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State of Fearby Michael Crichton
"Crichton uses Evans's resolute belief in global warming as a means of instructing the reader in the facts of climatology — or, at least the facts as Crichton sees them. Under the guise of a deposition, Evans is deluged with information and diagrams intended to alter his thinking. It would be a perfectly effective instructional device were it not for the fact that Crichton seems to think the reader is as daft as Evans." Sacha Zimmerman, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)
Synopses & Reviews
In Paris, a physicist dies after performing a laboratory experiment for a beautiful visitor.
In the jungles of Malaysia, a mysterious buyer purchases deadly cavitation technology, built to his specifications.
In Vancouver, a small research submarine is leased for use in the waters off New Guinea.
And in Tokyo, an intelligence agent tries to understand what it all means.
Thus begins Michael Crichton's exciting and provocative technothriller, State of Fear. Only Michael Crichton's unique ability to blend science fact and pulse-pounding fiction could bring such disparate elements to a heart-stopping conclusion.
This is Michael Crichton's most wide-ranging thriller. State of Fear takes the reader from the glaciers of Iceland to the volcanoes of Antarctica, from the Arizona desert to the deadly jungles of the Solomon Islands, from the streets of Paris to the beaches of Los Angeles. The novel races forward, taking the reader on a rollercoaster thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear. Gripping and thought-provoking, State of Fear is Michael Crichton at his very best.
"If Crichton is right — if the scientific evidence for global warming is thin; if the environmental movement, ignoring science, has gone off track; if we live in what he in his Author's Message calls a 'State of Fear,' a 'near-hysterical preoccupation with safety that's at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism' — then his extraordinary new thriller may in time be viewed as a landmark publication, both cautionary and prophetic. If he is wrong, then the novel will be remembered simply as another smart and robust, albeit preachy, addition to an astonishing writing career that has produced, among other works, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and The Andromeda Strain. Crichton dramatizes his message by way of a frantic chase to prevent environmental terrorists from wreaking widespread destruction aimed at galvanizing the world against global warming. A team lead by MIT scientist/federal agent John Kenner crosses the globe to prevent the terrorists from calving a giant Antarctic iceberg; inducing terrible storms and flash floods in the US; and, using giant cavitators, causing a Pacific tidal wave. Behind the terrorists lurks the fantatical, fund-seeking chief of a mainstream environmental group; on Kenner's team, most notably, is young attorney Peter Evans, aka everyman, whose typically liberal views on global warming chill as Kenner instructs him in the truth about the so-called crisis. The novel is dense with cliffhangers and chases and derring-do, while stuffed between these, mostly via Kenner's dialogue, is a talky yet highly provocative survey of how Crichton thinks environmentalism has derailed. There are plenty of ready-to-film minor characters as well, from a karate-kicking beauty to a dimwitted, pro-environmentalist TV star who meets one of the nastiest fates in recent fiction. There's a lot of message here, but fortunately Crichton knows how to write a thriller of cyclonic speed and intensity. Certainly one of the more unusual novels of the year for its high-level mix of education and entertainment, with a decidedly daring contrarian take, this take-no-prisoners consideration of environmentalism wrapped in extravagantly enjoyable pages is one of the most memorable novels of the year and is bound to be a #1 bestseller." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"State of Fear is a 600-page tirade about global warming....The boy-novelist who engineered a tyrannosaurus in Jurassic Park and mysterious pathogens from outer space in The Andromeda Strain has become a political pamphleteer, a right-wing noodge." Bryan Curtis, Slate
"The novel...reads like a shrill, preposterous right-wing answer to this year's shrill, preposterous but campily entertaining global warming disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow." Michiko Katukani, The New York Times
"[I]t's a kick to watch a brainiac like Crichton chomp down on the conventional wisdom about global warming....State of Fear is one of Crichton's best because it's as hard to pigeonhole as greenhouse gas but certainly heats up the room. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
From Michael Crichton, the bestselling author of Prey, comes his newest thriller of the season.
Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world. From the streets of Paris, to the glaciers of Antarctica to the exotic and dangerous Solomon Islands, State of Fear takes the reader on a rollercoaster thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear.
In Tokyo, in Los Angeles, in Antarctica, in the Solomon Islands . . . an intelligence agent races to put all the pieces together to prevent a global catastrophe.
About the Author
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago in 1942. His novels include The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Jurassic Park, and Timeline. He is also the creator of the television series ER.
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