In an Arizona desert a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history opened to the present, the dead awakened to the living, these men and women will soon find themselves fighting for their very survival–six hundred years ago...
Let's set the scene...
This is a bit of a continuation from the last review (Swann's Way by Marcel Proust):
Lorelai: (giggles). (turns around to look at his books) Wow these are beautiful!. Hm, I never read Proust, I always wanted to. Every now and then, I'm seized with an overwhelming urge to say something like "As Marcel Proust would say.." but of course I have no idea what Marcel Proust would say so I don't even go there. I could do, uh, "As Micheal Crichton would say.." but it's not exactly the same, you know.
It was a bit of a disorienting move to go from Marcel Proust to Michael Crichton. I was ripped from the flowery, imagery-laden world of Swann's Way and was thrust into a modern day laboratory. It took me a second to get my bearings.
While the writing wont be awarded a Pulitzer any time soon (which was made even more painfully obvious given what I just finished reading), the concept of the story was fascinating. Although I am not science-minded in any way, shape or form... I tend to be drawn to stories about scientific innovations. The subject of quantum physics in relation to travel instantly had me riveted. And since I hadn't had the opportunity to read modern work for awhile, it felt like eating junk food----- tasty, no nutritional value and TOTALLY worth all those empty calories. Although his writing is not breaking any grounds in literature, he makes Robin Cook look like Shakespeare. Cook is another author who's books are more interesting for their scientific component than for their writing. However, unlike Cook, Crichton doesn't write like a third grader who hasn't quite gotten to that point in his education when he learns about the magical invention of the thesaurus. Sorry, I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about Robin Cook. This is probably not the last rant you'll hear about his "writing" (note the quotations)... so, fair warning!
Although Crichton wont land on my "favorite author of all time" list, the man has an amazing capacity to explain scientific concepts in a way that makes it accessible and interesting to the average (wo)man. He intersperses specific minutia along with a broader explanation of the function of the scientific concept in question and the potential of that discovery. I think I would be most interested to learn more about Michael Crichton's research methodology. [BW&R Note: this is the point in the writing of this post where I remembered that Crichton actually passed away in 2008. RIP Mike! The rest of you, because you all know the extent of my laziness- please to be changing all my present tenses in the past two paragraphs to past tense in your head. Kthx!] I would have been [BW&R Note: see what I did there?] fascinated to follow him as he acquired his information about quantum physics and the potential uses that have yet gone untapped!
Who do I see reading this in the Stars Hollow gazebo?