At the risk of sounding like a Philistine or a cultural lightweight, I must tell you that I could not get into this book. It is probably a great book, but it did not suit my mood. It was so dark and disturbing that I just did not want to live in that world for 12+ hours of audio. I had to abandon the book about 1.5 hours into the program. I thought this book would be a Grisham-type southern lawyer mystery with just a bit more depth. But this book was very different. The author probes the depths of disturbed souls, more like Dostoyevsky. It was not what I wanted for light summer reading.
Now I must say that it was very well written. The language of each sentence was exceptional. The author has a way of turning phrases with piercing originality-- the kind of phrases that say so much in so few words-- something like Joseph Conrad does. It is almost worth listening to this book just to hear some of the stunningly poigniant sentences that the author has written.
However, it is a dark world that he writes about and the characters are deeply troubled people. The heaviness of this was exacerbated by the reader's voice and inflection which to me seemed to over-dramatize every sentence. He reads every sentence as if it is the profound last sentence of an epic novel, and this I found to be exhausting.
With all that being said, I will definitely try this author again on his next book which I hope is just a bit lighter and less troubling.
I enjoyed every minute of this novel. The author weaves a fast-moving suspenseful adventure story. Surprisingly, even in the midst of all the plot and action, Preston also manages to write some very beautiful and soulful sentences. That is a refreshing combination!
I was, until now, a big Michael Crichton fan. However, Crichton's "State of Fear" was more than just disappointing-- it made me mad.
The entire book is a thinly veiled neo-conservative, anti-environmentalist political message. Crichton tries to convince his readers that global warming is not really happening and that we should not be concerned about man's impact on nature. He does this with embarassingly flawed reasoning-- little more than warmed over republican talking points. (Wow- talk about science-fiction !) Then Crichton really goes over the top as he tries to show that any person who cares about the environment is absolutely foolish and perhaps even dangerous. Crichton tries to make the reader resent anybody who is concerned about the environment. It is really odd. He even kills off a good-hearted environmentalist character and expects the reader to feel like the brutal killing was well-deserved because of the character's environmental intentions.
Crichton's anti-environmentalist premise could have been turned into a complex exploration of issues and characters. Howver, his characters in this book are paper-thin and simplistic mouthpieces for the author's propaganda. And there is no exploration of issues, just one-sided "lectures" from the author's warped perspective.
It is an act of faith, to read a book. You open your mind to the author's story or message and you trust the author to be responsible with his discourse. On this one, I felt that this trust had been betrayed. I resent Crichton's trojan-horse method of trying to slide his warped message into our minds in the guise of an adventure-thriller story. Well, the story was not an adventure and it was not thrilling. I don't think I will trust Crichton again after wasting my time, money and mind on this book. Sorry, Michael. I didn't think it would end like this...
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