The Andromeda Strain Paperback – 5 Oct 1995
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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
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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
The basic story is that a space probe has returned to Earth, after going astray and landing in the town of Piedmont. Unfortunately it seems to have bought back a bacteria from space and soon nearly everyone in the small town is dead, having died in a matter of seconds. There were only 2 survivors, a newborn baby and an elderly man. 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. They start with trying to understand why these 2 people survived and what they hold in common.
In typical Michael Crichton style, he manages to present a quite difficult and challenging issue beneath what seems to be a simple storyline. There are some areas of the book that are quite in-depth and over my head but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book or make me unable to follow the storyline. I agree with another reviewer here that said that “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.”
This book has a high sense of drama and seems very realistic, I read it within 2 days. I loved the inventive use of possible future technologies and also that the scientists still seemed human throughout the book. In my opinion, it’s not Crichton’s best book that I have read but it’s still an excellent read if you enjoy his work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the most captivating books I have read from Crichton. Excellent!Published 1 month ago by Dan
The book was advertised as a hardback, which is specifically what I wanted. It was a paperback. Even the delivery note said 'hardback'. Not good enough. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Gareth Littlechild
Book seemed very promising and had lots of potential but it's not very good. It reads as if Crichton spent all his one researching and had none left over to wrote an interesting... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
A timeless classic - could have been written last year...Published 14 months ago by Get it on camera
Michael Crichton is one of my favourite authors and this didn't disappointPublished 15 months ago by logan callaway