Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
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's review
Oct 20, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, horror, science-fiction, suspense, ultimate-reading-list, popular-fiction, fiction, novels
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
Recommended for: Lovers of Medical Thrillers Who Don't Care about Strong Characters in their fiction

It opens with an "acknowledgments" page claiming the "book recounts the five-day history of a major American scientific crisis." That crisis? Microbes from a crashed space probe wipe out a small town in Arizona, and team "Wildfire" is assembled to identify it and find a cure. A lot of the writing is very technical, filled with scientific concepts, reports, data, charts, graphs, figures, maps and even references in the back. The book was written in 1969, but as far as I can tell as a layman the science is accurate and plausible. What really dates it is, besides all four of the scientists on the team being male, was just the gender biases of the language--things like "schoolboy" for instance being used when referring to children as a whole--I'm not a PC sort of person, believe me, and I'll eschew gender neutral language if it's awkward or ungrammatical, but it stood out to me. Otherwise the style seemed smooth enough, even if a bit dry, and the plot had a neat scientific resolution. What keeps me from rating the book higher was the characters--bland and forgettable and we learn little of them beyond their bare names.

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