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Most Helpful Favorable Review
16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.
Don't get me wrong. I believe that we have a grav...
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, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
5 out of 22 people found this review helpful.
posted by Anonymous on August 1, 2006Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 16, 2012
Posted May 14, 2009
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2013
My personal complacency was paraded before my eyes in a pleasant
My personal complacency was paraded before my eyes in a pleasant manner ( the story is a good fictionalWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
read) and only after finishing did I truly consider my own part in the group hysteria that has permeated American
society. Whether liberal, conservative, right-wing, or left, this book is a critique of society where we blindly accept
that which re-inforces our own tightly held views. I am going to gift it to my friends and & relatives on a
must-read, will be discussed basis. Some say that M.C. wrote this book as a way to "debunk the myth of
global warming" . I think that he would be very disappointed that anyone would base their beliefs on one book
without questioning enough to delve into research from all viewpoints. It would behoove us all to decrease our
intake of news and increase our time spent dissecting the why. We have gone from a nation of asking Who?
What? Where? When? and Why? to a society of headline readers, accepting anything in print as truth. We all
should remember that just because it is on the internet, does not necessarily mean it is true. Just because it is
on one channel, doesn't make it so.
Posted September 13, 2011
Posted September 13, 2010
An Anti-Global Warming Thriller: Why NOT?!
I had a blast reading this one, despite its occasional shortcomings.
Now I'll confess that I tend to err on the side of caution and choose to accept there's some validity to the Global Warming argument. At the same time, my mind is open, and this novel threw me a few curve-balls I tried swinging at and may or may not have connected with my bat. Truth is, I'm a layman when it comes to the current scientific data being bandied about, but what this novel does, besides giving readers a jolly good adventure and some thrills, is make one ask oneself: Well, how did I come to my decision?
SoF reminded me that 'The Truth' should never be taken for granted. Now and again, reporters get their facts wrong, scientists don't have all the answers/they have theories, and same for any political party. The truth is: no one knows EXACTLY what will happen tomorrow, let alone 100 years from now (and definitely not weather-forecasters).
All that said, I truly enjoyed this novel. The prose isn't written by a hack, or someone who just wants to make a buck, or who steamrolls over his editor with sophomoric tripe [I'm looking at you, Baldacci!]. There is both style and craft in the prose which is missing from some novels to-day. So, thank you, dear departed Mr Crichton, for taking the time to maintain a healthy standard of writing.
Unfortunately, there are great swathes of didactic discourse which will put off some readers. I wasn't one of them. But be warned. Still, if you are one who likes a good argument (with references in the back of the book), then you may enjoy this book on yet another level besides the thriller it is.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 5, 2008
Three stories in one
Many readers have found this book upsetting because of claims it denigrates the ecological problems that seem to be plaguing us these days. That is, in my view, at most a subtext. The story Crichton tells is about a charity become a business ¿ endemic from the late'50s on. [Consider: The March of Dimes was to solve the problem of polio the problem was solved, then solved again a whole lot of March of Dimes guys had either to find a new cause or to find new jobs.] This is a real problem real issues are distorted for the same marketing reasons that businesses warp general consumer wants into specific product needs. That Crichton makes this into a really good 'read' is commensurate with his substantial and well-demonstrated capacity to tell a tale.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 21, 2008
A different kind of Michael Crichton book.
This book is absolutely hated by those who believe everything enviro-alarmist tell them, loved by people who buy into everything oily corporations spout, and moderately enjoyed by the rest of us in the middle. Don't read it for the plot, which has a thin, clumsy story line, onto which the author hangs his various notions. Read it for the information, disputed by many, but fascinating nonetheless. The real point of the book is not say there are no real environmental issues, but that no one is as sure of their facts as they claim, and that most large environmental groups are using the fear generated by these concerns to make big money and crush all who express dissenting opinions. Doubtless, you won't want to take his word for everything, but this book will make you think about, and question what you're being told. You'll probably still be very concerned about the environment when you're done, but you will wonder every time you see one of his questionable facts come true in the news.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 9, 2007
The Other Side of the Global Warming Story
Although the story falls apart at the end of the book, it is still an entertaining read. More importantly, the Author uses this book as a vehicle to 'out' the facts concerning global warming. The media, hollywood stars, and former vice presidents have been spreading a tale of doomsday without presenting any credible research to back-up their views. Mr. Crichton's research on this topic is not only credible, but also thorough and eye-opening. It is fascinating to hear the other side of the global warming issue.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 27, 2006
Fiction with a point
This book, although not one of Crichton's best, is still a very good book, with arguably one of his most important points. I agree with other reviews that the plot line is pretty far-fetched. If each individual event were to occur, it would be plausible, but for them to occur in sequence...unlikely at best. However, I think that Crichton was really making a point with each part of the story, which makes it somewhat excusable. The most outlandish, the cannibalism scene, even has a point with regards to white Westerners perhaps misguided opinion that less 'civilized' places are more peaceful and happy, which is probably a more of a fairy tale than what he wrote. The main thing about the book is that, yes the main character does argue adamantly against global warming, but the point of the book is to not be too quick in making judgements. Crichton's point is not to convince the reader that these things are not true, but to convince the reader that the jury is still out. As any good scientist will tell you, nothing can be proven, only disproven, so this is probably one of the best instruction manuals for the proper use of the Scientific Method I've seen, in a much more entertaining format than most ever will encounter it. Overall, if you are willing to give the author a large measure of artistic license with the believable, it is energetic, entertaining, and very educational.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2006
Posted March 29, 2006
I would certainly reccoment this book. It kept me locked to the pages and kept me wanting to read more. Personally i think that the book should have been longer, but what can you say. It was a wonderful book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2005
state of fear or lies?
this book is awesome. yes the science does get a little boring at times but if you payed any attention to your 7th grade science class it is not that bad. plus he does a great job exsplaning it. the story is exciting and the facts both scary and funny. this is not in the same league as jurasic park but it is still an awesome book. i say that any of you earth first freaks had better read this book before you tie yourself to some tree.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 2005
Peter Evans, the top junior associate at a Los Angeles law firm, finds himself drawn into a web of intrigue that he never suspected of existing when a high-powered client dies under unexpected circumstances. The client, millionaire philanthropist George Morton, has been a major contributor to environmental causes - particularly to the battle against global warming. Evans, like most citizens of industrialized 21st Century countries, believes just as whole-heartedly as Morton that this threat must be fought if humans are to have a future on Planet Earth. So Morton's last public words, a rant against the cause he's supported so strongly, baffle his lawyer. Along with many other people, because Morton delivers that rant in lieu of an acceptance speech when an environmental organization chooses him to receives its 'Concerned Citizen of the Year' award. Charged with helping Morton's attractive young assistant settle the millionaire's affairs, Evans struggles to stay alive and to make sense out of what's happening to him on a wild journey to places as widely separated as Antarctica and the South Pacific. There's a major conference scheduled just a few days in the future, and someone - quite possibly someone who shows an entirely different face to the world at large - wants object lessons to coincide with that conference. Object lessons that will, if Evans and certain people he never would have suspected George Morton of knowing cannot stop them, end thousands of lives. As always, Crichton delivers a fast pace, plenty of vividly written action, and solidly documented science to support his plot. His characters will seem familiar if you've read as many other Crichton novels as I have, but that's not a problem because - although they don't achieve a great deal of depth - they're easy enough to like. Whether or not you come away from this book convinced that global warming is at worst as hoax, and at best bad science, you'll definitely know that the author did his homework. And, what's more, understood it well enough to use it as the basis for a credible thriller.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 3, 2006
'Almost' a great book !
Except for the totally out of place part about the canibilistic 'rebels' ... I thought this was a great book. The insight and references on what's really behind the polical agendas for global warming were extremely well done.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 2, 2006
I bought State of Fear when it first came out, but only got around to reading it this past month. It was definitely not Crichton's best, but was still entertaining. If you've liked his previous work, you'll probably like this as well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2005
To be concerned or not? that is the question
While I used to be one of the people who was absolutely paranoid and weary of our lack of effort to prevent the deterioration of the environment, this title certainly made me realize that although it seems like a genuine concern, it is very hard to determine whether all that is said is based on actual unbiased research. It is a book filled with charts, diagrams and illustrations, and explains how these can be manipulated in such a way to make it seem like global warming is imminent, when it is not. I liked the book, and I found it informative, but it is not Crichton's best work by far.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2005
Good read, good facts (?), but drawn out
I enjoyed this new novel by an author I respect and have always enjoyed. I usually find Crichton thought-provoking, creative and an attention-getter. This one was a little weak in its abundance of data and projections of its science, which might throw some people off, but since I'm a big fan of novels which include science, adventure, historical facts, projections, maps, etc., I found it quite interesting. When I can say to someone else, 'listen to this' and quote from a story I'm reading, then it's a book that has my attention. A current hot topic-the environment and global warming-should prove of interest to most people today (taking into account the current catastrophes and high oil prices), and Crichton addresses these from a different perspective. Anything to do with the environment, what we are doing to it, how it may play out, etc. peaks my interest. I found another novel which approaches alernative energy from a different perspective entirely. Fusion by Bruce, is a techno thriller, and points to a different solution. Huntly seems to have his facts and science down pat. It might be a good addition to Michael Crichton or Dan Brown and others of their ilk. While State of Fear proved a little tedious in spots, it's still worth the read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 18, 2005
An eco-thriller more fascinating for its de-bunking of global warming hysteria than great writing
I loved the science this book spoon-fed me; I highlighted a couple of entries from Crichton's bibliography for further reading. The novel part? A nice thriller in which the core characters fly from one cliff-hanging mission to the next. Are the characters complex? Of course not! The women are Amazonianly perfect, and the villains are despicable. Crichton wrote for theme and message, and every other aspect takes a back seat. My only question is, what really is Jennifer's background, and what happened to her?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.