Ive been a big fan of Michael Crichton for years, since Andromeda Strain. I did not enjoy this book. Its as if he tried to explore every single possible ramification of genetic engineering. There are a dozen plots, none of them really well-developed, and only a few of them intersecting at the end to explain anything. The chapters are extremely short as he jumps from one subplot to another (is this a novel or a movie script hes writing?). The characters are underdeveloped, and there was not one character I cared about. Well, maybe I cared about Gerard. Crichton could have done so much with the subject, very disappointing.
This book was very interesting, to say the least, filled with ethical issues to think about! The story was engaging, thrilling, and even a bit funny at times, but I felt like I was left hangin' with regard to some of the characters. There were too many characters to keep up with, too many sub plots, and one mysterious french woman I never quite figured out. Gerard, the transgenic talking parrot, was awesome, but the whole Dave situation, humanzees, wow, a very frightening concept. I really liked the Author's Note at the end. I think I share his views on many of the ethical issues brought up in this book. I don't think genes should be patented either. It's too bad business and science cannot be kept separate.
This is a book taking current biological (transgenic) research to the Nth degree. It is a fascinating book from the conceptual point. The bibliography is just as impressive as the book. Anyone who wants to see where cloning and genetic manipulation could take us would be interested in the fictional account.
NEXt blends fact and fiction into a tale of a coming world where nothing is what it seems. It's what can happen, may happen and will happen if 'good people do nothing'. Challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality.
Describes frightening world of science turned into a business of playing with genes. Profiting off creating creatures not meant to be genetically combined such as humans and apes. Advertising on fish? Scary to think they already have created a cat that people are Not allergic too, and are now creating colored fish.
12 hours of audio book - gentic fantasty/sci fi - but not that far off what is happening in today's bio labs across the world. Michael Crichton, who died recently aged just 66, had a passion for science and research. He dedicated an enormous amount of time to studying scientific papers and journals, and then allowed his well-informed imagination to wonder what would happen to people and our plant when the next great discovery happened, and when human greed was factored in. A long book but worth sticking with it. Includes some sadness and humor, not just scary science. Stayed tuned for the interview with the author at the very end.
WOW--- loved it! Fact and fiction combined. Great moral dilemmas presented with "stories" mixed in with actual science. Crichton finished the book with an outline that would work great as fodder for a debate on the issues discussed. Recommend every person of science read it as well as anyone with interest in the morality of cloning, genetic manipulation,or animal research.
Genetic research is making headlines in one form or another almost every day. A cure for everything. But what happens when taken to extreme? Part fact, part fiction, part fantasy, this book will both engross and chill.
Not a typical Chrichton book. Very disjointed jumble of stories about various aspects of genetic research and its effects on industry, law and individual rights to privacy. This is a fascinating subject, and as a nurse I was excitied to get this book. I have enjoyed Chrichton's other books.
Interesting in a series of articles/blogs perhaps, but not in a novelized form.
He has tried to weave together a number of storylines, but it just doesn't work.
I listened to half of the tapes, then didn't care to hear the rest.
Is it possible this was published posthumously in an unfinished form?
I loved the idea of this book - what are the implications of the rapid-fire genetic discoveries that are currently happening? What will the future look like?
However, for about 2/3 of the sheer number of storylines made the book difficult to follow. It seemed like Crichton would think of something that could possibly be related to advances in genetics, and put it into the story. The book could have used a stronger editor.
Overall, though, I enjoyed it, and it made me think about the extremes that could happen in the near future
This is the first book that I have read from Mr. Crichton and I am hooked on his writings. I thought this book was excellent! I had to come back to my review to add that it has been over 6 mths since I have read this and I still think about this book.
It is not a scary book but definitely gets your heart pumping! A must read.
Very good. It's a little hard to get into because it keeps flopping back and forth like the tv series "Heroes" but wow once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. The comic relief was a talking bird. My kids made me read out loud each time I came to that section of the story.
As usual, Michael Crichton provides detailed information regarding the subject: Genetics. The information is believable and presented in a 'can't put it down' type of story. I loved it! Can the genome world really happen? Is it already in progress? Makes ya think. It was easy to immediately enjoy the storyline.
Although the book is fiction, it comes very close to real life and that is the scary part.
At first, I thought the book was going to have too many characters but they all fit into place.
I found the story very enjoyable and interesting. It can be read just for fun or you can follow the "gene therapy headlines" as you read.
I have been a fan of Michael Crichton ever since I can remember (Jurassic Park being one of the first "grown up" books I ever remember reading), so naturally I tackled his newest book with vigor. However, I had trouble getting through the first several pages, and ended up restarting the book about 4 times before finally finishing it, after which I was completely disappointed. The only positive thing that I can really say is that topic of genetic technology and its moral implications is, I suppose, timely, and, as always with Crichton, the research is very thorough. But the chapters are entirely too short to develop plot line (average 3-4 pages), and each chapter deals with a different character. Chrichton is usually a master at developing many characters and weaving their stories together in unexpected and amazing ways. However, in "Next," I found the sheer volume of characters overwhelming, and the constant switching between them highly off-putting. By the end of the book, I can honestly say there was not one single character I was emotionally invested in. This book was touted as a novel, but somehow ended up becoming Crichton's personal platform for correcting society's attitudes toward gene technology. If he wanted to write a nonfiction editorial on the effects of patenting genes, he should have done so and called it such. Attempting to add all the trappings of a novel made what could have been an interesting medical read into a muddled and disappointing mess. Sorry, Crichton fans. This is definitely one of his books that fails to get my endorsement. Don't waste your time.
This is not a great book like Congo or Jurassic Park. I thought that it would be cool since I worked with genetics in college to read a novel about it but it was disappointing. It is a fictional account of several stories involving genetics and genetic experiments. The story line are very far fetched and portray all geneticists as evil people who want to make clones. That is so not true but this fictional account gives a person who does not know how academic genetic research really is like and all the regulations that have to be followed before any project is approved and gets funding.
This book blends fact with fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn. Next shatters our assumtions and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.
Michael Crichton at his best writes an absorbing story. This book, while not his best ever, was a good story. While I did not agree with the premise, I did enjoy reading about the sleazy characters who do stupid things, either in the name of science or greed. The topic of the book was a series of intertwined threads dealing with combining human genes with animals: monkey, parrots, etc. Also, the taking of cells from an individual for profit.
Oddly enough, I work at a place that does genome research. Although I'm just an admin assoc., I found it VERY interesting especially since our head genomic researcher is relatively well-known in the scientific world.
I normally do not read books like this but my grandfather told me how much he enjoyed Michael Crichton's other books. So, I went out a got it and I could not put it down! Very cool read, you will enjoy this book!
Crichton is a master at combining cutting edge science with a fast-paced, character-driven story. Next depicts the possible real-life consequences that rapidly expanding genetics research might bring, and the difficulties that society and the legal system almost certainly will face in dealing with all the new possibilities. It raises questions and issues that should provoke all of us to become more informed patients and consumers.
While I enjoyed this book, it was difficult to follow the plot (I'm really not sure it even had a plot) and it seemed far-fetched that the characters came together at the end. I like that he dealt with this issue, and if you're interested in the issue (genetic manipulation) it's definitely worth a read... but if you're interested in Crichton for entertainment's sake, I would say just about any other novel of his that I've read (most of them) is better crafted.
I haven't read many good reviews of this book so I went into it with pretty low expectations, which I think helped. The biggest problem with this book is that it has no plot. Most chapters are only a few pages long and in most chapters new characters are introduced. There are a few recurring characters, but mostly we just get snippets. What we're looking at is what the world would be like if genetic engineering was successful and commonplace. What would happen if we could really put human genes into animals--could we create a cross between a human and a chimpanzee? Should we? What if we could modify the genes of wild animals so they would display logos for big companies--then those companies could "sponsor" animals and they'd be less likely to go extinct. If we could find the gene for drug addiction, could we fix it? Could we sue our parents for passing on to us defective genes? If your husband had a gene that predisposes him to infidelity, could he really be blamed for sleeping around? What if companies could patent genes? Would they then own the genes that we all carry in all of our cells? Would they have the right to retrieve those genes any time they want? This is just a book of what-ifs, no real plot, but I still found it to be somewhat entertaining. At the end I was annoyed by the author's note that repeats back the author's main points, in case you didn't get them in the story. If these sort of questions interest you, I'd recommend reading this, but if they don't, feel free to skip this.
This book made some interesting points about science and ethics in our society even if it was a bit paranoid and over-the-top. There was a jumble of characters each as wooden as the next. It was an entertaining enough story with some food for thought thrown in.
Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why a chimp fetus resembles a human being? And should that worry us? There's a new genetic cure for drug addiction--is it worse than the disease? We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps, a time when it's possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars and to test our spouses for genetic maladies.
We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes...
Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn.
Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and the bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect.
The future is closer than you think.
Strain" journeys into the realm of genetics: fast, furious and out of control. Provocative yet playful, dark and disturbing, "Next" is Crichton as he has never been seen before.
So enjoyed hearing about things that could be! Transmutations, gene patenting - really tweaks the brain while being a work of fiction! Brilliant read....from the author of Jurassic Park and ER!! Like Michael Crichton says....'this book is fiction - except for the parts that aren't!'