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The Andromeda Strain Mass Market Paperback – Oct 28 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 300 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (Oct. 28 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006170315X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061703157
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.2 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 300 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Crichton (1942-2008) was the author of the ground-breaking novels The Great Train Robbery, Jurassic Park, Disclosure, Prey, State of Fear and Next, among many othersCrichton’s books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, have been translated into thirty-eight languages, and provided the basis for thirteen feature films. Also known as a filmmaker and creator of ER, he remains the only writer to have a number one book, movie, and TV show in the same year. 

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was written around 1969, when astronauts were first landing on the moon. There was a serious concern about the possibility, however slight, that there were micro-organisms on the moon that might return to Earth and cause an epidemic. This concern led to the quarantine of returning astronauts (and the rocks they collected) from the first few missions that landed. This ended when the fears proved unfounded. (There is an interesting side note. The second moon landing recovered several pieces of an unmanned probe that had landed several years earlier. It was found that bacteria in the probe had survived the launch, the landing on the moon, and several years on the airless surface of the moon with temperature swings of hundreds of degrees.)
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.
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Format: Paperback
A government project called project Scoop is sending up satellites into orbit to collect dust and any organisms. An unknown deadly organism is picked up by one of the satellities, then the satellite crashes to earth. The government must find a cure before the organism multiplies and kills everyone. The Andromeda Strain is similar to other science fiction works by Michael Crichton. The story is written with a lot of detail and scientific vocabulary. What I like best about this book was its realistic plot. The problem has been previously proposed and I'm sure discussed by many in the scientific world. Also Crichton used fantastic imagery and great descritption of the setting and background of main characters. "Merrick was a rebellious, unorthodox scientist whose reputation for clear thinking was not enhanced by his recent divorce or the presence of the handsome he brought with him to the symposium". The only downfall I could find was in some parts the intense scientific vocabulary when discussing the organism and the depth that he goes in, but for some this might make the book that much better.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Michael Crichton¹s Andromeda Strain involves a highly sophisticated team of scientists searching for alien strains of bacteria in the upper atmosphere. Their project has not yet succeeded when disaster strikes in a tiny Midwestern town. They find their latest collection capsule in the midst of the town where all of the population, excluding two, are dead, stopped in their tracks. The capsule is transported in a helicopter to a high-security lab where the scientists call an emergency meeting . They must attempt to stop the illness before it spreads across the country, leaving a swath of destruction in its wake.

Personally, I thought that this book was very good in all but three respects. I loved Crichton¹s detail in writing, and he put in excitement a little at a time, so I found it hard to put the book down from beginning to end. The book starts off with a bang, which got me interested, and there was a good amount of suspense to keep the story going. In addition, I liked the futuristic equipment in the lab. He also adds little extras which are funny and interesting which make the characters more believable and realistic. However, Crichton did not explain several of his scientific points, and at times I felt that I needed to know more about microbiology to fully understand what he was trying to say. Also, some of his comments were not very clear, so I ended up rereading passages to discover his meaning.In the long run, however, the main plot definitely makes up for its shortcomings. Overall, this is a very good book which I would highly recommend to science fiction lovers from middle to high school.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Even though it was a summer reading book assigned for school, I was excited to read this after reading the enthralling reviews online. Now after reading it I can say that not only was it a huge disappointment, it was quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. Take "Jurassic Park" (another book by this author), shrink it down to the biological scale, and give it the most disappointing and least energetic ending possible. The book is loaded with meaningless outdated pseudo-science, flat characters and brief encounters with exciting events unrelated to the actual plot. It is in my opinion a bad turn in a book when characters start having seizures simply to add a lively turn to the monotony of the current sequence of events. Any thrill the reader may have for the solution to the problem itself will be firmly beaten down by the ending of this book. Since the events themselves are simply not exciting, the author's attempts to make them seem like action-movie material fail utterly.
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