The Andromeda Strain Mass Market Paperback – Sep 20 1992
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Some biologists speculate that if we ever make contact with extraterrestrials, those life forms are likely to be--like most life on earth--one-celled or smaller creatures, more comparable to bacteria than little green men. And even though such organisms would not likely be able to harm humans, the possibility exists that first contact might be our last.
That's the scientific supposition that Michael Crichton formulates and follows out to its conclusion in his excellent debut novel, The Andromeda Strain.
A Nobel-Prize-winning bacteriologist, Jeremy Stone, urges the president to approve an extraterrestrial decontamination facility to sterilize returning astronauts, satellites, and spacecraft that might carry an "unknown biologic agent." The government agrees, almost too quickly, to build the top-secret Wildfire Lab in the desert of Nevada. Shortly thereafter, unbeknownst to Stone, the U.S. Army initiates the "Scoop" satellite program, an attempt to actively collect space pathogens for use in biological warfare. When Scoop VII crashes a couple years later in the isolated Arizona town of Piedmont, the Army ends up getting more than it asked for.
The Andromeda Strain follows Stone and rest of the scientific team mobilized to react to the Scoop crash as they scramble to understand and contain a strange and deadly outbreak. Crichton's first book may well be his best; it has an earnestness that is missing from his later, more calculated thrillers. --Paul Hughes
"He had me convinced it was all really happening" -- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt New York Times "Science fiction, which once frightened me because it seemed so far-out, now frightens me because it seems so near. The Andromeda Strain is as matter-of-fact as the skull-and-crossbones instructions on a bottle of poison - and just as chillingly effective" Life "Terrifying...One of the most important novels of the year" Library Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book plays off of this idea of "bad stuff from space causes problems on Earth." There are more than 300 other reviews, so I'll mostly leave the plot alone here. What I liked about it was the sense it gave of scientific investigation of an important topic on a short time scale. Trying to "beat the clock," the scientists have to come up with and discard theories for how the unfamiliar organism works with unaccustomed speed, which (as you might imagine) stresses them out. In parallel with other Crichton books, the action takes place over about a week, with simple errors and accidents costing valuable time. The book is newly relevant with the possibility of "designer" biological agents from labs in rouge nations (or from terrorists) playing the role of the alien infectious agent in the book.
Maybe because of the matter (biology), which I know well, and therefore I was able to fully understand every passage of the work. Maybe because of the very original author's choice to present the novel as if it were a report of something really happened, including the credits at the beginning signed MC. Maybe because what is told could really have happened or could happen at any time.
In one way or another I found myself literally devouring this book in a few days and almost missing it when it was not with me.
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Crichton's works is that in them science is not an excuse to tell a story. On the contrary, the story is an excuse to talk about science. So much that his novels are accompanied by an extensive bibliography, as if they were non-fiction books.
The real regret is that this author has died and that, although I still have to read some of his works, sooner or later they will end up.
However, he is a source of great inspiration to me and to those like me, man and woman of science, who loves fiction.
Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
I thought that this was a pretty good book, but it was probably aimed at more higher level readers than me. Some parts of this book were confusing, and others were just stupid, but overall it was pretty good. The only part that really bothered me was the ending. Michael Crichton built the story up so much that you were left saying," WHAT? THAT WAS IT??" I mean, it was a good ending, but it was kind of dissapointing, because it was not as exciting and dramatic as the rest of the book.
Another thing about this book was that it changed view points a LOT. Almost every chapter was a different one of the 7 main people. This was good, because that way, you could see what everyone was thinking, and not one person's biased opinion. Kind of like these book reviews!!!
Again, this book was for adults, but was good all the same!
Most recent customer reviews
Not a bad read, but also not as gripping as other, later Michael Crichton novels.Published 17 months ago by Tom C
This book is a sham. It frustrates me because it tries to appear credible in its approach with scientific jargon and figures, but it's out of date and it's highly implausible. Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2009 by M. P. L. WOULFE
The Andromeda Strain, one of Michael Crichton's early works, is a masterpiece. The plot is deceptively simple; a new, strange and deadly form of bacteria hits a small United... Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2007 by Vera C. Fran
'The Andromeda Strain' involves a new deadly disease that has been brought back to earth, by a military/science sattelite. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by Randy Cook
The Andromdeda Strain was the first Crichton book I ever read. I recieved it as a Christmas gift from my mother, but put it aside after reading a few pages. Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by J. Naft
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN was Michael Crichton's first novel; it was published way back in 1969. Crichton (pronounced "Cry-ton") was a lad of 26, just out of medical school,... Read morePublished on May 4 2004 by Robert J. Schneider
A satellite that orbits the Earth to collect particles and organisms for study goes off course and crashes near a small town in Arizona. Read morePublished on March 18 2004 by J. Vilches