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Travels

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  8,168 ratings  ·  612 reviews
Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. When Michael Crichton -- a Harvard-trained physician, bestselling novelist, and successful movie director -- began to feel isolated in his own life, he decided to widen his horizons. He tracked wild animals in the jungles of Rwanda. He climbed Kilimanjaro and Mayan pyramids. He trekked ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 5th 2002 by Harpperen (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 fic…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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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,168 ratings  ·  612 reviews


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W
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, biography
The title is a bit misleading,this book is not entirely about travel,but a variety of subjects.

Crichton starts off with his difficult relationship with his father and not feeling any grief when his father died.

In addition to travel,the book is also about his medical career and the least interesting part to me was his belief in psychics.

An intrepid traveler,the places he chooses to visit are fairly unusual and show his fondness for adventure.

Of particular interest to me were the two chapters deal
...more
AudioBookLover
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first when I started this I was like wtf? He's talking about being in med-school and I thought 'Oh no! This is going to be boarding as hell'
This turned out to be a really great book!
This isn't your standard memoir. Each part where Crichton tells about a trip he toke, it is written like a really great short story. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to everyone. I was actually sad when I finished with it.
He published this right before publishing Jurassic Park. I really wi
...more
Connie Harkness
Oct 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Ryan
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Wellington
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Amber Strussion
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Santhosh
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.’ ~ T.S. Eliot

I believe that if you have truly travelled, you will no longer be the same person you started out as. So for me, travel automatically also includes inner change, be it intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social or personal. I'm also slowly learning the significance of events that change you as a person; things that may not necessarily be immediately significant but add up to make
...more
Travelin
Jun 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: started
Up[date: 15/11/17

I don't know why I was being coy in this review. Michael Crichton describes waiting for a mutual friend to come back from molesting a child, then listens to the man's description of what happened, without comment or criticism. But Crichton does complain a page later when the locals started laughing about his height. What a fucking asshole. Is anyone surprised that Hollywood is still full of fucking assholes?

This was a profoundly unpleasant, self-centered, non-practicing doctor w
...more
Kara
Jan 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
After reading this book, I realized that I never want to meet Michael Crichton. Ever.
The Story Girl
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, travel, memoir
This book could be divided into three parts: Crichton's time as a medical student at Harvard; his travels; and his foray into psychic stuff, so I'll divide my review up the same way.

Harvard Medical School
I love this book so much, and I haven’t even reached the part that I picked the book up for (the travels, of course). In this first part, Crichton describes his time as a medical student at Harvard and what lead him to quitting medicine just as he graduated to become a writer instead. (And
...more
Peter Colclasure
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was 12 years old the summer that Jurassic Park hit theaters. Considering how ubiquitous CGI has become, it's easy to forget how revolutionary that movie was at the time. Using computers to animate photorealistic animals and insert them into a scene with real actors was unprecedented. Spielberg & Co. had to invent new technology as they were filming to make the movie possible.

So I saw the movie, read the book, and then got obsessed with Michael Crichton for the rest of my adolescence. I read h
...more
Farnoosh Brock
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Emily
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Alisa Kester
Jan 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Alan
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Angus McKeogh
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the travel essays were amazing. Witty, elucidating, and cogent. Beautifully written with his very human and universal emotions coming off the page. Some of his insights on relationships were mind shaking. His different perspective fresh and illuminating. And some of his irrational and non-scientific beliefs were shocking. But overall a book about what it is to be human. Interesting and a good read. On par with and certainly better than some of his fiction.
James Renner
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Max
Jun 12, 2020 added it
an incredibly unpleasant man the world is better without, thank god he didn’t actually go into medicine. If you’re wondering if he actually hates women and loves being racist as much as every male lead (or, “every lead”) in his books the answer is of course yes. Yes he does. Somehow despite my incredibly low opinion of him as a person I still found the degree of this pretty surprising! You’re proud you just barely avoided exploiting your csa victim adult patient and that you didn’t quite rape a ...more
Matt
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my second time reading this (it's been a little over 10 years since the last read) but I really enjoyed it again. It's a "page turner," and it confirmed something I've been noticing this year: it's super-interesting to read memoirs that are only slightly out-of-date (versus, you know, Ben Franklin's memoir). This was written about Crichton's literal travel plus his metaphysical experiences in the '70's and '80's, and it was so intriguing to notice the big and little changes that have co ...more
Unigami
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
This is a collection of short essays about Crichton's days at Harvard Med School and internship, the various travels and expeditions that he made throughout his life, and his metaphysical journeys. I was very interested in reading the chapters about the latter, expecting that I would be reading about his experiences with meditation, zen, religion, philosophy...etc. Indeed, it began with that, but before long we find Mr. Crichton visiting psychics, going on retreats, playing with auras, and atten ...more
Kenny
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Chris Dietzel
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Rajat
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: onedrive
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!
Alexis
Apr 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
I haven't given his fiction the time of day, but I was captivated by his real life experiences. He certainly knows how to tell a story, and man, he has some good ones. I can def. see where he gets his fuel for writing based on his reservoir of adventures.
Adam Wolf
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Host: Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the best selling author that brought you The Andromeda Strain, please welcome, Michael Crichton!

Michael: Hello! Thank you for having me.

Host: Mr. Crichton, we have brought you here to discuss your new novel, Travels! Can you tell us a little about it?

Michael: My most recent book, Travels, is about my experiences and how they changed me in various ways throughout my life.

Host: In your first few chapters of your book, you talk about Harvard writing scho
...more
Sugavanesh Balasubramanian
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am a fan of memoirs/biographies. I haven't read any of the other Michael Crichton books. Of course, I have watched the entire Jurassic Park series. Fell in love with Westworld TV series (which was based on his movie). So, I picked this book without a second thought when I spotted in a Friends of Library sale being a wanderlust seeking soul. And, I am pleased with my choice, to say the least.

This book is about his various adventures, not just through travel (as is used in a conventional meanin
...more
Chris Menezes
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a weird one.

Good:
The first part of the book, describing the author’s time in med school I found very interesting. A lot of his travel adventures are unique and exciting. You definitely get a window into his mind.

Bad:
The “mental trips” and visits to psychics that are all over this book did not resonate with me at all. I think the attempts to normalize astral projection, energies and mediums were ridiculous.

Ugly:
The casual mention of child prostitution in this book was disgusting. I don’
...more
Suze
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I enjoyed Chrichton’s essays about both his world adventure travels and his inner travels exploring the psychic and spiritual worlds. His spare, self-deprecating style made me smile at situations he got into and he set the tone right from the start with schoolboy tales of his Harvard education to become a doctor. I also admired his bright mind and curiosity-driven gumption as he pursued “direct experiences”. The final essay on the validity of research into parapsychology is impressive as he demo ...more
Herve Tunga
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great read. A lot of gems about perspective, education, experiences and ways of living life.
Trevor Denning
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Crichton was a gifted storyteller and had a way with words, two skills which carry over in his memoir. Unfortunately, he was also a selfish neurotic, and there's no hiding or diminishing that in any survey of his life. While I enjoyed the stories of his travels to exotic locals (the Jamaican adventure being especially amusing), he does not make a good travel companion. Crichton's obsession with psychic phenomena takes up way too much and isn't so much amusing as it is pathetic.

As someone who pr
...more
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13,381 followers
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 Doug ...more

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