Posts Tagged 'Michael Crichton'

Book Review: Pirate Latitudes – Michael Crichton

I picked this book relying just on the name of the author – Michael Crichton. I’ve almost always liked his sci-fi books, but had rarely liked his writing when he strayed from that genre. But the interesting blurb, and the name of the author was enough for me to buy the book.

Pirate Latitudes is a posthumous book by Crichton. His assistant was going through his computer after his death and found the manuscript for the book. I don’t know why Crichton did not get this book printed earlier. As per me, this is one of his better books. Once all the characters have been etched, the book gallops along like a Sehwag innings.

The book is set in the 17th century, when few of the West Indies islands are under England, and rest under Spain. The warring nations maintain an uneasy peace over the Caribbean waters, but there are skirmishes and bouts regularly. This is the story of another such adventure when a group of English Privateers plan to capture a ship filled with treasure resting at a Spanish stronghold.

This is one book which would make for an interesting movie. As I was reading about the book, I realized that Steven Speilberg is indeed making a movie based on the book. I can already envision Keira Knightley playing the role of Lazue (yeah, that can be attributed to the Pirates of Caribbean).

The book tells a story that has been told scores of times, but even then it manages to hold your attention. An eminently readable book, I would surely recommend it.

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Book Review: Next – Michael Crichton

This time it is Genetics – the theme of the latest Michael Crichton sci-fi novel Next. The ability of the writer to take any technology, look ahead at what could happen, and then weave a story around it is amazing. Here he takes Genetics (Michael Crichton already has a book on that – Jurassic Park) and lets the industries patent genes (which means that a part of human body is owned by corporate), the researchers develop transgenic pets (a parrot that does mathematical calculations, and a part ape – part human chimpanzee that talks and has human traits), and unabated findings of genes that control maturity, hair-colour, risk-taking, rebel behaviour and what not!

Many sub-plots were running in parallel throughout the book and so initially the book seemed very disconnected, I assumed that somehow the sub-plots would converge and there would be some sort of grand-finale. But it was like reading 3-4 novels simultaneously – sometimes it got really confusing, and I would flip back to see who was who. All sub-novels (is there any such word?) met their respective ends and the only connecting thread among all was Genetics.

The novel was surely a thriller, an engrossing science fiction, but it was very confusing. Surprisingly in this science fiction there were many lengthy legal proceedings – making it seem like a John Grisham novel sometimes… Copious research has preceded this novel as apparent from the multi-page bibliography. And the conclusions drawn by Crichton in the Author’s Note logically follows from the book.

Although, the best part of the book was its disclaimer, “This novel is fiction, except for the parts that aren’t.


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I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

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