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


3.95  ·  Rating details ·  7,297 ratings  ·  538 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)
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 Travels, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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…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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Joey H.
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book narrowly edges out Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" as the best book I have ever read. I now read this book yearly, sometimes twice a year if I cannot wait long enough to read it again. Let me say, first of all, that I have read damn near all of Michael Crichton's work, from books to speeches to magazine articles. To me, Crichton is only an above-average writer. What makes him special is the way that he thinks. Crichton is, in my opinion, one of the greatest and most innova ...more
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 in a scene with real actors was a technique that barely existed. 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 a
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
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.
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
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
The Story Girl
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, memoir, travel
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 s
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
Jan 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
After reading this book, I realized that I never want to meet Michael Crichton. Ever.
Mihai Persinaru
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
O carte personala in care se vorbeste despre omul Michael Crichton.Excelenta, la fel ca el.
N-are rost sa precizez ca a fost scriitorul cu cel mai mare succes din generatia sa (nici Stephen King nu l-a intrecut).
Cartile lui ar trebui sa fie referinta obligatorie pentru cititorii romani.
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.
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
Tandava Brahmachari
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
[from my blog: ]

Travels is a book that has been recommended to me for a while and I finally got around to reading it before and during my Costa Rica trip. This is by the same Michael Crichton that wrote Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain, etc. but this book is more autobiographical than fictional. It was extremely different from what I expected, but I think I ended up loving it even more because of that. Which is, of course, why I should remember not to put
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it

AWESOME book. Especially the first two thirds.

#1: he travels around the world
#2: he gets all new-agey, progressively more and more.

As always, and as the ultimate critic I like to try to focus my reviews on my own personal experiences with a book. So here goes:

Pros: How amazing are some of the experiences he has and what he's willing to put his mind and physical self through. His writing is so solid and killer. Good ole MC is genius and great writer and personable, so that he makes you feel li
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This was another life-altering book for me. While it is a travel narrative, not a fictional book as Michael Crichton usually writes, I found something in each of his travels that challenged my thinking, stimulated my imagination, or sparked a desire to follow in his footsteps. I'm not sure why but his telling of his climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro was amazingly enlightening for me. Perhaps it's the mental challenge that accompanied the physical challenge. Whatever it was, I immediately add ...more
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I confess I've never read a novel by Michael Crichton (though I have seen some of his films and films based on his works), but after reading this non-fiction book of his, I'm more inclined to give some of his fictional work a chance. True, his writing is not exactly Shakespearean in quality, but in terms of readability it is some of the best prose I've come across in quite a while - definitely a page-turner, as they say. The title of the book is somewhat misleading - it's not just about physical ...more
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
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
Nov 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love travel adventure books, so I was excited when I saw one written by a prominent author while I was wandering about a local bookstore. I bought it and started reading it immediately over lunch. I quickly realized that it’s a lot more than just a travelogue. It has essentially three main focuses: his training at medical school, his travels, and his spirituality.

The book begins with his medical school horror stories and then moves on to his quirky travel adventures. Both topics were fantastic
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
needs another cover image ... 1 18 Jun 16, 2009 12:34AM  
  • The Size of the World
  • Falling Off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World
  • Grave Descend (Hard Case Crime #26)
  • Zero Days: The Real Life Adventure of Captain Bligh, Nellie Bly, and 10-year-old Scrambler on the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Fresh Air Fiend: Travel Writings
  • Pole to Pole
  • Common Nonsense
  • AA Gill is Away
  • Ancient Angkor
  • On the Grand Trunk Road
  • A Journey in Ladakh: Encounters with Buddhism
  • Ararat
  • I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of Great Writers
  • Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei
  • A Bike Ride: 12,000 Miles Around the World
  • The Best American Travel Writing 2000
  • Fools' Experiments
  • I See by My Outfit
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
“Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes -- with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That's not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating.” 47 likes
“My own sense is that the acquisition of self knowledge has been made difficult by the modern world. More and more human beings live in vast urban environments, surrounded by other human beings and the creations of human beings. The natural world, the traditional source of self-awareness, is increasingly absent.” 12 likes
More quotes…