Timeline (Lib)(CD)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780736694834
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Format: CD

Meet the Author

Michael Crichton
It stands to reason that someone with as many pursuits as Michael Crichton (novelist, nonfiction writer, screenwriter, director, software engineer, M.D.) might achieve only modest success in any of them. But Crichton somehow excelled at them all. His books, suffused with his scientific research and knowledge, never failed to present imaginative, chilling scenarios that jumped from historical capers to futuristic sci-fi. He died on November 4, 2008, after a long battle against cancer.


Michael Crichton's oeuvre is so vivid and varied that it hard to believe everything sprang from the mind of a single writer. There's the dino-movie franchise and merchandising behemoth Jurassic Park; the long-running, top-rated TV series ER, which Crichton created; and sci-fi tales so cinematic a few were filmed more than once. He's even had a dinosaur named after him.

Ironically, for someone who is credited with selling over 150 million books, Crichton initially avoided writing because he didn't think he would make a living at it. So he turned to medical school instead, graduating with an M.D. from Harvard in 1969. The budding doctor had already written one award-winning novel pseudonymically (1968's A Case of Need) to help pay the bills through school; but when The Andromeda Strain came out in the same year of his med school graduation, Crichton's new career path became obvious.

The Andromeda Strain brilliantly and convincingly sets out an American scientific crisis in the form of a deadly epidemic. Its tone -- both critical of and sympathetic toward the scientific community -- set a precedent for Crichton works to come. A 1970 nonfiction work, Five Patients offers the same tone in a very different form, that being an inside look at a hospital.

Crichton's works were inspired by a remarkably curious mind. His plots often explored scientific issues -- but not always. Some of his most compelling thrillers were set against the backdrop of global trade relations (Rising Sun), corporate treachery (Disclosure) and good old-fashioned Victorian-era theft (The Great Train Robbery). The author never shied away from challenging topics, but it's obvious from his phenomenal sales that he never waxed pedantic. Writing about Prey, Crichton's cautionary tale of nanotech gone awry, The New York Times Book Review put it this way: "You're entertained on one level and you learn something on another."

On the page, Crichton's storytelling was eerily nonfictional in style. His journalistic, almost professorial, and usually third-person narration lent an air of credibility to his often disturbing tales -- in The Andromeda Strain, he went so far as to provide a fake bibliography. Along the way, he revelled in flouting basic, often subconscious assumptions: Dinosaurs are long-gone; women are workplace victims, not predators; computers are, by and large, predictable machines.

The dazzling diversity of Crichton's interests and talents became ever more evident as the years progressed. In addition to penning bestselling novels, he wrote screenplays and a travel memoir, directed several movies, created Academy Award-winning movie production software, and testified before Congress about the science of global warming -- this last as a result of his controversial 2004 eco-thriller State of Fear, a novel that reflected Crichton's own skepticism about the true nature of climate change. His views on the subject were severely criticized by leading environmentalists.

On November 4, 2008, Michael Crichton died, following a long battle against cancer. Beloved by millions of readers, his techno-thrillers and science-inflected cautionary tales remain perennial bestsellers and have spawned a literary genre all its own.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our 2005 interview with Crichton:

"I'm very interested in 20th-century American art."

"I have always been interested in movies and television as well as books. I see all these as media for storytelling, and I don't discriminate among them. At some periods of my life I preferred to work on movies, and at others I preferred books."

"In the early 1990s, interviewers began calling me ‘the father of the techno-thriller.' Nobody ever had before. Finally I began asking the interviewers, ‘Why do you call me that?' They said, ‘Because Tom Clancy says you are the father of the techno-thriller.' So I called Tom up and said, ‘Listen, thank you, but I'm not the father of the techno-thriller.' He said, ‘Yes you are.' I said, ‘No, I'm not, before me there were thrillers like Failsafe and Seven Days in May and The Manchurian Candidate that were techno-thrillers.' He said, ‘No, those are all political. You're the father of the techno-thriller.' And there it ended."

"My favorite recreation is to hike in the wilderness. I am fond of Hawaii."

"I used to scuba dive a lot, but haven't lately. For a time I liked to photograph sharks but like anything else, the thrill wears off. Earlier in my life I took serious risks, but I stopped when I became a parent."

"I taught myself to cook by following Indian and Szechuan recipes. They each have about 20 ingredients. I used to grind my own spices, I was really into it. Now I don't have much time to cook anymore. When I do, I cook Italian food."

"I read almost exclusively nonfiction. Most times I am researching some topic, which may or may not lead to a book. So my reading is pretty focused, although the focus can shift quickly."

"I have always been interested in whatever is missing or excluded from conventional thought. As a result I am drawn to writers who are out of fashion, bypassed, irritating, difficult, or excessive. I also like the disreputable works of famous writers. Thus I end up reading and liking Paul Feyerabend (Against Method), G. K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy, What's Wrong with the World), John Stuart Mill, Hemingway (Garden of Eden), Nietzsche, Machiavelli, Alain Finkielkraut (Defeat of the Mind), Anton Ehrenzweig (Hidden Order of Art), Arthur Koestler (Midwife Toad, Beyond Reductionism), Ian McHarg (Design with Nature), Marguerite Duras, Jung, late James M. Cain (Serenade), Paul Campos.

"Because I get up so early to work, I tend to go to bed early, around 10 or 11. So I don't go out much. I suppose I am borderline reclusive. I don't care."

Read More Show Less
    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
( 921 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 921 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2009

    excellent book

    The book Timeline by Michael Crichton is an extremely captivating book. The characters in the book are architects digging up a fourteenth century castle sponsored by the science lab. Little do they know the science lab has created a way to travel back in time, until one of the professors goes back in time, disobeying the scientists and doesn't come back to the present time. The scientists call upon a small group of the architects to go back in time and retrieve him, but they only have thirty seven hours. What they thought would be a quick and easy trip turns into a lot more than just that once they get there. They quickly become wanted dead by everyone, which is not a very good thing during a time of war and havoc where no one can be trusted. Follow them on their many near death experiences on their quest to find their friend and escape to a secluded place to go back home before time runs out. Will they all make it back alive? I found this book extremely difficult to put down, being that the characters run into one near death experience after another, escaping being captured. The author does a wonderful job of writing form each characters point of view, which gives you a very good insight on what is happening in the book. Timeline is a must read.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An Outstanding Book

    If you have seen the movie "Timeline" and enjoyed it, then you will love this book. It is definetly one of the best books that I have ever read. I could not put this book down the whole time that I read it. The story is about a group of scientists that go back to the fourteenth century to save their professor. All you have to do is pick this book up and read the first page and you will be sucked in!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    Time travel at its best

    If you can get past the first 50 pages then your off to a great adventure. A book you just can't put down. Loved the ending.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    Timeline Book Review

    Timeline, written by Michael Crichton, not only sends readers on an adventure that involves multiple time periods and settings, but also makes readers feel as if they are developing an understanding for the complicated, far-fetched science that is present throughout the novel. The story is an enjoyable escape from reality during the action scenes that keep readers on the edge of their seats and also requires a great deal of scientific reasoning. This combination of exhilaration and intellect kept me hooked from their first journey through time.<BR/> The shift between the 21st century at a technology corporation¿s headquarters and 15th century France forces the reader to be attentive at all times. I found myself in a constant mental dispute over which time period was being described. Though confusing at times, I enjoyed the slight uncertainty because the answers were portrayed through a large amount of dialogue rather than simply pages of boring narration or description. The different settings also provide a way to bring different elements of literature to life. While medieval France is extremely volatile and chaotic, the headquarters of International Technology Corporation stress a seriousness of purpose and a high level of intelligence. Using both of these time periods, Michael Crichton is able to tell a story simultaneously involving suspense, thrill, and deep thought.<BR/> The constant description of quantum mechanics and its propinquity to time travel is what interested me most about this novel. Crichton uses dialogue concerning this concept in a way that makes it sound legitimate and feasible. The man responsible for this innovation and many others at ITC, Robert Doniger, is the most intriguing character in the book. Crichton portrays this character as a genius, unethical, affluent jerk. His motivational speeches to employees and rebuttals to criticism show the magnitude of his intelligence and the flare of his character. His conversations about quantum mechanics, though covered with profanity and vulgarities, will have readers believing they are more intelligent than they actually are.<BR/> I would highly recommend experiencing all that comes with reading Timeline. It is one of the very few books that I have had a tough time putting down. For those who find difficulty in reading for the sheer beauty of literature, with whom I am able to sympathize, the novel is kept interesting through the use of profanity, occasional humor, and a particularly descriptive, sexually suggestive scene. If that is not enough and nothing else is gained from reading this novel, the reader will be able impress his or her friends by touching on quantum mechanics in a conversation and acting like they know what they are talking about.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Timeline Review

    I have recently read the book Timeline by Michael Crichton and I, personally, enjoyed this book very much. It was a perfect combination of science and action adventure; this book was an absolute delight that had me hanging on every chapter. Mr. Crichton really understands how to write a novel that both entertains and informs you on the complex subject of quantum physics though three very complex characters: Marek, Chris, and Kate. Every character that Michael Crichton puts into this book has a specific, personal meaning for the plotline that foreshadows the eventually future. It had a topic in the book that anyone can find an interest in and will have no problem reading this book after a long day. After reading this book I now have a better grasp on how our universe works and how 14th century Europe functions. I would rate this book 5 out of 5 on all categories and would recommend this book for anyone from a basic reader, to an advanced rocket scientist. Michael Crichton really reached out to all age groups in this novel and made a book that should soon become a classic for all to read. This book really stands out from all others with its complex plot’s twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing. I would recommend anyone to read this book, just flat out brilliant. (HPS, P.5)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2010

    astounding book

    Timeline by Michael Crichton is an breath taking book. It is set in modern time period, but takes you on the journey to 14th century. The novel focuses on four archeologist who takes this journey back to 14th century. In the novel that say that time travel is not possible because the past isn't a location. But a company named ITC has developed a technology which is a form of a space travel. ITC uses Quantum technology to manipulate an orthogonal multiverse coordinate change. This technology works like a 3D fax machine which can literally fax a 3d object even human form one place to another, form one time to another. This technology give chance to this archeologist not only to study the past but enter it. The twist in story begins when the professor breaks the rules set by ITC company and gets lost in 14th century. Now it is up to his students to save him. But a little do they new the dangers of this time period. War is everywhere, women and children and beheaded and no one even cares. Due to miscommunication between the company back home and this four archeologist in 14th century things get worse. But by the end everyone is back home safe except one. The book is excellently paced and easily understood every the hardest concept of multiverse and space travel.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I have read this book 5 times. It is that good. I normally donate my books to the public library, but they will not be getting this one anytime soon.
    Also, Pirates Latitude is just as good and hard to put down as Timeline..I just can't believe MC is gone, seems all the good writers leave us. I got a NOOK for my Bday so I will be adding this one to my read list.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Ap World History Review

    Timeline by Michael Crichton, is an amazing book. Set in modern time, Michael links the past closely to the present. Though many novels have attempted to describe and present time travel in original way, none have done it like this. Timeline is centered on four historians working on a reconstruction of sites from the 14th century. The whole project is sponsored by ITC; the head of this corporation is Robert Doniger. Miscommunication arises between the two parties, and Professor Johnston, the main organizer of the project within the group of historians. He's there at ITC headquarters longer than expected and the historians start to worry. Continuing on the project they come across evidence of the Professor's presence there. Not long after they get a call from ITC to come over to headquarters. Curiosity overwhelms the three historians as the go to ITC. They learn that ITC has been keeping secrets from the public. That they had only thirty seven hours to save the professor and that there was a distinct possibility that they all could die.

    Through the book, the immense research and preparation that Crichton put into creating this novel is evident. He portrays the book through many characters point of views. This not only makes the characters more realistic, but it also gives more insight into the plot and how it relates to other events. Time after time the novel leaves readers breathless, hoping for the good to succeed, and secretly knowing that success is slim. They wish differently, but know that historical events won't change and that evil might prevail. Yet they can't help but hope differently, because of being able to connect to the characters. From beginning to end the book is an outstanding read and worth the time of the reader.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    Like watching a movie

    This is a quick read. It was exciting and like watching movie.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2009


    This was an extremely fascinating read. Perfect for anyone who's interested in European history. Crichton makes everything seem so realistic, combining the present with the past. From the time machines to the Black Plague, Timeline is sure to have the reader turning the pages faster and faster after they really get into it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2009

    Timeline- an Adventure

    Timeline is a book about a few scientists who get trapped back in the Middle Ages. The main characters are Marek, Chris, Kate, and the Professor. I liked the characters because they all had their own mood and role in the story. The author created an interesting and action filled story line that was able to make the characters real and believable in the plot. This book had the perfect amount of historic details and action elements. I especially liked it when the author went back from the Middle Ages to present time so I could understand what everyone else was doing to help the main characters get back to their homes. I also liked how the author adds suspense and mystery by placing an evil character from present time in the Middle Ages to try to stop the main characters from returning home. Michael Crichton did a great job in creating this exciting story and I would rate this book a nine out of ten.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2008

    Top notch suspense

    I had trouble putting the book down. When I did, I couldn't wait to pick it up again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2003

    Going Against The Flow

    I hate to rain on Crichton's parade, but I really didn't like the book. If you were looking for straight action, it was all right, but the plot was terrible. A couple of examples: Crichton uses quantum physics to explain the time travel situation. However, he also states that 'time travel' is actually moving in between probabilities, but still in the present (of that plane). How does one know the exact conditions present in 13th century Europe? And how does altering one reality affect another unrelated to it? The conclusion would force one to believe that all the travellers had inexplicably wound up in a reality where everything that had come to pass in the 13th century reality transferred over to theirs. And how coincidental was it that the woman protagonist was an avid rock climber, and she just happened to need her climbing skills? Or that the professor remembered the chemical formula and recipe for an explosive compound? Everything was well-scripted, and practically without surprises by the end. The worst part is, Crichton tries to justify his amalgamation of truths and theories with a bibliography. He played mix and match, for cryin' out loud! P.S: I have read and enjoyed several other works of Crichton's to varying extents, and I don't write this a disappointed reader, but as any person would upon contemplating the book with any degree of depth.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2003

    Definetly Not His Best

    Michael Crighton is easily my favorite writer but this was by far his worst book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Michael Crichton's book Timeline is very well developed and keep

    Michael Crichton's book Timeline is very well developed and keeps you on your toes wanting to read more! He connects our modern world to the 14th Century in a way that makes sense. Timeline makes you feel like you're experiencing the culture in 14th Century France. It is a very exciting read and has a lot of good twists!
    I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted an exciting book to read or wanted to know more on the time period.. Crichton does a good job at making you not want to put the book down but also making sure you are gaing history knowledge. It's a great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013


    14 and i really love this book....its that good though it does have some tough parts to get through

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012



    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    My fat!

    Faaaaaaaaaaaaat! Fat! Fat! FAT FAT FAT THIS IS SO AWESOME OH MYNFAT HEAD! Yeaha,

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011



    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011


    This was a very good book explaining imaginitive theries and lots of action and suspence

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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