Friday, March 23, 2012
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
The Author of The Andromeda Strain, Michael Crichton, is the writer of renowned stories such as Jurassic Park and The Sphere, and he does yet another incredible job here. This book starts out in the small town of Piedmont, Arizona, where one of the government’s Scoop satellites has crashed back to Earth. Mere hours after it was discovered by the town’s 50 residents, nearly every person had died. Some became insane, some committed suicide, and some just dropped dead on the spot. As a secret team of scientists arrives to try and uncover the mystery, they realize that their decade-long fear has been realized: The satellite contained foreign bacteria from outer space that could threaten all life on Earth. It is a race against time to examine and diagnose the deadly bacteria before it spreads, or even worse, mutates. With the nation and possibly the world in jeopardy, only four scientists stand in the way of the bacteria destroying all life.
This book is not a typical novel, and it is written more like a scientific journal. Every time a new theory or idea is brought up by any of the characters, a chapter is written about the significance and origin of the idea. I personally enjoyed this aspect of the book, and it considerably helped me understand what the scientists were thinking, especially since it was written from their point of view. The characters were developed quite nicely, and it was very clear what their purpose was on the team and what they brought to the table.
The Andromeda Strain is not for everyone, and especially for those who dread science and biology. However, for those who may love science or are willing to learn a bit more, this book would be an excellent choice. Although the book was written in the 1960’s and the technology was a bit outdated, the reader could easily follow the science behind the scientists’ theories. Overall, this book is one-of-a-kind, and it is a must-read for any science-lover out there. - Kosta L., class of 2012