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A Case of Need Mass Market Paperback – Jun 15 1994


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (June 15 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451183665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451183668
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.9 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,793,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I love anything Michael Crichton writes, but his early medical thrillers have been favorites of mine." -Stephen King

--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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ALL HEART SURGEONS ARE BASTARDS, and Conway is no exception. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Deubler on Feb. 12 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Crichton focuses his microscope on the medical profession in this story of a butchered abortion performed on the daughter of a prominent Boston physician. John Berry is a Boston pathologist who has been helping to cover up the illegal abortions performed by a Dr. Arthur Lee. When Lee is arrested for murder, Berry has to unravel the case before the consequences of his own actions catch up with him. There's a lot of the technical medical terminology that Crichton has made popular on the hit TV show "ER", and a lot more of the serious analysis of the moral dilemmas that face medical practitioners in the real world, particularly as they relate to abortion. Like "ER" this is not science fiction, but a very compelling story (actually a murder mystery) informed by substantial scientific knowledge. (Crichton was a medical student at the time this novel was written). As such, there is no speculation here, just the facts as Crichton sees them, in the context of a juicy potboiler that includes licentiousness and loose living among the rich and privileged. The end result is a thoroughly compelling can't-put-it-down page-turner that seems certain to please a mass audience.
The down side is that apart from the (admittedly even-handed) discussions on abortion, there really isn't any substance to this novel. The characters are pretty generic, and only the hero really manages to make any claim on our sympathy. Mystery lovers are sure to enjoy this book, as are fans of "ER", but science fiction fans should not be expecting to find any far-out ideas here. Very entertaining, but not mind-boggling, this book will raise your consciousness about the abortion issue. Just don't expect a whole lot more from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 8 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first, and at this point only, book written by Mr. Crichton that I have read. It hasn't exactly inspired me to read any others.
The story, as the other reviewers have mentioned, is a medical murder mystery. One thing the curious reader should keep in mind, however, is that the book also is very much involved in the abortion controversy. If memory serves, it was written and originally published in the early 1970s (but sometime before the Roe v. Wade decision), and you can certainly tell Mr. Crichton's opinion on the matter. If you are pro-life/anti-abortion/etc., keep in mind that this book will be at times rather teeth-grinding.
But, even with the political/moral issue aside, this work is dreadful. The characters having a stunning resemblence to cardboard cut-outs, the plot meanders like a drunken sailor, all leading up to a conclusion both compressed and totally out of left field (not as in "oh, that's inventive!" but in a more deus ex machina "deadline's coming - I have to wrap this up quick").
Looking at the other reviews, apparently Mr. Crichton's writing has since improved. One can only hope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James on June 24 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was an okay book to read. It was entertaining, however, very forgettable. Having finished the book last night, I had already forgotten the main characters name. Crichton deals with abortion in an evenhanded manner. What the story lacks however seems to be any real substance. The story seems very trite and easy to predict each turn that it will take. It does keep you interested while you read it, but only to confirm what you figured out early on. All in all three stars for the lack of depth found in this novel (unlike most Crichton novels.)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is another one of those books that I found very difficult to put down. It is a definite page-turner! The story plot became more and more convoluted as the mystery continued forward and made for very interesting and entertaining reading. I really enjoyed reading this novel. The novel was extremely informative and educational (in terms of medicine/healthcare). Since I have always been interested in medicine/healthcare and worked in healthcare for 16 years, this book was very appealing and most of the medical terminology/jargon made sense. However, I can see where, in some cases, the less informed reader could potentially be confused by all the medical jargon. Crichton attempts, via footnotes, to give brief explanations where due--however, the novel could have used a few more footnotes to clarify some confusing areas, especially in paragraphs that are loaded with medical jargon. Granted, there aren't too many of these paragraphs.
Nonetheless, the book was very good. I enjoyed this book almost as much as I enjoyed "The Terminal Man" (also by Crichton). It would be great to see more medical mysteries from Crichton.
This novel is definitely worth the read!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found MC's new introduction to his earliest breakthrough novel, A CASE OF NEED, quite interesting. He talks about the controversy the book stirred when it came out, and how his pseudonym -- Jeffery Hudson -- was used so that nobody in the medical world would know who wrote it. He never planned to be a writer -- he was in Harvard Medical School at the time and needed cash (so he turned out paperback spy stories about the cold war) -- but when he won an award for the novel, he had to accept it in person and his so-called secret was out.
If you enjoyed JURASSIC PARK, SPHERE, RISING SUN, or any of MC's other truly fabulous novels (I've read 'em all along with thousands of other classical and modern works of literature), you'll love this oldie from the late 60s. It's like reading a film noir -- told in first person perspective, it's about a doctor investigating the murder case of a fellow employee of a local hospital who has been arrested for aborting a young girl's unborn child and, in turn, unintentionally killing the girl later, after she suffered blood loss from the operation.
But did he really do it? That's the question that our protaganist tries to solve -- and the outcome of it all is so simple, and yet also so stunning. As the final page turns, you'll wonder how you never solved it beforehand.
It has its flaws. Michael Crichton's early work shows signs of minor problems he would solve later -- whether it be plot mistakes or simply story flow. Plus, I doubt whether a doctor would turn himself into Sherlock Holmes quite so well as he makes the character in this book.
That all doesn't matter, because you'll absolutely love this novel, especially if you're a fan. If you're new to Crichton, I suggest JURASSIC PARK, the first novel of his I read (and which totally took me by surprise). But if you're a fan, or you want a good medical thriller from the creator of ER, check this out. It's one of Crichton's better quick-reads.
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