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Airframe [Mass Market Paperback]

Michael Crichton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (488 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $9.89  
Mass Market Paperback --  
Mass Market Paperback, Sept. 28 1997 --  
Audio, Cassette, Audiobook CDN $59.23  

Book Description

Sept. 28 1997
Three passengers are dead. Fifty-six are injured. The interior cabin virtually destroyed. But the pilot manages to land the plane. . . .

At a moment when the issue of safety and death in the skies is paramount in the public mind, a lethal midair disaster aboard a commercial twin-jet airliner bound from Hong Kong to Denver triggers a pressured and frantic investigation.

AIRFRAME is nonstop reading: the extraordinary mixture of super suspense and authentic information on a subject of compelling interest that has been a Crichton landmark since The Andromeda Strain.

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From Amazon

Cruising 35,000 feet above the earth, a twin-engine commercial jet encounters an accident that leaves 3 dead, 56 wounded, and the cabin in shambles. What happened? With a multi-billion-dollar company-saving deal on the line, Casey Singleton is sent by her hard-driving boss to uncover the mysterious circumstances that led to the disaster before more people die. But someone doesn't want her to find the truth. Airframe bristles with authentic information, technical jargon, and the command of detail Crichton's readers have come to expect. Check out's Airframe feature and read an excerpt from the book! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Like his role model, H.G. Wells, Crichton likes to moralize in his novels. In this slight, enjoyable thriller, the moral is the superficiality of TV, especially of its simplistic news coverage. Readers willing to overlook the irony of this message being broadcast by the man who created TV's top-rated drama (E.R.) will marvel again at Crichton's uncanny commercial instincts. The event that launches the story, conceived long before TWA Flight 800's last takeoff, is an airline disaster. Why did a passenger plane "porpoise"-pitch and dive repeatedly-enroute from Hong Kong to Denver, killing four and injuring 56? That's what Casey Singleton, v-p for quality assurance for Norton Aircraft, has to find out fast. If Norton's design is to blame, its imminent deal with China may collapse, and the huge company along with it. With Casey as his unsubtle focus-she's one of the few Crichton heroines, an all-American gal who's more plot device than character-Crichton works readers through a brisk course in airline mechanics and safety. The accretion of technical detail, though fascinating, makes for initially slow reading that speeds up only fitfully when Casey is menaced by what seem to be union men angry over the Chinese deal. But as she uncovers numerous anomalies about the accident, and as high corporate intrigue and a ratings-hungry TV news team enter the picture, the plot complicates and suspense rises, peaking high above the earth in an exciting re-creation of the flight. It's possible that Crichton has invented a new subgenre here-the industrial thriller-despite elements (video-generated clues, for one) recycled from his earlier work. It's certain that, while this is no Jurassic Park, he's concocted another slick, bestselling, cinema-ready entertainment. 2,000,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection; film rights sold to Disney for a reported $8-$10 million; simultaneous large-print edition and Random House audio and CD editions.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The research that was required in order to write this book had to be phenomenal
and painstaking...... MC was such a wonderful write and created a novel that
many people who fly can understand the miracle of flight.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
While I cannot fault Crichton's story telling ability and his pacing in what is supposed to be a techno-thriller, I found myself being disappointed by the 'techno' part of it, as this is where anyone who specializes in aeronautics will find fault with this novel. I do not know who advised Crichton on the technical aspects, but 'nobody at all' would seem like a plausible answer. The portrayal of Flight Data Recorder (the famed 'black box') as being unreliable is massively wrong; in my career, I must have decoded hundreds of flights, and never seen a single bit being out of whack. Not only that, but I have not noticed any event where the embedded fault correction logic was actually needed to recover a parameter. Further, Crichton depicts the FDR as recording totally ridiculous data, like the position of the wings relative to the fuselage, so that a playback with the alleged faulty data would show them flying on their on a fair distance from the rest of the aircraft! Since the FDR is central to the story, the whole novel collapses into insignificance because of it.
If one does not know about aerospace, most of the techno babble details will be 'word candy' that can be overlooked, but for anyone who works in the field, how wrong those are would be a major distraction and annoyance. And disappointment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars MOVING THE CHESS PIECES July 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
AIRFRAME is another mystery on Crichton's growing list. The daughter in this tale shouts, "Oh, Mom, I missed you!" Which is what the reader will also echo in his or her search for character in this novel. When you write film scripts, which this essentially is, you leave it up to Sharon Stone to provide the elements of character. The heroine, Casey, in this story is one of the author's chess pieces, a woman who dumps her daughter off on her ex husband and engages in zipless sex while she stumbles her way to solving the mystery of the why an airplane dove out of control.
Crichton does put some nice messages out there. He shows how TV news show producers and anchormen become prostitutes to their own stories. He displays the infighting that goes on between corporate bosses and their wannabe underlings. He demonstrates how corporations play footsie with their big customers. So what if he does pass off film scripts as novels, Hollywood is where the money is. The reader can't have everything.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You'll never want to put this book down. May 11 2004
By Maq
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is Michael Crichton at his best.
The entire book is so suspenseful and gripping that you won't want to put it down until you're finished... I read it in three days because I couldn't put it down.
Like his other books, it's backed up with scientific information on the subject, but unlike some of his other books, he keeps it to a comfortable level to keep it interesting without disrupting the plot.
This is a must-read, but set aside some time to read it as there are few good stopping points. The book is that good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars the best book i have read for some time April 26 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this was my first michael crichton book so i approached it with sceptisism. i was not dissappointed however as this had me gripped from start to finish.
forced to write this review after reading the odd one or two give it 1 star out of 5. this is grossly unfair and deserves far far better. best book i have read in ages.
i have since read "prey" by crichton and intend to purchase more of his books as they are geat reads.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing good here April 23 2004
By Brendan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Unlike many of Crichton's other works, this lacks both excitement and information on science and technology. The main character, Casey Singleton, is in a race against time to find out what caused a mid-flight incident on a plane that resulted in 3 dead and 56 wounded. But the danger and the suspense doesn't feel real and the only reason to read the rest of the book is to find out what really happened. Everything that leads up to the conclusion seems unecessary and not at all interesting. I don't recommend this title to anyone.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Crichton-class novel March 23 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book disappointing, and not even close to as captivating as his other books.
If you're an airplane buff, you'll like this book. If you are a Crichton fan, maybe not.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great... March 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Good book, but the reason for the 3 instead of 5 is the anticlimax at the end of the book after such an intriguing start and middle section. If this is what it was all abt then I have to say I wasted time reading it. But it gives some idea abt commercial aviation industry. Not bad. I have to say I liked the experience but not the ending.
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