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The Terminal Man: A Novel [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

Michael Crichton , David Dukes
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 8 1996
Harry Benson suffers from violent seizures -- so violent that he requires a police guard when entering a Los Angeles hospital for treatment.

Dr. Roger MacPherson, head of the prestigious Neuropsychiatric Research Unit, is convinced he can cure Benson through a procedure known as a stage three. During this highly specialized surgery, electrodes, placed deep in Benson's brain, Send monitored soothing pulses to its pleasure canyons.

The operation is a success -- until Benson discovers how to get the pulses with increasing frequency. Then he escapes from the hospital and lapses into murderous rampages, becoming a homicidal maniac with a deadly agenda....

The Lost World, Jurassic Park, Congo, Disclosure, Rising Sun, and The Great Train Robbery, by Michael Crichton, are available on cassette from Random House AudioBooks (The Lost World is also available on compact disc). Sphere and The Andromeda Strain are available as Random House Price-Less Audios.

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Harry has a problem. Ever since getting in a car accident, he's suffered from "thought seizures," violent fits in which he attacks other people. He used to be an artificial intelligence researcher, which may explain why he targets anyone who either works on machines or who acts like a machine--mechanics, gas-station attendants, prostitutes, exotic dancers. But there's hope: he can become part machine himself, undergoing "Stage 3," an experimental procedure implanting 40 electrodes deep in the pleasure centers of his brain. The surgery is successful, and blissful pulses of electricity short-circuit Harry's seizures. That is, until Harry figures out how to overload himself with the satisfying jolts and escapes on a murderous rampage. One of Crichton's earliest, playing ably on '70s fears of computers and mind control. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A fascinating, splendidly documented thriller" The New Yorker "A brilliantly achieved and all-too-believable modern Frankenstein" Book-of-the-Month Club News --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting.... July 8 2004
By Eric
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Terminal Man is a pretty old novel, but it stills stands the test of time. This novel came out in the 70's, and some of the events in this novel seem a little far-fetched in those times, and kind of understandable in these current times.
Harry Benson has violent blackouts where he attacks people and does not remember what happens. So when Dr. Pherson decides to operate on Harry Benson to stop the blackouts, he plants a soft of pacemaker for the brain to stop it. The operation goes successful, but Harry Benson is soft of a paranoid individual who thinks that computers are taking over the world. Harry is a programmer, so he has that kind of thought running through his head. The operation has proven successful with chimps, except that they snatch out the wires, so this is their first time doing it on a human. The sort of pacemaker is about as big as a pack of cigarette's and is implanted in his shoulder. The thing works as sending shocks to the brain where it gives off sort of like a good signal. Then something goes wrong. Harry now knows how to get the good shocks by himself, and escapes from the hospital. Now they are on the lookout for him, it is then that he tries to kill one of the female doctors who worked on him, and kills a stripper who brought him earlier a black wig and a couple of other things. He kills her also. While on the lookout for him, he sneaks back into the hospital and hides in the basement to destroy the huge computer they have there. Eventually he is found and killed.
Though the novel is pretty old, some of the things discussed in this novel are actually real. There is a sort of device that is to help people with depression like the same things discussed in this novel. This is a good novel, short, but it still worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Man into machine April 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In a tightly written novel, Michael Crichton explores the world of psychosurgery and how a pioneering experiment on a badly chosen subject goes disastrously wrong.
Harry Benson is a computer scientist living a quiet, uneventful life until he was involved in a devastating car accident on the freeway which left him brain-damaged and psychotic. Now he suffers from increasingly frequent episodes of psychomotor epilepsy during which he explodes in violence. A hospital team has developed a treatment that they think may help him: by implanting electrodes in his brain, they can short-circuit a seizure before it starts and prevent the violent episodes. But Dr. Janet Ross, Benson's psychiatrist, and her mentor, Dr. Manon, have serious reservations. Benson's psychosis has caused him have a morbid dread that machines are taking over the world. Having a micro-computer implanted into his brain may cause him to feel that the doctors have turned him into a machine. Harry isn't going to like that. And when Harry is upset, all kinds of unpleasant things can happen.
In "The Terminal Man", Crichton explores a theme was the focus of his later best-seller "Jurassic Park": just because a scientific experiment can be done doesn't mean it should be. The doctors at Benson's hospital are gung-ho over this experiment; they've been looking for a subject to test it out on and Benson seems perfect. But Benson isn't a laboratory rat; he's highly intelligent and learns how to control the micro-computer implanted in his brain cells until soon he's having almost continuous stimulations. At this point, he tips over, and the ensuing mayhem proves that Ross's worst fears were more than justified.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A quick read. March 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Though this book is a good and quick read. It is not up to the standards of Crichton's other books. But still better than many books out there. The Terminal man does keep your interest.
This is an old time Sci-Fi story. You can tell that Michael Crichton did research on Psychology and the technical aspects of the age. Giving the story some semblance of fact.
The story follows Harry Benson over a five day period. He is brouht into the hospital to undergo expermental surgery to try and supress his violent behavior. The hospital preforms brain surgery that consist of the neurosurgeon inserting electrodes in the brain. The electrodes are designed to sense when an episode is about to be triggerred, and stop it with soothing electrical pulse. But things do not work out exactly as the Doctors plan.
The story starts out slow. But it does pick up the pace. Though you can predict how the book is going to end. You will want to finish it. Though written in the early 1970's, the story could be taking place today....I actually would place this between 3 and 4 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Riveting! Dec 22 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I recently picked up a used copy of this book not because it was written by Michael Crichton, but because the story sounded interesting. To be honest, I've never even read a Michael Crichton book until this one. I have been a computer network engineer and database developer for more than 12 years, and have worked for 16 years in hospitals (Pharmacy, Information Systems, etc...) So, with that background, I found this book even more interesting and appealing.
One of the reviews says that this book is "Riveting." I can't find a more precise word to describe this novel. This was a real page-turner for me. I love to read but, unfortunately, do not have a lot of time to do so. I finished this entire book in one week; I couldn't put it down. If you have an interest at all in thrillers, medicine, or computers, or combination of these, definitely pick up this book and give it a read. Granted, while the technology and medical practices in the book are dated, the book focuses on neither of these. Crichton succeeds in constructing and developing two main characters (Harry Benson and Dr. Ross) whose lives are intertwined throughout the book. Crichton is definitely a master story teller and this book, again as dated as it is (1972 or so), is a perfect example of how Crichton excels at story telling (plot, character development, setting). Crichton's writing is concise yet descriptive. In one scene, he describes the operating room in which Benson gets his surgery. In only a limited number of very concisely written paragraphs, Crichton gives the reader the whole rundown of the operating room. He paints a thorough descriptive picture, but in as few words as possible. He is definitely a master storycraftsman.
I highly recommend this book -- you won't regret it!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless wonder
It is surprising that this book was written over forty years ago. In the beginning I had not realised it at all. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Anakina
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read. Edge of your seat suspenseful!
At 260 pages, this is a fairly short book. Short or not, this book packs a wallop! I could not stop turning the pages. Crichton knows how to build suspense and develop characters. Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by Michael Weiser
3.0 out of 5 stars Informational and Interesting
Terminal Man is based on Michael Crichton's knowledge of Psycology and also has a mysterious twist to it. Read more
Published on March 17 2004 by Jeff Bradford
4.0 out of 5 stars Not up to par
This wasn't a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, but it didn't nearly have the intense drama of the others I have read from Crichton. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004 by Daniel Grossberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Entering The Terminal Man Discussion
I would like to respond in a friendly way to Barbara Serini's November 3, 2003 review of The Terminal Man. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2003 by Stacey Cochran
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Decent for an out of Date book on old Technology
The biggest problem I had with this was the ending. It reminded me of the ending of "An American Werewolf in London." You know, Boom with gun" falls, the end. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2003 by djhexane
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Dissapionting
After reading Jurassic Park, I was eager to read this one. Big mistake. It sounded good and was reviewed great too. But it was terrible. Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sci Fi
For a book written at its time, it is almost like prophecy the things it mentions about computers. It most definately makes you think (and fear) about computers and what it can do... Read more
Published on June 24 2003 by James Duckett
5.0 out of 5 stars That Craazy Guy, Harry Benson!
The Terminal Man is here to get'cha! Harry Benson is one whacked out dude -- he's got a computer hooked up to his brain, and that computer doesn't much like the world we all have... Read more
Published on June 18 2003 by Stacey Cochran
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