Wednesday, November 05, 2008

R.I.P. Mr. Crichton

Michael Crichton has left the planet.

I remember in fifth grade, watching my brother violently react when my mom interrupted his reading of Jurassic Park.  "Have you ever been so into a book that when somebody rips you out of it you feel like throwing up?"  I got the video game for Christmas that year and watched the movie a billion times.  Then in eighth grade, I finally opened the book and read for days.

In college, I branched out and read The Andromeda Strain.  I thought that I had read better books, but I also thought it had a really interesting premise.  I read Rising Sun, The Terminal Man, and A Case of Need before I stumbled on one of my favorite novels of all time: Sphere.  In my account, Sphere is one of only two books I honor with five out of five stars.  Later, I gave The Great Train Robbery and Travels four stars.

I'm in the process of reading the seven novels of his I haven't read yet.  They don't always rival Shakespeare, but they're always exciting and always interesting and always fun.  I can't say that Mr. Crichton was a good friend of mine, but I can say that I have enjoyed the hours I've spent reading his work.

If nothing else, I hope Mr. Crichton would be honored by my saying that he's the kind of writer who makes me want to write novels.


Pope said...

I too loved Sphere, The Great Train Robbery, and Jurassic Park. Though, I despised The Lost World, because it felt like he used the book as a platform to sell his quasi-religious beliefs.

He was one of the first authors that I got hooked on while growing up. I didn't love all of his work, but it always kept me engaged. He will be missed.

ALV said...

I adored Timeline. Crichton was always kind of a beach-read for me, but really really enjoyable beach reading.