Sunday, December 16, 2007

Vacation Read #2

After WHO IN HELL IS WANDA FUCA?, our second favorite read of the week was NEXT, by Michael Crichton.

There's an orangutan on the cover of NEXT for a good reason. Dave--monkeyboy, the mean kids call him--is the best character in the book, the only one I was rooting for. Well, Dave and the multi-lingual grey parrot, Gerard, who has big-time brains and funny lines, and doesn't know why he gets sick when someone offers him cooked chicken.

Ok, it's true. Mr. C writes basically the same story almost every time out. Science is killing us. Westworld. Jurrasic Park. The Andromeda Strain. Next. But, boy, are they fun.

Westworld, one of my early introductions to Mr. C's marvelous imagination and skill in taking me for a ride, I think is a classic Sci-fi novel.

NEXT isn't one of his best in this Man vs. Technology series. The research plays too prominent a role in the prose. But the story is fascinating, because you learn how much of what we think we know about DNA and genes is superficial crap fed to us, and how little and meek are the safeguards that protect us from what Mr. C imagines.

Someday, this stuff is probably going to happen, and bounty-hunters legally running down the grandchildren of a gene-donor so they can punch a hole in the kid's liver...human genes bred into all sorts of living things...well, it's pretty frightening stuff.

Best, Mike engineers a nifty wrap-up including my favorites, loyal Dave and fast-talking Gerard.


Diane said...

I agree with your review of Next - not one of Crichton's best, but still thought provoking and a bit scary. Also, loved Dave and Gerard!

Austin Carr said...

Gerard talking in song lyrics and realistically imitating all those household noises made him very real, so clever and funny.