Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Michael Crichton Is A Hack

I read Next, a Michael Crichton book I actually asked for around Christmas time.

I don't know what had come over me; spontaneous loss of reason, forgetfulness, or maybe just plain ignorance. I'll have to let DH know that if, for some reason, "Michael Crichton" , "purchase", or "read" ever flow from my lips in the same sentence to seek psychiatric help for me.


I read hundreds of pages and was subjected to flat, one-dimensional characters, gratuitous sexual references that included pedophilia, extra-marital affairs, frigid women and generally base behavior that really had absolutely zero to do with the advancement of plot. Numerous story lines and subplots were used to try and illustrate Crichton's points, but several were left as loose strings never to be sewn up.

I should thank him. Tying them all up would have meant I had to read more.

I should have stopped reading after the first 100 pages, but I have this bad habit of hoping a book will get better when it gets off to a shaky start. You'd think that, by now, I would have learned that such hopes are seldom fulfilled.

Pulp fiction has its place. Not every story must be profound and life-changing, but it should at least have some semblance of depth to the character to be more than a cheap book you read on vacation and completely forget two weeks later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

haha, yeah i just read crichton's 'state of fear,' where he pretty much flatly denies that global warming exists. His writing was just rife with cheesy action flick clich�s, like he was watching the die hard trilogy while writing and thought he would just insert some of the hackneyed plot devices every time he got writers block. And you gotta wonder where he, as an english program college dropout, gets the gall to challenge the integrity of the qualified underpaid scientists on the ipcc.