Before I give you a review of Michael Crichton’s newest thriller State of Fear I want to state a few disclaimers. I always feel it is best to know where someone is coming from so you get the whole story.
1. I am somewhat skeptical of global warming. Like too many trends that Americans jump on the bandwagon with, I believe that the jury is still out.
2. I’ve read every single Crichton novel, and am very familiar with this writings and depth of research.
That having been said, I can now go forward with the rest of the show. Warnings. Slight spoilers ahead. If you wish to go into the book with an absolute clean slate, don’t read my review. Or any review for that matter.
The novel State of Fear tells the story of eco-terrorists who, so desirous to have global warming be fact, that they will resort to manipulating weather patterns to get their point across.
There are the usual suspects. The protagonist who is skeptical, and thrown into unlikely situations. The beautiful and smart female lead, a bunch of bad guys, and exotic destinations.
The book is almost a veiled insult at many celebrities and typical liberal types. There is the ultra-rich activist billionaire, an out of touch actor who plays the President on television, and an activist group with ulterior motives. If you are somewhat familiar with pop culture you can ascertain that he might be talking about George Soros, Martin Sheen, and Greenpeace.
The story moves fast and keeps you interested in the plot. The characters, though somewhat clichéd, are likeable enough to keep you concerned for their well-being. Though the dialogue seems contrived in spots, with preachy moments reminiscent of a poorly written plot for an infomercial.
Much of the data Crichton uses backs up his belief that the global warming hysteria is just that, hysteria. At the end of the book he has two essays describing his belief on global warming and pseudo-science in general. They are somewhat interesting. For someone who studied history they show a good correlation between other ‘fads’ previously touted as science.
In general this book would be a good vacation read. It’s not intellectual fertilizer, but will keep you interested enough on a long plane flight or a nice day at the beach to keep you turning pages. There are enough questions raised to perhaps make you at least question some things you hear in the media without blindly accepting it as truth.
In the end, shouldn’t we at least question all things we see or are taught as rock hard science?
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