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Drug of Choice Paperback – Nov 19 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hard Case Crime (Nov. 19 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1783291230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783291236
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Great delight to Crichton fans who are still mourning his 2008 passing." Geek Girl Project 

About the Author

Long before he wrote Jurassic Park, before he scripted blockbuster movies like Twister, before he created the groundbreaking TV series ER, Michael Crichton was an honors student at Harvard Medical School - and writing paperback suspense novels on the side, under the top-secret pen name "John Lange." Lange wrote eight books between 1966 and 1972...and then vanished.

Until, 40 years after John Lange was born, Michael Crichton chose Hard Case Crime to bring him back, personally re-editing two Lange books, even writing new chapters for one of them. Now Hard Case Crime is proud to bring all of John Lange's work back into print for the first time in decades - and the first time ever under Michael Crichton's real name.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a huge Michael Crichton fan but I really didn't like this book! I felt like the plot lacked the detail and sophistication of his later works and was somewhat predictable. Arrived in perfect condition and on time.
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As good as anything he has written!
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delivered as promised
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Michael Crichton as he learned the ropes Nov. 24 2013
By Mike Prevette - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank goodness for Hard Case Crime for getting these early Michael Crichton books back in print. The John Lange series of books have varying degrees of success but all of them are fascinating and entertaining. Here in Drug Of Choice you can see Crichton trying out concepts he'd explore in more detail in later novels and movies. Here, a fabulous resort promises the ultimate fabulous getaway, but then things go wrong...sound like Jurassic Park or Westworld? How about the manipulation of media using advanced science...sound like Crichton's film Looker ? Yep. There's even an odd similarity to Coma... a film MC wrote and directed but was based on Robin Cook's novel ( which came after Drug Of Choice... maybe Cook read this one too ? )
It is an early novel before MC became a blockbuster machine, so, his story telling skills are in development here... the medical mystery that kicks the story off is fascinating, but the climax of the story veers into some shaky ground, ending with one of Crichton's patented notes of ambiguity. But overall the book is a fun breezy read and a must have for fans of Crichton. Not as solid or assured as his later household name books, but an entertaining tale that may be more interesting for seeing Crichton trying out concepts he'd later perfect...
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay bordering on good Aug. 2 2014
By Ryan D. Crompton - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is typical of Crichton's early work.

Unlike the contemporary "A Case of Need" or the later "Jurassic Park," Crichton steers clear of any kind of technical detail (whether medical, scientific, or otherwise). That makes for a relatively short but engaging book. I was never bored while reading this, but only spent something like 2-3 hours to make it through the entire story. Realistically, it could almost be classed as a short story rather than a novel.

Not much to add, I suppose. The Amazon synopsis covers the plot fairly well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dopey (But Readable) Hot Mess Feb. 4 2014
By Tim Field - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the fourth of the Hard Case Crime John Lange/Michael Crichton reissues that I've read and I'm amazed at how the quality and tone of each book wildly varies. Drug of Choice is a late 60's culture themed conspiracy thriller. As other reviewers have noted, the book presages themes in future Crichton novels and movies (Westworld, Jurassic Park, Terminal Man). Many ideas and concepts about consumerism, mind control and America's drug dependency are floated here, but the execution is clumsy and cartoonish. But, Crichton being Crichton, the reading is breezy and the pages turn easily. For Crichton completists only.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Crichton Science June 2 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I simply love Michael Crichton's work. Drug of Choice, while not Jurassic Park, holds its own. While Crichton may have wrote under the pen name John Lange as soon as you begin this book you can sense it was written by Crichton. Interestingly, this book was written over 40 years ago, but some of the topics discussed are as relevant as tomorrow's news. Like most of Michael Crichton's books he takes an entertaining approach to science, medicine, and ethics. While personifying the problems in medicine and big-pharma, Crichton reminds us why it is we cringe when power is disproportionally held by those with warped intentions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars early science-fiction by Crichton Feb. 19 2014
By Dave Wilde - Published on
Format: Paperback
John Lange was one of the early pen names of Michael Crichton, best known for The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park. While enrolled at Harvard Medical School, Crichton began publishing a number of novels. This is one of a number of Crichton's early novels that have recently been re-released by Hard Case Crime. The others are Scratch One, Zero Cool, Easy Go, The Venom Business, Odds On, Grave Descend, and Dealing. I have read a number of these already and, while not perfect, they are fun, light, fast reading that I have found worthwhile. I haven't read any of Crichton's more famous works, but I will note that these early novels compare favorably to many of the bookstand pulp/adventure/crime novels that could be found in the late sixties and early seventies and these books should be read in that context.

While a light easy read, Drug of Choice is not on par with the other early Lange books. It's easy to see the genisis of many of Crichton's later ideas, but this book is a lot more amateurish. There are three basic parts to the book. In the first part, The doctor encounters two patients, one a Hell's Angel biker and one a movie star, both of whom appear to be in deep comas with no apparent cause and both piss blue urine. The movie star finds the doctor interesting and they start dating or at leSt spending the night together. In the second part, the doctor and the movie star vacation together on a secret island whose exact location no one knows and where your every vacation fantasy comes true. It's the best resort in history. In the third part, the doctor happily conducts experiments for an amazing corporation.

There are themes here of drug addiction, scientific experimentation, mind control, secret corporations, consumerism, and psychosis. There are certainly the seeds here of Crichton's later work but the whole story loosely hangs together.