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3.6 361
by Michael Crichton

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Welcome to our genetic world.Fast, furious, and out of control.This is not the world of the future—it's the world right now.


Welcome to our genetic world.Fast, furious, and out of control.This is not the world of the future—it's the world right now.

Editorial Reviews

National Review
“A compulsively readable beach book about the dawn of the biotech revolution.”
Daily Telegraph (London)
“NEXT is a page-turner, natuarlly; deft and dashing, eminently professional. ”
Adelaide Advertiser
“[Crichton] is a punchy, modern storyteller. NEXT is a popular thriller worth serious reading.”
News of the World (UK)
“Crichton sets up mind-boggling scenarios. The pace and intrigue last to the final page.”
Time magazine
“[Crichton] invites a mass audience irresistibly into some of the Most Important Conversations We’re Not Having.”
Denver Post
“A satirical thriller that will have bookworms glued to their armchairs.”
Los Angeles Times
“[NEXT] is a tribute to Crichton’s storytelling skill...the docmentation he sprinkles throughout the narrative teases us with speculation.”
Christian Science Monitor
“Crichton’s latest techo-thriller raises fascinating ethical questions.”
Houston Chronicle
“The writing is mentally sharp, with vignettes that make you wonder if you are reading satire or simply mild exagerration.”
Baton Rouge Advocate
“Read this book. It’s enough to scare the DNA out of you.”
“NEXT is populated with blood-pressure-raising villains who will keep you turning the pages.”
“Under Crichton’s imaginative scrutiny, body-part theft, the extinction of blonds and transgenic experiments...all loom on the horizon.”
Mail on Sunday
“[Crichton’s] latest is in genetics and his literary success is assured.”
South China Morning Post
“A complex and credible extension of present reality into the realm of the imagination. A highly readable novel.”
Aberdeen Press & Journal [Scotland]
“It is devilishly clever...thoroughly enjoyable.”
“Crichton addresses complex contemporary issues...into thrilling reads.”
Daily Mail (London)
“His plot, involving a score of main characters and a dozen different strands, defies summary but is completely brilliant.”
Birmingham Post (UK)
“A cracking dark tale about biotechnology and transgenics. Epic in style.”
USA Today
“[Crichton’s] in top form with NEXT....There’s a lot to like and to scare you.”
Daily News
“(Crichton) carouses through the landscape of scientific development, presenting one frightening possibility after another. Michael Crichton isn’t for scaredybabies.”
Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Crichton has created a series of vivid, thought-provoking morality plays, presenting key questions engendered by genetic research.”
Calgary Sun
“Provocative and entertaining.”
New York Times
“NEXT is one of Mr. Crichton’s more un-put-downable novels. Its emphasis is on excitement.”
Dallas Morning News
“As entertaining as anything he has written since Jurassic Park.”
“NEXT will frighten, worry and amuse you, and keep you thinking long after its final words are read. Highly recommended.”
Evening Standard (UK)
“Wonderful...NEXT’s a regular romp.”
Sunday Telegraph (Australia)
“A cracking pace...fast-moving plot with highly detailed research.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“NEXT is a romp and a potboiler...a blockbuster science thriller...an entertaining read.”
NPR (All Things Considered)
“Crichton creates a series of fascinating dramatic situations that hold a reader’s attention right down to the last page.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“You realize what [Crichton]’s fictionalizing could be happening now, not “Next.” And that’s what makes it all so terrifying.”
Sunday Express (London)
“(Crichton) is one of the most reliable purveyors of brain-engaged popular fiction at work today.”
“[Crichton’s] latest is in genetics and his literary success is assured.”
Globe & Mail (Toronto)
"Crichton has created a series of vivid, thought-provoking morality plays, presenting key questions engendered by genetic research."
People Magazine
"Under Crichton’s imaginative scrutiny, body-part theft, the extinction of blonds and transgenic experiments...all loom on the horizon."
Time Magazine
"[Crichton] invites a mass audience irresistibly into some of the Most Important Conversations We’re Not Having."
(All Things Considered) - NPR
"Crichton creates a series of fascinating dramatic situations that hold a reader’s attention right down to the last page."
Publishers Weekly

Do you own your body's cells? If a doctor develops a cure for a disease using your cells in the process, are you entitled to a share of the profits? These are some of the questions Crichton explores in his latest science-as-boogeyman polemic. Baker does all he can to give life to the characters, but they are little more than tools to convey the plot, so the author leaves him little to work with. Baker subtly shifts the tone of his voice to distinguish between characters and deftly alters the cadence of his speech to keep the narrative flowing. Despite his best efforts, though, Baker cannot turn the nonfiction interludes between chapters into anything remotely interesting. As if these weren't distracting enough, the multiple subplots make it quite difficult to keep track of what's going on, or how one plot line relates to another. Reading a book that goes in this many directions would be difficult enough, but on audio it's almost impossible to follow. Baker's performance is excellent all around, but listeners hoping Crichton would return to Jurassic Parkform will be left wanting. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover (reviewed online). (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Forbes Magazine
Will cool your ardor for biotechnology. Crichton graphically portrays all the hideous things that can go wrong with genetic research. Critics carp that he exploitatively mixes fiction with fact to conjure up an array of Frankenstein-like outcomes. But so what? The last century showed us what the once popular, seemingly scientific idea of eugenics--the belief that we could improve human beings the way we improve animals and plants through selective breeding, planting and culling--led to. Most Western countries, including the U.S., forced sterilization on hundreds of thousands of people because the prevailing thought was that their bad genes shouldn't be passed on to future generations. The Nazis carried that idea to its murderous conclusion. (18 Jun 2007)
—Steve Forbes
Library Journal

Crichton's books dazzle listeners with technical jargon that sends them fleeing to an encyclopedia to find answers and actual characters who rub elbows with their fictitious counterparts. The subjects here are genetic engineering, genetic tampering, cross-cultural gene experiments, and stem cell research. Crichton screeches down the genetic highway at breakneck speed, tossing out truth and fiction in equal amounts. Can an African Grey parrot be able to carry on conversations with its owners? What about experiments to place commercial advertising on animals and fish? Throughout these flights of fancy are several story lines that bring the gene question down to a human level, pitting firm believers against equally firm opponents. Lawsuits that touch on the furthest reaches of genetic research confuse the jury and irritate the judges. Actor Dylan Baker has a multitude of voices to contend with as well as some tongue-twisting medical terms, and he handles the job very well. Some of his characters whine too much or speak sarcastically when the situation doesn't really call for it, and one has to wonder why journal headlines are read in a plummy British accent. Still, don't be diverted from diving head first into one of the most important fiction books of modern time. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
—Jodi L. Israel

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Harper Fiction Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.26(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Next LP

By Michael Crichton

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Michael Crichton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060873035

Chapter One

Division 48 of Los Angeles Superior Court was a wood-paneled room dominated by the great seal of the state of California. The room was small and had a tawdry feeling. The reddish carpet was frayed and streaked with dirt. The wood veneer on the witness stand was chipped, and one of the fluorescent lights was out, leaving the jury box darker than the rest of the room. The jurors themselves were dressed casually, in jeans and short-sleeve shirts. The judge's chair squeaked whenever the Honorable Davis Pike turned away to glance at his laptop, which he did often throughout the day. Alex Burnet suspected he was checking his e-mail or his stocks.

All in all, this courtroom seemed an odd place to litigate complex issues of biotechnology, but that was what they had been doing for the past two weeks in Frank M. Burnet v. Regents of the University of California.

Alex was thirty-two, a successful litigator, a junior partner in her law firm. She sat at the plaintiff's table with the other members of her father's legal team, and watched as her father took the witness stand. Although she smiled reassuringly, she was, in fact, worried about how he would fare.

Frank Burnet was a barrel-chested man who looked younger than his fifty-one years. He appeared healthy and confident as he was sworn in. Alex knew that her father's vigorous appearance could undermine hiscase. And, of course, the pretrial publicity had been savagely negative. Rick Diehl's PR team had worked hard to portray her dad as an ungrateful, greedy, unscrupulous man. A man who interfered with medical research. A man who wouldn't keep his word, who just wanted money.

None of that was true--in reality, it was the opposite of the truth. But not a single reporter had called her father to ask his side of the story. Not one. Behind Rick Diehl stood Jack Watson, the famous philanthropist. The media assumed that Watson was the good guy, and therefore her father was the bad guy. Once that version of the morality play appeared in the New York Times (written by the local entertainment reporter), everybody else fell into line. There was a huge "me, too" piece in the L.A. Times, trying to outdo the New York version in vilifying her father. And the local news shows kept up a daily drumbeat about the man who wanted to halt medical progress, the man who dared criticize UCLA, that renowned center of learning, the great hometown university. A half-dozen cameras followed her and her father whenever they walked up the courthouse steps.

Their own efforts to get the story out had been singularly unsuccessful. Her father's hired media advisor was competent enough, but no match for Jack Watson's well-oiled, well-financed machine.

Of course, members of the jury would have seen some of the coverage. And the impact of the coverage was to put added pressure on her father not merely to tell his story, but also to redeem himself, to contradict the damage already done to him by the press, before he ever got to the witness stand.

Her father's attorney stood and began his questions. "Mr. Burnet, let me take you back to the month of June, some eight years ago. What were you doing at that time?"

"I was working construction," her father said, in a firm voice. "Supervising all the welding on the Calgary natural gas pipeline."

"And when did you first suspect you were ill?"

"I started waking up in the night. Soaking wet, drenched."

"You had a fever?"

"I thought so."

"You consulted a doctor?"

"Not for a while," he said. "I thought I had the flu or something. But the sweats never stopped. After a month, I started to feel very weak. Then I went to the doctor."

"And what did the doctor tell you?"

"He said I had a growth in my abdomen. And he referred me to the most eminent specialist on the West Coast. A professor at UCLA Medical Center, in Los Angeles."

"Who was that specialist?"

"Dr. Michael Gross. Over there." Her father pointed to the defendant, sitting at the next table. Alex did not look over. She kept her gaze on her father.

"And were you subsequently examined by Dr. Gross?"

"Yes, I was."

"He conducted a physical exam?"


"Did he do any tests at that time?"

"Yes. He took blood and he did X-rays and a CAT scan of my entire body. And he took a biopsy of my bone marrow."

"How was that done, Mr. Burnet?"

"He stuck a needle in my hipbone, right here. The needle punches through the bone and into the marrow. They suck out the marrow and analyze it."

"And after these tests were concluded, did he tell you his diagnosis?"

"Yes. He said I had acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia."

"What did you understand that disease to be?"

"Cancer of the bone marrow."

"Did he propose treatment?"

"Yes. Surgery and then chemotherapy."

"And did he tell you your prognosis? What the outcome of this disease was likely to be?"

"He said that it wasn't good."

"Was he more specific?"

"He said, probably less than a year."

"Did you subsequently get a second opinion from another doctor?"

"Yes, I did."

"With what result?"

"My diagnosis was . . . he, uh . . . he confirmed the diagnosis." Her father paused, bit his lip, fighting emotion. Alex was surprised. He was usually tough and unemotional. She felt a twinge of concern for him, even though she knew this moment would help his case. "I was scared, really scared," her father said. "They all told me . . . I didn't have long to live." He lowered his head.

The courtroom was silent.

"Mr. Burnet, would you like some water?"

"No. I'm fine." He raised his head, passed his hand across his forehead. "Please continue when you're ready."

"I got a third opinion, too. And everybody said to me that Dr. Gross was the best doctor for this disease."


Excerpted from Next LP by Michael Crichton Copyright © 2006 by Michael Crichton. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


Meet the Author

Michael Crichton (1942—2008) was the author of the groundbreaking novels The Andromeda Strain,  The Great Train Robbery, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, Prey, State of Fear, and Next, among many others. His books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, have been translated into thirty-eight languages, and have provided the basis for fifteen feature films. He was the director of Westworld, Coma, The Great Train Robbery and Looker, as well as the creator of ER. Crichton remains the only writer to have a number one book, movie, and TV show in the same year.

Brief Biography

Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
October 23, 1942
Date of Death:
November 4, 2008
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
Place of Death:
Los Angeles, California
B.A.. in Anthropology, Harvard University, 1964; M.D., Harvard Medical School, 1969

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Next 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 361 reviews.
eoconnell More than 1 year ago
Every book I have read by Chrichton has been excellent. All the way from the first to last I have enjoyed Mr. Chrichton to the fullest extent and Next is no acception. I was locked in as soon as I started this novel. I did not want it to end. The subject matter is extremely interesting and very realistic. Michael Chrichton does do his research. I went to his website to see if he published a new novel and thats how I found out he passed. I loved his books because he is a wonderful writer and I am going to miss his stories.
Ducky48 More than 1 year ago
I usually enjoy anything by Michael Crichton but this book was my least favorite. It was entertaining at first and then it just lost it's edge. The plot was slow and the characters were unappealing. I just did not like it and I ended up giving the book away. (The person I gave it to didn't like it either , by the way).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. Crichton's genetic page-turner is much better than expected and is one of my favorite books. The characters are a bit confusing sometimes, but not always. It's a bit different from other books of his and has a faster pace, but to me NEXT is a great book and I look forward to reading another one of Crichton's novels. Oustanding and highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. Devoured it in just a few sittings. He does his research and it shows in his work. I would recommend it as one of his best works. Recently read Micro as well and that was also awesome. Have been a fan for a long time and will continue to be.
bravewarrior More than 1 year ago
CD/unabridged/Science Fiction: Right now, I'm on a Crichton kick. Apparently, Crichton took a look at gene therapy and technology in the 15 years that he wrote Jurassic Park and realized there was a problem. For one, the stuff that was pseudo science in JP, was begin done. This book has several stories that intertwine, overlap, and stand alone. It's a cautionary tale of what happens when government and medical boards (not just the US) lag behind modern science. Like how much of your body do you own after you give a tissue sample. Or how much gene integration should be done to animals. I liked it because I learned a lot. I didn't know that genes or diseases are patented. I found out that SARS became a pandemic because there was uncertainty on who owned the patent. I found out Hepatitis C is patented. This book starts out like a spy novel, but then goes into several directions. There is an emptiness to the conclusions. I wanted to know if the evil bounty hunter.....I mean property recovery agent, went to jail for the rest of his life. I still liked it a lot. Did I mention the talking ape.
Sean_From_OHIO More than 1 year ago
Michael Crichton has always done a good job of intertwining science and fiction without writing science fiction. I think that makes sense. Here Crichton tackles the world of genetic engineering and while there were so many amazing ideas and concepts here, I’m not sure how much of a novel there actually is. There are literally dozens of characters introduced and as a reader you have no idea if they are connected, important, or relevant. Its strangely scattered and when connections are made they are disturbing weak or convenient. I was rather disappointed with this. There just wasn’t enough here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Waits paciently for her to join rubbing his co.ck slowly.
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DanGA More than 1 year ago
This was one of the poorest books I have ever read. The story line "dragged" its feet, the characters lacked depth, and overall it was filled with filthy language that was not necessary (unless you are some kind of drone that gets a thrill about filth). It would not make me want to read any others. Overall - this was surprising due to the high quality of his Jurassic novels.
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I liked the part where Mrs. Bond found out that her parrot was helping her son with his math homework.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book a bit confusing at first, being about twelve when i read it, but when i got the hang if it it was an incredible read. Truly spectacular.
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Thecelticdragon More than 1 year ago
Sadly, Crighton's last published work. All his books were great. Well written, though provoking, characters you cared about. The consument writer for our age.