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Sphere [Hardcover]

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

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Book Description

May 12 1987
"A page-turner...Chichton's writing is cinematic, with powerful visual images and nonstop action. This book should come with hot buttered popcorn."
NEWSWEEK
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."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW


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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A psychological thriller to enthrall your mind June 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book doesn't fail to deliver the thrilling suspense that you would expect from a Crichton. This winding tail of suspense and mystery keeps you guessing until the finale. Norman Johnson, a psychologist, is called to inspect an "airplane" crash in the middle of the south pacific. Little does he know the airplane that he has been sent to inspect is not an airplane at all. It is a spacecraft. A spacecraft that has lain there for 300 hundred years. THe coral covered spacecraft has a secret that was never meant to be discovered, a sphere of "alien" origin. When the sphere never fails to intrigue the personnel of the "top secret" crash site, all hell breaks loose.
This thriller is a mix of three books. It has the psychology from "Lord of the Flies," a setting of "20,000 leagues under the Sea," and it has the suspense that Crichton marinates all of his books in. Crichton never ceases to amaze and astonish with his mix of science fiction and action. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Crichton, or any science fiction book. I have read "Eaters of the Dead," "THe Andromeda Strain," "Timeline," and "Sphere." "Sphere," I think, is the best. READ IT!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books ever! May 25 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sphere by Michael Crichton is one of the best books I've ever read, it's full of suspense action, and some of the best character interactions I've read. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who likes any other book my Crichton (Jurassic park, Andromeda Strain, Airframe, Congo etc.).
"For a decade, Norman Johnson had been on the list of FAA crash-site teams, experts called on short notice to investigate civilian air disasters... This time his wife, Ellen, had been annoyed because he was called away on July 1, which meant he would miss the July 4 beach Barbeque" (Crichton 4)
In the first chapter you meet Norman Johnson a 53 year old psychologist whose being called out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, for what he thinks is just a routine crash inspection. He soon finds out it's much, much more than that. You quickly find out that there is a "Space Ship" 1,000 feet below the surface of the Ocean, and there's "something Alien" inside.
"They walked into the room, moving among the giant hands and claws. And they saw, nestled in the padded hand, a large, perfectly polished silver sphere about thirty feet in diameter. The sphere had no markings or features of any kind" (Crichton 104)
This is "The Sphere" and it is what the book is about. Without giving too much away, when you go in, everything changes and not necessarily for the better. As soon as this is introduced the book really starts to pick up.
"Now the feet of the body were swinging just above his head. Norman climbed another step, and one of the boots caught in the loop of the air hose that ran from his air pack to his helmet. He reached behind his helmet, trying to free himself from the body. The body shivered and for an awful moment he thought it was still alive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling... May 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is another book from Crichton that I love...
It's about a huge spaceship found at the floor of the ocean, and the team of scientists that go down to find out what it is, and what it's for.
The strange part? It's been at the floor of the ocean for hundreds- maybe even THOUSANDS of years.
The cool part? It was and American ship sent there from the future and has a large sphere on the inside.
Soon after they discover the ship, one of the team members opens the sphere and walks inside. He's found later, unconscious outside it. And after that, strange, coded, messages appear on the underwater station's computers from an unseen character named 'Jerry'.
Bad things happen, presumably coming from Jerry; a huge squid attacks the ship over and over again, and soon only three members of the team are left.
From its interesting beginning to its chilling ending, this book carries you on a thrill ride that seems entirely possible... just like all the Crichton books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than The Movie March 21 2004
By Matt
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Annotation: A sci-fi thriller that has a twist at the end you couldn't see coming. Michael Crichton sets the stage deep in the ocean as a group of scientist explores an unknown spaceship and finds a mysterious sphere that causes strange things to happen.
Author bio: Michael Crichton was born in Chicago in 1942 and attended Harvard medical school in 1964. He has produced books such as Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Congo. He also created the hit show ER and is the only person to have the number one movie, number one book, and number one show all at the same time.
Evaluation: This book was awesome! I couldn't put it down for a minute. One complaint I have is that when they made the movie, they tried to make it "hollywood adaptable" and messed up some key plot points. The part I liked best was when Harry uses his simple logic to determine that they were going to die in the spaceship because the ship was in the future and there was no sign that the future knew of them visiting the ship. It was so simple I was mad I didn't pick it out before I read it! This book is a definite read for anyone who is a science fiction fan.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not bother to read this book.
The story consists of strange happenings near a sunken (1) spaceship (2) time machine (3) something else - non of which is ever explained. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alexander McD.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book
Great psychological thriller, classic Crichton. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and always curious as what comes next. And a curious ending.
Published 9 months ago by Kyle Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting but not as high concept as other Crichton novels. Worth...
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. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Derek Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Crichton's Best
As I wrote my Listmania best sci-fi list, I looked through my collection and found Sphere, and immediately wanted to review it. Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2009 by Melissa M. Grant
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Crichton's best
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... Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2007 by Kelly Brianna
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting story.
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... Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2006 by Edgar
5.0 out of 5 stars great sci fi
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... Read more
Published on June 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars this was the 2nd best book i ever read
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.
Published on June 14 2004 by Denise Scearce
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Micheal Crichton masterpiece!
This book is truly great. Michael Crichton has the ability to create great thrillers like this. The plot is great and I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published on June 6 2004 by Scott K. Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Crichton Masterpiece!
I personally could not set this book down. I'd seen bits and pieces of the movie at a friend's house and decided to read the book to find out how the story ended. Read more
Published on May 28 2004 by J. Naft
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