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Publisher's Summary

The undisputed master of the techno-thriller has written his most riveting, and entertaining, book yet.

Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of pause-resistant suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world. From the streets of Paris, to the glaciers of Antarctica, to the exotic and dangerous Solomon Islands, State of Fear takes the listener on a rollercoaster thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear.

©2004 Michael Crichton (P)2004 Harper Audio

Critic Reviews

" State of Fear is one of Crichton's best because it's as hard to pigeonhole as greenhouse gas but certainly heats up the room." ( Entertainment Weekly)
"Michael Crichton's new, can't-put-it-down novel is a first-of-a-kind thriller - a fast-paced adventure based on the notion that a current widespread fear is baseless." ( Forbes)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Really disappointing

I've been a long time fan of Michael Crichton's, but this book really let me down. I stuck with it for the 20 hours required to finish it thinking "This is the guy who wrote Jurassic Park and Timeline, not to mention many great earlier books. It's got to get better". Well, no, it didn't. If you want to get educated about the greenhouse effect, I'm sure that there are 25 years worth of proceedings of whatever annual meetings the EPA conducts that are more gripping than this unfortunate novel.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 10-21-12

A bizarre propaganda piece

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I wouldn't do the disservice of recommending this book to anyone.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Narrator was fine. The recording suffered from excessive microphone noise in the background.

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

This book is a work of pure propaganda with a thin glazing of crime thriller story line laid over it. Crichton's bizarre premise is that non-profit environmental organizations are colluding in a massive public hoax to promote the idea of global warming. Why are they doing this? Crichton maintains that these groups need public donations to stay in operation, so they have to secretly manipulate scientific data, assassinate public officials, create flash floods and lightning storms using amazing technologies, and blow up huge chunks of Antarctica in order to keep the public donating to their spurious cause - the fight against global climate change. What a pantload! Crichton paints the environmental movement as an evil empire of under-educated Eco-terrorists who are skilled mercenaries and demolitions experts intent on harming innocent school children.

Even more weirdly, the hero of the story is an authoritarian Lone Ranger figure, a scientist-turned domestic intelligence operative who works for a secretive national security agency. Dr. "Kennerer" spies on American citizens, instructs his compatriots to lie openly, surveils domestic communications, conducts searches without warrant and though he is a law enforcement officer, he murders his opponents with impunity instead of attempting to take them into custody - all in the name of keeping the world safe from environmentalists. Kennerer's sidekick is an east Indian mercenary and computer expert, completing the Lone Ranger/Tonto symbolism, however this dynamic duo's antics are entirely sanctioned by the state.

Crichton uses age old propaganda techniques in this novel to stereotype those he disagrees with and paint them as super-humanly evil and bent on the destruction of civilization. We've seen these techniques used to horrible effect throughout the 20th century by racists, bigots, anti-semites and religious fundamentalists to degrade those they disagree with. The book is also full of lengthy passages where Crichton attempts to debunk climate change theory using mind-numbingly complex arguments, however his central rationale for why all of this environmental subterfuge is in the news is shockingly lame - climate change is a popular fad and environmentalists don't have anything better to do than scheme for ways to get your money. Even if you don't accept the climate change argument, Crichton must have thought his readers were stupid to swallow that line of guff.

The reason I'm so disappointed with this book is that I grew up with Crichton's early works which actually sparked my interests in both science and technology. Andromeda Strain, Westworld, and Jurassic Park are all works of a great writer with a genius for making science accessible. I can only speculate that as Crichton aged, he began to obsess on the right-wing reactionary view of the climate change issue in the same way that Charlton Heston became obsessed with racism, guns and the NRA in his later years - even though Heston had been a maverick in Hollywood promoting racial equality during the 50s and 60s. At any rate this work is a very poor coda to end Crichton's brilliant career.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph
  • San Diego, CA, USA
  • 12-10-09

Okay book, awful narration

I enjoyed the story as much as I could a pop-action plot with heavy political statements throughout, but the narration was awful. Wilson is a poor actor (completely misses most of the characters and their intended emotions) and the listener can constantly hear his annoying mouth noises. Read this one instead.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Crichton is great

I have loved Crichton since I first started reading Jurassic Park. State of Fear is fast paced with good characters. Crichton is a marvelous story teller and the science is well documented. You never feel the same about global warming and scientific research again.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • marcotech
  • Austin, TX United States
  • 10-04-06

Right Wing Junk

Crichton can write some fairly good and compeling action novels, example "Prey". And I look forward to another of those. But in this "novel" he appears to have completly sold out to the right wing spin on science- especially anything having to do with global warming. I believe that somewhere in this diatribe, Crichton mentions the need for more oversight of scienfic programs. I would agree that rational and well thoughtout oversight is always needed in science and a substantial amount exist already. But where is the oversight for a very heavy handed and misleading "novel" like State of Fear. If you are a right wing, head in the sand, anti-intellectual, anti-analytical, anti-environment, individual you will probably love this book. It bashes everything rational and reasonable. But if your IQ (emotional and mental) is above 100 you'll wonder how this usualy decent action writer can be so far off in "right" field? Don't waste your time.

5 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • King of Prussia, PA, USA
  • 01-05-06

Diatribe does not equal good story

MC ruins his record with this arguably biased diatribe … to save arguments one way or the other lets just say what most people looking for reviews want to hear. The book masquerades as a Crichton adventure/techno novel but quickly breaks down into a soap box speech and dialogue completely out of context. It is as if Crichton wanted to write an opinion to Science, Nature or PNAS and instead stuffed it into a book, segmented it, and put chapters of text around it. I didn’t get this book for a lecture on global warming or not. I go to the primary literature for that. Dr Crichton is an intelligent man but a physician and not a scientist. He has done some reading and he wants to share … great, research is one thing but pages of opinion dully espoused by a smarmy character is too much.
PUT IT IN SOME NON FICTION OR PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Matt
  • Tiger, GA, USA
  • 07-27-05

No wonder people don't care about global warming!

I should have stayed away from this one and read a few more reviews. this book never hits a happy medium. It will start to get exciting then come to basicly audible brick wall. By the tin i made it to the second download portion i was bored to tears. I thought at first it was the narrator but i now believe that this has to be the worst Crichton book i have ever read. Bring the end of the world at least i will not have to finish this book then. geeeeeez

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sid
  • dunwoody, GA, USA
  • 07-06-05

fact or fiction

as fact it is fiction ; as fiction it is fantasy
am a great fan of his work until this

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Grant
  • Mobile, AL, USA
  • 02-09-05

Just plain bad

I listened to the whole thing only because I paid for it. It was not particularly interesting, the characters were shallow, and in general it was badly written.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Heather
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 02-02-05

please feed the narrator!

i found the rumbling stomach noises to be very distracting. otherwise, i wanted to like this book as i've enjoyed previous, but if felt very preachy and unbalanced.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful