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The Andromeda Strain Paperback – 5 Oct 1995

34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (5 Oct. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099319519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099319511
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,287 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

Amazon Review

Some biologists speculate that if we ever make contact with extraterrestrials, those life forms are likely to be--like most life on Earth--one-celled creatures or less, more comparable to bacteria than little green men. And even though such organisms would not likely be able to harm humans, the possibility exists that first contact might be our last.

That's the scientific supposition that Michael Crichton formulates and follows out to its conclusion in his excellent debut novel, TheAndromeda Strain. A Nobel-winning bacteriologist, Jeremy Stone, urges the president to approve an extraterrestrial decontamination facility, to sterilise returning astronauts, satellites and spacecraft that might carry such an "unknown biologic agent." The government agrees, almost too quickly, to build the top- secret Wildfire Lab in the desert of Nevada. Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to Stone, the US Army initiates the "Scoop" satellite program, an attempt to actively collect space pathogens for use in biological warfare. When Scoop VII crashes a couple years later in the isolated Arizona town of Piedmont, they end up getting more than they asked for.

The Andromeda Strain follows Stone and rest of the scientific team mobilised to react to the Scoop crash, as they scramble to understand and contain a strange and deadly outbreak. Crichton's first book may well be his best, with an earnestness missing from his later, more calculated thrillers. --Paul Hughes, Amazon.com

Review

"He had me convinced it was all really happening" (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt New York Times)

"Science fiction, which once frightened me because it seemed so far-out, now frightens me because it seems so near. The Andromeda Strain is as matter-of-fact as the skull-and-crossbones instructions on a bottle of poison - and just as chillingly effective" (Life)

"Terrifying...One of the most important novels of the year" (Library Journal)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. T. Rogers on 7 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
One of the things I like about Michael Crichton's novels is the presentation of quite difficult and challenging issues beneath what seems to be a simple storyline. In 'The Andromeda Strain', a group of elite scientists investigate the cause of a deadly bacteriological outbreak in a tiny town in north-eastern Arizona. The scientists confine themselves to a secret underground laboratory, an environment that provides an important backdrop to the story. There is a sense of fear and claustrophobia throughout, and the underlying theme is of how weak and futile human intelligence can be against the forces of Nature. We like to think of our technology as embodying perfection and exactitude, but no matter how intelligent and advanced human culture can be, we are nothing compared to the power of a tiny micro-organism, which if duplicated would wipe out our civilisation entirely. Our natural hubris lulls us into believing otherwise. Our technology is, after all, an extension of ourselves.

In tackling the fictitious Andromeda strain, the scientists and decision-makers adopt a thoroughly technological mind-set, even down to who will take the decision of whether to detonate the laboratory with an atomic weapon in the event of contamination. What is called 'The Odd Man Hypothesis' is based on the notion that an unmarried man is best-placed to make such a decision, as he is likely to be free of emotional entanglements. This type of narrow, logical approach seems to reduce a human being to a kind of cold machine and it's a style of reasoning that overlooks the complexity of the real world and the risk of 'false positives' and 'stupid' decisions. In practice, what the scientists find out is that there are just some things that we cannot understand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr Gibbs on 20 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a perfectly conceived techno-thriller/earth bound science fiction story. I have enjoyed some other Crichton, John Wyndham and Arthur C Clarke stuff and often this sort of thing requires large leaps of the imagination to follow the story but I couldn't find any holes in the plot or behaviour of the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anakina on 11 July 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I started reading the debut novel by Michael Crichton I certainly did not expect to find myself already facing a little masterpiece. My expectations were low, however, they have been denied by a book that I feel compelled to include among my absolute favourites.
Maybe because of the matter (biology), which I know well, and therefore I was able to fully understand every passage of the work. Maybe because of the very original author's choice to present the novel as if it were a report of something really happened, including the credits at the beginning signed MC. Maybe because what is told could really have happened or could happen at any time.
In one way or another I found myself literally devouring this book in a few days and almost missing it when it was not with me.
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Crichton's works is that in them science is not an excuse to tell a story. On the contrary, the story is an excuse to talk about science. So much that his novels are accompanied by an extensive bibliography, as if they were non-fiction books.
The real regret is that this author has died and that, although I still have to read some of his works, sooner or later they will end up.
However, he is a source of great inspiration to me and to those like me, man and woman of science, who loves fiction.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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Format: Paperback
The Andromeda Strain is simply a masterpeice.
A space probe has returned to Earth, gone astray and landed in the town of Piedmont, unfortunately it bought back a bacteria from space and soon everyone in the small town is dead, having died in a matter of seconds. A small team of scientists are press ganged into Project Wildfire, their job: to investigate the incident and see if all life on Earth is at risk...
It's key strength is the dry, documentary tone that Chrichton employs. While I accept this style will not be to everyone's taste it makes for a highly compelling, addictive read. You truly feel as if you are reading a post event report by an investigator, not a work of fiction. This makes for a heightened sense of drama. When the scientists are exploring Piedmont with bodies littering the streets, it is an eery, intense, even hoarrowing passage. The procedural analysis of the bacteria may be offputting to some but I always find it highly interesting. Crichton is an outstanding writer because he mixes a great prose style with immaculate ressearch. His intelligence shines through and he makes everything clear to understand. The story flows though and he has great flair and economy as a writer.
At heart the book is a mystery as the scientists battle to find out the cause of the disease and the various experiments they undertake in the way that detectives would piece together clues.
I wouldn't say this book has any weaknesses, though again I admit the style is not to everyone's tastes and some may want deeper, more interesting characters. For me though the central character is The Andromeda Strain itself.
Way ahead of it's time this is an exhilerating book you will never forget.
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