We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps; a time when it's possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars or test our spouses for genetic maladies. We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes.
Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn. Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.
The future is closer than you think. Get used to it.
Take your pick.
©2006 Michael Crichton; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers
I normally like Michael Crichton's work. But this is not really a novel. It's a series of interspersed short stories on the topic of the science of gene therapy and research. Not one of the individual stories was interesting, but what's worse, the sheer number of them and the frequency of alternating among them, left me constantly wondering for several minutes which storyline we were back to.
Again, the subject matter was interesting. But the execution was dull and often struck me as if it were written for a much younger audience, like readers 10 – 14 years old.
This isn’t helped by the reader. Usually, the readers I don't like sound like they are half asleep. This reader is the only one I've come across that is actually overly animated, to the point of being distracting, annoying, and again, as if aimed at young teenagers. Many of his voices just sound winy.
This is just not worth the money. But it’s an even bigger waste of time. I regret finishing it.
If you like thrilling, fast paced action ‘Next’ might not suit your tastes. It is very slow to introduce the characters (half of the book!) and then, they never did anything – and I mean nothing! It was a struggle for me to focus and pay attention because it seemed there was little to pay attention to. I have to confess that about half way through I just stopped listening to ‘Next” and went to another book in my library. Perhaps the second half of the book was exciting and attention grabbing. Perhaps I’ve cheated myself out of a very satisfying listen by stopping too soon. I have never been one to ‘give up’ on a book, but in all honesty, it was a relief to stop this one.
I expected more from this title based on the premise. I usually wait until more feedback comes in on a book before I buy, but the premise seemed pretty intriging. Unfortunately, it did not deliver. I dont think I listened to it past the 2nd chapter. The characters were one-dimensional, the plot seemed to be missing (maybe it materialized later?) and the story line was boring. Top it all off with bland dialogue and you have a monumental waste of a book credit.
I read, I write; I listen
Next is a books about the world of genetics, and what a world it is. Michael Crighton is as meticulous as always in his research of the subject matter, maybe too much so. The book has so many story lines, from a man sueing over the question if his genes still belong to him after a doctor uses cutting edge research to cure him of cancer to splicing human genes with certain animals. How the narrator was able to keep up with all the different characters in this book is still amazing. He did an incredible job considering. Still, knowing this is a Michel Crighton book, a little truth mixed in with fiction, "Next" is entertaining and somewhat eye opening.
What others reviewers of this audiobook failed to recognize is that the plot is not the point of this book. If you read it to the end, including the author's comments and the interview with him, you would find out that the point of the book is to raise awareness of the frightening state of affairs in this country regarding genetic research and engineering. The individual stories presented are mere examples of the atrocities occuring all over the country, and the rights individuals are being denied when it comes to their own bodies.
If only 1% of the people who read this book encourage their legislators to do something about these issues, I think the book can be considered a huge success.
In addition to the message, however, the book is witty and interesting, even without having much of a plot. Some of the stories come together at the end and I was quite wrapped up in several of the characters.
The biggest downside in my opinion was the reader. As others have commented, many of his characters' voices were whiney and obnoxious. I almost stopped listening about half way through part one because of this, but persevered and enjoyed the book despite the reader.
I'm very glad I read "Next" and intend to press my congressional representatives to do something to help alleviate the current problems brought out by Crichton's research.
This book was awful. I agree with every single negative thing everyone else wrote about this book. I love the authors other works, but would rather have my finger nails pulled out then have to listen to this one again.
I'm a huge fan of Crichton, but this was unbearable. The total lack of any plot development until half way through the book is compounded by the annoying voice of the reader.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Mom to his 10-year-old daughter.
I enjoyed the unabridged audible version of State of Fear and assumed I would be similarly entertained. I was wrong. Next had a barely discernable plot and characters that Crichton began developing and then abandoned for long periods. By the time he came back to them (if he did) you wondered who they were. You needed a scorecard to keep track of the characters he created, never knowing if they would be major or minor until you had a headache trying to remember them all. I had no problem with the genetic mutations he created. You expect that in his writings. What I had a problem with was his implausible scenarios that would have his mutants' paths cross. Also, Dave's acceptance into society was about as believable as people not realizing that Clark Kent and Superman were one and the same. I don't know what Crichton plays to write next, but I hope it's better than Next.
As a Chrichton fan, this book was a total disappointment.
Throughout the book, it does not even feel like listening to a novel. Sure, the author did a lot of research on gentics, but the result was a lot of anecdotes listed without any rationale or connection to the story. As for the story, I started wondering if there was any and then the author seems to remember about it half way through the book and tries to wrap up his list of stories on genetic research.
Save your credit and valuable time
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