Without the love of books the richest man is poor, but endowed with this treasure the poorest man is rich. –Leon Gutterman

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

I read the Andromeda Strain in high school. Apparently it didn't leave as big an impression on me as I thought, because I had the title confused with another story--On the Beach by Nevil Shute.

I want to read On the Beach again, but I am glad that I read The Andromeda Strain again, too.

Crichton is a highly skilled, very technical writer. Written in 1969, he created the circumstance of meeting life from outer-space, but the extra-terrestrials are nothing the average person ever thinks of.

The deadly story rapidly unfolds in the small town of Piedmont, Arizona. A town wiped out in a matter of minutes, save two survivors--an old alcoholic with ulcers and a wailing infant. What do they have in common? How fast will the apparent virus-like lifeform spread? How to fight an unknown enemy?

The book is a quick read, very thought provoking, but also very technical. Almost too technical for me, but I am glad I re-read it.

While reading the book my husband and I watched the 2008 movie bearing the same name based somewhat loosely on the book. Crichton was involved in the creation of the movie also, which was a very exciting (at least PG-13) film. Understandably the movie was updated to appeal to current viewers, but I think some of the original story was lost.

There is an older, 1971 version of the movie that I would like to see. Hopefully we will be putting it in the Netflix cue.

My oldest son (11) has seen it sitting in my pile and asked if he would be able to read it. While the decimation of the town of Piedmont is pretty graphic the following story is more of a techno-thriller than anything else. After much consideration I decided to allow him to begin reading it after much discussion he started it yesterday and has flown through it. He's really grasped the technology and the biology--probably more so than his mother. While I would leave it up to each parent to decide the book would be my choice to allow, but not the 2008 movie. The visuals were very graphic and disturbing.

Not a book that everyone is going to like. But really a good read for a sci-fi lover.

On my original list to read for the Fall into Reading 2008 Challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days

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