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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To boldly go...
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...
Published on 14 July 2007 by J. A. Eyon

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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
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...
Published on 9 Oct 2008 by L. Johnson


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To boldly go..., 14 July 2007
By 
J. A. Eyon "Little Raven" (Seattle - USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
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
By 
L. Johnson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
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.

Spoiler
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking, action-packed thriller, 14 May 2009
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Five friends and the Eco-terrorists, 20 May 2008
This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
Do you "believe" in Global Warming? Crichton takes it upon himself to lecture us about the dangers of what he calls "political science". Yet, it turns out being the godfather (of the remnants) of modern science fiction doesn't make you a scientist. But give him a chance - this book is one that real experts took the trouble to "debunk", and has earned him rather "fundamentalist" critiscism from non-scientists.

The plot: A rich ecologically-minded philantropist disappears after crashing his Ferrari, in an apparent drunken bout of dispair over fellow environmental acticists who divert his money into dark channels. Now it's up to a mollycoddle-but-honest lawyer to unravel the conspiracies and defeat the bad guys & girls in James Bond fashion, guided by a mysterious secret agent armed with lots of unpopular knowledge about environmental issues. As our hero gains experience in escaping death traps to the left and right, he gradually matures and is able to overcome his naive, emotional faith in the simplistic views of his environmentalist friends, who, as it turns out, are willing to do almost anything to convince the world of the impending disasters Global warming holds in store.
While the overall storyline is unconvincing - Would any government agent pit two lousy professionals against terrorists who threaten to bring about natural disasters, dragging a not-too-bright lawyer and a bunch of lawyer broads to Antarctica for the benefit of educating them on climate change? - Crichton goes to great (and entertaining) lengths to get his Global warming criticism across. He doesn't outright call it a "swindle", but claims it's based on faulty climate modelling at best. So unreliable, if fact, that it wouldn't hold up in a court of law. For good measure, he throws in some astonishing off-topic claims, like "Banning DDT killed more people than Hitler". It's these "germs" that make the book an eye-opener, given that I immediately felt the urge to google them up afterwards. After all, this is Crichton, not Alex Jones!

No, he hasn't lost his mind or gone over to the dark corporate forces, but merely stretched the liberties of fiction and promptly fallen on his nose. Writing a good novel doesn't require solid facts, but preaching anti-establishment sermons and being taken seriously does. Many of his claims are half-truths (find out which ones) and a good antidote against Global warming alarmism and conspiracy theories, yet I can understand why scientists - even the ones he quoted - should be offended. The book is an implicit attack on the integrity of the whole community, by an outsider whose opinion is generally overrated. Despite his wise observations about the nature of beliefs or trends, Crichton also makes clear he doesn't really understand what he's talking about. He isn't immune to what he identifies in the actor/anti-hero of his book: vanity and being praised for the wrong reasons.

But even celebrities have a right to be wrong (they rarely become presidents in an ideal society). If you can't (preliminarily) tolerate outrageous ideas, you won't have much fun with this book, as the plot is weak and the characters rather old-fashioned stereotypes, only with male/female identities partly reversed. The story lacks challenging twists and turns, but the notion of eco terrorism on this level is exciting and Crichton is creative in the details.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Reading, 9 Aug 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 23, 1942. He was educated at Harvard University. He has written many page-turning suspense novels, many containing cutting edge technology and all of them are extremely well researched. He is probably best known as the author of `Jurassic Park' but has had several best selling novels since then. Jurassic Park was published in 1980. Difficult to believe I know.

State of Fear is a novel that keeps you on the edge-of-your-seat with suspense. It is a thought provoking view of how information can be and often is manipulated in the modern world. From the sunny streets of the French capital, Paris to the freezing wastes of Antarctica and on to the exotic Solomon Islands the book takes the reader on a non-stop tour of danger and adventure.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Novel about political-social game on global warming.., 13 Sep 2005
By 
Graduate Current Account "Madhusudhan Konda" (Croydon, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - Ignore the fuss pots !, 13 July 2007
By 
D. J. Carr (Chesterfield, Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
I thought this was a great book, if you look past all the climate change ideas and lookat the story and adventure its a good read, I don't read that much, normally only on holidays and once I picked this book up, I read it through to the end, any book that can do that to dannyjcarr must have something about it !
Would make a good film !
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Provocative and InformativeThriller about Avoiding Fear, 9 Dec 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: State of Fear (Hardcover)
This book reminded me very much of Moby Dick with its heavy emphasis on both an adventure story and sharing detailed information. Those who prefer one aspect or the other will probably find themselves flipping quickly through the pages that emphasize the other aspect.
Popular opinions are almost always wrong. That's the theme of this book. The point is made in the context of describing how global warming, as perceived by the public and media, is different from what scientists are describing. Dr. Crichton argues through his story that we can waste a lot of time and resources on popular delusions, and we need to get our facts right. His appendix I on the dangers of politicized science is something everyone should read. The eugenics example is a chilling one.
The adventure story itself is a Frederick Forsyth/Clive Cussler-type thriller written from the perspective of a young lawyer who tags along with a James Bond-like character who single-handedly saves the day along with his trusty, almost silent, sidekick. They are about as good a source for scintillating conversation as the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Instead of greedy multinationals or rich megalomaniacs being at fault, this story looks at how lawyers and rabid environmentalists can get carried away.
In typical Michael Crichton fashion, the story develops around little-known scientific facts about how humans can influence the environment. So if you wanted to know more about how giant ice bergs, tsunamis and flash floods can be created, this is your book. At the same time, there are nice subplots around how to track terrorists via the Internet and an obscure way to assassinate people.
I found myself drawn to both the adventure story and the global warming information. It's a nice combination for the reader who likes a little substance along with their thrillers. Even I, though, thought the global warming was overdone. The characters needed a lot of work to become interesting, rather than just being devices to drive the plot along. I graded the book down accordingly.
I kept thinking as I read this book that I would like to read a book like this by Dr. Crichton that looks at people manufacturing domestic terrorism for political gain. Perhaps that will be his next subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Giripping read you will want to read over and over again, 21 July 2014
This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
A compelling read that is both an intriguing story, and challenges many current assumptions about Global warming. Reminiscent of Bob Berridge's "The Dilemma" it is technically accurate and the facts are verifiable from bona-fide website links. It poses questions parodies many key players in this great debate, but within the context of a cant put down (if a bit far fetched) story. I read it a second time just as soon as I had finished the fist read
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same old formula, 3 Feb 2005
This review is from: State of Fear (Hardcover)
Michael Crichton is back with his tried, test and tired out formula of characters running around begin chased by dinosaurs, nano bots, middle aged knights or in this case environmentalists...a scary bunch indeed. The first 100 pages are ok, but then it's all over we are back to routine. Actually the book is basically finished after the first 100 pages as the direction is all too obvious. The characters are boring and our intrepid hero the environmentalist lawyer is probably the stupidest lawyer on the planet. Sorry but this character is just not believable. The book is readable enough and fine for that long flight (in paperback). But at the end of the day there are a lot better authors around. Crichton just seems to have lost the plot.
2 stars, because there are worse books.
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State of Fear
State of Fear by Michael Crichton (Paperback - 15 Aug 2005)
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