Michael Crichton made me read like a kid again, and I loved it.

  1. I think I've read that 3 times in my life, probably 15 years apart each reading, each time not remembering that I previously read it until the cringy part where the mark wants to remedy his syphilis by banging an underage prostitute.

  2. Hello friend! My favorite Crichton and so many people don't know it. I've read it 4-5x and collect different editions of it. I was lucky enough to find a first edition at The Strand in NYC a few years ago. It's now a tradition to check the nearby used bookstores whenever I visit a new place to look for one I don't have.

  3. That is one of the few of his I haven’t read yet. I’m still reading “State of Fear”. I might read that one next.

  4. After falling out of reading for a long long time I went on a big Crichton binge and it was brilliant. I love that there is great, dry technical parts to every book but the overall stories are generally really pulp and just fun. It's made me interested in reading again which is perfect really.

  5. I didn't remember it being so great, but it just reads like a well-executed 80s/90s action film. I'd lump it in with goofy classics like Speed, Face Off, and Point Break. Of course it's silly, but it's well done and it brings so much joy!

  6. Sphere was the only book I've ever read in a single sitting. I just could not put it down. I read it in middle school circa mid 90's and kept thinking it would make a mind blowing movie. Imagine my disappointment a few years later when the movie actually came out

  7. His most underrated work. Imagine an alien vessel that is hundreds of years old inexplicably communicating with you over text on a computer while you're deep in the ocean. It scared the shit out of me as a kid. The movie adaptation needs to be erased from history.

  8. Not a huge reader currently in my life and I know Crichton is not seen as a very sophisticated writer but dammit I still get sucked in by these books. They make me feel like a kid. Sphere is my favorite of the many Crichton books I’ve read. I think I will re-read it now. Thank you.

  9. I first read Sphere as a 9yo after I borrowed it from my dad’s bookshelf, and holy shit, what a mindfuck of a book for a 9yo. I finished it in two sittings because it sucked me in so hard and kept throwing new twists at me.

  10. This book got me into reading when I was a teen. I thought books were stupid but I read that thing in one sitting. I couldn't put it down

  11. I read sphere by lamplight while I didn’t have power from a hurricane for about 9 days. My setting made the story so much better

  12. I read that book in about 3 days the first time I read it. Literally couldn't put it down at times!

  13. If it weren't for Michael Crichton, I would have never been into reading books. He mixed the right amount of science and fiction into his works, which made them plausible. I wish he hadn't died so early and would have written a lot more books!

  14. Same here. I was a massive Jurassic Park fan as a kid. The first movie's VHS got worn out. I remember finding the book in a book store my mom always went to and freaking out. I thought it was only a movie. I remember like 8 or 10 and reading that book and loving every second of it. It felt like reading the biggest book ever written at that age and I ended up reading it twice during childhood. It got me really into books and an entire genre I didn't really know about. Became an avid reader and total geek for anything scifi. I also just re-read it again for the second time as an adult and it holds ups so well. Such an amazing book that gives me this feeling that nothing else does.

  15. Specifically the movie, though. The 1972 film. That was great and Kate Reid was wonderful.

  16. JP is a fantastic book, I've read it a few times. And honestly the original film captures a lot of the Crichtoney-ness that I loved about the book.

  17. Honestly I feel like being a high school English teacher has to set you up to hate a lot of books. Or even middle school teachers. I had some friends who tried to be cool and cunning like Artemis Fowl and let’s just say they didn’t pull it off. It’s like seeing the worst members of a fandom irl every day

  18. I just read Jurassic Park for the first time about a month ago. The only Crichton I've read and I loved it so much. I'm a very inconsistent reader, but it made me want to read more. Any book that does that is a great book to me. Also, I loved the first movie as a kid and growing up, but the book was on another level and I really appreciated it.

  19. Not related, but Crichton has one glaring weakness which keeps him from being my favorite author. And that is State of Fear.

  20. Yeah, I have a family member who's an Art History teacher that refuses to teach her classes about "Dogs Playing Poker" and black velvet paintings of Elvis. I feel so bad for them.

  21. I was and am a super fan of Crichtons fiction, but his autobiography Travels is literally the only book I have ever thrown in the trash halfway through.

  22. I loved the Jurassic Park book. I thought the bits where numbers were read out from machines was a bit unecessary and tedious but otherwise it was really fun.

  23. Check out Blake Crouch. Recursion and Dark Matter are amazing. He does a little more with his characters than Crichton and a little less with universal human themes/etc...but the techno-thriller scaffolding is great :)

  24. Also a huge Michael Crichton fan, I read Dark Matter after someone in another one of these threads recommended it, I also read Upgrade (actually put it down and haven't picked it up to finish yet) and for me Blake doesn't quite cut it. His characters are 1 dimensional, instead of having the formulaic team of experts assembled for some shadowy purpose, each with their own histories and ambitions, Blake's protagonists are always just individual super geniuses with beautiful families they'd rather be home having a glass of wine with.

  25. As a huge Crichton fan, I did enjoy Dark Matter a lot. For me, however, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir was the closest I felt to a new Crichton book.

  26. Sphere and prey will always be my personal favorite. I have read almost everything by Crichton, and he is one of my favorite author. I haven't find any other author that is similar, so People here, if you know, let me know.

  27. Crichton was my favorite author as a teen as well!! I love your story! I reread Sphere every few years. Did you read Rising Sun in your teens? I read it again recently and wondered how my parents let me read it at 14. I always wondered why they kept talking about cats.

  28. Hahaha yes I read Rising Sun at the tender age of 13, and yes I remember it absolutely making me blush. What a wild simultaneous introduction into the high-stakes world of 1990s Japanese business culture and human sexuality 😅

  29. I'm with you, OP. Crichton is fantastic for a quick, gripping read, just like when you were a kid and everything was new and exciting. I go back and read "Eaters of the Dead" quite a bit, and it is still a quintessential adventure story.

  30. My aunt got my Sphere for Christmas when I was like in sixth grade. I was never a big reader before that. But after reading that book, it sent me down this massive spiral of reading every book I could get my hands on.

  31. Haven't seen a lot of mention of 'Travels'. It isn't fiction, but there are just great stories in there. Diving in Bonaire, scaling Kilimanjaro, some fascinating psychic stories, smoking herb in Thailand... that's just a few.

  32. I still think about Travels all the time. Especially when I'm carrying a full cup of coffee and think about how he said experiencing psychic phenomena took only that much concentration. On the one hand I want to know what he was smoking and how much it costs. On the other hand I want to believe stuff like that could actually be real, because it would be nice to know if there really was more than we could see.

  33. If you like sci-fi, Peter F Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction series did just that for me... It took a while to get into his first book, taking me months to get through the first half of it, the second half of the first book taking me a weekend, his second I read in 24 hours solid. And the third, taking another weekend as I slowed down.

  34. Yooooo, I liked this series so much and I barely see it talked about. I actually read everything in the Pandora's Star universe, then went back and read the Reality Dysfunction books. Loved both series. Salvation was good but I didn't like it as much.

  35. I have reread many of my childhood favorites after college and grad school. And they brought pleasure back then moved me on to more. I do still read biographies and some business books. But Clancy and Scifi are my go tos for daily pleasure.

  36. Yeah I've been really stoked on the feeling. It's not my job to read hard books, I want to read things that make my brain happy.

  37. Yaaaas! I love Michael Chrichton! I stole Jurassic Park off my brother when I was a kid, probably not long after the film came out and I loved it so much!!! I’ve still got it and it’s pretty much in pieces I’ve read it so much!! And in about 2018 I binge read all his other books in about 2 weeks! He makes me happy

  38. His best book is “Travels” which is sort of his autobiography/memoir. It’s a brilliant book that I found to be fascinating and much better written than any of his novels. He led a crazy life!

  39. I’m obsessed with him. I remember the day he died. I had just started college and I went to the Yahoo front page (different times lol) and there it was. Hadn’t known he was sick. Was and am devastated. But now… I’m a sci fi writer too. And I can’t replace him but I can write in his honor.

  40. I've had a similar experience some times. There has been a couple of times in my life when I lost the habit of reading, and almost always it was after getting a big pile of hard books in my "to read" list. I love reading essays and things like that, but sometimes is easy to find a few topics you want to read on and end up with several dulls reads that make you quit.

  41. My no.1 Crichton choice is 'Disclosure'. Considering how old it is now it is no less forward thinking and speculative than 'Jurrasic park' or 'Westworld'.

  42. I cannot fathom how he made me so engaged with that book. I remember it being very office-y and corporate, with some intriguing commentary on office sexual politics, but I sped through that book without stopping. Guy had a real gift.

  43. I have to read this/watch it again. If I recall right, the technology involved would at this point seem incredibly archaic, and was so even 5 or 8 years after publication.

  44. Thanks for this. As a kid, I loved to read but university and grad school robbed me of that passion I once had. After reading your post I might give it a try.

  45. As an English / Writing major, the forced literacy definitely robbed me of some of the joy of reading. Once I graduated, I promised myself I would read for myself only, and never anyone else.

  46. I had a similar thing a few years back when I first got an iPad 2 and it had pretty much all of his books on it. I had not read anything by him since Congo when I was maybe 15 years old and as soon as I read Sphere I was hooked.

  47. Hmm, I have that book but his prose didn’t work for me for some reason. It seemed dry and didn’t give me a sense of wonder. Maybe I didn’t read far enough. I should give it another try then.

  48. His prose is indeed rather dry. Almost remarkable in its lack of figurative language. I came to this book from Gabriel Garcia Marquez (My current GOAT) and the contrast is almost laughable! I would recommend getting though the first 50 pages, as it's the action, setting, and pace that really made it such a fun book.

  49. Now I don't read much because it takes me forever to read a book. However, Jurassic Park is one of the best books I've ever read. I can read it in a few days. Love it.

  50. I picked up Jurassic Park when I was a teen, right before my Grandpa took me out for a day in the boat fishing. That day was the day my family finally saw that I would rather read a good book than fish or hunt. I never looked up from that book and read it in one full day, had never done that before. I still thank my grandpa for not throwing that book in the lake and understanding that it was as important to me, as fishing was to him. Later on her out me thru college, and I feel that book, that day triggered my grandfather to push me thru college.

  51. Hard agree. I just picked up his Travels because I had remembered really enjoying it, but it is soooo much more casually misogynistic than I had noticed at the time. Probably because the world was, too, then, and I was used to it.

  52. I could go for a few downvotes today, I guess... this is a topic that hits kinda close to home for me. I spent years repeating his bullshit and then more years apologizing for it once I got old enough to realize that you shouldn't base your political beliefs off some shit you read from a sci fi author.

  53. It was put together from unfinished work found on his computer after his death, and that does show somewhat, in my opinion. Most of his actual properly finished books are so, so much better. I especially recommend Prey

  54. My understanding is that PL was basically a finished or semi-finished manuscript found in his desk after his death and published. So, it's not necessarily up to par with his other works.

  55. I read Prey about a year ago and since then collect Michael Crichton books whenever i can find em! New fave author for sure

  56. I remember reading Jurassic Park as a teenager and asking, “Hey, why can’t we do this?” for his explanation of how we got the dino DNA from mosquitos trapped in amber. His pseudo-science is so amazing. I learned some animals can spontaneously change their sex as well from this book.

  57. Believe it or not a new Crichton book dropped in 2017 called dragon teeth and I can't wait to read it as I've already read all his others except disclosure. Been dead for years an still comin out with new content.

  58. On this same note, a family member of mine is an English lit professor. She doesn’t like some of the things I love because “they aren’t true literature”. Some of the true literature she’s recommended were stodgy and boring. Reading is fun (or should be).

  59. I also read his books as a teen. Bought Rising Sun for about 6 or 7 dollars, and this was in the mid-90s, but my parents told me to return it before I could start to read it. I don't know when or if it got returned but said they had already bought it for me as a Christmas present. The book didn't get taken back, as it was a book bought across state lines, it kind of sat in my dad's library, and over time, he forgot to wrap the one he'd bought for me. So there were two copies of the book and I didn't get to read either one. I bought newer titles as they came out, making sure my parents wouldn't buy another copy and prevent another reading from happening, but I hadn't ended up reading Rising Sun and those old copies, I never knew what they did with them.

  60. Crichton had a surprisingly large influence on my life. I vividly recall watching the series premiere of ER as a little kid and deciding that's what I wanted to do with my life. In med school I even rotated at the Chicago ER the show was loosely based off of.

  61. Actually now that I think about it, I think Pirate Latitudes was one of the books that kicked off one of my book benders as well

  62. I've actually just finished a reread of Jurassic Park and on the first chapter of Lost World. It's really awesome how technical he can get in his writing but the reader has no issue understanding it. Def my favorite author growing up and maybe still!

  63. I read state of fear when I was in HS, and it really changed my life. I became super interested in how data could be manipulated to paint a certain picture, and I haven't looked at data the same since. I owe him a lot for this.. RIP

  64. Tons of misinformation in this particular book, though, so be careful! Ironically, he manipulates climate data to tell a story opposite what two more decades of data have suggested is true.

  65. The only caveat is I’d say stay away from his later books about climate. He was a climate change denier.

  66. Although it's a fun read there's some really profound ideas in sphere. On a deeper level it's about how humans are capable of literally manifesting their realities. We can manifest our greatest desires but we often end up manifesting our greatest fears. You can see that in work and relationships. If you believe x you manifest x. I'm not talking about literally everything of course there are other cogs turning in our life that are not about us, maybe other people's fears or positive manifestation that we get caught up in. But just like riding a bike where we look is where we often end up.

  67. Yeah it's not necessarily shallow, just straightforward. My friend was originally dissapointed that the sci fi elements seem to drop off halfway through. But then she realized that much of the science that he's leveraging is just psychology! The interstellar stuff is a bit of a red herring.

  68. I was also a huge Michael Crichton fan in my youth. I read all his books, multiple times. But recently I picked up those books again thinking to give them to my kids, and when I started to re-read them I was stunned by how bland they now seem, how unimaginative, the writing just doesn't hold attention. Not only that, there seem to be endless misogynistic views about women, and Rising Sun was particularly racist. He commits the double sin of making anything Japanese seem falsely exotic, while also making sweeping generalizations about Japanese culture which simply aren't true – and I say this as someone who lived in Japan for some years.

  69. just because he writes about women being psychos a lot of the time, doesn't make him a mysoginist. Is Stephen King a perverted psychopathic horrible sadistic person because he writes about characters who are?

  70. Not to disparage anyone that enjoys classic literature but it’s not for me, 90% of the time it’s about someone’s life story and I’m just more of a fantasy/sci-fi person

  71. Just don't read his later books. They were... Not the best imo. The Andromeda Strain is another really good one. And of course Jurassic Park

  72. I actually remember being enamoured with this book for like 3 weeks when I was in adult time-out. Read it like 4 times. Loved the interactions with the different characters, the twist at the ending that makes it all makes sense. Crichton nailed that ending.

  73. Sphere has a special place in my heart as my first all-nighter. Did you notice the twist at the end?

  74. I have several friends I want to get into reading. They love media, but hate books, as all the books they have read were in education and as such difficult or connected to tasks. One in particular has pretty much seen most movies released in the past 70 years unless they sound super uninteresting to him. He is really struggling for new media but hates the idea of reading.

  75. I read Jurassic Park long before the movie came out and it blew me away. I also en, joyed the sequel and Timeline and Airframe, He sorta lost me with Prey, but I'll try it again some time. He also wrote Eaters of the Dead, which was adapted into The 13th Warrior, a favourite film, (think he also directed part of it when the original director bailed).

  76. I've read several of his books and loved them! I was disappointed by how Andromeda Strain wrapped up, but that's the extent of my negative feelings about his work.

  77. Crichton is just a damn fun read. Douglas E Richards is my current version of the same thing, a little actual science mixed in with a whole lot of leaps that make it work but just easy reading and just good fun!

  78. I was at a job interview when I was in college, this particular job did interviews in waves and a friend of mine, who'd previously interviewed, told me to bring a book since it's a long, monotonous process. The day I flew down I almost immediately realized I didn't have a book so I poked into the airport bookstore and noticed Timeline, I recognized Chrichton's name from the JP franchise so I thought I'd give it a shot. I was hooked! I read the entire book before the interview and ended up buying Airframe on for the flight home. Up till now I've read every one of his books with the exception of Andromeda strain.

  79. As a fellow recovering English major I completely identify with your experience. It took me years to just read for entertainment again. I even failed at a book club because I couldn’t stop taking notes for “class discussion.” I’m glad Crichton ignited your initial love of reading and rekindled it as well. Life’s too short, and sometimes too hard, not to escape into a good book.

  80. He was a phenomenal author. I fall into a Crichton pit on occasion and love every minute. One of my favorite books of his was Jurassic Park (pre-movie).

  81. Loved Sphere, Congo, Eaters of the Dead and Jurassic Park. Congo in particular was very influential on me; I loved the idea of a modern expedition story and the dichotomy between the high technology (for the time) and the uncaring jungle.

  82. I love most of his books, purely for the pace. He could always keep me reading, even when explaining science stuff.

  83. Same, I read all his books as a kid. And it really opened my eyes to the fact books can be so much better than movies. The JP franchise was my favorite as a kid, and when I found the book randomly in a library book sale I bought it and probably read it ten times before moving onto other books by Crichton. He’s a great writer

  84. Just got this feeling with No Country For Old Men. So intense right off the bat, I can't put it down.

  85. Crichton is one of the first authors that got me hooked on reading! I'll never forget finding nearly his entire collection at the used bookstore in my hometown after another fan of his donated them all.

  86. I'm pretty sure my first Crichton was "Andromeda Strain" and then a friend bought "Eaters of the Dead", we were both hooked.

  87. I’ve been collecting Michael Crichton books at every thrift store I’ve been to over the past year. Good or bad, I’m collecting every single one I don’t have.

  88. I read Jurrasic Park after seeing the movie a billion times. That experience is where I learned that the book is always better than the movie. Now if there's a movie that looks interesting to me I read the book first. I would rather have a movie spoiled than a book!

  89. OP, if you're interested, there are a number of Crichton books published by Hard Case Crime that he wrote as John Lange.

  90. Not Crichton, but Lee Child and the Reacher books were like this for me. I haven't been much of one to read for pleasure since I got out of school, aside from little fits and starts. Reacher is just such compelling Pulp-Detective-vapid-brain-candy and I can't get enough.

  91. Love his books, but I recently read Rising Sun and it was a true chore to get through. It’s an ok murder/detective/mystery thriller but it sometimes detours into a political pamphlet which kills the flow of the book.

  92. I'm more of a fantasy reader but I've read Jurassic Park and The Lost World a couple years ago and the were absolutely amazing. I need to try some of his books, I will take Sphere as a recommendation!

  93. I love this and I feel I could have written this post. Chrichton wasn't my catalyst, though. Mine was Dan Brown. I picked up Angels and Demons a month ago and read through it in a little over a week. Since then, I have finished the Divinci Code, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Shutter Island. I'm now looking for my next book. It feels great to be reading again. Cheers!

  94. I had the same reaction after reading Jurassic Park as an adult. There are many aspects of Crichton's works in the particular that really blew my mind and made accessible big scientific ideas like chaos theory and synthetic biology.

  95. If you haven't read "Project Hail Mary" yet you just gotta. I've read probably 15 Michael Crichton books and if I didn't know better, I would believe he wrote this too. Its so good.

  96. Oh that’s one amazing sci-fi thriller! I couldn’t stop reading it, even if it was scary. As a grown ass woman who lives with her whole family, I am a bit embarrassed to admit I had to read that book during the day, surrounded by my nephews, and still got nightmares

  97. One of the first books I remember reading as a young teen was by Michael. It was called Congo and they made a horrible movie adaptation about it lol. I thought the book was great and really captured my imagination.

  98. I read Jurassic Park literally last weekend. I loved the movie as a kid and only recently I learned about it being a book adaptation. I can't say enough good things about this dude's writing. I had been reading fantasy for the better part of the last few years and at the moment I no longer want to read long, complex sagas, at least for now.

  99. With a few very specific exceptions, Crichton is a consistently phenomenal thriller/mystery/sci-fi author, and I consider Sphere to be among his best (not scientific best, not literary best, but best for reading and enjoying).

  100. Definitely. I have his complete works in hardcover and I go back and reread my faves every 5-6 years. I’m the same with Burroughs’ John Carter and Howard’s Conan series, for the same reasons

  101. My favorite is the great train robbery. Then Jurassic park, then pirate latitudes (which is just the great train robbery with pirates, fun!), then andromeda strain. Currently reading the lost world. Haven’t found a book of his I didn’t love blowing through. You learn a lot too

  102. Some of the new Crichton books that his wife keeps miraculously “finding” manuscripts for, between the seat cushions like so much spare change, are fun too. A little dumb, as you out it, but still enjoyable.

  103. My older brother was aCrichton fan and as younger brothers do, my only interests were his since we couldn’t afford to have different tastes.

  104. I liked a book or two, but after a few, I felt he was the Jerry Brockheimer of books. Formulaic blockbuster reads. Fun, not very deep and after a few, not very stimulating.

  105. Timeline is one of my very favorite Crichton stories, but you can skip State of Fear which is the inverse of Fraser's Flashman ; insufferable character, a terrible plot and awful footnotes.

  106. I love Crichton, but stay away from the money grab of his post death released books. He left them in his drawer for a reason.

  107. I love the red black and white colour combination of the covers. I used to fascinated by airframe cover back in the day, it was like it was vibrating. Beautiful covers.

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