Sphere

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Sphere

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Overview

In the middle of the South Pacific, 1,000 feet below the surface, a huge spaceship is discovered resting on the ocean floor. It is a craft of phenomenal dimensions, it seems undamaged by its fall from the sky, and it appears to be at least three hundred years old. Rushed to the scene is a group of American scientists who investigate this astonishing discovery. What they find defies imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation. Now a major motion picture directed by Barry Levinson and starring Sharon Stone, Dustin Hoffman, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Robin Mckinley
No one can ask more of a thriller, except maybe that it be a little longer....Part of the fun of ''Sphere'' is that it keeps you going even when you're pretty sure of what will happen next....The last 10 pages are exactly what they should be. Take this one with you for your next long plane ride. -- New York Times
Library Journal
Crichton has rolled the present, past, and future into one highly technical and confusing science fiction adventure. The present features, among others, a pompous astrophysicist, a female zoologist, a black mathematician, and a 53-year-old psychologist, who are summoned by the Navy to examine a plane crash in the South Pacific. The past is manifested in the stranded object resting on the sea bottom where it has been for some 300 years. When the four scientists, who carry their emotional minority baggage of sex, color, and age along with them, descend to the deep in their submersible, they discover the wreck to be no less than a spaceship from the future that fell through a black hole, defying time and space. Strange things begin to happen as one by one the cast of characters diminishes. Disappointing. Literary Guild dual main selection. Marion Hanscom, SUNY at Binghamton Lib.
School Library Journal
YA As in Crichton's Andromeda Strain Knopf, 1969, the focus of this science adventure tale is humankind's encounter with an alien life form. Within a space ship lying on the sea bottom is a mysterious sphere that promises each of the main characters some personal reward: military might, professional prestige, power, understanding. Trapped underwater with the sphere, the humans confront eerie and increasingly dangerous threats after communication with the alien object has been achieved. The story is exciting and loaded with scientific and psychological speculations that add interest at no cost to the action, including an intriguing sequence in which human and computer attempt to decode the alien communication. As the story races to an end, suspicions of evil-doing fall as many ways as in a detective novel. Young adults should find this book both accessible and satisfying. Mike Parson, Houston Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394561103
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/12/1987
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 385
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.69 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton has sold over 200 million books, which have been translated into thirty-eight languages; thirteen of his books have been made into films. Also known as a filmmaker and the creator of ER, he remains the only writer to have had the number one book, movie, and TV show simultaneously. At the time of his death in 2008, Crichton was well into the writing of Micro; Richard Preston was selected to complete the novel.

Richard Preston is the internationally bestselling author of eight books, including The Hot Zone and The Wild Trees. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. He lives with his wife and three children near Princeton, New Jersey.

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Michael Crichton (full name), Jeffery Hudson, John Lange
    2. Hometown:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 23, 1942
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      November 4, 2008
    2. Place of Death:
      Los Angeles, California

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 194 )
Rating Distribution

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(124)

4 Star

(45)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 194 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Crichton Classic!

    The cover seduced me into purchasing it. I informed the sales clerk I read the novel twice before and listened to the audio book four times. She asked me why read it again. I said this is part of my triad of Crichton classics [the others are Jurassic Park and Congo]. The movie version of Sphere is meaningless drivle but the story is worth reading once more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I absolutely loved it

    It absolutely riveting. So far I have yet to have read a bad Crichton adventure, Sphere is no exception!

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  • Posted April 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Crichton delivers another thrilling and intriguing tale that is truly a page turner!

    I had just recently gotten hold of a copy of Sphere and at first I wasn't amazed by it. Once I got into it, however, I couldn't stop reading it. Sphere is a science fiction story about psychologist Norman Johnson and a group of scientists who are sent in an undersea habitat to research a 350 year old spacecraft of an unknown origin. Their seemingly tranquil expedition soon turns to disaster as strange occurrences start soon after their arrival. The story casts themes of ominous mystery, suspense, and some occasional humor and even romance.

    I was impressed by how the story is unique as it explores the many emotions the characters experience. Crichton really captures the life and personality of the characters in the novel. Crichton also does a great job is building up the suspense in the story, making you want to keep reading until you reach the very end. The novel's driving factor I think is the setting. Under the sea has so many possibilities to explore; and it brings many challenges and lots of beautiful scenery for the reader and characters to confront. The thing that really made me want to keep reading was the oddball story. I was always left guessing what was going to happen next and found that many of my strange conjectures were either spot on, or waaay off. The constant surprises Crichton packs in really puts Sphere in a category of it's own. However, I felt that sometimes the story moves a bit slow at times that it takes several pages to get down to business. Also frequent use of heavy use of scientific and mathematical lingo may confuse some readers. This may not be a con, but i felt that sometimes the book was almost too detailed, citing every single little aspect of everything, almost to the point where it was tedious to read. It did paint a great picture of the setting though! Nonetheless, The book is a must read for any reader, especially those whose cup of tea is science fiction! The story is so unique and the powerful images presented in every page gets your adrenaline pumping! I strongly recommend Sphere to anyone willing to read 350+ pages of a visual roller coaster!

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  • Posted May 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It's a page Turner

    This book Grabbed my attention from the first page. It was very entertaining and exciting to read. I could not put the book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2009

    Great Book!!

    I really loved this book. It was extremely exciting, and always left you wondering what was going to happen next. Sphere was one of those books that you just can't put down. It is an amazing sci-fi, mystery book. I would recommend it to just about anyone. Keep in mind that it is fairly long with tiny print, but the plot definitely kept me engaged. You should read this book!!

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    An Amazing Book! - LC_

    This book was my second book that I have read, outside of school. I read it based on the fact that it was recommended to people who were purchasing the new game Dead Space. So, instead of getting the game, I got this book. I am thoroughly impressed with Crichton's ability to make the characters come to life. Everthing in this book was so unique, and just when you thought things were getting better, something goes wrong. After finishing the book 2 days ago, I still have some theories about the book. Of course, publishing those theories may ruin in for those who haven't read it.<BR/><BR/>By the way, what happened at the end? Why did it "just" end?<BR/><BR/>Also, comparing this to the movie, looks like the book wins. The movie, featuring Dustin Hoffman, is nothing like the book. It disappointed me while I was watching it because after reading the book, and the seeing the movie, it was like the director hadn't even read the book, he just seemingly pulled the idea out of nowhere. I had a visualization of what everything looked like, and then when I saw the movie is was just a bomb on my idea. The movie skipped parts of book, left parts out, and didn't even show the "monster".<BR/><BR/>All in all, the greatest book I've ever read, being the second one under "Tick Tock" by Dean Koontz.<BR/><BR/>I recommend this to anybody who enjoys science fiction, mystery, drama, and a psychological thriller.<BR/><BR/>You'll be thinking about it after reading it for days to come.<BR/><BR/>LC_

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    Strange SciFi, Powerful and Strictly Unique

    I make lists. I have a list of Favorites: Favorite Movies, Favorite Books, Favorite Excuses for Misbehavior, etc. Michael Crichton's Sphere is my favorite secular novel. It follows the classic Crichton theme--things will go very wrong for the human being--but covers territory I've never seen or even heard of, from the depths of outer space to those of the ocean, to those of the human psyche. What happens to his very sympathetic characters becomes more and more strange, unpredictable and unthinkable. Two or three of the things that occur are my all-time favorites, because, after at least three readings, I still haven't figured them out. The book is a feast of Food for Thought.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and fast-paced action. I couldn't imagine how Crichton was going to tie it all together. But I needn't have worried: the ending was perfect. This is one of my favorites by Crichton (the other being Timeline). However, there were some parts that left me scratching my head oh, well: it just added to the book's appeal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2007

    The Spherish Sphere

    Michael Crichton¿s Sphere is a very interesting read, good for readers of older ages. It starts off with an elderly man named Norman Johnson, who is flown to the South Pacific. He is brought a thousand feet below the surface of the water to a deep sea crash site, where there is a spaceship that crashed there. It seems that the spaceship crashed there 100 years ago, but it was made 500 years in the future. After going on the craft, the crew of explorers fined a huge sphere. I won¿t spoil the ending, but its quiet douse. The things I liked and didn¿t like about the book are spread far and wide. What I liked is it was interesting and hard, it really made me think. What I didn¿t like, was sometimes I lost track of who was talking. Though in the end, it was a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2007

    Crichton's Best

    Michael Crichton is one of the best scientific thriller writers out there. Maybe even THE best! His works The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, and Congo are the next best, but Sphere is Crichton's best. It gives you plenty of insight for the seacreatures and scientific theories on UFO's and ULF's. Then there is all of the great action and more thrills and chills than any of the others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2006

    One of my ultimate favorites

    I read this book about nine years ago, but the intensity and suspense this book offered has remained with me for a very long time. Whenever people ask me if I know a book that has many action scenes and goes at a very fast pace, Sphere is the first book I say.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2006

    Crichton at his best

    This was the best aquatic adventure I have ever read. It was an intruiguing, suspenseful novel I just could not put down. Michael Crichton could make any average reader stay up all night waiting for more after he/she finishes the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    Read it front to back in one sitting

    Much better than the movie (they edited way too much out), and an excellent show of imagination. Though, in my opinion, Mr. Crichton is not as talented as Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter, and Isaac Asimov, he did a very fine job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2006

    I Loved this book!

    I think that this book was amazing. By far one of the best science fiction books i have ever read. I'm 13 and i loved it. It was engrossing. I just couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2005

    Freakin' awesome!!!!!!

    Ok, this has to totally be THE best book I have ever ever ever read. Norman is a terrific main character. All other characters are amazing too. The book's plot doesn't stumble once. It's just one thrilling and suspenseful ride all the way through. You'll be hooked the minute you get in and the whole ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2006

    a breathtaking novel

    Sphere is a very satisfying book to read it has perplexing characters and amazing descriptions.Sphere is a suspenseful, deceiving and well written book. I loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2005

    Well worth the Price!

    A terrific read spiced with drama and psychological horror. One of the best books I have ever read! As is the norm with Michael Crichton¿s novels, it is a fast paced, thrilling, roller coaster ride of suspense and drama. The plot is ingenious and suspenseful creating an atmosphere of intrigue and horror. The mysterious sphere was both an awe inspiring and horrific concept. However, I was not terribly pleased with the characterization. The characters were not well developed nor did they inspire the reader¿s empathy. This novel focuses more on the progression of the plot and the assumptions on what the sphere might be and less on the characters and their personal lives and dilemmas. All in all, this is a brilliant novel and a must read. No Michael Crichton fan or a fan of great literature should be without this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2005

    A top Crichton pick - absolutely

    Sphere is awesome! The style is theory, theory, theory. He hits you plot-point after plot-point, boom, boom, boom. It's very rewarding. Very smart. And the thing motors. Of all his books, Sphere and the Jurassics stand out. So go for it! Try Sphere next. Might be his best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    Poor Ted

    Pretty good read. Fastest I've ever read a book. Brings up interesting points about the power of the mind and subconcious. The ending was good, but it leaves me a bit saddened and uncerain how to feel about their decision. I'm not sure it was the best way to go. Poor Ted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2005

    Can't go wrong with this one

    The audio book version of Sphere is awesome. Edward Asner does a fantastic job of giving each one of Chricton's characters a distict personality and reads all the dramatic parts of the story perfectly. Occasional drops of creepy music and sound effects add to the drama. The story is abridged but unlike some abridged audiobooks, almost no important plot developments are glossed over. By the end of the 3 hour ride, you'll feel like you have a good grip on the overall story and the characters. I've listened to most of Chrichton's books on tape and Sphere is hands down the best one of them all. Even if you've read the book already you should still check out the audio book version. This is one audio book you'll definitely listen to more than once.

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