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Sphere Paperback – Jun 23 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 658 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (June 23 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345418972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345418975
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 658 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,360,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Intriguing as always, exciting from the first page, strong for the first 2/3rds and less "editorializing" than usual, but it's just not as good as his higher concept novels. But it's still very enjoyable all the way through, and as always makes you think. It feels a little dated now, but I re-read it last week and enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Sphere should definitely be a part of any Crichton fan's library. Skip the movie, though. Here, the science is less "convincing" than in Jurrassic Park (which is mostly convincing, but stretched) and Prey (which is better writing and fun, but not convincing). But that doesn't matter, because Crichton can write an adventure like few others (as long as character isn't important--character's here take backseat to concept and science). Pace, as always is good. More a rollicking adventure than "something to think about" (typical of later novels) and quite enjoyable on that level. It's the kind of novel you'll tear through in a weekend at most. And that's a good thing.
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Format: Audio Cassette
As I wrote my Listmania best sci-fi list, I looked through my collection and found Sphere, and immediately wanted to review it. I have to say that while Michael Crichton has written some great (and not so great) novels, this one is my favorite. Admittedly I am slightly biased (with good reason, I think) because it has a special place in my thoughts above all of the other fiction I have read. This is the novel that really opened my eyes to reading. It was one of the first "grown up novels" that I ever read back in 7th grade, and ever since Sphere I have read insatiably. For me, no book had ever combined so many exciting scientific ideas with such burgeoning action, suspense, and artistry. As I read it now I still relive those feelings and have yet to find a novel that can top it.

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!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story consists of strange happenings near a sunken (1) spaceship (2) time machine (3) something else - non of which is ever explained. The characters are wooden, each spending his time trying to understand what is happening. Neither they nor the reader ever finds this out. In the last ten or so pages (which, the blurb says, will not allow the reader to put the book down) the three remaining characters, after having ascended to the surface, just decide to forget everything that happened to them. I wish I could.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. Norman Johnson, a psychologist, is called to inspect an "airplane" crash in the middle of the south pacific. Little does he know the airplane that he has been sent to inspect is not an airplane at all. It is a spacecraft. A spacecraft that has lain there for 300 hundred years. THe coral covered spacecraft has a secret that was never meant to be discovered, a sphere of "alien" origin. When the sphere never fails to intrigue the personnel of the "top secret" crash site, all hell breaks loose.
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!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sphere by Michael Crichton is one of the best books I've ever read, it's full of suspense action, and some of the best character interactions I've read. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who likes any other book my Crichton (Jurassic park, Andromeda Strain, Airframe, Congo etc.).
"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.
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