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 Douglas and Jeffery Hudson. His novel A Case of Need won the Edgar Award in 1969. Popular throughout the world, he has sold more than 200 million books. His novels have been translated into thirty-eight languages, and thirteen have been made into films.
Michael Crichton died of lymphoma in 2008. He was 66 years old.
I love good disaster novels and movies. Airframe is a great read but not what I had in mind. This is not your typical action air disaster thriller but one that focuses on the investigation and is filled with aerodynamics and plane lingo. Yet, Michael Crichton can deliver this science-heavy novel and make it enjoyable for this casual reader. 🙏
TransPacific Airlines, TPA 545 inbound from Hong Kong to Denver made an emergency call to Los Angeles air traffic control after the plane experienced uncontrollable deep dives and climbs and was within five hundred feet of hitting the Pacific Ocean. The cabin was barely intact resulting in four casualties and over fifty injuries. It makes you wonder what was wrong with the plane? 🧑✈️✈️
Single mom Casey Singleton VP of QA at Norton Aircraft in Burbank, CA is in the midst of the investigation. She deals with the FAA, lawyers, and the press that tries to get up-to-minute updates on the incident. I like her character, she's cool, smart, professional, and confident.
I listened to the book along with an ebook copy which I highly recommend. I like Frances Cassidy's narration and I found having a book is a great help when communications, printouts, and news articles are visual. Listening to data made very little sense, but with a book (still made little sense LOL) I see what it looks like!
I really hate flying. I'm not scared of it, I just dislike being herded into inky-dinky seats meant for short people by ill-tempered sky-waiters who charge for pillows and booze, and then I have to pay more than I used to make a week for the privilege of being searched, patted by men I'm not attracted to in places I don't want to be patted unless I am, etc etc etc.
Fifteen years ago, all that was more or less to come, and storymonger Crichton used planes for a very different kind of tale. What happens to cause a huge section of a plane to go *flooey*, killing a few people and making the entire world nervous about flying? We're about to find out, Casey Singleton and the reader that is. We're going to go into surprisingly interesting amounts of detail about the structure, the manufacture, the sales, the service, the use of airplanes, and how a careful planner could cause huge havoc in a few, small, seemingly innocuous ways.
I miss Michael Crichton. He understood the value of detail, the urgency of tight plotting, and the uncomplicated pleasure of following a complicated and logical plot to its only possible ending. If I didn't have Steve Berry, I'd be visiting Crichton's grave once a year with 200 roses to mourn his passing.
LitSnobs take note...turn up your noses and all that happens is us groundlings who like books that are fun get an unobstructed view of your boogers.
A plane is struggling to land,and sends out a distress call,asking for forty ambulances to be available for possible casualties.It is a compelling start to this techno thriller.
Later,however,there is a lot of detail about the technicilaties of aircraft manufacture. When I used to step into an aeroplane,I never worried much about safety.I didn't hate flying.But in recent years,there have been so many aircraft crashes that have made me wonder,how safe air travel really is.
This is my favourite Crichton book.It raises some uncomfortable questions about the quality control standards followed by the aircraft manufacturing industry,and the safety of air travel in general.
I read this book aloud to my husband during the past week or so, and parts of it were very dramatic, but other parts (all those charts!) were a bit dull even though we knew they were important. I don't know how a narrator for an audio version would read them, I either handed the book to Marco and let him see for himself, or else I just said 'lots of numbers that I am not going to read'. We got the gist of it all anyway.
Casey Singleton is in charge of a team trying to figure out what went wrong on flight 545, which did not crash but had a severe inflight 'incident'. There are many layers to what is involved, and it seems that everyone around her has some reason to keep her from finding out the truth. Typical Chrichton fast moving story, but it does tend to porpoise a bit just like the plane itself did. We would just get super interested in the action when the story would stall out into technical details or background or the introduction of a new character and take a nosedive.
I learned a great new expression, shouted in disgust by one of the airplane manufacturer's engineers when he is examining the engine and discovers something that is not the way it should be, even though he insists it could not have contributed to the 'incident'. "Fuck a hairy duck!" With apologies to anyone who may be offended by that, I hope I can remember to use it once in awhile!
As someone who worked most of my life in Aerospace, on the supersonic B-1 bomber, and then on several Titan missile and launch vehicle programs, I found the book well researched. There were a few times when I said to myself, "In what manufacturing area would THAT occur?" But he's right on with the incessant use of acronyms, and the increasing prevalence of cost-cutting maneuvers that end up compromising flight safety.
And I believe he's right on about the maneuvers of the airline companies that buy the airframes and follow (or don't follow) the recommended maintenance procedures. However, never having worked for an airline or been familiar with their maintenance programs, I can't say that with certainty.
I liked the female aerospace manager, having been one myself, and while others on Goodreads have written here that Crichton tends to populate his books with stereotypical characters, I say hooray for acknowledging that there are now women in aerospace who (a) have engineering degrees and well-honed critical thinking skills, and (b) have drilled through the difficult-to-penetrate glass ceiling.
Mike gave me this book when we visited him, Anna, and Kaley at their Woodbridge apt--jesus it must be 3 or 4 (or 5?) years ago. I remember how funny he was about it. Convo went something like this:
MS: Hey Jay - I got this book for you to have
me: Oh really? Well, what's it about?
MS: Pfft... fuck if I know. Anna tried it. I tried it. Too many goddamn acronyms in it.
MS: I'm serious, dude. It's all about an airliner crash. But the fuckin author uses every acronym under the sun. NTSB this.. FAA that.. The FBI, the CIA, the PIC, SIC, OR--I'm like Grrrr FUCK THIS BOOK. I tried several times. Can't do it.
me: (probably spitting my wine all over the balcony and choking on my laughter)
MS: Dude take it. I'm serious. You're a pilot. You can decipher all these fuckin codes. I'm giving it to you or we burn it here and now.
me: Okay, Mikey - I'll take it.
And that's why it sits on my bookshelf today.
Was it good? I honestly don't remember every detail, but I enjoyed it. But mostly I enjoy thinking about that night. We were also visiting Mike n Anna at that apt when my dad called and told me my Nanny died.
I enjoyed this book, but for me, it does follow what I find to be the usual Michael Crichton formula: really entertaining and suspenseful story with a lot of energy put into detail (in this case, he put in a lot of infomation about airplanes, which I found to be very interesting), but the end is weak and unbelievable. I have found this to be the case with several of his other novels - almost like he just didn't know how to end a book.
But, his stories are interesting enough that despite the weak endings, I will keep reading.
I will be putting up my review of Stoner tomorrow, I promise; I need to fine tune it some.
But more to the point, Airframe was a book that I enjoyed quite some time back. My mother is a huge fan of Crichton, and as a result, we have his whole collection at home. I was about 15 when she (mother dearest) first read Airframe, and I very vividly remember her raving about it. Being an engineer herself, it was quite obvious that she would enjoy it. And being as far from being an engineer as can be, I wasn't too sure about the book when I picked it up. But amazing, it was.
Crichton seamlessly blends the science fiction element into his thrillers, and I think that;s why his books are as good as they are. The technicalities, the jargon; they never feel like info dump; rather like necessary elements to the story, without which it would be woefully incomplete. His characters in this book, much like the characters in most of his books are forgettable to say the least, but his story, on the other hand is among memorable ones I've read. At the risk of sounding like I'm answering an exam paper, I also feel that Crichton somehow delivers his story with a kind of completeness, or well-rounded-ness to it. In this story, for instance, a story about a plane that uncharacteristically crashed, Crichton not only expertly explores the technical aspect of the investigation, but also such things as media interference and common office politics. Despite all these elements though, Airframe doesn't stray far from what it really is, a thriller at its heart. With a twist ending, of course.
Casey Somethingortheother is the single mother of a teenager, as well as the VP of Quality assurance at Norton, the creator of the titular airframe that crashed. She is entrusted with the task of investigating the crash, and of proving that the airframe itself wasn't responsible for the crash. With a little help from her friends, including Doug (the engineer), Ted (the test pilot and booty call), Ken and someone else from the Incident Review Team, as well as enemies like former musician turned FAA employee Baker, Casey investigates the shit out of this case, while at the same time dealing with her asshole assistant (Ben or Bob or something), who is a part of the Norton family tree.
Even though Crichton died before I got my hands on this book, I must say I do miss him. He used to write some good stuff, some really good stuff.
This is my first Crichton since the Andromeda Strain written so many years ago. Another reason to ignore the professional critics who have not been terribly kind to Crichton in the past few years. I really liked this book. It has a marvelous blend of science, information and a good plot that keeps the pages turning.
It’s interesting that many of the reviews I read focused on the aircraft industry. I think the book is more about the media and it’s relentless pursuit of the visual and the sound bite at the expense of truth and the whole picture more than about airplanes.
Enroute from Hong Kong to Denver, a brand new Norton-22, a plane clearly modeled on the Boeing 747, pitches and dives like a porpoise before being brought under control. The violent maneuvers kill three passengers and injures 56 others. . The airline's VP in charge of quality assurance — Casey Singleton — has to find out why, before more passengers and the airline's future go into a tailspin. As always in Crichton's expert hands, readers learn a lot about science while becoming enmeshed in the power-plays, office politics, and pressures of the global market and American jobs. Her job is complicated, because, as we gradually learn, powers within the company are trying to manipulate her and to embarrass the company so that the president of the company can be forced out in favor of another. Casey is saddled with a Norton family nephew who turns out to be a spy for one of the other company officers. We learn a great deal about aircraft manufacture and design — I must admit to really loving the technical detail — as Casey tries to figure out why the cockpit reports of turbulence differ from physical evidence of a “commanded slat deployment,” something, that even had it occurred at altitude and high speed should not have caused the plane to go out-of-control the way it appears to have done.
Crichton obviously doesn’t like lawyers, their stoolies (an ex-FAA employee who testifies for the plaintiffs in injury suits figures prominently in the media’s desire to create a nasty story) nor the media, and a character clearly modeled after Mike Wallace has few redeeming qualities. At one point Casey is to be interviewed by the Wallace character, Marty Reardon, and a company PR person comes by to help her prepare a little. “There’s only one more thing I can tell you, Katherine. You work in a complex business. If you try to explain that complexity to Marty, you’ll be frustrated. You’ll feel he isn’t interested. He’ll probably cut you off. Because he isn’t interested. A lot of people complain television lacks focus. But that’s the nature of the medium. Television’s not about information at all. Information is active, engaging. Television is passive. Information is disinterested, objective. Television is emotional. It’s entertainment. . . . [Marty’s:] paid to exercise his one reliable talent: provoking people, getting them to make an emotional outburst, to lose their temper, to say something outrageous. He doesn’t really want to know about airplanes. He wants a media moment.”
Casey’s father was a journalist and an old friend of his remarks at the end of the book, “Used to be — in the old days-- the media image roughly corresponded to reality. But now it’s all reversed. The media image is the reality, and by comparison day-to-day life seems to lack excitement. So now day-to-day life is false, and the media image is true. Sometimes I look around my living room, and the most real thing in the room is the television. It’s bright and vivid, and the rest of my life looks drab. So I turn the damn thing off. That does it every time. Get my life back.”
When Michael Crichton is good he is very, very good but this effort is just plain horrible. The only reason I finished it is due to my obsession about not wanting to miss anything. I found myself reading the first sentence of paragraphs and skipping the rest to move more quickly to the end. I don't think I missed anything doing it that way.
The characters are stereotyped beyond belief: the hard working but put upon single mother, the brusque and impatient boss, the techy nerds, the debonair test pilot, the slimy industrial spy, the good-hearted mentor, the young, overly ambitious news producer, and on and on.
The plot involves an incident on a Norton Aircraft passenger liner that is complicated by a pending sale of the same model to China, a union action to stall manufacturing offsets going to China as a condition of the sale, internal company politics, and a pending "Newsline" story about unsafe Norton aircraft. There may have been others. Chrichton had to do something to fill 400+ pages.
I had pretty much figured out how it was going to end about 150 pages in. Except for some details, I made a pretty accurate guess. There were a few surprises but overall it was a predictable story with a predictable ending. I wonder if the aircraft industry subsidized Chrichton's efforts.
On the positive side, I did learn some things about the aircraft industry, how accidents are investigated, and more than I wanted to know about the acronyms used in the industry.
If you are a died in the wool Crichton fan or are stuck on a long flight with nothing else to read, I can recommend this book to you. Other than that there are just too many good Michael Crichton books as well as books about the aircraft industry. You would be better served reading those.
Read this a while ago. Back then I probably would have given it four or five stars, but tastes change. I remember starting to read this, while sitting in a plane, about to hurl itself down a runway to take-off and thinking "How stupid can I be?" If you want some well written, fast paced entertainment, without having to engage too much brain power, this is a good choice. Unless you are afraid of flying... ;)
Crichton's Jurassic Park and its sequel, The Lost World, remain two of my favourite sci-fi stories to read, but I have found his other work to not appeal in quite the same way. Perhaps this is due to the nostalgia I already felt to the dinosaur world, having grown up with the film adaptations, or maybe I just gelled better with those particular storylines. I still commend this author for his continued inventiveness and the seemingly sound scientific inclusions that feature heavily and throughout, but something just doesn't keep me wholly invested, here and in his other work that I have so far read.
The synopsis intrigued me with the lines: "Ninety-four passengers are injured. Three dead. The interior cabin virtually destroyed." I was eager to uncover the mysteries surrounding the plane crash and explore the lives of those on-board it. Both of these were delivered.
Where I believe this novel failed for me was in the action and adventure that I anticipated would also be included. The pacing felt a little stodgy in areas, so absolutely was the focus on the scientific reasoning for the plane's crash, when I was more interested in being delivered pace-heightening pursuits and action-packed scenes.
One of those books that I liked but did not like enough. Like most of his other books, this one is well researched by Crichton but I guess not enough to hold my full attention.
The beginning was "fun", for a lack of a better word (how fun can airplane accidents be?!?) and even the whole technology mumbo jumbo was somewhat fun (trust me, there is a lot of it) but than the political thing came along where contracts were threatened due to safety issues/concerns and my brain tried to turn itself off. I kept it on but the batteries were losing power up there. I understand at some point it will get all business-y but I wasn't looking forward to it.
The ending was good but I feel like it was not big enough hook or a twist to make me give the book enough stars. Still, I am giving it at least 3 stars just because I like Crichton and his style.
This one is on a "mehh" scale for me but that is not to say that it was a bad book or a bad read. In fact, I could have read this book in a day or two if I did not have work. Chapters were few pages each and they read very fast.
Enlightening book, enjoyed it. Thrilled me, really. I think it was the first time I consciously became aware of scent of women. It wasn't warning enough, wasn't enough of a warning. So beware a la Little Red Lung.
And, I learned how the planes take off, took off, fool of a took, and more importantly stay in the air. Very interesting. See, this is what I love about Crichton. He taught me so many things without being smug about it.
4. 11. 2008. I can only hope he's with Odin right now and he is showing him things too.
IMO, Crichton's best novel. The technicality of it is really astounding, as though an aircraft engineer wrote the story and not him. A very interesting mystery that goes deep into all the incredible work done by aviation investigators after a crash.
This is the epitome of a three star read. I liked it overall, but it was very dated, and has that signature Crichton lack of character development in favor of extreme technical detail. About 200 pages from the end, though, the tension really picked up, and I did end up enjoying it.
This is essentially a book about the aftermath of an airplane disaster in which there are fifty-six casualties, and three deaths. The incident comes at a very bad time for Norton Aircraft, who are in the process of finalizing a huge sale to China of fifty planes that would secure the company's financial future. Our main character, who is essentially an avatar for the investigation and not so much a three dimensional human, is Casey Singleton, the vice-president of Quality Control for Norton, and it's her job to figure out what actually happened on the airplane. Was it mechanical failure? Pilot error?
There is A LOT of information about how airplanes are built, how they work, and what happens behind the scenes when something goes wrong on a plane. Especially in the middle, it was overwhelming. I skipped a lot of the technical stuff. Also, Michael Crichton must have really had it out for the press, because there's a plot in here all about how journalists (on TV mostly) don't care about details or facts, and actively misrepresent things in ways that harm people (and companies - boo hoo). This was simultaneously prescient given the existence of fake news (which could be read as an evolution of this), and also had the feeling of an old man yelling at clouds.
I don't feel like getting into the background casual sexism and racism, but they were unfortunately par for the course for a 1996 novel. Anyway, not mad I read this, but definitely not a favorite.
Michael Crichton is a master of taking complicated subjects and easing the reader into them while at the same time making the characters seem well immersed in the details. Airframe is a novel about airplanes, and specifically an investigation into a plane accident by the plane's manufacturer. Though all the characters know more about airplanes than you ever will, Crichton has presented a spectacular mixture of in-depth research and understandable explanations. Not only by the end of the novel did I understand way more about airplanes, including not only the machines themselves but also the complex politics behind the manufacturing industry, but I quickly found myself following along with the technical details of the investigation. This is a mystery novel, filled with suspense and even a couple action scenes, and it kept me engaged throughout. I highly recommend it.
Warning: Do not read this if you're going to board a plane in the next two weeks.
Stunner of a book. Typical Crichton. Supremely complex subject, turned into a very digestible thriller. Airplane technology merged with the greed and machinations of the media industry. Wonderfully written and a satisfying ending. If you like thrillers and don't mind learning a thing or two about aviaton, you'll love this.
Bazı kitaplar var ki kimsenin okumayacağını bile bile yine de yorum yazıyorum :) Uçuş 545 de bunlardan bir tanesi. İşlerimin bu dönem aşırı yoğun olması dolayısıyla film öncesi her ne kadar Dune okumak istesem de kitaplığımda beni çok yormayacak ve fazla uzun olmayan kitaplar bulmaya çalışıyorum bir süredir.
Uçuş 545 de (abartmıyorum) tam 1999'dan beri kitaplığımda okunmayı bekliyormuş :) Demek o gün bugünmüş diyerek aldım ve karışık duygularla bugün kapağını son kez kapattım. Gereğinden fazla teknik buldum. Yani normalde bir polisiye okurken polis olmanız beklenmez ancak bu kitabı okumak ve anlamak için uçuş mühendisi olmanız beklenmiş gibi. Sağolsun yazar veya çevirmen sürekli parantezler içinde ne demek istediğini anlatmış ama olayın kurgu tarafı çok zayıf kalmış.
Yine de bu başı sonu belli olan, Pazar günü öğlenleri battaniye, çay, bisküvi eşliğinde izlenen ve fazla beklenti yaratmayan film tadındaki kitapları seviyorum.
Compré este libro en la Feria del Libro del Retiro, en Madrid, un lluvioso día de 1997. Lo compré a ciegas, nada más publicarse, tras haber leído otras obras del autor como Esfera, Jurassic Park y La amenaza de Andrómeda. Lo devoré en un par de días.
Es un thriller en torno a un accidente aéreo (aunque no llegan a estamparse, hay muertes en pleno vuelo). Del resultado de la investigación depende la reputación de la compañía aeronáutica Norton. A pesar de lo que dice la competencia, las cosas no están del todo claras. ¿Fue un error de la maquinaria del avión? ¿Una negligencia del piloto? La prensa, claro, también quiere su parte del pastel y también mete cizaña en el asunto. Es un tema jugoso y saben que vende.
Casey Singleton, Vicepresidenta del Departamento de Control de Calidad de la Norton Aircraft y portavoz del CC en relaciones con la prensa (sí, este tipo de verborrea le encanta a Crichton, y lo hace como nadie), intentará llegar al fondo del asunto para salvar a la compañía.
Un thriller apasionante, de no soltar el libro. Lástima que el señor Crichton ya pasara a mejor vida. Si te gusta el género, no lo dudes.
Before I read this, I’d never read a book by Michael Crichton. As he’s one of the bestselling authors of recent decades, that might come as a surprise. I thought it was time to correct that omission. As someone with an interest in aviation (I’m a fan of trashy TV programmes like Air Crash Investigation, and also the excellent Flaps podcast), I thought Airframe was the perfect option to fill the gap.
Airframe is advertised as “a fast-paced, adrenaline-fuelled thriller from the master of high-concept storytelling”. I have some objections to this description: I don’t think it’s fast-paced, adrenaline fuelled, a thriller, or high-concept storytelling. I found it interminably dull.
This may be advertised as a thriller, but there were only about three short chase passages during which I could – at even the most generous push of my imaginations – be described as even vaguely interested, let alone thrilled; and those passages played only the most minor of roles in the plot as a whole.
The story, such as it was, really described nothing more than a particularly stressful week in the life of a dull woman who works for an aircraft company, combining well-rehearsed plot devices about a woman in a male-dominated work environment with well-rehearsed plot devices describing the conflicted life of a journalist. And it is most certainly not worth sticking with 400 pages of this to reach the damp squib of an ending.
Many have criticised Airframe for containing far too much technical detail about the mechanistic of flight; actually, my pre-existing interest in the topic made those sections some of the more interesting bits. But it’s certainly true that pages of technical description does little to heighten the jeopardy of the plot, considering that this is marketed as a thriller.
All of which is not to say that the book is bad, per sé: It’s just exceptionally bland. Much like magnolia paint, it’s dull but inoffensive, nobody’s favourite, but disliked very few.
I am afraid I am one of the few. I like books which have some sort of impact. This has none. If you like your books bland, you’ll probably get on very well with Airframe, but probably not with me. I struggled to finish it, and cannot recommend it.
Crichton has a true best seller here that holds the attention all the way through the 400+ pages.
I like the fact that his protagonist is a gutsy lady who is working with a bunch of engineers in an aircraft plant. She knows how to hold her own and that takes a lot when you know how engineers manage their interpersonal relations and staff.
I like the portrayal of the television media for what many of them are; vampires for the latest blood and gore, willing to sacrifice the real explanation of a complex problem for the simple answer which brings off the instantaneous hype in 30 second bytes.
The story line is fleshed out with a few side trips to examine our heroine's family life and extra curricular bedtime, but not so much that it detracts from a really great story about how we view airplane disasters, how little we as the general public really know about keeping a million pounds of steel in the air for 12 hours at a time and how blase' we have become about safe comfortable aircraft travel.
The behind the scenes plant operations, the union actions and the administrative infighting for power are straight out of the jungle of human relations. I love the way Casey is finally able to turn the tables on the unscrupulous duo of Marder and Richman. We'll miss tha fact that Crichton is no longer with us and able to continue to stimulate our imaginations to such a high degree.
I didn't put the book down for the last 200 pages despite the dishes piling up and the dog scratching at the door. Read the first half in bits to absorb the data and then save the last half for when you have a real chance to break away and complete it in one marathon sitting! http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001K8HIXI
Si bien Crichton es una lectura ágil siempre, que entretiene y se lee rápido, este libro me pareció demasiado técnico. Suele tener explicaciones técnicas, sin sobrecargar, pero acá se excede en detalles que explican la falla del avión. A ratos se hacía muy pesado de leer. Aún así, la trama está bien construida, divierte, y vale la pena de leer. Lo otro fue el final, algo predecible. Es una lectura para fanáticos de los libros de catástrofe, o que sigan a Crichton. #puntocritico #crichton
This is an author I've heard a lot about! He has a lot of author really famous works that I've heard of, but this was the book that came into my life first.
The premise of this completely captured my interest. A plane goes through a lethal disaster while up in the air. Three passengers are dead and fifty-six are injured. Safety and death is paramount and this causes a frantic investigation into what caused the disaster.
Especially how this book starts, it's a mother and taking care of her child on board a long flight. Her husband wakes up and decides it is prime time to film the child. While filming, disaster strikes and the camera flies out of the husbands hand as the plane begins to nose dive towards the ground. Like???? That had me hooked and I wanted to know what happened to the flight. As you read further, the more you understand what could've caused the problem, but none of these predictions end up being right... so what did happen?
We then follow our main character, Casey Singleton, who is the vice president at Norton Aircraft, the place where the plane involved in the disaster was made/produced (whatever the correct technical term is). We follow her through the investigation process, through her findings, her thoughts, and general business at Norton. But there is a lot more happening that Casey doesn't know about and somehow... it's connected to this plane. It's just so intriguing agh! I was captured and didn't want to put the book down until I figured out what happened to the plane and why. I also became intrigued by the workings at Norton and why certain people were acting so sketchy.
I really enjoyed the writing style and the detail of this book. The author uses a lot of plane terminology that is well explained for someone who knows literally nothing about any of that stuff. It actually made it more realistic and interesting for me. Like these are real things people do and these are problems that companies face (maybe not to such an extreme, but who knows), how interesting!
The only thing I had a problem with is I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HUSBAND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK! Where did he go? Is he one of the ones who died...? Like what happened with that??? This in no way connects to the plot of the story so I feel like I can share what happened. He is filming the child, the incident happens, and the wife recalls looking over to her husband and he is no longer in his seat. Where did he go? Did he fly to the front of the plane? Is he injured? Is he dead? I WANT TO KNOW! When Casey arrives on the scene it is mentioned there is a mother and an infant, which I'm assuming is the perspective of those we first saw, and those I'm mentioning now. Where is the husband.... hmmmmm.
Something goes terribly wrong on Flight #Whatever from Hong Kong to Denver. The plane begins "porpoising," falling and climbing again in severe oscillations, people bouncing about the cabin, suitcases flying, until the pilot is able to regain control and request emergency landing in California. Three people die on the plane, and a man succumbs to his injuries later. It's all over by p. 12, and then the investigation begins...and goes on for 419 more pages.
Crichton debunked global warming in one of his other novels, so I was curious what liberal shibboleth he would find wanting here. Not government regulation - he appears to be in favor of the FAA trying to make planes sturdier and flying safer. It's unions. When a rumor circulates that wing production will be moved out of the U.S., there's a "job action" (protest). Union goons stalk the female protagonist, Casey, an executive of the company that manufactured the porpoising plane. In a giant hangar, heavy tools in hand, they chase her to the top of the structure. The goons are so dangerous, high-level employees are given round the clock security.
Using passenger videos and the plane's QAR (a kind of junior Flight Data Recorder), Casey is able to determine from equipment noises and a translation of the Chinese flight crew's cockpit conversation that
Casey is hounded by an aggressive young TV reporter for a 60 Minutes type show. The reporter begs to be allowed to fly on the test flight - after the ground tests are completed to see which parts failed or didn't fail, the plane is put in the air and the porpoising duplicated. The company executives, lawyers, test pilot, etc. adamantly refuse, but then Casey decides to teach this woman a lesson. They both strap in tightly. Casey has donned anti-nausea patches, but the reporter is screaming, projectile vomiting, and begging for the ride to stop. When it's all over she joins Hard Copy.
Чудно трилърче - “Летище” на борда на самолет, изгълтах го на един дъх.
Крайтън си знае работата и мята читателя в бесен полет, с много обрати и терминол��гия. Каква е цената на глобализирането на самолетостроенето, какво се случва по време на полет, битката с европейските конкуренти, бюджетните съкращения, отслабващи контрола над безопасността, дезинформацията и ниската компетентност на медиите са само част от засегнатите теми, и проучването им е на ниво.
Естествено, да живее Америка! Крайтън го удря на икономически патриотизъм отвсякъде, но това си е неговата страна в крайна сметка. Чудих се доста възможно ли е медиите да са толкова зле и дали не е прекалил с презрението си към тях и с пародията в книг��та - но, като гледам телевизията днес, май има известно основание...
“The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion.”
This book primarily focuses on the investigation after a mid-air plane incident over the Pacific Ocean. I didn't know what to expect going into this book since it has a lot of mixed reviews. But the writing style was great. Just the right amount of dialogue.
If you're into aviation, it's a good read. If not, you might struggle to understand some jargon (but the book will still be enjoyable).
I re-read this book, because I thought it was super exciting when I read it first, long ago. I understand why I rated it 5* back then. The technical details of aircraft manufacturing and the investigation into the accident was educating and entertaining. The short chapters kept me engaged. I still remembered the cause of the accident. Michael Crichton seems to have done his research into aviation industry and the information and jargons he provides sound hi-tech. But what would I know? Even If he had said that The left phalange is not working , I would have believed him. 🙂
I would have fully enjoyed this one, if it was limited to the investigation of the flight accident, instead of adding corporate politics, union troubles, background on TV news production. Listing my other complaints about this book
1. I couldn't root for the heroine Casey, she felt fake. The author made her a super hero incharge of investigating the accident, but didn't give her the required qualifications. Sure, she had the title (VP of QA), but she had a degree in journalism. 🙄How hard is it to give her some basic engineering degree (if not a PhD in aeronautics) in a work of fiction. There is one segment where an activist for aircraft safety is questioned whether he has the academic qualifications to make him an authority on aviation disasters. He is shamed by a celebrity interviewer, because he doesn't have any relevant degree. I thought he should have questioned Casey also. (she too had none)
2. Though it was hard for me to accept a non-engineer heading QA, I ploughed through, Only to see that she turns into a PR and HR manager too. (the union leaders airing their grievances to her)
3. Poor lady, didn't even have a team to work with. She had to go to the damaged flight and get the QAR or whatever.
4. Richman, the intern- Really, why did the author add this character? He had no knowledge of aircraft and Casey is forced to take him as an intern, when she is busy with the investigation.
5. The behind-the-scene information on TV news production. The egos of the TV presenter, the "fearless, young, promising, female' TV producer - who actually is a tantrum throwing toddler, in disguise. I think Michael Crichton despises TV journalists and used this opportunity to tell that they are only there for appearances and don't care or understand the content. He would have lot of fun if he could have written about the social media influencers these days.
I don't regret re-reading this book, but I wish it was trimmed to remove all the above complaints