Customer Reviews for

State of Fear

Average Rating 3.5
( 360 )
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(139)

4 Star

(88)

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(63)

2 Star

(33)

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(37)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Global Warming?

Due to the extensive biblio and fast-paced story by MC, I found this book myth-busting and thought provoking. A solidly contrasting view to the pulp-fiction, believe-what-you-are-told global warming hysteria.

Don't get me wrong. I believe that we have a grav...
Due to the extensive biblio and fast-paced story by MC, I found this book myth-busting and thought provoking. A solidly contrasting view to the pulp-fiction, believe-what-you-are-told global warming hysteria.

Don't get me wrong. I believe that we have a grave responsibility to be good stewards for the planet. It is, after all, the only one in our solar system that *we* can live on. But I appreciated the reminder to do my own thinking and ask a question or two or ten.

posted by DLBaird on January 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Propaganda

Crichton is a fine writer, but this effort might have been better as an essay. Not unlike the cardboard characters in Ayn Rand's 'novels,' the folks populating this thriller arrive on the scene bathed in cliche and exhibit very few realistic traits. The 'dialogue' betwe...
Crichton is a fine writer, but this effort might have been better as an essay. Not unlike the cardboard characters in Ayn Rand's 'novels,' the folks populating this thriller arrive on the scene bathed in cliche and exhibit very few realistic traits. The 'dialogue' between Kenner and the 'herd' who believe in global warming is boring (in a novel) and the environmentalists (all either arch hypocrites or ill-intentioned bureaucrats) is one-sided and obtuse. No character asks any of the questions that one wants to hear Crichton, er . . . Kenner answer. Peter Evans is particularly disappointing. And, really, eco terrorists killing scientists with poisonous octopi, lightning bolt attacks, hysterical actors eaten by cannibals - are we 13 years old? Some of the scientific information presented is interesting and I will undoubtedly follow some of the resources cited in the appendices. I would however, like to point out that Crichton neatly dismisses the environmentalists by keeping the focus only on global warming. There are lots of good reasons to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and curtail pollution that are political (say, isn't there a baseless war being fought?), physiological, and economic - these are not even addressed. He also seems to think that second-hand smoke is not a big deal. Oh well, he can certainly afford new, robotic lungs. Shoot, he can probably design them, too.

posted by Anonymous on August 1, 2006

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  • Posted January 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Global Warming?

    Due to the extensive biblio and fast-paced story by MC, I found this book myth-busting and thought provoking. A solidly contrasting view to the pulp-fiction, believe-what-you-are-told global warming hysteria. <BR/><BR/>Don't get me wrong. I believe that we have a grave responsibility to be good stewards for the planet. It is, after all, the only one in our solar system that *we* can live on. But I appreciated the reminder to do my own thinking and ask a question or two or ten.

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Truth Changed Crichton's Mind on Warming

    Michael Crichton set out to write this book to confirm the popular notions about global warming. However, when he started doing the research, he was amazed to find that the data convinced him the global warming theory is a hoax. He then changed the direction of his book.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    A well-written environmental thriller

    Michael Crichton¿s book, State of Fear, appealed to both my intellectual and fantasy sides through his understanding of advanced technologies and his eminent knowledge of what keeps a reader hooked. He makes an effort to keep his characters such as Nick, Sarah, and George realistic by interspersing their language with many ¿colorful¿ words, which may have surpassed necessity but conveyed the point that they were regular people. He also keeps his writing fresh and unique by writing about current events, playing on the many fears we have of new technology and how it could be used for ill means. Although he had a solid story with excellent progression, I found that reading the technological information proved the most enthralling. Crichton seems to poke fun at environmentalists and those concerned with global warming in this novel, and it seems to me as though his jibes are a little over-the-top. He appears to reinforce the stereotypes that apathetic people have for the hardcore environmentalists, and portrays them as either bumbling fools or, on the other end of the spectrum, wanton criminals such as the more outstanding members of Greenpeace. Although he effectively maintains the plot throughout the novel, it occurred to me that, even though it is fiction, such a ridiculous chain of events is very improbable and thus unlikely to attract readers without an overactive imagination. Another issue I had with the plot is that one of the characters (I won¿t say who so as not to spoil the book) is randomly struck dead by lightning in the middle of the book. It¿s as if Crichton simply got bored with his story, and decided to spice it up a bit with some useless action. Even though there are certain aspects of this book that I did not particularly enjoy, I still felt as though there was a lot of time and research put into it and would recommend it to anyone with a sturdy intellect.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2008

    Giving another viewpoint

    Do your homework! Once again Michael Crichton studies an issue and the science behind it and gives an explanation of his research in relatable terms and packs it into an exciting page turner. A very fair argument to the very controversial issue of global warming. As always with a Crichton novel-a great read!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2006

    Propaganda

    Crichton is a fine writer, but this effort might have been better as an essay. Not unlike the cardboard characters in Ayn Rand's 'novels,' the folks populating this thriller arrive on the scene bathed in cliche and exhibit very few realistic traits. The 'dialogue' between Kenner and the 'herd' who believe in global warming is boring (in a novel) and the environmentalists (all either arch hypocrites or ill-intentioned bureaucrats) is one-sided and obtuse. No character asks any of the questions that one wants to hear Crichton, er . . . Kenner answer. Peter Evans is particularly disappointing. And, really, eco terrorists killing scientists with poisonous octopi, lightning bolt attacks, hysterical actors eaten by cannibals - are we 13 years old? Some of the scientific information presented is interesting and I will undoubtedly follow some of the resources cited in the appendices. I would however, like to point out that Crichton neatly dismisses the environmentalists by keeping the focus only on global warming. There are lots of good reasons to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and curtail pollution that are political (say, isn't there a baseless war being fought?), physiological, and economic - these are not even addressed. He also seems to think that second-hand smoke is not a big deal. Oh well, he can certainly afford new, robotic lungs. Shoot, he can probably design them, too.

    5 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Good read

    I read this book a few years ago & I still think about it. I really enjoyed it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Action-packed, thought-provoking thriller

    This novel, from the creator of Jurassic Park and ER, tells the story of a struggle against terrorism. It has a swift succession of dramatic scenes across the world and lots of action. It would make a great film - let's hope that it gets made.

    The villains are eco-terrorists, who try to create disasters - floods, tsunamis - to publicise their cause. His characters talk a great deal about global warming and its effects. Crichton cites many authorities to back their arguments. These include the International Panel on Climate Change, which admitted in its 2001 report, "In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

    His characters also point out that there is no obvious common global trend of increasing glacier melt in recent years, that El Ninos cause longer growing seasons and reduce the use of winter heating oil, that the Kyoto agreement would cut world temperature by just 0.02 degrees Celsius by 2050, and that energy sources that can support the present levels of world power consumption, without greenhouse emissions, do not exist.

    They note that between 1940 and 1970 the overall global temperature fell, although CO2 levels had risen. Similarly, it has not risen since 2000, although CO2 levels have kept rising. Over the long run, the best data, from the USA, show a rise of just a third of a degree Celsius from 1880 to 2000.

    Crichton observes out that in late 1989, at the end of the Cold War, the media hyped up climate change stories - all became 'crises' and 'catastrophe'. This was part of a ruling class strategy to control us through fear.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2008

    Take That Al Gore! You got Owned!

    Excellent book that exposes the truth and entertains at the same time.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2008

    Very Good Book

    This book is fantastic. Great suspense with very visual descriptions of characters and locations. I really enjoyed reading State of Fear. Could not put it down.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Nothing more than pimping his ludicrous views on global warming

    This book dragged, especially when coupled with his reviews of science. He is probably a smart guy, but this book is so one-sided. He leaves out much of the relevant scientific evidence regarding global warming while harping on a couple of minor points and taking data out of context.

    3 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Biased?

    I found this book extremely biased. It read like a book written by an oil company's PR team. I find it hard to believe that the writer who inspired me to learn about dinosaurs could write a book for the oil companies so I have to think he was well intentioned. It may be because oil and dinosaurs are related. Lol.

    2 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    thrilling...

    I loved this book! This book is so intense and edge-of-your-seat I had a really hard time putting it down. The characters in this book travel all across the globe and we, the reader, get to go along for the ride. From Los Angeles to Antarctica to the Soloman Islands and more we are on a thrill ride! This book has a lot of scientific and technical sounding words but I think Crichton does a good job making them understandable.<BR/><BR/>This book basically asks the question of how much politics and money influences the media. Crichton uses the example of global warming to hit his point home. And let me just say here that no, he's not against the environment or anything. He just shows how the media is manipulated. I guess you'll have to read the book to see what exactly I'm talking about.<BR/><BR/>This book is believable and down right exciting!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2007

    Ridiculous book

    This was just a terrible book. Crichton obviously is trying to make a point, but in doing so, the characters and plot are destroyed. He makes every character who is concerned about Global Warming become either an idiot or an unethical criminal, while the anti Global warming characters are brilliant and honorable. Not only does he make the Hollywood actor dumb, at one point, he has the character try to force himself on one of the women. Be careful Mr. Crichton. You have become the Hollywood pseudo-intellectual you attempt to make fun of. An MD doesn't make you an expert in climate, any more than a math degree makes one an expert in medicine. In your next novel why don't you have a freakishly tall, pompous, fading writer fed to the cannibals?

    1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2005

    Adequate, but not as good as it should have been.

    <p>I'm a big Crichton fan, but I couldn't help but be a bit let down by State Of Fear. <p>Crichton goes to great lengths to prove the scientific basis of his story, so much so that the characters fall to the wayside. Most of them are either blandly stupid straw men or the blandly perfect men and women tasked with knocking them down. As a result, it's hard to care about the fate of the characters, leaving you mostly unengaged except on the visceral level. <p>On that visceral level though, the novel is successful. The action sequences are interesting and often unsettlingly realistic, to the point that you wish they were happening to characters who weren't so unlikeable. <p>These scenes are also few and far between, with the bulk of the novel serving as a essay of Chrichton's views on environmentalism. This aspect is also very interesting, and rather enlighting in some respects. It certainly changed my outlook on science and the media. <p>Crichton presents his point very well, with statistical charts, extensive footnotes and strong logical arguments - but perhaps too well. After being deluged with chart after chart, the argument gets repetitive, leaving you saying 'I got the point already!' halfways into the book and impatient for the action to resume. <p>Previous Crichton novels, like Airframe and Jurassic Park have managed to keep strong cohesion between extensive research and engagingly plausible stories. But in State Of Fear, poor characterization fails to glue those two good halves together, leaving a novel that's vaguely interesting but could have been much better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2005

    Nick Drake is one determined fellow

    Michael Crichton is a most talented author and in State of Fear he, again, takes some chances with science and public opinion. Like Brown's Da Vinci Code, this book has stirred up some controversy, depending on your point of view regarding environmentalism and the use of the world's resources. There's also some similarity in Crichton's mixing of fact with fiction. Reader beware! Nick Drake is the protagonist and he's out to fix things, even if it takes murder to get the world to see things his way. Drake's outrage and the lengths to which he's willing to go to payback his detractors is nothing short of stupefying! The novel is entertaining and frightening...isn't that the purpose of writing it? Crichton's scientific research shows, even if misused in some instances. As an earlier reviewer pointed out, some of this book's characters seem to be there only for FYI purposes and are not fleshed out. As I read the book, I was reminded of the TV program West Wing. The characters in this show, even the main ones, often appear to spend more time spouting facts and figures and making statements intentionally designed to impart knowledge to the audience, than becoming tangible, identifiable characters. State of Fear is a full-blown page-turner and definitely worth the reader's time. Carolyn Rowe Hill

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2005

    A provocative idea

    I thought the novel got off to a good start, with millionaire philanthropist environmentalist George Morton promising $10 million to the National Environmental Resource Fund (NERF), which is fighting global warming. Morton is unaware, however, that NERF's chief, bad guy Nicholas Drake, is secretly funding bad guys in the terrorist Environmental Liberation Front (ELF). ELF is planning to engineer climatic catastrophes (rising sea level, tsunamis, hurricanes), timed to coincide with a major Climate Conference. The Front intends to terrify the world into believing that environmentalists are right about global warming, and so increase the flow of funds to NERF, enhancing its power and influence. But Morton gets suspicious when some NERF funds disappear, and asks for an audit, threatening to renege on the pledged $10 million. Meanwhile, CIA agent and MIT prof, good-guy John Kenner, who is also a climate expert, is on to ELF. Then Morton disappears, following a mysterious car crash, which is when Kenner enlists Morton's lawyer, Peter Evans, and assistant, Sarah Jones, to help him save the world from the terrorist ELF. From then on, its fast plane trips around the word, and all kinds of narrow escapes, in classic Crichton thriller fashion, as Evans and his blonde girlfriend, Sarah, engage in perilous attempts to save the world from ELF-engineered catastrophes. But unbelievably for me, all this happens without any help from U.S. Government agencies, asleep at the switch. At the end, incidentally, a bad-guy environmentalist is recycled by a friendly cannibal tribe. In 'State of Fear', the bad-guy environmentalists will do anything, including murder and mass murder, to frighten and deceive people into giving them support. I got the impression that they ultimately wanted to stop the heroic good-guy innovators behind all human progress, and stop those who would expand the industrial base that will one day propel humanity to Mars and the stars. 'State of Fear' had enough suspense to keep me reading, but didn't really measure up. I found the plot too skimpy, with far too many boring ecological-data-filled discussions and lectures, and footnotes too, and some thirty mind-numbing graphs, clearly intended to persuade me of truth of the anti-global-warming thesis. The characters were just not believable for me, since we have a complex, unfathomable issue here. Nobody can know for sure if the Earth is up to something big, or if the level of risk we are running is dangerously high. The good-guy anti-environmentalists are simply portrayed as unrealistically good, and the bad-guy environmentalists as incredibly bad. I believe the book's real merit, however, is strategic. It lies in the provocative idea of portraying polluters as good guys, and environment preservationists as bad guys, leaving conservatives gloating and liberals outraged, and the publisher and author counting the loot, but hopefully stimulating useful discussion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2004

    Ho Hum

    I'm a big fan of this author and have read all of his previous books, so I was very excited about this new work. Unfortunately I found that it lack a certain something that I was used to in the previous books. I found the story rather boring and the plot twists to be either totally far fetched or downright obvious. A major let down, stick with the earlier works.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    Crichton's going downhill fast

    Writing as someone who used to eat up every word he wrote, Crichton's last two novels were a waste of the paper they were printed on. In the movie business, when they do not provide a preview of a movie to critics before it opens, it is considered a very bad sign, quality-wise -- like they have something to hide. Until we actually find out what the book is about -- and the Pearl Harbor release date is not promising -- I am assuming he continues to be a lazy writer coasting on his laurels. I hope I'm wrong! After the piece of garbage, _Prey_, came out last year, I promised myself I would not rush and buy his next book until it proves itself.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2013

    Very good read with typical Crichton technical excellence.

    A great page turner with action, intrigue and high level chicanery. If you believe the man-made global warming hoax, this novel should cause you to re-think your position. Or, at least cause you to think.
    The ending could have been longer with more explanation but nevertheless it is worth your time investment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    To crichon does it again

    You spelled crichTon wrong

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