Prey
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Prey

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  92,090 ratings  ·  1,900 reviews
In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles -- micro-robots -- has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive. It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passi...more
Audio CD, 13 pages
Published November 25th 2002 by HarperAudio (first published 2002)
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Philip
I used to love Crichton. I got on a kick in high school where I read Jurassic Park, Terminal Man, Andromeda Strain, and Congo, and I liked them all. The stories and characters were overused stereotypes, but I always felt like I learned something because Crichton did such thorough research.

The last 2 I tried to read were Timeline and Prey. I couldn't even finish either one. The science was SOOO bad. I don't know if I've just gotten more sophisticated, or if he's jumped the shark, but I can't imag...more
David P.
I remember I first learned that Jurassic Park was actually a book - that was sometime last year. Well, I read it this year, and Jurassic Park turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read. And then I saw Prey by Michael Crichton (the genius behind Jurassic Park) and figured "There's no way this is as good as Jurassic Park." After reading it, though, I found out that Prey is another home run by Michael Crichton, a spectacular book comparable to Jurassic Park, and probably a top three book...more
Gary
Like all Chrichton books, I really enjoyed this blend of modern technology, science, and fiction. It's an entertaining way to learn something new while enjoying a decent story. Yeah, it can be a slower read at times while you work thru the descriptive science, but I never felt that it distracted from the experience. Not as good as Jurassic Park, but a tad better than Sphere and much better than Congo, Timeline, & Eaters of the Dead.
Kimmy
If someone recommended to me a book about shape-shifting creatures who feed on human flesh to spawn and have a central mothership nest in the middle of a desert, I think I would have never, ever picked up that book and recommended Twilight to that person in return, out of sheer spite. Yes, and I think I would have picked Twilight over this kind of book in a heartbeat.

Well, what do ya know, those would have been the most horrible mistakes that I could have ever committed in my life. Well, never j...more
Nathan
Apr 28, 2007 Nathan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of robots-will-take-over-the-world theories
I had to read this book for my second-semester artificial intelligence class because it deals with nano-bots that use swarm-intelligence--something we were studying at the time. Basically the idea is that large groups of individually "stupid" agents can potentially display seemingly intelligent behavior. Think about insects: ants are a good example. Each ant is incredibly stupid, and by itself would wander aimlessly and accomplish nothing. But a very simple set of pre-defined behaviors causes th...more
Paul
Oct 25, 2007 Paul rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This is the only book I have intentionally left on a plane after reading it. It is so mind-numbingly stupid as to defy belief. Its pretty sad when completely nonsensical science gets combined with a dumb story. Get either of them about right and I'm happy, get both of them terribly wrong and I want my money back.
Rhiannon Lawrence
Hated this book! I am convinced that this was done by a ghost writer as it was not up to Crichton's normal detailed story telling. I was bored, I didn't believe the story, and the characters were flat for me. Gag.
Allen
Feb 10, 2008 Allen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are brain dead.
Probably the worst book I have ever read (and believe me, that's saying something!). Michael Crichton (who used to write so well!) offends every branch of the sciences in this book. Suspending disbelief is one thing, but to buy this book would require a frontal lobotomy. Unless you want to have your intelligence offended, don't bother.
Jonathan Swartz
I found Prey on the bookshelf of a lodge we were staying at over the weekend and thought it seemed like a good mindless vacation read.

I used to like Michael Chrichton (Juraissic Park, Disclosure) but hadn't read any in a while. Sadly, the poor writing quality kept jerking me out of what was otherwise a decent story. I don't know whether this is because his writing has gone downhill or my standards have just changed.

The premise is exciting enough (nano-robots gone rogue) but Chrichton keeps break...more
Mark Hebwood
This was easily Michael Crichton's weakest plot recently. The novel still manages to be engaging as Michael, even at his near-worst, always seems to be able to bring characters to life through dialogue rather than descriptions. The plot is fast-paced, the story-telling is engaging, but... as the plot unfolds, it is starting to verge on the ridiculous.

Swarms of nanoparticles imitate their hosts and create doppelgaengers that interact with real people. Yea right. Not that realism is a valid bench...more
Carolyn F.
The narration is great on this audiobook but I have a few complaints.

1. I know we need to know some of the basics about nano-technology but this seemed way too much. I've read Crichton before so I'm familiar with his way of teaching you a little, but maybe it was the subject matter I didn't care for. Mind wandering often.

2. Jack is not taking any of this serious enough. The swarms are killing people. They tell him to run, he asks why. They say the swarms are coming, he says just a minute. They...more
Dan
Sep 07, 2007 Dan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not
Shelves: sci-fi
A really good hard science fiction novel illustrating the potential danger of nanotechnology would be a welcome addition. Prey is not that novel.

Here’s the plot: Somewhere in the Nevada desert, a hi-tech corporation has been experimenting with nanotechnology swarms. Of course, the little critters get loose and begin evolving into fierce predators. Jack Foreman, an expert in designing computer programs that mimic the behavior of swarming animals, is called in to deal with the swarm. Jack’s wife...more
Elar
Idea behind the book is very catching and gives small introduction to machine learning and other IT techniques. But why is the main character intelligent in one moment and dumb as as a doorstop in next?
Nigel Mitchell
Let me start out by saying I'm a huge fan of Michael Crichton. His books Jurassic Park and Andromeda Strain are classics. That said, his other work is hit and miss. He tended to work in a formula which didn't always gel: group of people trapped in a building with something scary. Jurassic Park was a hit. Prey is definitely a miss for me.

Despite claims on the cover and the description, this book is not really about nanotechnology. It's about killer dust. The premise is that a computer programmer...more
Carol
Poor Jack has lost his computer job. He use to monitor the computers of other employees in his firm. Then he found out about some fraud and stealing of money committed by several high ranking employees and the higher ups used the information against Jack and had him fired and blacklisted. So Jack stays home and takes care of the kids, shopping for place mats at Crate and Barrel and buying groceries. Julia his wife works on nanotechnology but is acting strange, irritable and paranoid. She shows h...more
Gary James
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
The one good thing I can say about the book Prey is this: it's easy to review because I can just cut and paste my review to some of the author's other books and feel like I'm understanding the author's artistic method. I'm looking at you in particular, Timeline and Jurassic Park, although Jurassic Park receives more stars by simply being the first of his that I read, many years before the movie was made.

It opens with the discovery of time travel/nanotechnology/perfectly preserved dinosaur DNA. C...more
Sofiya
Rated this book so highly purely because it was the first of its genre that I had read in a long time, and impressed me very much. It appeals on several levels of geekiness and is hard to stop reading once begun. I normally don't read thrillers because I feel my emotions are being unnecessarily toyed with, but this raised an important worst-case scenario.

I feel there were several plot holes (the swarms should not have been able to recreate the piezoelectric wafer in the wild, necessary for powe...more
Ohr
Atrocious. The book has some solid, informative, and entertaining explanations of predator-prey dynamics, the use of evolutionary algorithms, and machine learning. The other 99% of the novel, that is to say the actual story and characters contained within, is simply insane, inane, and a drain on one's brain. The book is a boring slog through a sloppily-written swamp of ridiculous and witless plot-points in the company of cardboard cutouts. The ending, when it arrives, is so laughably stupid that...more
Fahad
الضحية

ربما يبهرك كرايتون بالمعلومات التي يبثها في كتبه، فالرجل يبني قصصه على أكداس من البحوث، ولكني في النهاية لا أعتبره روائياً، لأن القصة بين يديه بلا روح، هي مجرد ثوب منكمش يخفي وراءه الفكرة أو المعلومة التي يرغب في الحديث عنها.

في هذا الكتاب اختار كرايتون الحديث عن المستقبل القريب، عن تكنولوجيا النانو تحديداً، أو عن شكل من أشكال تقنياتها المتوقعة، وهي تقنية قرأت عنها في كتاب (المستقبل النانوي)، تتمثل في شكل سحابة من الجزئيات يمكن لها أن تتشكل بأشكال متعددة، في كتاب (المستقبل النانوي) كانت ا...more
Daniel Splittchinzki
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerry
Inventive tale about "nanotechnology" - wild suspense...

He's not merely a great author -- Crichton is one of the most imaginative, inventive writers of our times. This, his 13th work of fiction, reminds us of the empire he spawned with Jurassic Park -- a story plausible enough to scare us, entertain us, educate us, and grip us from start to finish. Ironically, the book starts out a little slow, laying the framework for recently turned house-husband Jack Forman, his ex-work circumstances, his fa...more
Arielle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
Picked up this audiobook at the library for my commute. I have a short commute so didn't want anything profound or even literary. I haven't read any Michael Crichton but knew that he wrote the Jurassic Park so I thought this might be entertaining. Boy I was wrong! I managed to listen to the 8th disc (out of 11) and just could not take it anymore. First of all, being a science fiction does not mean that you have to give a lecture in science every 5 minutes or so. Secondly it would have been beara...more
Jay Michaels
Prey (2002) by Michael Crichton.

A surprisingly easy read. Before reading _Prey_,) I don't recall having read *any* of Michael Crichton's books as an adult. I'd seen several movies based on his work (_The Andromeda Strain_, _Jurassic Park_, _Sphere_, and _Timeline_), and I knew Crichton created the TV show _ER,_ which my wife has watched religiously over the years.

At first I was a little daunted by the book's 500-plus pages, but Crichton's prose was so easy to read that I just breezed through t...more
Cara
I thought this book was pretty good, even though I'm not huge into science fiction. I've seen that lots of people review this book and say that the science is so farfetched that it's unbelievable and stupid, but honestly, it's fiction. It's not supposed to be perfectly believable. Suspension of disbelief is required when reading this. I personally just enjoy books that can entertain me, and this one did. It brought up some interesting "what if" concepts, even though they would never really happe...more
lff
Esoteric explanations for pages and pages, I don’t think I really need to know about all the science behind the micro-robots to clearly understand the storyline. General summarizations of what they are and how it contributes to the story is all that I need. The introduction of Prey by Michael Crichton was sluggish, stretched and too detailed most of the time. The majority of it at the beginning was unnecessary. It only made it hard to keep the attention of the reader and instead, gave them the m...more
Job Eloja
Oct 23, 2012 Job Eloja rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the science-gone-wrong genre
Shelves: techno-thriller
I hold Prey in such high regard for two reasons. First: it was the first ever novel I have read; and second: I had such a great time reading it that it inspired me to make reading books such as this one of my hobbies.

But enough about the sentimentality. On to the real thing: What I thought of Prey. As I have said, I had such a great time reading it. The plot was ever exciting, and Crichton added in more than enough suspense to keep me flipping pages. It did get gruesome at some points, so if you...more
Candice Trebus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victoria
I purchased this book from a sale at Zellers along with 'Hide and Seek' by James Patterson (which I haven't read yet) in a 2/$5 deal + 10% off with an SPC card. Being familiar with Patterson's works, I took a bit of a chance with this one, having, well, never really heard of it.

The brief blurb on the back cover reminded me of themes used in many other science fiction movies and books, with out-of-control, replicating technology. However, the main difference is that with these is that, instead of...more
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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
More about Michael Crichton...
Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1) The Andromeda Strain Timeline Congo Sphere

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“We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so.” 84 likes
“They didn't understand what they were doing.
I'm afraid that will be on the tombstone of the human race.”
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