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The Andromeda Strain

(Andromeda #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  240,739 ratings  ·  4,933 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
Paperback, US / CAN Edition, 327 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Avon Books (first published September 1st 1969)
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Nihilistic Librarian No, it's high science fiction, no romance. "Explicit" and what someone would recommend to a teen is entirely relative to the person you are asking. …moreNo, it's high science fiction, no romance. "Explicit" and what someone would recommend to a teen is entirely relative to the person you are asking. (less)
Wesley D Jones This was the first Michael Crichton book that I read and I found it so thrilling that I read it in one sitting.

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
The writing was drier than a cracker in the desert...

But I loved the book anyway!

It definitely reads like a scientific/army report but this was such an interesting twist on the classic sci-fi (first contact?). I only recommend it if you already love sci-fi and diseases apocalyptic books.

Left me wanting more... I'll definitely read more from the author!
Jan 12, 2009 rated it liked it
liked the beginning, thought the end was unbelievably anticlimatic.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Kay ★彡
Interesting and exciting sci-fi thriller! A manmade capsule crashed from space with extraterrestrial organism on it. Unfortunately, the germ is a harmful type that wiped the whole Arizona town but two people made out alive, an old man and an infant. This book is techno-thriller/hard science kind and most of the science, biology and medicine matters were way over my head but I somehow find it a very enjoyable read.
Henry Avila
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An ubiquitous small town in the remote Arizona desert , a pleasant area of the late 1960's such a wonderful place is the setting as startled but curious , often bored people in Piedmont where nothing ever happens it does tonight, they look up in the dark sky something is falling, drifting slowly... down just north of the hamlet. Finding a capsule obviously from outer space..However what should they do, give it to the local doctor the silly man opens the object and promptly expires, as will the r ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Andromeda Strain (Andromeda #1), Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain is a 1969 techno-thriller novel by Michael Crichton. A team is deployed to recover a military satellite which has returned to Earth, but contact is lost abruptly.

Aerial surveillance reveals that everyone in Piedmont, Arizona, the town closest to where the satellite landed, is apparently dead.

The duty officer of the base tasked with retrieving the satellite suspects that it returned with an extraterrestrial contaminant an
Paul O’Neill
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Dave Edmunds
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
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"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."

My first Michael Crichton and a great introduction. The Andromeda Strain is a fast paced and highly enjoyable techno-thriller.

The writing style in this one is a little dry and science heavy, but in my opinion that adds to it's authenticity. It really feels like you're receiving a report on
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it

Everyone at the end of the book: The world is saved!
Book two:


I just got my ARC of The Andromeda Evolution in the mail (thank you, HarperCollins!!!!) so, even if it's unnecessary, I'm going to read this

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Dannii Elle
A returning space probe crash lands in a forgotten American town, unwittingly putting it on the map and sparking a potential dangerous outbreak of a catastrophic deathly virus, of which very few people would be immune from. With the human race facing potential extinction it is up to a select few individuals to save the population, whilst keeping the secret under wraps and themselves alive in the process.

Crichton is an undeniable sci-fi genius yet this release was a little on the dry side for me.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book recounts the five-day history of a major American scientific crisis.

As in most crises, the events surrounding the Andromeda Strain were a compound of foresight and foolishness, innocence and ignorance. Nearly everyone involved had moments of great brilliance, and moments of unaccountable stupidity. It is therefore impossible to write about the events without offending some of the participants.

I decided to reread The Andromeda Strain to get ready for the new sequel, The Andromeda Evolu
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
Last night Trish and I watched the 1971 Robert Wise movie. And while I did like it better than the first time round, I still prefer Crichton's book.

This might be due for a re-read and a proper review in 2019.

In short, a returning space probe brings something with it that instantly kills almost all the people in the small town nearest to the landing site. But what is it? And why are there two survivors?

A team of scientists is put into the Wildfire installation, a zero contaminant facility that's
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
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 thrilling for the masses by employing science that isn't laughable forty years later. Is it any wonder he set the entertainment industry on fire when he got his hands on dinosaurs?

Worth noting
Lee  (the Book Butcher)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of science but also lots of suspense so it was a great balance! Amazing that I never read this one since I seem to have read most of Crichton’s other books.

He certainly had the gift of making science accessible and then taking the next fictional step— whether it be aliens, evolution or some other scientific puzzle.

Now I’m ready for the sequel...
Erin Beall
3 stars. I’m sure in 1969 this was cutting edge, but it doesn’t quite stack up in 2018, either in terms of suspense, science, or inclusivity. This book fails the Bechdel test so hard, it reminds me of why the Bechdel test was invented. The only women I can remember are a switchboard operator, a nurse, and a (literally, I can't make this up) recorded voice that is described as sensual, almost sexy, UNTIL the male hearer realizes it belongs to a woman in her sixties, at which point he presumably l ...more
Tom Quinn
I've shared this before and am never hesitant to cop to it: I grew up with an outsized fear of germ warfare. By my youth, the nuclear scare was winding down and just about over so I never feared death by atomic fire from above. But I did fear death from biological agent. Anthrax. Weaponized smallpox. Germ warfare. And I read The Andromeda Strain when I was young, possibly too young. I was in third grade when Jurassic Park hit theaters which led me to Crichton by way of my parents, who checked ou ...more
Perhaps I'm influenced too much by my nostalgic love of the feel of '70's and '80's sci-fi and horror, but I did enjoy this. I'd watched the old movie many years ago, so there were no surprises, but I enjoyed it anyway. It helps that I read this as a real possible event as well, as I think it's highly possible that it will happen (or has already). Great classic sci-fi, in my opinion. ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pre-80s-sf
“Recent theoretical considerations suggest that sterilization procedures of returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee sterile reentry to this planet's atmosphere. The consequence of this is the potential introduction of virulent organisms into the present terrestrial ecologic framework.”

That quote represents the basic concept of The Andromeda Strain quite well. A more sensational - and rather crude - short description may be “Bacteria from outer space”, but this makes it seems like a
Jason Parent
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 c
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 scie
Tommy Carlson
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
This was one of the few Crichton novels I hadn't went back and read. With the sequel coming out (The Andomeda Evolution), I decided it was time to go back and read it. This was written 50 years ago being Crichton's first book and you can tell. The book is highly technical. It's well researched using the real science of the time, but it's packed with technical jargon, enough to bog the book down at times. The roots of a great story are there, especially the ending which is thrilling. And I like t ...more
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
High-tech suspense novel (1971) has the reputation of "the world's first techno-thriller." A data-gathering satellite crashes outside a tiny remote New Mexico town and before you know it everyone but a wino and a tiny baby are dead. The government sends in a secret crack team to solve the riddle before any possible pathogens can escape and contaminate the population downwind.

THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN was Michael Crichton's first novel and in my opinion it's a fine one: quick and informative, even at
Michael Jandrok
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, it’s nostalgia time again as I once more take a trip down memory lane to rediscover one of the books that I read in my formative years. This installment of “Books That Mike Read As A Kid That Made Him Into the Nerdy Adult He Is Today” is brought to you by Tang, the official drink of the astronauts!

I probably first read “The Andromeda Strain” when I was about 12 years old. I had seen the 1971 movie version of the story several times by then, but I had never tackled the book. But both the mo
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.
Scott Rhee
It’s weird to think that a popular best-selling novel from 1969 can still have an impact today, but Michael Crichton’s “The Andromeda Strain” is still a rather frightening, fascinating, and fun read, fifty years later.

Crichton was never a stellar wordsmith. He was a much better thinker than he was a writer, but his gift was in taking the latest in socio-political, scientific thinking and shaping an entertaining story around an idea. Oftentimes, these ideas opened the door for conversations on a
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Michael Crichton (1942-2008) was one of the most successful novelists of his generation, admired for his meticulous scientific research and fast-paced narrative. He graduated summa cum laude and earned his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1969. His first novel, Odds On (1966), was written under the pseudonym John Lange and was followed by seven more Lange novels. He also wrote as Michael Doug ...more

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Andromeda (2 books)
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