspense is a result of dogged determination to try and figure out just what the hell this thing is before it can multiply and cause widespread devastation. “The Andromeda Strain” is quite simply one of the best examples of what hard science-fiction can be when an author has respect for their audience. It’s smart, smart stuff, and it seems just as credible now as it did when I first read this book some 40+ years ago. I own a second Dell paperback printing dated 1970, and I’m glad I pulled it off of the shelf. It was a ton of fun to visit this old friend of mine again. It’s highly recommended as far as I’m concerned. Read the book. See the 1971 movie. I can’t say anything about the 2008 mini-series reboot, but I heard that it wasn’t so hot. I’ll stick with the classics, thank you very much. Old school is the best school……...

  19. 4 out of 5

    MightyA

    At least 4.25 stars, IMO. Great story format, superb writing, lots of character developments, yet still interesting enough to keep me on the book the whole time, even the background info of each scientist. To top it off. an excellent audio performance just make the whole experience the more exciting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This was probably one of the first science fiction books I ever read, and so far the only book by Crichton. My rating is based on my reaction over three decades ago -- I seem to recall there were some parts that felt awkward, like they were written by someone trying to leap across the so-called "generation gap". But my teen self loved the book, so it gets the five stars. I have no idea whether I'd still feel as generous if I were to re-read it, but then I seldom re-read books anyway. The movie/>The This was probably one of the first science fiction books I ever read, and so far the only book by Crichton. My rating is based on my reaction over three decades ago -- I seem to recall there were some parts that felt awkward, like they were written by someone trying to leap across the so-called "generation gap". But my teen self loved the book, so it gets the five stars. I have no idea whether I'd still feel as generous if I were to re-read it, but then I seldom re-read books anyway. The movie was pretty good too.

  21. 5 out of 5

    AH

    This is a review of the audiobook. I first read The Andromeda Strain way back when I was about 12 years old or so. Back then the YA genre wasn't available for us precocious readers so we graduated from Nancy Drew straight to Stephen King, Micheal Crichton and the like. There is nothing scarier than something we cannot see. Add in some alien elements and it becomes even scarier. Alien virus from outer space - freaky. The audio version was not as good as the book, nor was it as good as the movie f This is a review of the audiobook. I first read The Andromeda Strain way back when I was about 12 years old or so. Back then the YA genre wasn't available for us precocious readers so we graduated from Nancy Drew straight to Stephen King, Micheal Crichton and the like. There is nothing scarier than something we cannot see. Add in some alien elements and it becomes even scarier. Alien virus from outer space - freaky. The audio version was not as good as the book, nor was it as good as the movie from what I recall. However, I did enjoy listening to it, it just didn't amaze me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    scrillla

    Such an expertly written book. You can tell Crichton has a background in medicine from some of the terminology he uses, the knowledge of biology is uncanny! Definitely makes the book unique in context to any others I have read. The cover and use of the galaxy name Andromeda in the book draws Sci-fi readers towards it definitely. I know this for a fact because I wouldn't of even gotten the book if it didn't have the cool cover of the earth and numbers matrix style and the space title. Such an expertly written book. You can tell Crichton has a background in medicine from some of the terminology he uses, the knowledge of biology is uncanny! Definitely makes the book unique in context to any others I have read. The cover and use of the galaxy name Andromeda in the book draws Sci-fi readers towards it definitely. I know this for a fact because I wouldn't of even gotten the book if it didn't have the cool cover of the earth and numbers matrix style and the space title. The plot of the book is fascinating. The idea of an extraterrestrial organism that can kill off humans in a matter of seconds is not only terrifying but pretty exciting. The books also has you wondering about what secret government organizations are really spending all their time and effort on, even if it is based on fiction. Imagining if some project of theirs like this ever did leak, how they would explain it to us.. just thoughts to ponder. The terms and made up hypothesis in this book really give it a genuine feel. I was definitely confused until I did further research as to whether or not the book was actually real. It unfourtunately has no real fact in it, other than some characters who were named after real people, which is still a nice little touch. The references and hypothetical way of looking at the organism though I found were very relatable to science today. For instance, when Leavitt was thinking about ways to look at the organism he thought of a man and a house. One man means almost nothing to the world, but being a part of a bigger picture, a city, he means alot more. He thought maybe the part of the organism they were looking at, was part of a much bigger picture. That maybe it worked as a big city, instead of just a singular cell like in our bodies. I found the moments where thinking like this came through as very interesting and very appliable if you will to studies of foreign organisms today. This book is a very good representation of exactly how things can go wrong in what looks like to be such neat and controlled situation. You have this state of the art labratory, with all 7 of it's levels, and still, this seemingly tiny foreign object has penetrated every inpenetrable area of it. The explanation of the labratory is extremely detailed, to give you a feel of just how much money and effort was put into this top secret experiment going on. Then, it all crumbles down in a matter of days. The organism thrives in what they thought was the only thing that could destroy it, a nuclear detonation. Not only does it thrive inside of the only thing known to man to kill off every living thing known to us, it disintegrates rubber, which seals all the rooms and controls contamination passing between them. It goes to show how utterly fragile and helpless we really are. We convince ourselves we can protect ourselves against anything; when really the exact opposite it true. We are but a spec in the universe and foolish to think otherwise. We could be wiped out at any moment, extinct just like the dinosaurs. This book, I feel, is a reminder of that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tommy Carlson

    I read The Andromeda Strain back in my youth and had fond memories of it. So, I recently grabbed an eBook version to revisit it. I'm not exactly sure from where the fond memories came. It's not that great a book. On the positive side, there are few female characters so Crichton's misogynistic streak is mostly absent, but that's about it. Dialogue is sparse and flat. Characters aren't much better. Crichton seems more intent on showing off his research than about telling a compelling story. T I read The Andromeda Strain back in my youth and had fond memories of it. So, I recently grabbed an eBook version to revisit it. I'm not exactly sure from where the fond memories came. It's not that great a book. On the positive side, there are few female characters so Crichton's misogynistic streak is mostly absent, but that's about it. Dialogue is sparse and flat. Characters aren't much better. Crichton seems more intent on showing off his research than about telling a compelling story. The whole thing is written as a report, which gives it an air of authenticity. Unfortunately, this also makes it like reading a report. In other words, it's somewhat dry and boring. I still found it readable, but I actually kinda like dry and boring. Still, this was too dry and boring, even for me. The story doesn't have the usual climax. The important thing is the journey, not the destination. But, again, the journey itself isn't exactly gripping.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melissa McShane

    Having recently read a very disappointing Michael Crichton book, I decided to go back to one of my all-time favorites. I think Crichton is at his best here; the conceit that this book is a report on a real scientific and biological crisis is fantastic, and he sticks to it so completely I remember wondering, as a teen when I first read if, if any of it were true. Crichton was not a master of characterization, but here, it doesn't matter. There are enough character details to keep the m Having recently read a very disappointing Michael Crichton book, I decided to go back to one of my all-time favorites. I think Crichton is at his best here; the conceit that this book is a report on a real scientific and biological crisis is fantastic, and he sticks to it so completely I remember wondering, as a teen when I first read if, if any of it were true. Crichton was not a master of characterization, but here, it doesn't matter. There are enough character details to keep the men at the center of the novel from feeling like cardboard cutouts, but what makes the book great is not the people, but the science and the tension behind the investigation of the alien "life form." I remember loving the details of the different experiments they run and how Crichton drops things like "and here they made their first big mistake" into the narrative. I'm also surprised at how well it all holds up despite the technology being antiquated. The sanitary precautions they take, the basic approach to the science, are all just as they would be today, even though I'm sure there are far more complex tools available. And the crisis itself is just creepy. I wish I could read it again for the first time as an adult and see if I could figure out the mystery before they do. Probably not. Also, (view spoiler)[when Mark learns that the oxygen gets evacuated from the lower levels thirty seconds before detonation, meaning that he only had a few seconds to spare instead of nearly a minute, it gives me chills. I don't know why. (hide spoiler)] I think this may be my favorite Crichton novel. It's certainly the one I go back to most often. Funny which books end up being comfort reads, when it's ones you wouldn't expect.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Asghar Abbas

    An unassuming start to an illustrious career of an author who was an innovator at core. Not the first book he published but the first novel where he didn't use a pseudonym. He previously published novels under the name John Lange and Odds On was MC's first novel and he would continue to write as Lange even after the success of Andromeda Strain; his SIXTH novel. Wow You know, as a med student he started his writing career to supplement his income. Nowadays it's the opposite, doctors publish books An unassuming start to an illustrious career of an author who was an innovator at core. Not the first book he published but the first novel where he didn't use a pseudonym. He previously published novels under the name John Lange and Odds On was MC's first novel and he would continue to write as Lange even after the success of Andromeda Strain; his SIXTH novel. Wow You know, as a med student he started his writing career to supplement his income. Nowadays it's the opposite, doctors publish books to supplement theirs. Sort of. haha.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Andromeda Strain is probably a four or five star book, but it was just way too technical for me. I found myself skimming all of the technical stuff and skipping ahead to the part where the scientist would explain what he just said in "dummy speak". On the bright side, it is not a very long book, so it didn't feel like it was dragging. I thought the ending was great. I was very suprised, because it was not at all what I was expecting.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ali (the bandar blog)

    Note to self: Next time, remember that you don't like books that involve medicine. That took a whole 2 stars off for me. Definitely fun infectious disease story, though I wish there had been more about the outbreak and less about the science behind it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kaph

    So I decided to give Crichton another go. I was optimistic. There is no movie of this one (as far as I’m aware) and I do enjoy a good space epidemiology premise. What can I say? I was right, solid 3. Also, look up ‘page-turner’ in a reputable dictionary and you will be directed to this book. Bloody impossible to put down, almost irritatingly so. I read the last chapters in a kind of frustrated mania, aware I had things to do but also accepting of the fact that they were not getting done until I So I decided to give Crichton another go. I was optimistic. There is no movie of this one (as far as I’m aware) and I do enjoy a good space epidemiology premise. What can I say? I was right, solid 3. Also, look up ‘page-turner’ in a reputable dictionary and you will be directed to this book. Bloody impossible to put down, almost irritatingly so. I read the last chapters in a kind of frustrated mania, aware I had things to do but also accepting of the fact that they were not getting done until I finished the damn novel. Still, I cannot rate it beyond a solid three because at the end of the day it suffers from what I have identified as the usual Crichton pitfalls; it’s written like it knows it will be used as a screenplay and the ending is weak sauce. Literarily, it also suffered by comparison from being read right after Heart of Darkness. At one point a character drops a cigarette in snow and Crichton writes that it ‘sputtered’. I was unusually irritated by this lazy writing. Cigarettes don’t sputter in snow, they just go out! Conrad would never write such weak description. He would write about a cigarette in snow using words you had never thought to put together but that somehow perfectly encapsulated the whole fag/snow experience. Still, it’s a bit of an unfair comparison, after all, I kept turning those pages. Make no mistake, this is a good book. The premise is genius enough to absolve sloppy cigarette descriptions and Crichtons’ always good for a few passages of mildly enlightening ‘biological theory for dummies’ exposition. Oh big surprise, I’m pretentious! Fine, go on, read the first chapter, just make sure you’ve cleared you schedule of anything too pressing, doctors appointments, promises to pick people up from the airport, weddings, both others and your own. I’ll see you back here in a few hours. #12 Title The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton When December 2011 Why Found it on sale at Half Price Books Rating 3

  29. 5 out of 5

    Peter Monn

    Not as good as his others but since it was one of his first it’s a must read. A full review will be upnon my booktube channel at http://YouTube.com/peterlikesbooks

  30. 5 out of 5

    Doubledf99.99

    Another one of those great listens, that one can listen to straight through.

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