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Next : a novel

by Michael Crichton

  Print book : Fiction  |  1st ed

Worst Crichton yet--Plot suffers from plethora of characters   (2008-05-26)


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by annegirl19

I have been a fan of Michael Crichton ever since I can remember (Jurassic Park being one of the first "grown up" books I ever remember reading), so naturally I tackled his newest book with vigor. However, I had trouble getting through the first several pages, and ended up restarting the book about 4 times before finally finishing it, after which I was completely disappointed. The only positive thing that I can really say is that topic of genetic technology and its moral implications is, I suppose, timely, and, as always with Crichton, the research is very thorough. But the chapters are entirely too short to develop plot line (average 3-4 pages), and each chapter deals with a different character. Chrichton is usually a master at developing many characters and weaving their stories together in unexpected and amazing ways. However, in "Next," I found the sheer volume of characters overwhelming, and the constant switching between them highly off-putting. By the end of the book, I can honestly say there was not one single character I was emotionally invested in. This book was touted as a novel, but somehow ended up becoming Crichton's personal platform for correcting society's attitudes toward gene technology. If he wanted to write a nonfiction editorial on the effects of patenting genes, he should have done so and called it such. Attempting to add all the trappings of a novel made what could have been an interesting medical read into a muddled and disappointing mess. Sorry, Crichton fans. This is definitely one of his books that fails to get my endorsement. Don't waste your time.

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