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A Case of Need Mass Market Paperback – Jun 15 1994

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Mass Market Paperback, Jun 15 1994
CDN$ 23.63 CDN$ 0.01 Books Gift Guide

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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 (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,186,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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.

About the Author

Michael Crichton was a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER. One of the most popular entertainers in the world, Crichton sold more than 200 million copies of his books, which have been translated into 40 languages and adapted into 15 films. Long before the carefully researched techno-thrillers that ultimately brought him to fame, Crichton wrote high-octane suspense novels to support himself while studying at Harvard Medical School. A Case of Need, written under the pseudonym Jeffery Hudson, won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery in 1969. --This text refers to the Audio CD 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

5 of 5 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: Kindle Edition
Crichton manages to amaze me, always. Whether it’s one of his last books (also posthumous) or one of those written decades ago, his writing and the way he deals with the themes of his novels are always damn topical. Although his way of creating a novel is always to find a topic that is at the centre of the work, and then build a story around it, his ability to address different topics but always in a very thorough way is something unique I have never found in any other author so far.
But let’s speak about this novel, “A case of need”, written by Crichton during the Easter holidays (he says it in the introduction) when he was still a medical student, published under a pseudonym and become a bestseller to the surprise of the author himself.
The novel itself is very technical and the fact that Crichton at the time was studying medicine is obvious. Its being so technical, for me, is a great value. Despite being written forty-seven years ago (!) and many things have changed in the field of medicine, it is still very topical and provides an opportunity for an out of the line reflection on a controversial topic such as abortion.
The story is about a doctor who was arrested because they thought that a woman had died because of an abortion performed by the former, when this practice was still illegal in most of the United States. The main character is a friend of the arrested doctor who struggles to uncover the truth. We follow him in his investigations and soon, although the structure of the thriller is elaborate and well-built, we eventually get passionate to the medical and moral implications, which are then examined in the accurate notes reported in the appendix.
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