Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Andromeda Strain” as Want to Read:
The Andromeda Strain
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Andromeda Strain

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  179,009 Ratings  ·  2,557 Reviews
The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to collect organisms and dust for study. One of them falls ...more
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Perfection Learning (first published September 1st 1969)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Andromeda Strain, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Alexander Vineyard I would say it's mildly thrilling. If you want a thriller, go with Jurrassic Park, or read nearly anything Steven King. If you can get through an…moreI would say it's mildly thrilling. If you want a thriller, go with Jurrassic Park, or read nearly anything Steven King. If you can get through an epic, I highly recommend The Stand. Also Fear or Final Blackout by Hubbard are great thrillers.(less)
Rick There is no romantic content at all, only male characters, By today's standards for everyday television and movies, this book would be G rated.…moreThere is no romantic content at all, only male characters, By today's standards for everyday television and movies, this book would be G rated. Obviously, people die with some descriptions of dead people and their pathology. I read this book in 1970 when I was 14 and loved it. At the time I was struck by it's realism; I thought it may have really happened. This may be the only "danger" to a young reader.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lyn
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nine years before Stephen King’s heavy, genre defining smackdown novel The Stand, intelligent tall guy Michael Crichton quietly blew people away with his own hard science Big Bang Theory epidemic story.

Similar to Andy Weir’s brilliant 2011 mega success The Martian, this is hard science fiction told by an actual scientist. But whereas Weir stepped it down for the rest of us with some laugh out loud humor, the good Dr. Crichton put his best bedside manner forward and patiently explained his biolog
...more
Annette
liked the beginning, thought the end was unbelievably anticlimatic.
Alejandro
This book is a good example that sometimes the rating that one gives to one book isn't fault itself of the book but due the timing of when you read it in relation with having read other books of the same author.

All that long introduction is to explain that my very reason to give only 3 stars to this very good book is because I happened to read it after of reading Sphere (see review of that book: HERE), that I find quite similar in the general premise.

Both books have the calling of a expert scien
...more
Joe Valdez
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sixth novel by Michael Crichton but the first published (in 1969) under his own name and the first in which he bent science fiction and suspense together in ways that would propel Crichton to the top of the bestseller lists and into cinemas for the next thirty years, The Andromeda Strain didn't retain many surprises for me, but in its own delightful way, reminded me of a science and technology museum exhibit and the docent giving me a tour: "And here we have a pioneering thriller of technolo ...more
Paul O'Neill
There's a good story in here, somewhere. If Crichton tackled this idea later in his career it would have undoubtedly been a great book. There's just far too much science and not enough thriller.
Russ
Aug 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scientists
Shelves: 2007, novel, thriller
This book is all about the tension, not the payoff.

As with most entertainment, this book pulls you in by asking some questions. "What is it?" "How does it work?" "What happened?" While those questions are still being asked, this book is a fairly thrilling read.

If you don't like books that get too technical about things, though, this isn't the book for you. It's full of pages from government documents, computer readouts, and the like. That only helps the book go by quicker, because I just skippe
...more
Jason Parent
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if this book is a 4 or 5, but I think I liked it more on second reading. It is really engaging, heavy on the science, which for the most part, great added to the authenticity of the novel. On rare occasions, (view spoiler), the science is burdensome.

The story is a slow burn, building tension over the co
...more
Richard
This was probably one of the first science fiction books I ever read, and so far the only book by Crichton. My rating is based on my reaction over three decades ago -- I seem to recall there were some parts that felt awkward, like they were written by someone trying to leap across the so-called "generation gap". But my teen self loved the book, so it gets the five stars. I have no idea whether I'd still feel as generous if I were to re-read it, but then I seldom re-read books anyway.

The movie wa
...more
AH
This is a review of the audiobook.
I first read The Andromeda Strain way back when I was about 12 years old or so. Back then the YA genre wasn't available for us precocious readers so we graduated from Nancy Drew straight to Stephen King, Micheal Crichton and the like.
There is nothing scarier than something we cannot see. Add in some alien elements and it becomes even scarier. Alien virus from outer space - freaky.
The audio version was not as good as the book, nor was it as good as the movie f
...more
scrillla
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Such an expertly written book. You can tell Crichton has a background in medicine from some of the terminology he uses, the knowledge of biology is uncanny! Definitely makes the book unique in context to any others I have read. The cover and use of the galaxy name Andromeda in the book draws Sci-fi readers towards it definitely. I know this for a fact because I wouldn't of even gotten the book if it didn't have the cool cover of the earth and numbers matrix style and the space title.

The plot of
...more
MightyA
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At least 4.25 stars, IMO. Great story format, superb writing, lots of character developments, yet still interesting enough to keep me on the book the whole time, even the background info of each scientist. To top it off. an excellent audio performance just make the whole experience the more exciting.
Tfitoby
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton's contagion procedural, has more in common with Sjowall & Wahloo's Roseanna than anything created by anybody widely associated with the science fiction genre but the biological investigation by Stone, Leavitt et al is most assuredly science fiction and most importantly a fascinating account of how an extraterrestrial bacteria might react to human beings and how human beings might react in return.

It's a methodical, slow burn thriller that's heavy on the
...more
Joe
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scientists! Making things happen! Getting called out of their homes in the middle of the night! Rigorously sanitizing every inch of their bodies! Looking over ascii-image printouts! Performing exhaustive tests! Debating theories of exobiology! And it's a total blast!

Michael Crichton made microorganisms scary and cool for the masses with science that isn't laughable 40 years later. Is it any wonder that when he got his hands on dinosaurs he set the entertainment industry on fire?

Worth noting tha
...more
Kaph
So I decided to give Crichton another go. I was optimistic. There is no movie of this one (as far as I’m aware) and I do enjoy a good space epidemiology premise. What can I say? I was right, solid 3. Also, look up ‘page-turner’ in a reputable dictionary and you will be directed to this book. Bloody impossible to put down, almost irritatingly so. I read the last chapters in a kind of frustrated mania, aware I had things to do but also accepting of the fact that they were not getting done until I ...more
Tommy Carlson
I read The Andromeda Strain back in my youth and had fond memories of it. So, I recently grabbed an eBook version to revisit it. I'm not exactly sure from where the fond memories came. It's not that great a book. On the positive side, there are few female characters so Crichton's misogynistic streak is mostly absent, but that's about it.

Dialogue is sparse and flat. Characters aren't much better. Crichton seems more intent on showing off his research than about telling a compelling story. The who
...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
I had to think for a couple of days to give this book a proper review/rating.

First of all, let me say something. I read some criticism that this book didn't developed any characters. Well my thoughts are the same BUT Michael Crichton in the beginning of the book says that this is a report and every single chapter/day was from a report of some sorts. There are several instances in each chapter that our narrator tells us important details, and say "how wrong they were..." or "If only they had don
...more
Jayanth
A pretty gripping read. My first Michael Crichton book and I think I'm going to read more of his works.

I loved the premise, how it was developed and concluded. Although, in my opinion, the story would have been much more thrilling if it was a narration of ongoing events instead of a recounting of the past, especially considering the ending.

Nevertheless, the story had my attention locked on for most of the time. The narration gets into scientific details quite a few times and I've read that the s
...more
Arun Divakar
The books that I have been getting my hands on recently all have the theme of disaster written in bold letters upon them. This was the first of them and the catastrophe was biological in terms of its agents and occurrence and as a reader it offered to me a most horrifying premise : wipe out by a biological weapon.

The villain here is a microbe of extra terrestrial origins and one that is ruthless in the devastation it brings about.A crack team of specialists sets to work on it and in the end the
...more
Efka
Moksline fantastika čia, priešingai nei teigia anotacijoje, nelabai net kvepia. Nepaisant to, knyga visai nebloga. Taip, ji iš tiesų labiau primena mikrobiologijos vadovėlį, bet kažkaip šiuo atveju man tai panašiau į pliusą, o ne į minusą. Neturiu jokių priekaištų, gal nebent išskyrus tai, kad galėjo būti daugiau dramos ir/ar veiksmo. Nes dqabar realiai gavosi "atėjau, pamačiau, pasislėpiau laboratorijoj, nugalėjau". Knyga trumpa ir smagi, turėtų patikt daug kam.
Timothy Boyd
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie as a kid and loved it. The book, like Anything Crichton is even more intense. Nice SiFi mystery. Very recommended
Andrew Mueller
Jan 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Andromeda Strain starts fast in a small Arizona town where a mysterious military satellite has crash landed. When a dispatch team is sent to retrieve the satellite, something terribly wrong happens. At the site of the satellite, the dispatch team also sees a horde of dead bodies surrounding the satellite. As the dispatch team contacted a nearby military base to tell the news they are suddenly overcome by a mysterious unknown force, leaving them dead, and the communicator silent. The militar ...more
Eli Easton
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-thriller
I read this for my Lifetime Challenge.

I chose this book to read for the year 1969 over a number of others because a) it's Michael Crichton and b) it's a thriller. I thought it would be more exciting than something literary. :-)

I read a lot of Crichton years ago -- Prey, Congo, Timeline, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, Rising Sun. I love his blend of cutting edge technology, reality, and paranoia. I am easily sucked in by his "what if this went horribly wrongs".

I have never read The Andromeda Strain,
...more
Becky
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Researchers, biologists, and science lovers
This was my first Crichton book, and I have to say, I wasn't terribly impressed. I know, I know, this is a Science Fiction Classic, but I just kept waiting for something to happen.

I suppose if I was a scientist, or a biologist, I wouldn't feel that way. Probably, if I was a researcher, I would have found this book riveting, fascinating and terrifying. As a human of roughly average intelligence, I found it none of those things, and I felt like I should have.

The premise is excellent: a satellite
...more
Jason
Aug 15, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Andromeda Strain addresses a "worst case" scenario, where an unknown bacteria has the potential to wreak havoc on society, and a secret government agency has to deal with it before it gets completely loose.

The construction of the events and the execution feels very real - rather than an elite team of geniuses who use super spy powers to do whatever they want, you get a feel for the bureaucracy created by a government organization made to address an unknown threat, and the hodge-podge nature of a
...more
Ryan
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed by The Andromeda Strain.

Having said that, I was impressed to see that even as far back as 1969, Crichton had prepared all of the ingredients that would make up his later work. The Andromeda Strain challenges our faith in science. It ridicules the objectivity of scientists. Carefully managed systems fail elaborately to create suspense. A crack team is challenged under harsh conditions.

Unfortunately, The Andromeda Strain reads like little more than a blueprint for Crichton's lat
...more
Candy Atkins
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Michael Crichton books. I read The Andromeda Strain in high school and it completely freaked me out. However, it’s formula has been copied a zillion times so now it’s predictable and rather dull. And the ending is a little "meh".
But if you are a fan of originals I recommend it. Crichton has great style and his characters jump off the page. It's a super fast read, fun and well done.
Apokripos
May 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Michael Crichton and Techno-Thriller fans
Recommended to Apokripos by: the "Voice"
The Strain That Started It All
(A Book Review of Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain)


Where others credit classic writers like Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, I forever owe my first real taste of science fiction to Michael Crichton — long before I was even made aware that such a classification exists — and perhaps, as I think of it now, even more.

I still remember the day I borrowed Congo from the high school library during my junior year. What made me pick me the book is this vague idea that’s i
...more
Asma
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really really liked this book. Having a medical background definitely helped me understand a lot of the terms and concepts discussed here. Nonetheless, it was truly fascinating.

I recommend you read it if you're into science-fiction that has a touch of medicine in it.
Frank Roberts
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be a wildly inaccurate review since this isn't exactly a freshly read book. Read it about 36 years ago when I was 8 - it was my first Big People book, having had my fill of Roald Dahl and Judy Blume I felt it was time to step up my literary undertakings. So I'll try to write something here reflecting how I felt reading it in third grade.

The Andromeda Strain is the greatest book ever!!! The movie was on TV a couple of times this year, but always at like 9 o'clock and mom won't let me s
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Fantastic Voyage
  • 2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2)
  • Outbreak (Dr. Marissa Blumenthal, #1)
  • Mars (The Grand Tour, #4)
  • Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan Universe, #8)
  • Friday
  • Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (Known Space)
  • Artifact
  • Binary
  • Contact
  • The Cobra Event
  • Fail-Safe
  • Eon (The Way, #1)
5194
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
More about Michael Crichton...

Share This Book

“The rock, for its part, is not even aware of our existence because we are alive for only a brief instant of its lifespan. To it, we are like flashes in the dark.” 30 likes
“Human intelligence was more trouble than it was worth. It was more destructive than creative, more confusing than revealing, more discouraging than satisfying, more spiteful than charitable.” 24 likes
More quotes…