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Micro: A Novel | [Michael Crichton, Richard Preston]

Micro: A Novel

In a locked Honolulu office building, three men are found dead with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye. In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.
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Publisher's Summary

In Jurassic Park, he created a terrifying new world. Now, in Micro, Michael Crichton reveals a universe too small to see and too dangerous to ignore.

In a locked Honolulu office building, three men are found dead with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye.

In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.

But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.

An instant classic, Micro pits nature against technology in vintage Crichton fashion. Completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston, this boundary-pushing thriller melds scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction to create yet another masterpiece of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment.

©2011 John Michael Crichton Trust (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (752 )
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3.8 (645 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kristin Redmond, WA, United States 03-30-12
    Kristin Redmond, WA, United States 03-30-12 Member Since 2007

    As a stressed out professional, I like having someone else do the reading! I read non-fiction and the classics.

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    "An all time low"

    Just when I thought a favorite author couldn't sink any lower after "Next", Michael Crichton proves me wrong. For someone who has written some of the most creative books and had some of the most brilliant movies produced from his books, its sad to see him produce a silly piece like this that harkens back to the bad b-movies like Empire of the Ants.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Burgess Belleview, Fl 03-29-12
    Rob Burgess Belleview, Fl 03-29-12 Member Since 2007

    Burgi3

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    81
    3
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    "Good book but..."

    It was a good listen but there were a few too many impossible situation where the heroes emerge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cdr219 Derry, NH USA 03-22-12
    cdr219 Derry, NH USA 03-22-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Ambivalent"

    First off, I am a great fan of Michael Crichton. He came up with incredible concepts and his work was always fast paced. Yes, he demanded a lot of suspension of disbelief, but once past that, his work never failed to entertain. Same is true here, on steroids. There are gaping flaws in logic and execution, so much so that it becomes distracting at times. This applies both to the prose (how it was written) and to the plot (what was written). Like Stan Lee's comics of the 1960's, there were many instances when the description of the scene was promptly followed by a character regurgitating the same exact words. (The sky was blue. "Oh, the sky was blue," said Mary.) Distracting and pointless. Flaws in logic, again like the comics of the 1960's to present day, include a villain with technology amazing enough to make incredible profits, yet used for mundane things. (Victor Von Doom could have solved world hunger with his inventions, but decided to use them all to bother Reed Richards. A genius, indeed.)
    Sorry, my inner dork digressed.
    I do not want to give out spoilers, and won't. This book has several things going in its favor. It is entertaining and fast-paced. It has several jaw-dropping moments where you have to stop the tape and say "Holy $#%, did that just happen??" and you have to rewind to hear it again. So few books have this and it was a delight to get shocked like that. After those moments, the story seems to get new life.

    John Bedford Lloyd was a bit wooden for my tastes, but I've heard worse.

    In summary, it's like a bag of jelly beans. Some great parts, some bad parts, not nutrition by any means, but satisfying for a while.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sean YONKERS, NY, United States 03-05-12
    sean YONKERS, NY, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    84
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    Story
    "Slapped Togeather"
    What would have made Micro better?

    I have read just about every Michael Crichton book, this one just does not live up.
    His books usually have a scientific theory or principle that they use, and the story pulls from that science. The books are usually meticulous about the science.
    This book is not.
    There is even a part where they characters question how dimensionally modified atom interact with normal atoms, the question is then just shrugged off. No answer, no possible reason.
    I don't know if Preston poorly finished the book, or if Crichton never finished it because he gave up on a failed idea.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston again?

    N/A


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Micro?

    Everything after the first 15 minutes.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are considering reading this book because you are a Crichton fan, skip it. It is not up to par with the others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne DeLand, FL, United States 02-20-12
    Suzanne DeLand, FL, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2004

    * love to work (nursing informatics) * love dogs * love speed * listen to books constantly *

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Formulaic"

    Predictable, more like a chore to read. I didn't actually finish it, just went on to the next book with about 2 hours left.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Austin, TX, United States 02-16-12
    Ray Austin, TX, United States 02-16-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent "muscle & bones", wrinkled "skin""

    Many people I know think of "the writing" as the words chosen and the order in which they are placed. But that's only the "skin" of the narrative, the thin "exterior". Many professionals I know think of "the writing" as the elements -- character, relationships, ideas, theme, plot twists and so on -- and how they are fitted to and function together; the "muscle" and "bone" and "organs", if you will.

    This book has AMAZING muscle & bones & organs, but the skin is kind of weak.

    It's tempting to say that Michael Crichton's story was weakened or marred by Richard Preston's prose, but any writer will tell you it's never that simple. I haven't read Crichton's notes or outline, so I have no idea what Preston had to work with. Some of the plot twists or character relationships, or even some of the science that was blended to create the fiction, that I enjoyed so much may be entirely Preston's invention! So I won't take the easy route and say the late Mr. Crichton was his usual brilliant self and Mr. Preston failed us.

    I will say, instead, that the story is captivating, at times jaw-dropping, and the ride is a roller coaster comparable to Crichton's most exciting classics!

    I didn't figure out what the story actually was until Chapter 8, maybe a paragraph before it is explained outright; and once it hit me what type of ride this was going to be I was thrilled! This was territory already famously explored by Richard Matheson half a century ago! Did Crichton & Preston really have something new to bring to the table? Of course they did!

    But that was only the beginning, the first shock in a surprising array of shocks! This novel is about as much fun as my first read of JURASSIC PARK! I'm tempted to say this is the ultimate example of why Crichton is the master of the Techno-Thriller...

    But that goes back to the question of who actually created what. My favorite plot twist (or, in the case of this novel, plot decapitation-and-five-more-heads-grow-back-to-replace-the-one-that-got-lopped-off) may have been invented by Preston to bridge the gap between one section of Crichton's outline and the next.

    So, for the person debating on getting this book, it is probably most useful to say this: The story is superior and so much fun! The scientific concepts and the creative exploration of those concepts is on par with the best of Crichton's work! When you think the book can't drop your jaw again, it does! The characters are actually a bit more fleshed-out than some of Crichton's work. The only real drawback to the novel is that it seems to be written for a middle-school audience.

    That's the only hindrance, but sometimes it's quite annoying. There are many times when Preston (and this we can be sure is Preston because it's the actual prose) will explain something in narration, then have the character repeat the exact passage in dialogue, or vice versa. It's as though Preston were so afraid we might not be able to digest what was going on that he wanted to make sure we got it twice. (To be fair to Preston, though, this could simply be lax editing: It would seem a skilled editor would catch the many redundancies and suggest Preston remove either the description or the dialogue.) But it certainly draws a distinction between this and Crichton's other works: Crichton's other novels make me feel smarter after I read them, and this one feels as though the author is talking down to me at times.

    But the prose -- the "skin" -- is really the only problem with this book; everything else is awesome!

    I would recommend that fans of Crichton's work not miss this last amazing thrill ride from a master! Even beyond the grave, he's still got one last, great adventure to send us on!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Marks Ennis Montana 02-16-12
    R. Marks Ennis Montana 02-16-12 Member Since 2007

    zmountainman

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not even a real fantasy, but completely predictabl"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A real slow 6th grader


    Has Micro turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    What didn’t you like about John Bedford Lloyd’s performance?

    He was a victim of the story...He should have more brains than to get involved with this kind of junk writing.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disgusted diappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I won't waste anymore time on this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Simpsonville, SC, United States 01-29-12
    Kenneth Simpsonville, SC, United States 01-29-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Terrible narrator"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I have always been a big Michael Crichton fan, and while the books they are churning out since his death are going down hill with each new one, they are still generally enjoyable reads/listens. That being said, the narrator for this one is absolutely aweful. I am 5 hours in to this one and might have just cut my losses and get a new book. Hard to explain, but if you use audible enough, you come to realize that narrarotr's are actors not just readers, and there are good ones and terrible ones...this guy is the worst I have listened to. I just hope he doesn't get picked up for any other authors I like.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Seattle, WA, United States 01-25-12
    Thomas Seattle, WA, United States 01-25-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Just lame"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Narrator was fine. Not good or bad but fine. Not much could have been done to save this book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Dissapointment.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read books by both writers and they are both much better than this. I don't know why the wheels fell off on this one but the story was predictable and the writing was terrible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Straughn 01-25-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
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    "Just lame"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Narrator was fine. Not good or bad but fine. Not much could have been done to save this book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Dissapointment.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read books by both writers and they are both much better than this. I don't know why the wheels fell off on this one but the story was predictable and the writing was terrible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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