An instant classic in the vein of Jurassic Park, this boundary-pushing novel has all the hallmarks of Michael Crichton’s greatest adventures with its combination of pulse-pounding thrills, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research.
Three men are found dead in a locked second-floor office in Honolulu. There is no sign of struggle, though their bodies are covered in ultra-fine, razor-sharp cuts. With no evidence, the police dismiss it as a bizarre suicide pact. But the murder weapon is still in the room, almost invisible to the human eye. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up company. Nanigen MicroTechnologies sends them to a mysterious laboratory in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open up a whole new scientific frontier. But this opportunity of a lifetime will teach them the true cost of existing at the cutting-edge…The group becomes prey to a technology of radical, unimaginable power and is thrust out into the teeming rainforest. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, the young scientists face a hostile wilderness that threatens danger at every turn. To survive, they must harness the awe-inspiring creative – and destructive – forces of nature itself.
©2011 Michael Crichton, Richard Preston (P)2011 HarperCollins
Sci-fi, mystery and action-adventure fan
This is officially Michael Crichton's final novel, although it was actually a half finished work completed by writer Richard Preston.
The story is basically a serious take on Honey I Shrunk the Kids and for what it is, it's an action-packed and often engaging listen. The story has some plot holes, but overall if you overlook the shortcomings and perhaps the dodgy science, it's a pretty good book. Certainly it's a more engaging book than the last few Crichton novels like Airframe.
Am nearing 84, have 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 1 half Japanese great grandson all delightful. Enjoy listening & reading
Am an avid fan of Michael Connolly but he tested me to the limit with this one. I'm sure I wouldn't have lasted the distance if reading but Mr Lloyd's smooth narration kept me on course. I imagine a 3D movie is already being mooted bringing to life the mini humans fighting for their lives against the dastardly villain and mother nature. Bring it on!
Unfortunately, the ‘science’ is too poorly developed and many aspects and inconsistencies in the interaction of micro-humans with the regular world remain unexplained.
The other books by Michael Crichton that I have read were always thoroughly researched and the science—even though fictional—was logical and believable.
The narrator didn’t help the story at all either. The reading was emotionless and I often got confused about which character is currently talking. The situation was made worse by the fact that the chapter marks did not match the chapters in the book.
My conclusion is that I would not recommend this book even to die-hard Crichton fans.
This is the book Michael Crichton had supposedly partly written before he died. In reality I suspect that Crichton did no more than construct a plot outline and the book was largely the work of Preston. Like so many other books that purport to be 'co-written', it trades on the name and reputation of the established author but does not possess the quality writing that gained the author his original reputation because in actuality it has been write by someone of much lesser capability.
The plot is a great idea. It is all about a company that develops (and uses for badness and evil) a variant of nanotechnology where it actually shrinks things and people to a tiny proportion of their original size. It covers the adventures of 6 science students who discover something is wrong and are shrunk themselves and dumped in the jungle in Hawaii and their battles to survive against insects and birds (and of course, the baddies). However the characters are poor, the dialogue is atrocious and it is just badly written and presented.
I had real trouble getting past the science/hand waving going on here. And, having somehow managed to temporarily suspend disbelief, I then had great trouble with the way the antagonist went about making money from the unbelievable technology.
I know this is fiction, but the obvious comparison with Jurassic Park makes most of this plot look like something out of an Austin Powers movie.
There were some interesting ideas about life in the micro world, and some action sequences that may translate to a movie, however the edge was taken off these for me because I did not really care who lived and who died.
The narration was competent, possibly even good, however I had to listen to this at 1.5x just to get though it.
"Classic Crichton - engrossing & fast paced"
Classic Cricthon, strongly reminiscent of Timeline. Fast moving, well read, with excellent vivid descriptions of the landscape and perils that face the shrunken scientists. I have read some reviews saying that this is copying other people's work, but I disagree. The idea of shrinking people is fascinating and this is a different approach, with this great author's personal take on the situation. I am not sure if the technical stuff re venoms & insect behaviour etc is accurate, but it is convincing and spellbinding for us non-scientists. A good engrossing story. The bad guy heads up a nano technology company based in Hawaii, and he micro shrinks a group of young scientist in a bid to kill them. They have to trek across the jungle to try to get back to HQ, but have only 3 days to get there. Thrilling stuff.
'Honey, I shrunk the kids' meets 'fantastic voyage' - passes the time but not as fast paced as usual Crichton titles.
As a side note - for UK listeners, listen at 1.5x speed if you have the ability as the narration is very slow.
"Very clever idea"
I really enjoyed this book, which hinges on the idea of what it would be like to be living in the world with a body the size of an insect. It was cleverly done and had me gripped thoughout. There were also some major surprises to the plot-line which I won't tell you lest it spoil your own enjoyment. All in all a good listen.
"Small Wonder (Part 1)"
Received this audio book as a gift and had never read anything by Michael Cricton before, so had no pre-conceptions. I was not disappointed by this book at all. In fact, I thought it an enthralling and competently written story. I felt it reflected the classic adventure/fantasy genre well and didn't waste unnecessary complex or clever pros on something designed to be easily consumable and appeal to a broad audience. No one would claim that, for example, the Indiana Jones stories are highly sophisticated plots or characterisations, but they are successful and entertaining because they do what they are intended to do and do it without any pretensions. Having looked over a few reviews of other Cricton books on Audible, it does seem that people either like or loathe his stories, so I guess I should perhaps expect no different from this title. However, some of the overly scathing remarks made of this title are, I feel, unfair or excessively critical. I have read many books and have come across many far less enjoyable than Micro and which were far more lauded by the public. As always, any views on such things is subjective, of course, but when someone wants their money back after only listening to around 8% of the book, then I feel this is rather over the top. I checked out the position in the story that this reviewer said they gave up at and the adventure hadn't even started yet! So, to judge something as awful when things haven't really got going yet is a little unfair I think. Micro certainly leaves you with a greater understanding about the world of the small with all its beauty, wonder and terror and will make you think differently about the micro world all around us. I found this title to be very entertaining and with some unexpected elements and plot twists and well worth the read. Sure, one reviewer said it was hardly original. Well, most things aren't. True originality is very difficult as so many stories have been done before. ...
Flatly narrated and with a predictable plot. An unfortunate fall from grace by Michael Chrichton.
Derivative and formulaic, adequately read (but no better). I found no excitement or tension, no engagement with any characters and so had little interest in the outcome, which was largely predictable. Some of the science was interesting but somehow did not fit seamlessly with the narrative. All in all, a bit like the scipt of a B movie, written in an awful hurry. Disappointing to say the least - I only stuck with it because I was on holiday - and knew that if I lost concentration and missed a chunk, it really wouldn't matter!
Fans of Crichton's previous books will be sorely disapointed with this pathetic effort.
He'd written a third of the book and was discovered in his archives after his death.
After that it was downhill all the way because, unfortunately, his publishers hired Richard Preston to complete it!
An amateurish writing style and crudely described plot with 2 dimensional unbelievable characters.
Padded out with repetitions of the same point being made several times
The dialogue is stilted and childlike - made even worse by the narrator!
Its a shame because the premise of the story is a good one and will, undoubtedly, make a good movie (if they use someone with more talent than Preston to write the screenplay).
I've given it one star as it wouldn't permit me to leave a zero.
Really, really awful!
"Broadly speaking: Disappointing."
I suppose this is ok as a bit of a yarn. I can also see the link between Timeline, and also with Prey - but unlike these two - Micro never fully engages the reader/listener, and seems content to dawdle along at a very slow pace. The plot is predictable, the twists are very pedestrian, and importantly the narrative suffers from a seemingly total lack of pronouns, making it sound like this book was written by a seven year old. Once you notice this persistent absence of pronouns - it's all you can hear; and like waiting for David Beckham to say "obviously..." the absence of this vital literary device severely detracts from the overall experience. Add to this, the 'padding' here certainly outweighs the good stuff, definitely more filler than killer. It almost feels like a short story packed out with enough ballast to justify releasing it as a fully fledged novel. The cynic within me might think that this fairly mediocre story arc was sketched by Crichton before he died; the publishers pounced on it seeing a potential cash cow, and then promptly hired Richard Preston to fill it out? Oh, and to top it off, John Bedford Lloyd's voice is at best, difficult to engage with, and at worst soporific. Do yourself a favour: don't bother.
I've read all of Michael Crichton's books and they've been a mixture of exciting, informative and compelling.
This was none of these. From the outset the poor dialogue, even worse characterisation and ham fisted plot twits make this an extremely disappointing listen.
I can only assume that the publishers payed a child to flesh out Crichton's plot. None of the adults behave in any kind of rational way and it gets to the point that it's thoroughly distracting.
It's a shame because the premise of the book isn't bad.
"Thought provoking exciting. Dreamworks have the film rights"
Like Jurassic park this book leaps through perceived boundaries this time into the intriguing world of quantum physics. Enthralling exciting and quite evocative you are transported to our world from a half inch high perspective. Over written in a few places but still a great read and I hope the film does it justice and the Jurassic four films have done
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