The Andromeda Strain

{4/5} “Scientific research was much like prospecting: you went out and you hunted, armed with your maps and your instruments, but in the end your preparations did not matter, or even your intuition. You needed your luck, and whatever benefits accrued to the diligent, through sheer, grinding hard work.”

When a satellite is brought down to Earth, the people in the town where it lands are virtually wiped out. There’s an extraterrestrial microorganism aboard, and it’s deadly. Fortunately this is a situation that’s been foreseen, and a team of scientists is brought together to figure out what the microorganism is and how to stop it. In the worst case scenario, a nuclear weapon will destroy the microorganism and everything that it’s contaminated.

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton was published in 1969.

What this book shows you is that even when the best scientific minds get together to create a system, things can still go wrong. It also shows you that when you’re dealing with something of extraterrestrial origin all bets are off — it could be very different from what we have on Earth.

It’s a good book, but I was expecting it to be more interesting. It’s certainly readable, although there’s a fair amount of technical jargon — in this case, mostly having to do with biology.

This seems like one of those books that would have wowed me more if I’d read it when it was first published (other such books include ones by Robert A. Heinlein and Larry Niven).

I’ve also read Crichton’s Jurassic Park — as I said here, if you’ve seen the movie you don’t need to read the book. I’m still interested in reading Sphere — I have a feeling that one will be more interesting.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 17th, 2012 at 7:48 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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