A Case of Need Mass Market Paperback – Jun 15 1994
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"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed the read. It's a good book when I don't want to put it down.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
I like all kind of medical thrillers, I like Palmer, Cook, Sheldon (Nothing Last Forever) and of course Crichton, when I started to read these kind of novels, many times I had to... Read morePublished on April 24 2004 by Jorge Frid
This is another one of those books that I found very difficult to put down. It is a definite page-turner! Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2004 by Anthony Pultrone
I found MC's new introduction to his earliest breakthrough novel, A CASE OF NEED, quite interesting. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2003 by John
A Case of Need was an alright book with a so-so book, but I felt that it could have been better, All of Crichton's other novels such as Rising Sun and Jurassic Park have been great... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2003
This book is amazing. It has everything - suspense, drama and a throlling ending. Pick up a copy and read it today!Published on Dec 8 2003
Wow. I'm not a very big Crichton fanatic... I've only recently read a few of his books, Sphere included, and I think they're absolutely amazing... Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2003
This is very much an average book, with nothing new to offer but for a lot of explanation of a great deal of technical terms used in the field of medicine; and it is these details,... Read morePublished on July 28 2003 by Vish Iyer