Book Review: The Andromeda Strain

Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain
Author: Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton is well-known for his blockbuster, spectacular books like Jurassic Park and Timeline which take popular concepts like the return of dinosaurs and time travel and uses them in an unique and interesting way. Every now and then, however, Crichton will come up with a book that deals with something entirely different. The Andromeda Strain is a book about a disease which seemingly has came from outer space and is causing people to die. While it is clearly not as explosive as some of his other novels, this book is worth taking a look at and a good read.

Michael Crichton
Synopsis wrote:
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 to earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona.
Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont, a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town’s inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks.

The thing I liked most about this novel was the semi-mystery format to it. In the beginning all but two people in a town are killed by the virus and no one has any idea how it happened. Here the reader can begin to see the clues and try to piece together the mystery of why two people survived themselves. Anytime a book can get the reader involved into its plot, it is a good thing. By the end of the novel the mystery is solved and spelled out for the people reading the novel, allowing them to now go back and see where the foundations for the solution were laid earlier in the book.

Of course, there is another part to the book aside from the small mystery. The disease is a type of life form that can multiply and evolve if a nuclear bomb were to go off. Of course this means that a nuclear bomb is set to go off and someone must stop it before it does. The meat of the book is devoted to this plot, as one man attempts to stop this virus from taking over the world by halting the nuclear weapon. This story is interesting and good, but not Crichton’s best work.

What makes this book so intriguing is it is easy to wonder what would happen if a life form such as the one presented became apparent on the Earth. While highly unlikely, it has been deemed possible by scientists and is being looked into currently. Crichton, as always, does his research on this subject and gets a good book.

Overall this is not the best book a person will find in the book store but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a read. The Andromeda Strain is a good book, and anyone who likes the usual works of Michael Crichton will most likely find this book to their liking as well.

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