The Andromeda Strain

I`m not exactly crazy for sci-fi literature, nor am I a fan of Michael Chricton. To be honest, I didn`t even know that he was some sort of a celebrity and had even written "Jurassic Park" and "Sphere". That doesn`t say that it makes him a brilliant writer. The biggest problem with science fiction quite often is the lack of depth in a book. You have to be truly great - like Bradberry or Vonnegut - to succed in this genre writing something trully outstanding. If you`re not - you can always have a good story but it won`t shake the world. "The Andromeda Strain" is a rather typical work of the genre. It does have some "bonus" points for adding diagrams and supposedly precise description of some technological equipment (one can`t deny that Chrichton did his best to convince the reader that this book is meant to be serious), yet his writing technique isn`t too bright. He ain`t no Azimov for sure. The andromeda strain is a deadly virus that has come to Earth from a space capsule and a group of scientists tries to find out how to fight against it. If I tried to find the ingredients of the Strain, I`d say that it owes some 50% to "War of the worlds" (in the original Wells incarnation, not the Tom Cruise film of course, which wasn`t a chef`d`oevre in the first place), then it has a component of typical Hollywood-ism including a time bomb that has to be dissactived in the last seconds, the closed environment of a laboratory with a group of scientists in it was later reused by Crichton himself in "Sphere", and it was also similar to "Evolution" in terms of the virus (ok, it`s a bacteria but I prefer calling it a virus) being capable to evolute rapidly in a nuclear explosion. A very forgettable book indeed.
2006-06-14
6.5
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