Thursday, 27 October 2005

State of Fear

I've just read Michael Crichton's State of Fear, reluctantly I confess since I thought Jurassic Park was a donkey, but I'd been recommended it by a number of people as 'a great exposé of the global warming charade,' and I thought I should give it a go.

I was disappointed. Chrichton can't write, can he? He really can't. And just like Jurassic Park, the plot is wafer-thin with holes you could poke a fork of lightning through, and his plot devices -- Reggie Perrin-like disappearances and reappearances, and a secret list foreshadowing all bad things to come -- look like something dreamed up by a committee. His writing itself is weak, and his characters would embarrass the production manager at a cardboard box factory. Frankly, the only reason to read this book is that he skewers global warming, but as that's been done better elsewhere, that's no reason to subject yourself to it. Don't waste your time.

The book was thrown into shaper relief because I bought it together with the new Lee Child thriller, 'One Shot.' Child's writing is everything Chrichton's would like to be: it's sharp, taut, and unlike Chrichton, Child expects you to read with your brain switched on -- all angles have been thought through, and Child expects you to get to his revelations and plot twists just as he does.

My advice is to reward yourself with Child's latest, not to punish yourself with Crichton's -- unless you're just reading it for the science, I guess.


  1. Yeah I found it much the same. Didn't know whether it was a novel or a lecture.

  2. I'm reading Reacher's lastest adventure at the mo 2 and loving it. Lee Child is indeed a 'taut' writer - no fat in his words.


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