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Travels

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,903 Ratings  ·  437 Reviews
From the bestselling author ofJurassic Park,Timeline, andSpherecomes a deeply personal memoir full of fascinating adventures as he travels everywhere from the Mayan pyramids to Kilimanjaro.

Fueled by a powerful curiosity—and by a need to see, feel, and hear, firsthand and close-up—Michael Crichton's journeys have carried him into worlds diverse and compelling—swimming with
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ebook, 400 pages
Published May 14th 2012 by Vintage (first published 1988)
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Steve Alx I had the unique opportunity to meet with Michael Crichton in 1997. I asked him the same question at a book signing in Cambridge, MA. It is called…moreI had the unique opportunity to meet with Michael Crichton in 1997. I asked him the same question at a book signing in Cambridge, MA. It is called fiction because, for legal purposes, some of the names had to be changed. Some of the events were also quite dangerous. He did not want anybody indexing and visiting places that were inspired by the book that could put the reader in any danger. The events in the book are completely accurate accounts of events that he experienced as a student and a curious worldly traveler. Sadly he has since passed away. He was a truly remarkable human being.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Joey H.
Aug 27, 2011 Joey H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book narrowly edges out Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" as the best book I have ever read. I now read this book yearly, sometimes twice a year if I cannot wait long enough to read it again. Let me say, first of all, that I have read damn near all of Michael Crichton's work, from books to speeches to magazine articles. To me, Crichton is only an above-average writer. What makes him special is the way that he thinks. Crichton is, in my opinion, one of the greatest and most innova ...more
Wellington
Feb 24, 2008 Wellington rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Usually I avoid the most popular books, but because of a high recommendation I decided to read up on Michael Crichton, the author of books like Jurassic Park and Congo.

The book begins with Michael, the medical student, figuring out how to use a chainsaw to cut the head of a cadaver in half. First I thought that he was a de Vinci doing some research for a book. However, he did attend medical school supported by his “side-job” of writing books. In the end he just didn’t fit the philosophy and soci
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Ryan
Dec 29, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are lots of good reasons not to like or to outright dislike Michael Crichton's Travels.

He shares very directly his understanding about how women differ from men during the 1980s compared to his experiences in the 60s and 70s. He studies things like psychic powers and auras and spoon bending. He gets married again and again. He might be at his most sympathetic while talking to a cactus. The chapter on Sean Connery felt too much like name dropping (though I liked Connery's advice: always tel
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Connie Harkness
I found it appalling that Michael Crichton so calmly depicts waiting outside a brothel in Asia while his host has sex with children. I suppose we're supposed to think he's a good guy for not indulging himself, but the fact that he is having a conversation with someone while they wait, and never objecting or contacting authorities is shocking to me. As Edmund Burke said, "all that's necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing". After reading this book, I don't know that I'd even b ...more
Amber Strussion
Apr 10, 2008 Amber Strussion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Travels is one of my favorite books. I've read it at least three times in my life. It is Michael Crichton's autobiography detailing his life in medical school, but most of all his travels around the world. Each chapter is a new adventure and Dr. Crichton makes you feel as if you are right there with him! I definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes to travel or just wants a fun, entertaining, read.
Alan
Feb 08, 2009 Alan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book came highly recommended, but I was disappointed in Crichton's travel book. There were several stories relating to Crichton's experiences in exotic places, but much of it was preoccupied with his early years in medical school and later, dealings with meditation, mystics, and his inner journey, which was not at all what I was expecting or looking for. And the picture the author paints of himself through these adventures is not altogether a flattering one.
The one good thing that came out
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Farnoosh Brock
Apr 13, 2013 Farnoosh Brock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
It is easy to fall in love with Crichton’s writing. It immediately grasps you as solid writing. It is funny, easy, polished, gripping when it needs to be, authentic in both styles – fiction and memoir – and it stays with you long after the reading has ended. There is not a single excess word in all his writing; there is a purpose for every word, every phrase, and every chapter. You just know you are in the presence of great writing.

In the span of 353 page book, it is not until after the first 80
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James Renner
Jun 09, 2013 James Renner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I first saw the cover of this book when I was about 13 and the mystery of it grabbed me even then. It’s a hard to find book. Not as popular as Crichton’s works of fiction. But I happened upon a copy a few weeks ago and devoured it in two days.

Travels is the story of Crichton’s life from Harvard medical school to internationally acclaimed author of Sphere and Jurassic Park. But what makes it more than a jerk-off self-important autobiography is how Crichton talks openly and honestly about
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Emily
Jun 02, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm actually only in the "medical school" chapters, but I love them enough to rate this book highly already. I've never been a huge fan of Crichton's fiction, but I always liked his prose and I'm delighted to be reading this account of his life, philosophy, struggles, and revelations. Thanks for recommending, AL!!!

Update 6-1-13:
I loved the beginning of this book chronicling mediical school; and I very much enjoyed most of his travel journals (though I did find myself leaning toward bitterness wh
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Chris Dietzel
Jun 19, 2014 Chris Dietzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this my impression of Crichton was that he seemed incredibly smart, was scientific in his thinking, and was very straight-laced. However, after reading this book, which is part travelogue and part autobiography, almost everything I guessed about him (except being incredibly smart) turned out to be wrong. Crichton discusses his fascination with seeing people's auras, channeling other energies, psychics, etc and spends a lot of his time learning how to do these things. You get the i ...more
Tim
Feb 23, 2015 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I confess I've never read a novel by Michael Crichton (though I have seen some of his films and films based on his works), but after reading this non-fiction book of his, I'm more inclined to give some of his fictional work a chance. True, his writing is not exactly Shakespearean in quality, but in terms of readability it is some of the best prose I've come across in quite a while - definitely a page-turner, as they say. The title of the book is somewhat misleading - it's not just about physical ...more
Pete
Apr 11, 2009 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So,

AWESOME book. Especially the first two thirds.

#1: he travels around the world
#2: he gets all new-agey, progressively more and more.

As always, and as the ultimate critic I like to try to focus my reviews on my own personal experiences with a book. So here goes:

Pros: How amazing are some of the experiences he has and what he's willing to put his mind and physical self through. His writing is so solid and killer. Good ole MC is genius and great writer and personable, so that he makes you feel li
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Rob
Nov 05, 2008 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love travel adventure books, so I was excited when I saw one written by a prominent author while I was wandering about a local bookstore. I bought it and started reading it immediately over lunch. I quickly realized that it’s a lot more than just a travelogue. It has essentially three main focuses: his training at medical school, his travels, and his spirituality.

The book begins with his medical school horror stories and then moves on to his quirky travel adventures. Both topics were fantastic
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Stephen
Jun 08, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read most of the novels written by Michael Crichton, both the popular, such as "The Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park", and the less-well-known, such as "Eaters of the Dead." The corpus is diverse but there are continuous threads which recur, prompting one to wonder about the author: what were the sources in his life of these interests? His non-fiction memoir "Travels" offers some answers. The first eighty pages of the book recount his adventures as a medical student at Harvard Univers ...more
Jenger
Aug 09, 2008 Jenger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This was another life-altering book for me. While it is a travel narrative, not a fictional book as Michael Crichton usually writes, I found something in each of his travels that challenged my thinking, stimulated my imagination, or sparked a desire to follow in his footsteps. I'm not sure why but his telling of his climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro was amazingly enlightening for me. Perhaps it's the mental challenge that accompanied the physical challenge. Whatever it was, I immediately add ...more
Terry Dunn
Nov 26, 2012 Terry Dunn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is great. I was fascinated how a man of Science explored the mystical and paranormal and reconciled within himself a respect for both sides.

It was surprising and interesting to read about Crichton's travels in the normal sense of the word and his 'inner travel' adventures. It's not your average 'travel' book.

The only bits that dragged for me were some of the relationship difficulties that he describes. I wanted to sympathise with him or her, but I decided that I couldn't care less and wan
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Tandava Brahmachari
[from my blog: http://blog.whistledance.net/2004/09/... ]

Travels is a book that has been recommended to me for a while and I finally got around to reading it before and during my Costa Rica trip. This is by the same Michael Crichton that wrote Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain, etc. but this book is more autobiographical than fictional. It was extremely different from what I expected, but I think I ended up loving it even more because of that. Which is, of course, why I should remember not to put
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Kenny
Jan 02, 2011 Kenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Michael Crichton, ubermensch (medical doctor, best-selling novelist, screenwriter and film director--all by the age of 30), wrote a book about traveling, both to places like Borneo and Tibet, as well as to inner destinations: spirituality, astral-projection, self-hypnosis, spoon-bending, channeling, etc.

Clearly, for all his remarkable intellectual gifts, Crichton was not given a spiritual barometer when he was young. So, after seeing his inadequate responses to life's difficulties, he set out to
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Lis
Jan 25, 2012 Lis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I thought I was really going to like this book, despite the fact that it really is *very* different than what you'd think. Much less about travel, and more about his life, period. The whole first section was about his experiences earning his medical degree, for example. That part was great, if quite dated. But then he began to come across as a very repulsive person, and I'm just glad he isn't an author I read much of, or he'd have ruined his books for me. Lots of dangerous, ridiculous New Age mu ...more
Rajat
Dec 01, 2014 Rajat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic
Ardent Michael Crichton fan, so the review would be a bit biased.

I loved it!

It was a knowledgeable treat along with very powerful writing. For instance, I came to know about how unfair and cruel the US was (and probably still is) to unwed mothers.

It was also nice to know how Michael transformed his career from a medical field to becoming a full-time author and then experimenting with being a director.

All in all, a great read. Highly recommended!
Michael
Oct 19, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It is not easy to cut through a human head with a hacksaw."

Thus begins Michael Crichton's "Travels," which this is not your typical autobiography. It doesn't detail his upbringing on Long Island or cover his career as a writer and filmmaker. Instead, the focus is about his personal experiences traveling the world, and his globe-trotting trips were much more than simple vacations. They were journeys both physical and mental, journeys into awareness, journeys in which expectations and assumptions
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Duncan
Jun 16, 2015 Duncan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I generally like Crichton's terse and direct writing style. Since this wasn't a novel, I guess I expected more "character" development (he is famously criticized for his shallow characters), but was surprised by how shallow his introspections really are despite that more than half the book is about introspection (as opposed to travelling).

He is at his best when retelling anecdotes (this draws on his plot-driving abilities) and at his worst when trying to express his inner dialogue/thoughts. Unfo
...more
lucien
Jan 31, 2016 lucien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasurable and informative non-fiction ride-along through the global travels of by-then-megasuccessful young author and director Michael Crichton. The first half is a potpourri of Crichton's of course well told and well detailed adventures, while the second half delves into his ultimate takeaway from his travels, mainly a unique form of spirituality I won't spoil here. In truth, the second half turn ultimately was a little too out there for me, and on par with Crichton's later active denial of ...more
Samantha
Jul 27, 2015 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I like that it also included spiritual travel as well as physical travel. A very interesting read!
Harinarayan Sreenivasan
A very different book from one of my favourite authors. It is not a marvel of literature, but a recollection of experiences in his life, written to the point without dramatic embellishments. I like that the author, despite having a scientific background, allows himself to experience whatever comes to him without having the urge to rationally explain it. He has managed to nicely convey with words what went inside his head and heart when something unusual happened and I could relate to most of the ...more
Sarah
Apr 12, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time that I've read this book. It was much better the first time. This is one of Crichton's early books and it focuses on his years in medical school and his search for "fulfillment". He travels the world and also takes trips into the paranormal, hoping to find meaning in his life.
Javier
Sep 30, 2014 Javier rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fantasy Literature
Aug 16, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ryan
When Travels begins, Crichton is a student at Harvard Medical School, sawing into cadavers with his peers. He nearly faints at the sight of blood, but he is a talented and diligent student. Crichton shares the objections and concerns that would ultimately drive him from medicine, a decision perhaps made easier by the fact that he had already begun to experience success as a writer of spy novels. However, more than anything, it seems that Crichton began to doubt that doctors are capable of helpin ...more
Shannen Brouner
Had a difficult time getting through this one, but it was mostly enjoyable and interesting. It's less about travel and more about personal experience, written by a man who values self improvement and discovery, and an open mind.
Gillian
Jun 16, 2008 Gillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who believe in karma
Recommended to Gillian by: Chris
Eevryone should read this book - I now like Michael Crichton even more as an author knowing more about him as a person. What a badass.
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Michael Crichton (1942–2008) was one of the most successful novelists of his generation, admired for his meticulous scientific research and fast-paced narrative. He graduated summa cum laude and earned his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1969. His first novel, Odds On (1966), was written under the pseudonym John Lange and was followed by seven more Lange novels. He also wrote as Michael Douglas ...more
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“Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes -- with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That's not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating.” 41 likes
“The minute we look, we cease being afraid.” 10 likes
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