Gerald's Reviews > Next

Next by Michael Crichton
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Jan 18, 2012

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bookshelves: author-crichton, owned, 2012, genre-fiction, genre-science-fiction, theme-medicine, theme-law
Read from September 17 to 25, 2012

Michael Crichton is a master at taking an outlandish theme and turning it into a very plausible (I don’t necessarily mean believable) novel. Excellent examples of this are resurrection of dinosaurs into modern times in Jurassic Park and time-travel in Timeline. In Next he considers the field of genetics and what might happen “Next.” For example, if human genetic material is injected into the embryo of a chimp or parrot. The results could be a mind-boggling very intelligent humanzee with diminished chimp characteristics replaced by those of a human. A somewhat similar outcome with the “talking parrot” able to think and actually talk rather than just mimic what he hears.

Crichton also speculates about what bizarre extremes might result when highly competitive companies argue, and are upheld by the courts, that they “own” certain genetic material of a particular person. They could seize that material at any time they wish by having a “bounty hunter” arrest the individual in whose body the genetic material they own resides and remove appropriate samples. This could also apply to any of his close relations who would also have the same genetic material.

I found this novel to be a little difficult to follow with its multiple story lines. Some of these subplots would ultimately overlap and others would be stand-alone. Having said that, I did find it fairly interesting it painting a plausible picture of the bizarre circumstances we may face in the future. I would not give it a strong positive recommendation, but it does have some entertaining value in a “what if” sort of way. Some might find it most enjoyable.

[Book 74 of revised 2012 target 80
(Jan-10; Feb-11; Mar-9; Apr-8; May-7; Jun-8; Jul-7; Aug-9; Sep-5)]
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09/24/2012 page 375
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