The Andromeda Strain Author:Michael Crichton The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. — Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outerfringes of space to "collect organisms and... more » dust for study." One of them falls to earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona.
Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont,a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town's inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks.« less
I've never been one for the Sci-Fi or science type stuff but I had to read this for a class in college and WOW!.. I had to keep checking and double checking because it was so good I thought it was a true story. All the extra documentation and "printouts" were an added bonus that helped with the believabilty. If you read only one Sci-Fi book, make it this one. (It's *much* better than the movie which I had to watch for the same class.)
Andromeda Strain is classic, really on the same level as Jurassic Park (yes, I know the movie JP was much better than the movie of this, but the books are equally great!).
Highly recommended, you won't regret the time spent reading it.
Saw this movie when I was a kid and the book is great. The techincal stuff adds to the realism without killing the story. Those interested can pour over it, those not can skip over and not lose their way. Great suspense and style. A good start for those getting into Crichton.
It was probably cutting edge technology when it was first released in 1969 - heck, it was probably quite futuristic in many ways considering the first PCs didn't appear on the market until the 80's. He goes into a remarkable amount of technical detail which is pretty interesting and some of the speculative theories concerning alien life forms were new to me. All in all it is still a pretty good page turner.
I read this book because I saw it listed on SurvivalBlog's suggested reading. It gives you an idea of how a biological threat would be handled by the government.
It is written as an "expose" of the government's handling of an extraterrestrial bacteria that has returned to earth with a satellite and is causing bizarre deaths. Sort of anticlimactic at the end, in my opinion, but very enjoyable read.
And my streak of reviewing thrillers continues with the second epidemiological thriller in a row! The Andromeda Strain is another reread. I picked it up because (a) I had the book sitting on the shelf doing nothing, and (b) I had already reread Carriers so I figured, "Why not?"
It is the story of a bunch of scientists doing their scientific thing in trying to find the cure to a plague that originates in outer space. Well, not really foreign outer space so much as simply really, really, really high up in Earth's atmosphere outer space. As it so happens, we do have such archaebacteria that can live in these totally inhospitable environments on Earth, so the premise isn't that far fetched. Yes, I know the culprit in this case is a virus and not a bacterium, but still ...
This novel is chock full of government (in)efficiencies, (pseudo?)epidemiological jargon, computer read outs, and time pressure to cause the suspense. The climax and problem that beset the novel aren't what originally appear to be the case. Many reviewers are incredibly upset that the initial problem resolves itself, while completely missing the point that the race-against-time to save the lab from certain destruction is the actual climax.
This novel reminded me a lot of Mount Dragon , or perhaps Mount Dragon reminded me a lot of The Andromeda Strain as they both greatly detail the procedures in place to keep the contagion from spreading out of the lab and becoming an epidemic, and in both cases and explosive is the ultimate failsafe.