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State of Fear [Hardcover]

Michael Crichton
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Dec 2004

The Number One international bestselling author of Jurassic Park, Congo and Sphere takes on global warming in this gripping and critically acclaimed thriller.

Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. STATE OF FEAR is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world. From the streets of Paris, to the glaciers of Antarctica to the exotic and dangerous Solomon Islands, STATE OF FEAR takes the reader on a rollercoaster thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (6 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007181590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007181599
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.2 x 5.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 678,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Michael Crichton embarked on a career as a writer and filmmaker, whose credits include 'The Andromeda Strain', 'Westworld', 'Jurassic Park', 'Rising Sun', 'Prey' and 'State of Fear' and the TV series 'ER'. He has sold over 150 million books which have been translated into thirty-six languages; twelve have been made into films. He is the only person to have had, at the same time, the number one book, movie and TV show in the United States.

Product Description


Praise for Prey and Michael Crichton:

‘One of the most ingenious, inventive thriller writers around… Prey sees him doing what he does best – taking the very latest scientific advances and showing us their potentially terrifying underbelly. Another high-concept treat… written in consummate page-turning style.’ Observer

‘This is Crichton on top form, preying on our fears about new technology and convincing us that we aren’t half as afraid as we should be.’ The Times

‘Mixing cutting-edge science with thrills and spills, this is classic Crichton’Daily Mirror

‘Crichton masterfully maintains the suspense throughout the fast-paced story. Crichton’s knack for characterisation, combined with his impeccable research, persuades the reader that the tale is dangerously close to becoming reality – and therefore ensures that Prey will invade your nightmares for a long time to come.’ Time Out

From the Back Cover

In Paris, a physicist dies after performing a laboratory experiment for a beautiful visitor.

In the jungles of Malaysia, a mysterious buyer purchases deadly cavitation technology, built to his specifications.

In Vancouver, a small research submarine is leased for use in the waters of New Guinea.

And in Tokyo, an intelligence agent tries to understand what it all means.

Thus begins Michael Crichton’s exciting and provocative techno-thriller State of Fear. Only Crichton’s unique ability to blend scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction could bring such disparate elements to a heart-stopping conclusion.

This is Crichton’s most wide-ranging thriller. State of Fear takes the reader from the glaciers of Iceland to the volcanoes of Antarctica, from the Arizona desert to the deadly jungles of the Solomon Islands, from the streets of Paris to the beaches of Los Angeles. The novel races forward on a roller-coaster thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear. Gripping and thought-provoking, State of Fear is Michael Crichton at his best.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To boldly go... 14 July 2007
Crichton charges into the chaotic Global Warming (GW) fray, waving banners for careful, unbiased analyses. It takes a cultural icon to champion a culturally unpopular position and survive. We are lucky that Crichton has the stature and the wisdom to do so.

I don't think he successfully manages to weave the GW science with the rollercoaster plot. There is the story -- best illustrated by the protagonist who went thru more perils than Pauline in a two-week period. And there are the science lectures -- with diagrams and footnotes. Still I can say they are individually successful, and I went thru this novel faster than my usual clunk-clunky way. And my brain had to stay active thru out, so it isn't just a thrill ride.

I'm not completely won over my his thesis about the deliberate utilization of fear by political forces -- in this instance, fanning the flames of GW alarmism -- but it's worth pondering. And maybe the debates between his heroes and the other side could have been less obdurate. But I agree with his portrayal of the GW alarmists as political and prejudiced.

With the emerging theories on the effect of solar activity, the bit by bit trashing of the evidence for a CO2 influence, this is a ongoing debate. And one that requires that both sides consider the effects of their position -- GW alarmists tend to think that their recommendations have no negative effects (see COOL IT: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming by Bjørn Lomborg for an economist's assessment).

Sikkim Mykill.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars interesting in parts but not brilliant 9 Oct 2008
Crichton makes some interesting points on Global warming, regardless of whether you believe he has cherry picked his data to prove his point. As others have pointed out, the large quantities of data in the book don't mesh too well with the actual story. There is definitely the feeling that you have a normal thriller and a thesis on global warming and they kind of got mixed in the wash. Crichton tries to blend the two, but the result is not perfect.

My real quibble with the book is; why are a large international bunch of well funded, armed and dangerous terrorists being taken on by a small group of mostly unarmed lawyers and later an actor? For the first threat, this sort of works, but as each situation gets bigger and more dangerous, the response looks smaller and more amateur in comparison. They are locating threats by satellite, observing from helicopters, then instead of calling in the Marines, SWAT teams, FBI or an air strike, they go in alone and mostly unarmed. This is just stupid.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Unlike Crichton's usual deliveries, this story line was not overly impressive. However, his writing focused on the creation of political, social and media derived myths, such as global warming, for which, he made a case by comparing to the Eugenics and other evils of society which were inspired by man to capture weaker man.

The arguments presented to convince the reader of the social forces which aim to cultivate the image of global warming as a daemon confronting the universe, failed to entirely convince me.

One however needs to bestow the author of some valid arguments. For example, concluding that scientific research, as performed by aspiring and self-motivated scientists funded by global organisations in need of particular scientific opinion, is likely to be biased and bounded by interests.

Such conclusions however, are not new to literature. Alex Carey once said that the twentieth century has seen three major developments - the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

In this novel, Crichton has only managed to expose the influence of the aforementioned corporate power on our society.

Inherent to the theory presented, is the fact that we all lead our lives and evolve within this political and media 'brainwash' process. A fact which probably implies that not many readers will be willing to accept and agree with the 'conspiracy theory' the author aims to expose.

I would suggest to read this book if you are interested in the game of global warming.

(Thanks to Herodotos Koukkides)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking, action-packed thriller 14 May 2009
This novel, from the creator of Jurassic Park and ER, tells the story of a struggle against terrorism. It has a swift succession of dramatic scenes across the world and lots of action. It would make a great film - let's hope that it gets made.

The villains are eco-terrorists, who try to create disasters - floods, tsunamis - to publicise their cause. His characters talk a great deal about global warming and its effects. Crichton cites many authorities to back their arguments. These include the International Panel on Climate Change, which admitted in its 2001 report, "In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

His characters also point out that there is no obvious common global trend of increasing glacier melt in recent years, that El Ninos cause longer growing seasons and reduce the use of winter heating oil, that the Kyoto agreement would cut world temperature by just 0.02 degrees Celsius by 2050, and that energy sources that can support the present levels of world power consumption, without greenhouse emissions, do not exist.

They note that between 1940 and 1970 the overall global temperature fell, although CO2 levels had risen. Similarly, it has not risen since 2000, although CO2 levels have kept rising. Over the long run, the best data, from the USA, show a rise of just a third of a degree Celsius from 1880 to 2000.

Crichton observes out that in late 1989, at the end of the Cold War, the media hyped up climate change stories - all became `crises' and `catastrophe'. This was part of a ruling class strategy to control us through fear.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars book
Not as good as usual
Published 14 days ago by nolly
5.0 out of 5 stars Giripping read you will want to read over and over again
A compelling read that is both an intriguing story, and challenges many current assumptions about Global warming. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bookreader
5.0 out of 5 stars Great work of Crichton between novel and essay
Only years after the death of Crichton I finally discovered his great value as a writer and it happened with this book, bought almost casually without knowing exactly what it was... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Anakina
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts, and thought-provoking, but not really a proper thriller
Some readers will be put off by Crichton's scepticism about man-made climate warming in this book. he sends up the climate warming "lobby" and not everybody will find this... Read more
Published 7 months ago by James Wood
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting,although one-sided,work.
Let me start by stating that:
A.I am not a Crighton fan.This is the first book of his that I've ever read.
B. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lazaros K.
2.0 out of 5 stars a badly researched and terribly written reveiw paper
I'm not really sure where Crichton was going with this one. Characters are rather steriotyped and hard to engage with, the plot is not great and takes large flights of fancy which... Read more
Published 10 months ago by H. Speight
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. A real page-turner.
I so enjoyed it I bought this copy for a friend. Lots of suspense and subject matter well researched and makes you think about the information we're fed by governments to keep our... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Beverley Isaksen
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Crichton's 'State of Fear'
High time someone had the courage to seriously question the Climate Change Panic.
I am sure that the author knew that he would be attacked and vilified for daring to go... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Russell Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening!
If you expect this book to be just another thriller, you will be disappointed. But if you want to learn something about the truth behind global warming then this book is a must... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Digby
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read and educational!
I recommend everyone who likes a thriller and/or interested in the environment to read this book and check out he numerous references to research articles. Read more
Published 12 months ago by RodC
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