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2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
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on 30 August 2017
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on 9 July 2014
It is increasingly difficult to review a book by Michael Crichton, on one hand because you are likely to repeat the same things, on the other hand because every book I read is one less to read by the late author, despite posthumous novels continue to come out of nowhere.
"Next" is the last of his novels published when he was still alive and you find in it the tone of denunciation of his previous work, "State of Fear". At the centre of all is the issue of genetic engineering and what this could lead in the future, or even tomorrow. Around this theme a chorus of characters moves, each with their own story, a thin thread unites them, that of a science that can change the nature for its own use and consumption. Along with other technologies that actually exist, Crichton puts others that might exist soon, or maybe are already being used without our knowledge. The boundary between the two is so difficult to discern that when you read of speaking orang-utans or of turtles with advertising logos you have the doubt that is really happening, you wonder what all of this is really achievable with current biotechnology.
If you are looking for a reading of pure entertainment, this is not the book for you. Nor it is if you are looking for great characters in which you can identify.
"Next" must be read to speculate on the future of science, and legislation related to it, to learn new things and imagine very possible scenarios. You close it, at the end, with the satisfaction of being enriched and at the same time with a sense of unease, which arises from the fear that what you read can become real and you could not do anything to prevent it.

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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on 14 February 2007
I absolutely love every Michael Crichton book I've ever read, and was so excited when this came out. However I feel quite let down, it didn't have a really good story like Timeline, or Airframe, the characters jumped from one to the other too much, and you had to keep thinking, 'now who's he again'. The plot was disjointed and I felt like I was being preached to too much.

There were bits that were excellent, and it wasn't completely awful, just not as good as his other books.

Read Jurassic Park and you'll see how good he can be, whilst still warning us about the misuse of genetics.
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on 1 May 2017
Not just a gripping novel, this is a comment AND A WARNING on the dangers inherent in gene therapy. With medical researchers currently fiddling with human genes to cure disease, design babies and clone who-knows-what, the plot is convincing and a bit frightening. Also a great read.
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on 28 October 2012
As you can expect from a Michael Crichton techno-thriller novel, Next is packed with lots of hyper-intelligent musings on biotechnology and genetic engineering, throwing in a dash of speculative fiction to blur the distinction between what is scientifically possible and what is merely entertaining hooey. I enjoyed reading it, but Next suffers from flowing like a series of vignettes more than a self-contained story in its own right. It's almost like it was cobbled together out of a series of interesting ideas Crichton had, so it doesn't hold up to as much scrutiny as his other books. Still, entertaining nonetheless.
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on 26 September 2007
I am a fan of Michael Crichton. I feel I have to drop the word "big" as I feel I could not be excited by news of Crichton launching another title anymore. However disappointed I was with his recent works namely Prey and State of Fear, Next just nailed the coffin shut.

Multiple plots that led to nowhere left me confused and wanting. Wanting for, if it is too much to ask, a decent climax to the plot and then a reasonable ending.

The opening scene was not continued. Only when I reached the half way point did I realise that Crichton is not going to develop that thread. I had to re-read that segment, this time, knowing that the end of the chapter is the end of that plot. Frustrating!

This book feels like one of those modern movies where you get inter-woven sub-plots running through the one and half hours of your life. Only where the movie stacks up nicely, Next falls flat like a pack of cards.

Not worth investing your time.
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on 9 May 2007
Having been a fan of Michael Crichton's for years, this book was most disappointing. He has allowed the strength of his feeling on genetic research to dominate the need to write a reasonable novel. The plots are very weak, and only loosely related, serving as little more than simplistic examples of the points he is trying to make. If I wanted to read a book on the dangers of genetic research, I would read one of the widely available treatises on the subject.
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on 13 May 2017
very good
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VINE VOICEon 26 February 2007
You always used to be able to guarantee that a Michael Crighton book would have a team of specialists investigating a corporations Frankenstein concept. I don't want to shock you, but there is NO TEAM in Next. Instead we get a bewildering array of characters that are all coincidently interconnected by an immoral genetics company. It took me a 100 or so pages to work out who was who, and by the time I had done I realised that I couldn't care less, especially because the story involved super-intelligent parrots and the difficulties of schooling a monkey. It sounds stupid and it is. This is a comedy with intellectual pretensions from the Ben Elton school of writing, and like that English scribe Crichton's nasty streak is constantly bubbling under the surface. There's about 50 pages of Crighton-esque page-turning brilliance near the end but nowt else.
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on 3 December 2006
I am a great fan of Crichton's books, and I don't want to describe this as a bad book by any means, but I can't honestly review it as a great book.

This seems to be a personal open letter of complaint against the Biotech industry. There is no plot as such, but a dozen or so loosely connected stories covering various horror scenarios of genetic modification.

The transgenic parrot is such a painful attempt at comic relief that it beggars belief.

Anyway, I did read the book within 24 hours of getting it, and enjoyed the pace and character situations, but I'm not in a hurry to recommend it to anyone.
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