The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain

by Michael Crichton
4.1 201

Hardcover(Large Print)

$30.07 $31.99 Save 6% Current price is $30.07, Original price is $31.99. You Save 6%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Eligible for FREE SHIPPING


The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

"This book recounts the five-day history of a major American scientific crisis. As in most crises, the events surrounding the Andromeda Strain were a compound of foresight and foolishness, innocence and ignorance. Nearly everyone involved had moments of great brilliance, and moments of unaccountable stupidity...."

Thus begins this extraordinary novel of the world's first space-age biological emergency.

The Andromeda Strain sets forth with almost documentary verisimilitude the unfolding story of "Project Wildfire" — the crash mobilization of the nation's highest scientific and medical resources when an unmanned research satellite returns to earth mysteriously and lethally contaminated.

Four American scientists, chosen in advance for their experimental achievements in the fields of clinical microbiology, epidemiology, pathology, and electrolyte chemistry, are summoned under conditions of total news blackout and utmost urgency to Wildfire's secret laboratory five stories beneath the Nevada desert. There — surrounded by banks of the most sophisticated computer-assisted equipment, and sealed off from the outside world except for a telecommunications link with the national security apparatus — they work against the threat of a worldwide epidemic to find an antidote to the unknown microorganism that has inexplicably killed all but two inhabitants (an elderly derelict and an infant) of the tiny Arizona town where the satellite was retrieved. Step by step they begin to unravel the puzzle of the Andromeda Strain, until, terrifyingly, their microbacterial "adversary" ruptures the hypersterile seal of the laboratory and their already desperate search for a biomedical answerbecomes a split-second race against an atomic deadline.

With its narrative force, its scientific detail, its suspense — as four brilliant individualists work together under ultimate pressure — this novel makes real for the reader the real world of today's science and medicine at the top-secret levels of the Science-Space-Military high command.

The author is a trained scientist. Newspaper stories from NASA that have appeared since the completion of the manuscript read like details from The Andromeda Strain...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780708989371
Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
Publication date: 03/28/1997
Series: Charnwood Large Print Series
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Michael Crichton was a writer, director, and producer, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER. One of the most recognizable names in literature and entertainment, Crichton sold more than 200 million copies of his books, which have been translated into 40 languages and adapted into 15 films.


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

Read an Excerpt

The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain

Chapter One

The Country of Lost Borders

A man with binoculars. That is how it began: with a man standing by the side of the road, on a crest overlooking a small Arizona town, on a winter night.

Lieutenant Roger Shawn must have found the binoculars difficult. The metal would be cold, and he would be clumsy in his fur parka and heavy gloves. His breath, hissing out into the moonlit air, would have fogged the lenses. He would be forced to pause to wipe them frequently, using a stubby gloved finger.

He could not have known the futility of this action. Binoculars were worthless to see into that town and uncover its secrets. He would have been astonished to learn that the men who finally succeeded used instruments a million times more powerful than binoculars.

There is something sad, foolish, and human in the image of Shawn leaning against a boulder, propping his arms on it, and holding the binoculars to his eyes. Though cumbersome, the binoculars would at least feel comfortable and familiar in his hands. It would be one of the last familiar sensations before his death.

We can imagine, and try to reconstruct, what happened from that point on.

Lieutenant Shawn swept over the town slowly and methodically. He could see it was not large, just a half-dozen wooden buildings, set out along a single main street. It was very quiet: no lights, no activity, no sound carried by the gentle wind.

He shifted his attention from the town to the surrounding hills. They were low, dusty, and blunted, with scrubby vegetation and an occasional withered yucca treecrusted in snow. Beyond the hills were more hills, and then the flat expanse of the Mojave Desert, trackless and vast. The Indians called it the Country of Lost Borders.

Lieutenant Shawn found himself shivering in the wind. It was February, the coldest month, and it was after ten. He walked back up the road toward the Ford Econovan, with the large rotating antenna on top. The motor was idling softly; it was the only sound he could hear. He opened the rear doors and climbed into the back, shutting the doors behind him.

He was enveloped in deep-red light: a night light, so that he would not be blinded when he stepped outside. In the red light the banks of instruments and electronic equipment glowed greenly.

Private Lewis Crane, the electronics technician, was there, also wearing a parka. He was hunched over a map, making calculations with occasional reference to the instruments before him.

Shawn asked Crane if he were certain they had arrived at the place, and Crane confirmed that they had. Both men were tired: they had driven all day from Vandenberg in search of the latest Scoop satellite. Neither knew much about the Scoops, except that they were a series of secret capsules intended to analyze the upper atmosphere and then return. Shawn and Crane had the job of finding the capsules once they had landed.

In order to facilitate recovery, the satellites were fitted with electronic beepers that began to transmit signals when they came down to an altitude of five miles.

That was why the van had so much radio-directional equipment. In essence, it was performing its own triangulation. In Army parlance it was known as single-unit triangulation, and it was highly effective, though slow. The procedure was simple enough: the van stopped and fixed its position, recording the strength and direction of the radio beam from the satellite. Once this was done, it would be driven in the most likely direction of the satellite for a distance of twenty miles. Then it would stop and take new coordinates. In this way, a series of triangulation points could be mapped, and the van could proceed to the satellite by a zigzag path, stopping every twenty miles to correct any error. The method was slower than using two vans, but it was safer -- the Army felt that two vans in an area might arouse suspicion.

For six hours, the van had been closing on the Scoop satellite. Now they were almost there.

Crane tapped the map with a pencil in a nervous way and announced the name of the town at the foot of the hill: Piedmont, Arizona. Population forty-eight; both men laughed over that, though they were both inwardly concerned. The Vandenberg ESA, or Estimated Site of Arrival, had been twelve miles north of Piedmont. Vandenberg computed this site on the basis of radar observations and 1410 computer trajectory projections. The estimates were not usually wrong by more than a few hundred yards.

Yet there was no denying the radio-directional equipment, which located the satellite beeper directly in the center of town. Shawn suggested that someone from the town might have seen it coming down -- it would be glowing with the heat -- and might have retrieved it, bringing it into Piedmont.

This was reasonable, except that a native of Piedmont who happened upon an American satellite fresh from space would have told someone -- reporters, police, NASA, the Army, someone.

But they had heard nothing.

Shawn climbed back down from the van, with Crane scrambling after him, shivering as the cold air struck him. Together, the two men looked out over the town.

It was peaceful, but completely dark. Shawn noticed that the gas station and the motel both had their lights doused. Yet they represented the only gas station and motel for miles.

And then Shawn noticed the birds.

In the light of the full moon he could see them, big birds, gliding in slow circles over the buildings, passing like black shadows across the face of the moon. He wondered why he hadn't noticed them before, and asked Crane what he made of them.

Crane said he didn't make anything of them. As a joke, he added, "Maybe they're buzzards."

The Andromeda Strain. Copyright © by Michael Crichton. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Andromeda Strain 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 201 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Except for very few moments in the book, you would not realize this book was written in 1969. The idea of a biological pandemic is pretty common nowadays with zombie movies, the movie "Outbreak," etc. but the way this story was presented and how the virus/bacteria comes into existence shows how brilliant and how much Crichton was ahead of his time. This was a very quick read but it is probably better suited for those who have at least a decent understanding of science and appreciate intellectual thrillers. This book makes you think, and if you can put this into perspective given the context of when this was written, you will love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is excellent. Thrilling and very persuasive. I had seen the movie several times and was pleasantly surprised at how well the movie followed the book.
Blue_Inked_Pen More than 1 year ago
On one fateful night,Piedmont receives a gift. Withing minutes, the town is dead, as if they dropped for no reason in the middle of the night. Now, Wildfire is activated, summoning scientists from across the country to help solve the mystery of what happened, and why 2 lonely survivors managed to avoid the catastrophe that claimed so many others. But their time is limited, as soon their quarantine breaks and people start dying. A thrilling Sci-Fi novel that will leave you questioning things you never thought to ask before. You will feel as though you are a member of the wildfire team, discovering possible cures only to find that the virus has evolved into a new, deadlier form. I first discover Micheal Crichton through the wonderful novel of Jurassic park, and thought that he would be a one hit wonder author. I was pleased to find I was wrong, and reading this book shed new light on the world of biology for me. The entire novel is not a simple 'What-if?" technology, all of it based off technology we do indeed have, if not a little more simplified and advanced, but based in reality nonetheless. Mr. Crichton, god rest him, was also a very well educated individual, sporting both his own speculations and those of other scientists who were experts on their respected subjects. I also enjoyed it because not only did I find myself thinking about the subjects I was reading about, but I was also generating my own knowledge and interest, and later found myself studying more about Biology simply so that I could read on a higher intellect level. Sci-Fi lovers would love it as well as scientists, as the book uses ideas that causes questions to be raised and answered, but only if the reader is truly paying attention to the book itself.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Always a new scientific twist turn or discovery. Really awesome. If science intrigues you and you don’t mind some big words and medical jargon you’ll love this book.
Anonymous 10 months ago
The only reason I’m not giving this a 2 star rating is because it’s Crichton’s first book, so I can’t really hold it to the expectations I had going in. Unfortunately, this book is all build-up and no payoff. The climax is literally a couple of pages long and I guessed most of what might happen by the way Crichton littered in the not-so-subtle foreshadowing. [POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW] Worst of all, the resolution of this book regarding the disease is a total cop-out. In a sense, it’s a deus ex machina, whereby the protagonists never make any meaningful choices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He still has continued to wow with his merge of thriller, mystery, and science
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The exact measure of science into sci-fi that makes you wonder where the science ends and the sci fi begins. My only complaint is that the story wasn't longer
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
Mysteriously, a satellite crash lands in the middle of nowhere Arizona. Military scientists head out to retrieve the wreckage when they come upon a biological disaster. It seems an alien bacterial life form has hitched a ride. Project Wildfire is commenced for containment. Told in a documentary style - it recounts the 5 days following the crash landing and the near disaster that ensued. The Andromeda Strain was much more science-y than I expected - which was a good thing. At times, the explanations could be a bit much and a bit dry, but it added to the realism of the story. None of the characters were particularly sympathetic, but mad scientists rarely are. I also liked the fallibility of the scientists further heightening the tension of the story.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
‘The Andromeda Strain’ is a well written, well thought out and descriptive book, however it fails to deliver any concrete action or really any suspense until the final moments of the story. At parts it feels like a medical drama that gets too deep into the weeds of what it’s describing rather than moving the story along. If I were a virologist or chemist I’d probably rate this a bit higher but from layman’s perspective I found the story a bit too slow for my liking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a microbiologist and a huge Michael Crichton fan, so this book was right up my alley. It included the right amount of technicality to keep the reader well-informed yet interested. I would highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even tho ther was lots of medical terms and science kinda confusing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
rbdavid More than 1 year ago
Still good after all these years!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book. It was hard to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain is a classic science fiction novel that you won’t regret reading. It’s relatively short and engaging. It utilizes mystery and, at times, a sense of horror to grab your attention. The book is given as a narrative retelling of a report given after the fiasco of the Andromeda Strain: an alien micro-organism that landed on earth via a fallen manmade satellite. The effects of the organism’s presence are immediately evident when the populace of a nearby town is wasted. A team of scientist must unlock its secrets before the strain can get out of control and decimate the human race. The book doesn’t spend much time with suspense. The narrator says on more than one occasion that the people involved did indeed survive and that the threat was properly dealt with. That isn’t the question for the reader. Rather, the intrigue is in the “how.” How did they manage to solve the mystery of the alien micro-organism? Over the course of the storytelling the narrator will frequently point out dire mistakes made by the team. As the reader encounters one error after another, one begins to wonder how the team went from point A (going in the wrong direction) to point B (the solution). What makes this book really impressive is the amount of thought that went into the details. Crichton is smart and it reflects in the incredibly in-depth science that goes into explaining the Andromeda strain and the progress made by the team. Maybe you’ll understand it and maybe it’ll go way over your head, but it certainly deepens the reader’s experience of realism. Despite being decades old it is definitely worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this paperback version in 1993 and i have read it so many times. I do find it strange that they are selling it on here for $9.99 and i bought it in '93 for $7.99.