Sphere Mass Market Paperback – Jul 12 1988
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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.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Crichton isn't known for his flowing prose or incredible dialogue, but what he does well (maybe the best) is he combines scientific themes with a very readable and engaging plot, and this creates incredibly appealing and imaginative novels. If Crichton is the best at this type of novel, Sphere is Crichton's best at doing what he does best! The science makes it compelling, and the story line is absolutely engulfing. What sets Sphere a part from other novels though is its excellent plot twists. Until the end, questions such as "what is the alien?", "how will the characters deal with it and each other?" leave the reader frantically flipping through the pages. These will get answered by an outstanding plot twist which never disappoints. In contrast to many novels that contain plot twists but ultimately fail to satisfyingly wrap up the story, Sphere delivers. I would impel anyone who wants to read any science fiction, or wants to read some Crichton: start with Sphere, you won't be disappointed!
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!
"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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The story consists of strange happenings near a sunken (1) spaceship (2) time machine (3) something else - non of which is ever explained. Read morePublished on June 22 2014 by Alexander McD.
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 on Nov. 25 2013 by Kyle Miller
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 morePublished on Aug. 13 2007 by Kelly Brianna
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 morePublished on Sept. 25 2006 by Edgar
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 morePublished on June 16 2004
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
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 morePublished on June 6 2004 by Scott W.
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 morePublished on May 28 2004 by J. Naft