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Sphere [Paperback]

Michael Crichton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (658 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 23 1997
"A page-turner...Chichton's writing is cinematic, with powerful visual images and nonstop action. This book should come with hot buttered popcorn."
A group of American scientists are rushed to a huge vessel that has been discovered resting on the ocean floor in the middle of the South Pacific. What they find defines their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation. It is a spaceship of phenomenal dimensions, apparently, undamaged by its fall from the sky. And, most startling, it appears to be at least three hundred years old....
"The suspense is real."

From the Paperback edition.

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From Amazon

Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton is possibly the best science teacher for the masses since H.G. Wells, and Sphere, his thriller about a mysterious spherical spaceship at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, is classic Crichton. A group of not-very-complex characters (portrayed in the film by Sharon Stone, Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Queen Latifah) assemble to solve a cleverly designed roller coaster of a mystery while attempting (with mixed success) to avoid sudden death and expounding (much more successfully) on the latest, coolest scientific ideas, including the existence of black holes. Somehow, Crichton manages to convey the complicated stuff in utterly simplistic prose, making him, as his old pal Steven Spielberg puts it, "the high priest of high concept." Yet there is more to Crichton than science and big-ticket show biz. He is also, as any reader of his startling memoir Travels knows, a bit of a mystic--he is entirely open to notions spouted by spoon-bending psychics that most science writers would scorn. Sphere is not only a gratifying sci-fi suspense tale; it also reflects Crichton's keen interest in the unexplained powers of the human mind. When something passes through a black hole in Crichton's fiction, a lesson is learned. The book also contains another profound lesson: when you're staring down a giant squid with an eyeball the size of a dinner plate, don't blink first. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA As in Crichton's Andromeda Strain (Knopf, 1969), the focus of this science adventure tale is humankind's encounter with an alien life form. Within a space ship lying on the sea bottom is a mysterious sphere that promises each of the main characters some personal reward: military might, professional prestige, power, understanding. Trapped underwater with the sphere, the humans confront eerie and increasingly dangerous threats after communication with the alien object has been achieved. The story is exciting and loaded with scientific and psychological speculations that add interest at no cost to the action, including an intriguing sequence in which human and computer attempt to decode the alien communication. As the story races to an end, suspicions of evil-doing fall as many ways as in a detective novel. Young adults should find this book both accessible and satisfying. Mike Parson, Houston Public Library
Copyright 1987 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
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not bother to read this book. June 22 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story consists of strange happenings near a sunken (1) spaceship (2) time machine (3) something else - non of which is ever explained. The characters are wooden, each spending his time trying to understand what is happening. Neither they nor the reader ever finds this out. In the last ten or so pages (which, the blurb says, will not allow the reader to put the book down) the three remaining characters, after having ascended to the surface, just decide to forget everything that happened to them. I wish I could.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book Nov. 25 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great psychological thriller, classic Crichton. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and always curious as what comes next. And a curious ending.
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Format:Kindle Edition
Intriguing as always, exciting from the first page, strong for the first 2/3rds and less "editorializing" than usual, but it's just not as good as his higher concept novels. But it's still very enjoyable all the way through, and as always makes you think. It feels a little dated now, but I re-read it last week and enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Sphere should definitely be a part of any Crichton fan's library. Skip the movie, though. Here, the science is less "convincing" than in Jurrassic Park (which is mostly convincing, but stretched) and Prey (which is better writing and fun, but not convincing). But that doesn't matter, because Crichton can write an adventure like few others (as long as character isn't important--character's here take backseat to concept and science). Pace, as always is good. More a rollicking adventure than "something to think about" (typical of later novels) and quite enjoyable on that level. It's the kind of novel you'll tear through in a weekend at most. And that's a good thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crichton's Best Feb. 15 2009
Format:Audio Cassette
As I wrote my Listmania best sci-fi list, I looked through my collection and found Sphere, and immediately wanted to review it. I have to say that while Michael Crichton has written some great (and not so great) novels, this one is my favorite. Admittedly I am slightly biased (with good reason, I think) because it has a special place in my thoughts above all of the other fiction I have read. This is the novel that really opened my eyes to reading. It was one of the first "grown up novels" that I ever read back in 7th grade, and ever since Sphere I have read insatiably. For me, no book had ever combined so many exciting scientific ideas with such burgeoning action, suspense, and artistry. As I read it now I still relive those feelings and have yet to find a novel that can top it.

Crichton isn't known for his flowing prose or incredible dialogue, but what he does well (maybe the best) is he combines scientific themes with a very readable and engaging plot, and this creates incredibly appealing and imaginative novels. If Crichton is the best at this type of novel, Sphere is Crichton's best at doing what he does best! The science makes it compelling, and the story line is absolutely engulfing. What sets Sphere a part from other novels though is its excellent plot twists. Until the end, questions such as "what is the alien?", "how will the characters deal with it and each other?" leave the reader frantically flipping through the pages. These will get answered by an outstanding plot twist which never disappoints. In contrast to many novels that contain plot twists but ultimately fail to satisfyingly wrap up the story, Sphere delivers. I would impel anyone who wants to read any science fiction, or wants to read some Crichton: start with Sphere, you won't be disappointed!
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of Crichton's best Aug. 13 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed reading "Sphere" not only is it an interesting book but I love how Crichton manages to take scientific subjects (cloning in Jurassic Park, Disease epidemics in The Adromeda Strain) and make them easy to understand and become engrossed with.

In this book a group of scientists are taken deep into the ocean to look at what they feel is going to be an airplane crash. Instead they are forced to deal with a long list of things, the possibility of an alien encounter, time travel, black holes, and a mysterious sphere that is clearly not from around here and which possesses a strange power.

The book is suspenseful, interesting and I loved the different theories that are going around when the scientists are all trying to figure out and explain things. But still despite all that it is still easy to understand and to become engrossed with. I really enjoyed this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting story. Sept. 26 2006
By Edgar
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This sci-fi story has a very interesting idea, with cool technology (that's still relatively advanced for nowadays' standards), and very interesting characters who have interesting interactions. There are also good action seuquences. Recommended strongly if you like Crichton and sci-fi.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great sci fi June 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
basically.....this book is GOOD. if u love sci fi and michael crichton....you'll love this too.....very suspenseful and it isnt boring for the first 100 pages like mosst books....it keeps you thinking and thinking untill the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this was the 2nd best book i ever read June 15 2004
Oh My God. Wow. This Book is Awsome. A must read. I watch the movie, and the book was much better. The ending was the best.
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