Review: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

The Andromeda Strain is a scientific thriller that is rooted in science while positing a terrifying “what if” scenario. First published in 1969, the book includes some scientific breakthroughs that we have not yet achieved, as well as some dated technology โ€“ the paper jam problem, the lack of mobile phones, for example.

The crux of the book is that humankind can be its own worst enemy. The danger comes from an organism brought back to earth from a downed space probe, but twice the actions recommend by the scientists (the major protagonists) almost bring about catastrophe. People’s hubris, biases, oversights, and flaws, are every bit as threatening to humanity as the immediate problems we face. Part of the problem in the novel could be that the scientists are indeed scientists and become focussed on details, where outsiders and artists would look at possibilities.

Told as if reporting on a true event, until this moment highly classified, Crichton’s thriller is still relevant today. His own background and detailed research combined with skilful story-telling, make this a science rich but accessible, enjoyable, and thought provoking read.

Buy from Amazon UK (affiliate link):
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton (1995) Paperback

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

  1. I like the way Crichton explores ideas sing intelligent science, shown from a very human perspective, but is happy to use action and excitement too. This is one of his I haven’t read though, I’ll have to check it out. Great review ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Since this review I finally got chance to watch the movie adaptation (1971), which was pretty good – they changed one of the characters to a female scientist to even out Crichton’s almost entirely male cast from the book, but otherwise stayed fairly true to the story.

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