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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  148,022 ratings  ·  2,677 reviews
A group of American scientists are rushed to a huge vessel that has been discovered resting on the ocean floor in the middle of the South Pacific. What they find defies their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation. It is a spaceship of phenomenal dimensions, apparently, undamaged by its fall from the sky. And, most startling, it appears to be at least ...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published June 23rd 1997 by Ballantine Books (first published 1987)
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Jeffrey As with most (if not all) of Crichton's novels, it's a thriller. I found this one had a little bit of a slower pace, but I believe it pays off with…moreAs with most (if not all) of Crichton's novels, it's a thriller. I found this one had a little bit of a slower pace, but I believe it pays off with some really interesting ideas and twists.(less)

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Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Back in 1993, after reading Jurassic Park (see review of that book HERE), I was like in Crichton-mode actived! ;)

So, my next novel had to be by Michael Crichton!

I went to the bookstore and this one was the first book that I checked and after reading the premise, I found it promising. ;)

So, I bought it and started to read it.


Since the beginning I was in shock amalgamated with happiness since the style and mood of the novel was astonishing good. (Of course, by then I hadn't read yet Th
Jun 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 7th graders and anyone else
First, an overlong apologist's review of Michael Crichton. Then, a very short review of Sphere.

(Life update: I am procrastinating).

In my opinion, you can only truly rate a Michael Crichton book by a) the depth and originality of the concept and b) the lucidity of the monologue/essay that will always occur, usually as a rant from some broken visionary genius or another, approx. 4/5 of the way through the book.

Rating Michael Crichton on his prose, either its subtlety or execution, is sort of po

I had some idea what to expect when I picked up the late Michael Crichton's sci-fi thriller Sphere because I'd seen the movie years ago -- a movie I love by the way despite a lot of lambasting from the critics and grumbling from the book's fans. Sure it isn't perfect (with its moments of cheese and flubs); nevertheless, the exciting, chilling core of Crichton's story is evident and for me the film still stands as a great example of escapist cinema, that mesmerizing addictive blend of science fic
Joe Valdez
Bullet points seem appropriate when it comes to Sphere, the 1987 science fiction thriller by Michael Crichton. One of the qualities about Crichton's work that I love is the unabashed clarity of his concepts and the dependable navigation of his novels. Crichton doesn't seem like he's lost or should stop to ask for directions. Other writers--those with loftier creative ambitions, perhaps--tend to circle around ideas (like mankind's first contact with extraterrestrials) as if they've never been in ...more
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Well... that was very strange.

This book is a combination of psychological thriller and science fiction. It follows a group of scientists as they investigate what is thought to be an alien vessel that crashed on the ocean floor.

Crichton's musings have a tendency to be deeply speculative of the human condition, but without using language that alienates the audience. I can follow his line of thinking easily without getting lost.

This novel's plot takes a sharp left turn off the path I expected it t
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
“You look so unhappy right now.” That is a quote from my boyfriend about my face while reading this. I fell asleep while reading this. In the middle of the day. It also took me almost three months to read. Safe to say, I did not enjoy it. I absolutely love/loved Jurassic Park (who doesn’t) so I was really excited to dive into my second Michael Crichton book. Boy was it a let down.

I’m not going to lie, the writing was really good, the science was fun and the characters were likable but boy was t
ashley c
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. Was debating whether to give it a 2.5 or a 3, with the number changing throughout the book. Man, this was... Lukewarm? Lackluster? Disappointing, definitely.

What I liked
• Interesting premise that held my attention up until the middle of the book, where improbable things start happening and Crichton failed to make them feel real
• Slightly dry, witty style of writing, but again, made the dialogue really unrealistic

What I didn't like
• Terribly written characters. Crichton really overd
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
Well, I had no idea there was a Sphere book. I only saw the movie and thought that was it. Not to mention that the book is written by the same author as Jurassic Park.

A group of American scientists are rushed to a huge vessel that has been discovered resting on the ocean floor in the middle of the South Pacific. What they find defines their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation. It is a spaceship of phenomenal dimensions, apparently, undamaged by its fall from the sky. An
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Read this when I was in high school, and was one of the few times I've been up nearly all night reading, saying to myself every hour, "I need to go to sleep," but then couldn't put it down. The movie adaptation was atrocious, so don't judge this story based on the film (I always pictured Ted Knight in the role of Ted, not Liev Schreiber [though Mr Schreiber is a talented actor]). The story has a very tense, claustrophobic feel, and rightly so, as the characters are trapped at the bottom of the o ...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Oh I liked this book!
The psychological thriller combined with sci-fi: an excellent mix!

Can't wait to watch the movie adaption now.

A spacecraft is found underwater...There is a sphere inside it. A group of scientists are sent to investigate but of course, strange things start to happen. Tense and gripping.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Characters: 4/5
Although it was sizable cast, each character had such a distinctive and memorable personality. The book to some extent was about how these different personalities would react in a crisis situation, and overall, I think Crichton did a good job fleshing that out.

Plot: 4/5
The plot was well-paced, and had enough mystery and intrigue to keep it compelling. It certainly had some twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting, and it was fun to see that unfold.

Murf the Surf
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Do you all remember how great the Andromeda Strain was and how us baby boomers were hooked therefore on Crichton's future endeavors, however unscientific and implausible his writings became? Being a science, SciFi, and computer geek, I ate up any dish he served. I believe many of you were not that impressed today with his writing, and have missed a lot because of the movies instead. I truly enjoyed this book and could easily see how a movie would be made someday in the future. Since this review ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
One of the first books I ever read, and will always hold a big place in my heart. There's always room for (view spoiler).
I'm reading Nick Cutter's upcoming horror novel The Deep right now and it's reminded me of how much I enjoyed Sphere, Michael Crichton's best novel. It was my favorite book when I was a kid. I remember what a page-turner it was and how much the tension kept ratcheting up until it was unbearable. I remember the plot being extremely clever as well, and how much of it was dependent on less of the sci-fi aspects and more on the characters themselves. I read it so much when I was younger, the book fe ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Update: Lowered the rating to 3 from 4 stars. Was just thinking of Crichton's works I've read and this was so underwhelming in terms of what it promised and what it delivered by the end.

I had a claustrophobic feeling all through while reading this thrilling book about the discovery and the consequent scientific expedition to understand the alien spacecraft lying on the pacific ocean bed, a 1000-feet deep.

A team is assembled and is sent out into the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Ocean. The s
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Sphere' by Michael Crichton is a superior read in science fiction entertainment! The moments of ROTF are many, primarily because of the intentionally funny dialogue I adored. (In my checkered history of trying to make a living, I worked as a secretary for a Department Head at a Medical Center/Science facility at a famous University. Science investigators ARE remarkably territorial, argumentative and viciously competitive.) I also was fascinated by the protocols the author mentions that have bee ...more
Executive Summary: A strong start and a pretty strong finish, but I found a lot of the last quarter or so on the slow side. This is a pretty solid 3.5 stars that could be rounded up or down depending on my mood at the time.

Audiobook: Apparently this book had been released in audio before, but for some reason Brilliance Audio seems to be (re)releasing a bunch of his books recently. Scott Brick does his usual quality job. Whenever you see Mr. Brick's name on an audiobook, you know you're going to
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un buon libro di fantascienza che indaga nella psicologia e nel subconscio umano. Se non avete visto il film ve lo godrete appieno, ma è comunque godibilissimo anche per chi ha già visto la versione cinematografica. Non il migliore di Crichton (fra quelli che ho letto) ma sicuramente molto piacevole, anche se qualche ingenuità poteva essere evitata. Il mio voto: 3,5 stelle.
Feb 20, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: I wouldnt wish this on my worst enemies
Words cannot express the contempt I harbor for this book.
My hatred for it knows no boundries. There are few pieces of literature that I cannot come to appreciate in some way, even fewer that compel me to demand the time back that I spent reading it so that I may do something more productive like piss on the third rail.

It was rather suprising, considering Michael Crichton has published some excellent work. I guess he pulled this one out of his ass while drunk/high/stoned/oncrack/bordering on suic
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
it is awsome!!!!!!!!!!
Michael Crichton had some amazing ideas, as pretty much all the blurbs on his books catch my interest. But, and that's a big "but", the writing is terrible. Sphere is heavy on dialogue, flat characters, and sensational action scenes. It's obvious that Crichton's true calling was screenplay writing, and so far all of the books that I've read by him were made into movies. He often wrote about interesting and very much possible technologies, but I so wish his execution was better. Nevertheless, thi ...more
Chris Dietzel
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first half of 'Sphere' is probably the greatest thing Crichton ever wrote. The amount of plot twists, each superbly executed, is excellent. However, the second half of the book falls apart as it becomes a different type of story than the first half. Still a very good read and one of Crichton's top five best books, but I just found myself wishing the story could have unfolded at the same high level from the first page to the last.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I really loved this book when I read it as a teenager. Too bad the movie version sucked.
Христо Блажев
Непознатото плаши, познатото ужасява:

Историята е позната на всичи – най-малкото заради филма по книгата. На дъното на Тихия океан е открит огромен обект, който скоро е идентифициран като космически кораб, който очевидно е там от векове. Военните отцепват района и активират специален протокол, създаден точно за такива случаи – няма как да знаят, че създателят на протокола, Норман Джонсън, просто е имал нужда от пари и затова се е захванал с идиотската зада
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 7th graders+
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book!
Dr. Norman Johnson is flown to the middle of the South Pacific and dredged thousands of feet below the surface to investigate a so-called plane crash. The operation is military-run and Norman suspects from the very beginning that there is more than meets the eye. Upon meeting his other team members and being briefed by Captain Barnes, who is head of the operation, he soon learns that they're actually investigating an alien spacecraft more than 300 years old at the bottom of the ocea
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Will M.
Never dreaded any chapter, and that's pretty rare for me. I mostly just browse through a chapter of a book because it becomes boring or seem useless to me. Sphere on the other hand was very consistent, consistent with suspense. You never know what could happen next and there were a lot of twists in the story.

(view spoiler)
Very entertaining, despite the flawed writing and flat characters. The sci-fi storyline kept me turning the pages even though a part of my brain was questioning the lack of explanation and the implausibility of much of the non-sci-fi aspects of the story. A sort of popcorn flick only in book form...with lots of butter, but still a little burnt.
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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 Dougla ...more
“This is the gift of your species and this is the danger, because you do not choose to control your imaginings. You imagine wonderful things and you imagine terrible things, and you take no responsibility for the choice. You say you have inside you both the power of good and the power of evil, the angel and the devil, but in truth you have just one thing inside you - the ability to imagine.” 58 likes
“Do you want to understand how to swim, or do you want to jump in and start swimming? Only people who are afraid of the water want to understand it. Other people jump in and get wet.” 48 likes
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