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Drug of Choice

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,711 ratings  ·  177 reviews
On a secret island in the Caribbean, bioengineers have devised a vacation resort like no other, promising the ultimate escape. But when Dr. Roger Clark investigates, he discovers the dark secret of Eden Island and of Advance Biosystems, the shadowy corporation underwriting it...
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by Hard Case Crime (first published January 1st 1970)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,711 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This one started out pretty good. A doctor notices some bizarre side effects in a couple of his patients, determines there's some kind of new drug out there, and investigates. The trail leads to a shady corporation running a mysterious resort on a secret island. In the second half it seems to lose focus, however. Turns out none of that stuff is really the point of the mystery. Still, it was never boring, and I plan to continue with these Crichton/Lange books. ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Of the Hardcase Crime re-prints of Michael Crichton's earlier works under the pen name John Lange, I'd only read BINARY - a tech-pulp that really didn't do it for me at the time. Luckily, DRUG OF CHOICE did. It's a quick read that sucks you in from the opening sequence and morphs into a paranoid alternate state of reality as the world viewed through protagonist Dr. Roger Clark's eyes clouds and then turns a semi transparent liquid red.

Despite it's linear narrative and single thread plot devise,
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was hoping for more from "The Med School Years" as this early Michael Crichton book is promoted as. Crichton was an author who got better as he went (I thought The Andromeda Strain had a weak ending, and I didn't care much for The Terminal Man much at all). Still, two of his early works, A Case of Need and the non-fiction Five Patients were quite good. Instead, this is a popcorn thriller, not the techno-thriller that Crichton is famous for.

A doctor encounters two cases of comatose patients wit
May 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
There was enough here to keep my interest but not much to remember afterwards. Decent story. Poor character development. That's about it.

The fact that Michael Crichton wrote this under the pen name John Lange while attending medical school is impressive to say the least. There is also a surprising amount of medical and scientific accuracy here which I am assuming is not too typical of most pulp-fiction novels. However, neither of these are quite captivating enough to be considered real selling p
Kyriakos Sorokkou

«I began writing as a medical student, and felt that I would continue as a doctor and ought to protect my patients from the fear that they might pop up in the pages of a thriller. The best protection would not be to disguise them, but to disguise me. Once I decided not to practice medicine, I dropped the pseudonyms expect for convenience. I wrote too much, so I decided to publish some books under false names, and in that way, could publish more books.»

And that's how Michael Crichton began his wr
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Okay this book was exactly what I needed - so its getting this rating for that if nothing else (well I also enjoyed it). I was in a bit of a slump well for me at least and I had this book at the bottom of my bag (come on who else does not leave the house without something to read) so I decided to dig it out and give it a go.

Okay this is one of a number of titles in the Hard Case series by the pseudonym author used by Michael Crichton. They were written before he found fame and fortune - this one
Cara Hinton
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really miss Michael Crighton. He is one of my favorite authors and Sphere and Andromeda Strain are some of my favorite books. So learning he wrote under a pseudonym made me very happy. Written in the late 60s and early 70s, these books got him through college (there was a nice bit of history at the end of the book). Although not current, they are still entertaining and enjoyable, especially if you love his work!
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic
now, that's one scary concept

got lucky and found this floating around;
still far from completing crichton's work, though
Mikey P. Jr
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-fiction
I had high hopes for this story even though it was before Michael Crichton made a name for himself. The first half was pretty damn entertaining but the second half was struggling to keep me entertained. Regardless I’m still going to dig up every single thing this man wrote including more John Lange stuff.

Love the old school cover though.
Craig Childs
Michael Crichton supported himself in med school by writing paperback originals under the pen name John Lange. Drug of Choice centers on Roger Clark, a Los Angeles doctor who stumbles onto a dangerous new recreational drug that puts its users into a coma. His investigation soon leads him to a shadowy corporation intent on controlling mankind through science.

This was meant to be a quick read, shallow but enjoyable. Lots of action, pretty girls, some plot twists thrown in for good measure—just do
Peter Bosson
Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Growing up I was a huge fan of Michael Crichton so learning that several books he wrote early in his career (under a pseudonym) were being re-released made me very excited. Before starting this book I mentally prepared myself for the fact that it was written while he was still a student so it may not be Crichton's best work. I was very pleased to find that it was actually quite good, I would've given it 3 1/2 stars if Goodreads allowed half stars. The book is classic Crichton, fast paced with lo ...more
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it

I received this book from Goodreads first reads.This was a strange story. Very interesting and kept me reading throughout the night.It was an earlier book in Michael Crichton's career.It was eerie to read some of the things that happen now,in this book.That was amazing and what a sense of future that the author had.If you are a fan of his and never read this I suggest it highly.If you have not read any of his work, then I would certainly recommend this book as good read.Enjoy!!
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
An early Michael Crichton book, raw as you would expect because he was still finding his way as a writer, but entertaining. The premise is interesting if somewhat half-basked (no pun intended, considering the title). Worth a read though if you want a breezy techno-thriller, keeping in mind this was written in the early 1970s.
Dwayne Roberts
Unexceptional early work by Crichton. The main character in particular seemed quite flat, unemotional, boring.
David Caldwell
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: action
John Lange is a pseudonym for Michael Crichton. He used this name when he was still attending medical school in the mid 60's to early 70's (1966 -1972) and wrote suspense novels on the side to earn money.

Drug of Choice is the story of a doctor that gets drawn into a series of ever deepening mysteries that have a huge implications and could be his death.

Not only was this story written in 1970, it is also set in that time. Parts of the story are very dated. I don't mean that reads like a story set
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Hard Case Crime reprint of an early Michael Crichton novel. It's hard to figure this one out -- it's medical science fiction, certainly, a bit of a paranoiac thriller (with few thrills), a bit of a dry run for Crichton's later The Terminal Man, a bit of an anti-science anti-corporation polemic, a satire, and a heavily disguised potshot at the antics of Scientology.

It's also very awkwardly written, the protagonist is a highly passive idiot distracted easily by women, and the villains would be
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this book. Mr. Lange shows that you don't need to have over the top dramatics or lots of violence to produce a good book. Although, I did feel like the intensity level was only turned half way. There could have been a bit of a bigger punch. However, considering the time period when this book was written, it is appropriate for that time period.

Dr. Clark shows that curiosity can almost kill the cat. He found himself in over his head. The scariest thing about this book is the experiments t
Garrett Hamblin
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This is about as lite as pulp fiction gets. As ridiculous though much of the story is, it's never really bad. Drug of Choice is a bizarre tale of a pharmaceutical company creating a drug-induced alternate reality pill. The author rushes through his story, with much of it barely sketched out. Even so, Chrighton keeps the tension nicely high and while the premise may be quite absurd, it touches upon enough basic human fears, of personal and corporate control and, to be pretty effective.
Drug of Ch
Ashwin Dongre
Finally so much of Crichtonian storytelling way. I started reading the John Lange novels in the order they were published, and started to get gimps of future Crichton in storytelling. The sectionisation of story, enigmatic message at the beginning of each section, the way story progresses and small cliffhangers.
I liked the story, its fast. I did not exactly liked the ending. (view spoiler)
Read for the "Book with an Ugly Cover" prompt of the Popsugar Reading Challenge, as well as my quest to read/re-read every Michael Crichton book by the end of 2020.

I know a lot of people rag on these "Med School Years" books by Crichton, but I really enjoyed this! I felt like there were enough twists and turns to keep my interest, and it was an extremely quick read. In the ebook of this there were a few editing mistakes/typos, but nothing too egregious. I was dreading reading this because many o
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A young doctor finds himself pulled into a interesting offshoot of the drug world when he consults on cases with an unusual symptom, blue urine. As he tries to discover the cause, he finds much more. A beautiful actress invites him to an exclusive resort. A prosperous company offers him a high level position. But can he trust any of this? Can he trust himself?

Lange skillfully weaves together the threads of this story. At first you are as bewildered as the main character. Then you find answers to
Nov 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Not sure what to think of this book. I used to like Michael Crichton but this book is almost unreadable. Goodreads says it was published in 1970 but I don't recall cell phones and some of the other devices mentioned in this book in 1970. But the book was simply terrible. I forced myself to read it all the way through and I'm sorry I did. The main character, Dr. Roger Clark, is a total moron. I can't stress how many stupid things he does. Yes, he's on drugs, but that's no excuse. And how can this ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Drug of Choice was a clever clever book. I enjoy contemplating that Michael Crichton was writing about the evils of designer drugs and mental manipulation in 1969, but everything he had to say on the subject remains valid today. This novel is a slick and exciting read that still holds up nearly fifty years later. It is my favorite of the reissued Crichton's I've read so far. Three more to go-when I can find them. ...more
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Now young writer Michael Crichton is a five-star book writer. "5-Stars--The book accomplished all of its storytelling goals and more, WOW" Drug of Choice took me on such a ride that I did not care about character development. This book is like, well, a Michael Crichton book. It's even better than some of his later work because it's not weighed down in a lot of scientific detail. It's run, run, run! Great job. Bravo! ...more
David Macpherson
Apr 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
I was so looking forward to this one. I love the Michael Chricton books he wrote as John Longe and I liked that this had to do with a SF island. It was a mess. He didn't seem to be able to keep to one idea. The idea of a resort where you are drugged and believe whatever you are told so you think you had a great vacation when you were doing nothing was a pretty interesting idea but that was abandoned half way through. He had too many ideas. ...more
Tara Furcini
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This is starting to be what Crichton was good at, but it's still an early iteration that veers probably too far into the fantastical. The technical details are starting to show up and the inventive extrapolations that made him ahead of his time are evident here too, but it's still anchored in what I'm starting to think is his "tawdry" phase. ...more
Mike Harper
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it
This very early novel is still a pretty good read. Here as in many of his later novels, Crichton goes after big, bad corporations. How can a hero deal with an evil corporation that can predict his every move? You can find out here, in a relatively short, action-packed story, written while the author was still in medical school.
Aidan Gullickson
Oct 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
I did not finish this book, so perhaps it gets better. The dialog and the behavior of the characters was so poor and unbelievable, I just could not continue. I have decided that life is too short to finish bad books. I deserve better. After having this reaction to several Michael Crichton books, I am done with this author.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Rating between 2 & 2.5

One of the weaker JL novels I thought. The story started interesting but the second half I found very weak.
Possibly with more development it could have been a good read but overall I think this would be a pass unless the reader was either reading all the JL/MC works or working their way through the HCC catalogue.
Honestly, I read so much fiction, constantly & compulsively, I wasn't particularly familiar with Michael Crichton's work, other than knowing he was a bestselling author, and it did ring a bell that he wrote exceptional medical thrillers. I was really glad to read "Drug of Choice" and find what an amazing background this author had. He told a damn good story. In my world, that is a huge legacy. ...more
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John Lange is a pseudonym of author Michael Crichton. His pen name was selected as reference to his above-average height of 6' 9"(2.06 meters). Lange means "tall one" in German, Danish and Dutch.

Librarian's note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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