Book Review of The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain
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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.