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!
Synop: It starts out with a collection of people (4) who have mastered their fields of Physics, Math, Biology, and Psychology. They were recruited by the Navy to investigate an underwater vessel which is one mile in length and over 300 years old. What they find on the ship boggles their mind in engages them in an intellectual journey in understanding the human mind. In there struggle to understand the incomprehensible, they slip closer and closer into insanity as the pyschologist keeps everyone together.
Once you start reading this book you won't be able to put it down. You will be engulfed in a new world while your world fades away as you continue reading. Its thrilling, mind-boggling, and titilating to any avid reader with an active imagination. The ending is the best part of the whole book. The last 10 pages are exactly what they should be.
Unfortunately, the movie couldn't capture thr real suspense of the novel. The point of this book is to take your mind on an adventure, which will be different for everyone. A movie simply cannot capture the film being rolled in your head.
One of the best things about this book is the readability of the book. I could read this book about 10 more times and I still would enjoy it on many levels as I did the first time reading the book. You will also catch small details which are critical in understanding whats going on, so re-reading the book several times is a must. (Trust me, you'll enjoy it!).
Final thought: There is a reason why its New York Times bestseller with over four million copies sold.
The plots of all three stories follow the same basic plan, with more than coincidental similarities between the characters of each, though in Crichton's novel the secondary explorers come upon the primary discoverers of the "power" after they have all killed themselves with it. The characters experience,in the body of each story, a discovery phase in which they come to realize that they have absorbed the power and that their own conscious (Shakespeare) and unconscious (Forbidden Planet screenplay and Crichton) lusts and dreads are wreaking havoc by "materializing," "manifesting," themselves through the power. (Shakespeare didn't have the benefit of Freud so he was limited to exposing the unintended consequences unleashed by Prospero's conscious use of the magic he discovered on a distant island.)
All three stories end with the survivors judging man too immature for the power they have experienced. Each set of survivors decides to deny the rest of us access to this power and commits the appropriate destructive act at the end.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.
This book doesn't fail to deliver the thrilling suspense that you would expect from a Crichton. This winding tail of suspense and mystery keeps you guessing until the finale. Read morePublished on June 2 2004 by Cuyler Stapelmann
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