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State of Fear

by

State of Fear Cover

ISBN13: 9780066214139
ISBN10: 0066214130
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Excerpt

PARIS NORD
SUNDAY, MAY 2, 2004
12:00 P.M.

In the darkness, he touched her arm and said, "Stay here." She did not move, just waited. The smell of salt water was strong. She heard the faint gurgle of water.

Then the lights came on, reflecting off the surface of a large open tank, perhaps fifty meters long and twenty meters wide. It might have been an indoor swimming pool, except for all the electronic equipment that surrounded it.

And the very strange device at the far end of the pool.

Jonathan Marshall came back to her, grinning like an idiot. "Qu'estce que tu penses?" he said, though he knew his pronunciation was terrible. "What do you think?"

"It is magnificent," the girl said. When she spoke English, her accent sounded exotic. In fact, everything about her was exotic, Jonathan thought. With her dark skin, high cheekbones, and black hair, she might have been a model. And she strutted like a model in her short skirt and spike heels. She was half Vietnamese, and her name was Marisa. "But no one else is here?" she said, looking around.

"No, no," he said. "It's Sunday. No one is coming."

Jonathan Marshall was twenty-four, a graduate student in physics from London, working for the summer at the ultra-modern Laboratoire Ondulatoire-the wave mechanics laboratory-of the French Marine Institute in Vissy, just north of Paris. But the suburb was mostly the residence of young families, and it had been a lonely summer for Marshall. Which was why he could not believe his good fortune at meeting this girl. This extraordinarily beautiful and sexy girl.

"Show me what it does, this machine," Marisa said. Her eyes were shining. "Show me what it is you do."

"My pleasure," Marshall said. He moved to the large control panel and began to switch on the pumps and sensors. The thirty panels of the wave machine at the far end of the tank clicked, one after another.

He glanced back at her, and she smiled at him. "It is so complicated," she said. She came and stood beside him at the control panel. "Your research is recorded on cameras?"

"Yes, we have cameras in the ceiling, and on the sides of the tank. They make a visual record of the waves that are generated. We also have pressure sensors in the tanks that record pressure parameters of the passing wave."

"These cameras are on now?"

"No, no," he said. "We don't need them; we're not doing an experiment."

"Perhaps we are," she said, resting her hand on his shoulder. Her fingers were long and delicate. She had beautiful fingers.

She watched for a minute, then said, "This room, everything is so expensive. You must have great security, no?"

"Not really," he said. "Just cards to get in. And only one security camera." He gestured over his shoulder. "That one back in the corner."

She turned to look. "And that is turned on?" she said.

"Oh yes," he said. "That's always on." She slid her hand to caress his neck lightly. "So is someone watching us now?"

"Afraid so."

"Then we should behave."

"Probably. Anyway, what about your boyfriend?"

"Him." She gave a derisive snort. "I have had enough of him."

Earlier that day, Marshall had gone from his small apartment to the café on rue Montaigne, the café he went to every morning, taking a journal article with him to read as usual. Then this girl had sat down at the next table, with her boyfriend. The couple had promptly fallen into an argument.

In truth, Marshall felt that Marisa and the boyfriend didn't seem to belong together. He was American, a beefy, red-faced fellow built like a footballer, with longish hair and wire-frame glasses that did not suit his thick features. He looked like a pig trying to appear scholarly.

His name was Jim, and he was angry with Marisa, apparently because she had spent the previous night away from him. "I don't know why you won't tell me where you were," he kept repeating.

"It is none of your business, that's why."

"But I thought we were going to have dinner together."

"Jimmy, I told you we were not."

"No, you told me you were. And I was waiting at the hotel for you. All night."

"So? No one made you. You could go out. Enjoy yourself."

"But I was waiting for you."

"Jimmy, you do not own me." She was exasperated by him, sighing, throwing up her hands, or slapping her bare knees. Her legs were crossed, and the short skirt rode up high. "I do as I please."

"That's clear."

"Yes," she said, and at that moment she turned to Marshall and said, "What is that you are reading? It looks very complicated."

At first Marshall was alarmed. She was clearly talking to him to taunt the boyfriend. He did not want to be drawn into the couple's dispute.

"It's physics," he said briefly, and turned slightly away. He tried to ignore her beauty.

"What kind of physics?" she persisted.

"Wave mechanics. Ocean waves."

"So, you are a student?"

"Graduate student."

"Ah. And clearly intelligent. You are English? Why are you in France?"

And before he knew it, he was talking to her, and she introduced the boyfriend, who gave Marshall a smirk and a limp handshake. It was still very uncomfortable, but the girl behaved as if it were not.

"So you work around here? What sort of work? A tank with a machine? Really, I can't imagine what you say. Will you show me?"

And now they were here, in the wave mechanics laboratory. And Jimmy, the boyfriend, was sulking in the parking lot outside, smoking a cigarette.

"What shall we do about Jimmy?" she said, standing beside Marshall while he worked at the control panel.

"He can't smoke in here."

"I will see that he does not. But I don't want to make him more angry."

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

sockmonkey828, January 19, 2009 (view all comments by sockmonkey828)
Have you ever continued to read a book believing that "Surely, it's going to get better."? Let me save you some time and suggest that you read only the En Route chapter of section VI and the author's notes of this book. What's my beef with "State of Fear"? Contrived situations, ridiculous dialogue, and cardboard characters for starters. The underlying message that we need to be diligent in scrutinizing the interplay of governments, corporations, media, and research institutions is one that needs to be at the forefront of all Americans' thought processes. Using global warming as the vehicle to deliver the message in this book should have been intriguing. Alas, by the time I got to the last page all I felt was relief that I'd finished.
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aqua8484, December 21, 2008 (view all comments by aqua8484)
I love this book; there is no doubt about it. It may have aroused the anger of various climatologists and scientists, but it does prove a rather convincing point. I myself believed in the theory of global warming; however the ideas Crichton portrays seem to fit our society more reasonably than the guesses made about global warming. The truth is we just don’t know enough about the Earth to make a diagnosis.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780066214139
Author:
Crichton, Michael
Publisher:
Harper
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Technological
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
December 7, 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
624
Dimensions:
9.40x6.54x1.42 in. 2.08 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

State of Fear Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 624 pages HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS - English 9780066214139 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "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." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "[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-)"
"Synopsis" by , From Michael Crichton, the bestselling author of Prey, comes his newest thriller of the season.
"Synopsis" by , 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.
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