- Excellent Product
The book was in excellent condition and was received in a very timely manner after the order. Thanks ...more info
- Lecture on the other side of global warming debate, lightly veiled as novel.
Good read b/c it shows the little promoted, "other" side of global warming debate. I found the statistics & research interesting & compelling, but now take both the "pro" & "con" sides of this issue w/a heavy grain of salt. W/both sides being so vehement about their stances, the wisest approach is to educate oneself & weigh the sea of facts & statistics repeatedly (much like the story's characters suggest at the end of the story). As a novel, it was very light. Engaging, no. Informative, very. Far from Crichton's best work. Worth reading if for no other reason than to open your mind to the lesser promoted side of global warming....more info
- State of Fear reviewed
Do you recall the hype of all that made you nervous like El Nino, Anthrax, Bird Flu and Y2K? Read this book and it can explain the latest wave of created fear, Global warming? I have not been a big believer in this "theory" This book explains why better then any one persons opinion, if you have doubts then read the book and take it for what it's worth, nothing will change if you don't, you'll just have a better insight of what we have been exposed to.
Very well researched and written books with good data but read and decide for yourself.
- Vivid, thought-provoking novel
This novel, from the creator of Jurassic Park and ER, tells the story of a struggle against terrorism. It has a swift succession of dramatic scenes across the world and lots of action. It would make a great film - let's hope that it gets made.
The villains are eco-terrorists, who try to create disasters - floods, tsunamis - to publicise their cause. His characters talk a great deal about global warming and its effects. Crichton cites many authorities to back their arguments. These include the International Panel on Climate Change, which admitted in its 2001 report, "In climate research and modelling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."
His characters also point out that there is no obvious common global trend of increasing glacier melt in recent years, that El Ninos cause longer growing seasons and reduce the use of winter heating oil, that the Kyoto agreement would cut world temperature by just 0.02 degrees Celsius by 2050, and that energy sources that can support the present levels of world power consumption, without greenhouse emissions, do not exist.
They note that between 1940 and 1970 the overall global temperature fell, although CO2 levels had risen. Similarly, it has not risen since 2000, although CO2 levels have kept rising. Over the long run, the best data, from the USA, show a rise of just a third of a degree Celsius from 1880 to 2000.
Crichton observes out that in late 1989, at the end of the Cold War, the media hyped up climate change stories - all became `crises' and `catastrophe'. This was part of a ruling class strategy to control us through fear.
- Excellent blend of fact and fiction
This is an excellent book by an excellent author. An exciting story blended with one of today's most talked about topics (global warmning) makes for great reading. The fact that the author questions some "common knowledge" regarding global warming makes the book all the more interesting....more info
- Not smooth...
This book's got its story all over the place! It switches setting like every chapter. I don't like this. Gets confusing and sometimes I don't get what's going on....more info
- Rabid Environmentalists Need Not Read!
Michael Crichton has hit another home run with State of Fear. Fiction, woven of fact, in my opinion, is the best reading available, and that is just how the book was written. Regardless of some of the negative opinions I have read in other reviews, I found the story to be enjoyable, and hard to put down. Becoming more aware of some of the more radical environmental schemes was just the icing on the cake for me. I can easily recommend this book to anyone with an open mind. I am recommending it to my friends....more info
- Very Engaging Read
"State of Fear" is a book which grabs the reader from the start, never letting go until the last page is turned. Crichton weaves factual information around a fictional story very skillfully in creating an environmentally-oriented mystery novel. The plot keeps you guessing from the beginning as to who really are the good guys and who are the nefarious ones. In the end, I do not feel that Crichton was trying to convince anyone whether or not human-caused global warming is really happening. I believe his intent is to convey to the reader enough counter-evidence and contradiction to at least initiate some critical thinking on the matter. The issue has become entirely political and many people are profiting immensely from the cause. In this sense, "State of Fear" is merely attempting to balance out the conventional wisdom of the day. The book does have its drawbacks. It does fall into techno-babble on a few occasions and the main characters could have been fleshed out a little more. Also, the romantic relationship between the characters, which was teased as heading somewhere, is left completely unfinished when the book ends. It is as if Crichton got so caught up in the global warming theme that he forgot to finish out what he started with the characters themselves. These are minor issues, though. This is a very entertaining book from start to finish, even if it doesn't solve the global warming debate once and for all....more info
- Good Book.
Though the politics of this book are a little wierd and the data is slanted, it is a good story....more info
- Great Book about the dangers of using "science" in service of propaganda
It's startling to realize how easy most people just accept what the media and politicians push on them for their own purposes of control through taxation for cronies, moral suasion and outright lies. We have this in many forms but the most prominent nowadays is global warming. I have a natural aversion to the GW/enviros simply because I've always had the instinct that it's only self-hatred in a larger form: species hatred. Get rid of man and the enviros would love it.
Crichton mentions as well that the supposedly objective scientific journals all overstep their roles in overtly supporting GW. This is basically for more funding from the likes of Soros and other lefty's and this is also why so many working scientists allow their research and their opinions be biased: grants and other funding. He mentions that retired professors are usually the most honest simply because they no longer have to chase the money.
This is not about the Earth's health, the Earth has been through MUCH worse than a 2 degree warming in it's history, this is about animals, primarily about mankind, as plants NEED CO2 to live and thrive. We are all polluters simply because we exhale CO2 and that is a crime against nature to the lefty lunatics.
Ever notice that the hard "science" always changes with the POLITICAL winds? I think many forget to mention Crichton's two essays at the end of this thriller fully laying out his position, which acknowledges that there is probably global warming happening but that it is vastly a natural variation with mostly minor contributions by mankind's industry. Crichton mentions wryly that the people in 2100 will be just fine without our help.
Crichton's major point is that we know very little about many things, and the weather is one of those things and to project for 100+ years on the data we have and then make policy decisions about it is not rational and points to manipulation for power, ever notice that Al Gore is such a star simply because he is an ideologue for GW? Regulating everyone elses life seems to be the goal of lefty lunatics in San Francisco, Manhattan and Hollywood, lawyers and the Obama media are their way of achieving it: it's working sadly.
Wow we now have a superstar American Idol in the White House with unions, trial lawyers, enviros, hollywood and the media all on board and waiting for their payback in service of their hero. Let's see unionized industries like air, cars, shipping, teaching and others are doing so well as far as performance, at least as a meal ticket for their voting drones. Let's see lawyers ALWAYS do well and the 1984 doublespeak we get from the administration is typical lawyer talk. Now I'm sure that the drones out there will argue in favor of their beloved Barack, a single term congressman from the clean as a whistle Chicago political machine that also produced Blago, but what else is there other than his skin color, catchy name, Harvard Law degree, anti-American pastor and cool factor? We see a vacuous mirror that wants "fairness" in all things, even nature and is willing to bully anyone with his legions of drones to get it as we see everyday.
Also Crichton's second essay about the Eugenics movement that was supported by many intellectuals, scientists and politicians in America and then in Germany in the early 20th century is prescient and is a fore runner to the GW propagandists of now. Of course after WW2 no one supposedly ever supported it or even knew what eugenics was, conveniently. This essay is called "Why Politicized Science is Dangerous" and should be required reading in school.
As an engineer myself I understand that we have only very limited abilities to predict the future and I don't believe any politician or anyone else should be able to make sweeping policy on current data that runs more than a single presidents possible terms, 8 years should be the max prediction time that can be manipulated for political purposes. GW abatement does not work if only selected countries do it, so abatement is just hurting those who do it and not really helping anyone other than politicians, ideologues and others in service of a system of power.
It is no surprise that it gets a negative rating from those wizards in the NYT and other lefty news media, it interferes with their agenda. How does a paper smear John MCcain during the presidential race with a false story about an affair yet miss the lovely John Edwards affair? Oh, conveniently one is not in the correct political party for the New York Times. In fact no left wing media even noticed it, it took a tabloid to actually get the story, makes you wonder what else the left wing media miss about even our Dear Leader Barack and his lieutenants....more info
- An Exciting Thriller Based In Controversy
THE STATE OF FEAR, by the impeccable Michael Crichton, is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller based in the world of environmental science and the very controversial subject of global warming. This is a thought-provoking work of fiction that makes you question what you "know," as well as why and how you know it. IMHO, any good book or movie will entertain, make you think, and teach you something. THE STATE OF FEAR does all three.
THE STATE OF FEAR posits whether or not global warming is real. It shows us how scientists and data can be manipulated by governments and environmental groups to make the world believe something that may not be true. It examines the length to which radical organizations may go to make the world believe what they want us to believe. And it does all of this in an absorbing, gripping, spellbinding page turner that keeps the reader on the edge of his seat. The wily twists and turns keep you in suspense and the plot rocketing along until the very last page.
The only flaw I find in this book is the beginning, about the first 100 pages or so. So much fragmented back story, so many characters, so many facts are being thrown at the reader that the book is very hard to follow and get into. I have to admit that I almost stopped reading, but I am so glad that I did not. This book will make you question everything, and perhaps we don't do enough of that. Is global warming real? Are we, the public, being manipulated with out knowing it? I'll leave it to each reader to decide for himself......more info
- A good read. Inspires critical thinking, based on real science and politics
If you want to learn about how Global Warming Science is being manipulated by Al Gore and others to serve political interests, there are several good books out ("Climate of Extremes" and "Blue Planet in Green Shackles" for two). But Global Warming science is complex and the politics and tactics are, well, squalid. In the real world, FEAR and disinformation are being used skillfully to generate confusion and suppress critical thinking. As Crichton said once in a lecture, "The Information Age might better be called the Disinformation Age."
Al Gore's Global Warming politics are tedious and contentious to the point where the large human issues that matter - freedom and economic prosperity - get lost in a gray fog of techno babble and over-the-top sound-bites, all warning of an imminent planet-wide apocalypse. This con ("Give us your firstborn -- only we can save you.") is as old as pagan priests, but it's well executed and comes wrapped in an impermeable cloak of esoteric science. The public confuses Global Warming with pollution, but the two issues are entirely different.
The intensity and shrill political rhetoric surrounding Global Warming today makes the fascinating earth-science of climate unpleasant and imposes the overtones of a cult. It takes the fear of industrialization to dark depths beyond what most (even those with scientific degrees) can comprehend. Enormous global taxes (Trillions of dollars, literally) are in the process of being justified to solve a "problem" that may not exist; one that humans have little if any ability to impact. Yuck.
Alternately, you can read this novel, be entertained, have fun, and learn as much or more than what you'll get from media sound bites and headlines. (Mark Twain said, "Those who don't read newspapers are uninformed. Those who do are misinformed.")
This book is a timely, fun read, and Crichton, as usual, handles the background science, economics, and politics extremely well. The issues and stakes are real. The novel is well crafted and entertaining. It would make a GREAT movie, I think....more info
State of Fear by Crichton was a disappointment in terms of story telling. This author stands alone when it comes to weaving a great yarn around science. His novels have kept me entertained and enlightened for years but this one falls short. If you are interested in learning more about global climate change and not just opinion based on anectodal evidence then I recommend it, however if you want an exciting well crafted thriller along the lines of The Andromeda Strain you might be disappointed too.
Marvin Wiebener, author of The Margin, a novel about a modern day treasure discovery and the consequences that befall the discoverer....more info
- A voice of reason in the madness of modern "environmentalism"
Overall: State of Fear by Michael Crichton is a well executed cautionary tale based in the modern world. The cautionary tale is about allowing fear to rule one's life thanks to modern media's biases and need for fear to get anyone to pay attention them (See The Boy Who Cried Wolf one to many times) and about the "popular wisdom" of how global warming is a fact. A main point of the story is to point out that the world is a constantly changing and evolving extremely complex system; it is folly to assume that mankind can properly and completely understand it especially given the shoddy state of environmental research being done.
The story is a bit far fetched and the characters on the weak side. However, the points being made are valid and well balanced. Crichton leaves it up to the reader to determine their point of view on the questions; the extensive biography is a fantastic addition as a source for information on the research done to date.
Crichton's makes a very interesting point of showing the similarities of the eugenics movement (popular wisdom) of the 20th century and the global warming movement of the 21st century. The point is to be cautious, do solid science, determine proper cause and effect and do not get cowed by "popular wisdom" which is perpetrated by the media and not based on actual facts. It is important to always go back to the first source of information and not derivative sources that are manipulated either on purpose or do to selection bias of the source.
Characters: The characters are not very interesting and fairly 2-dimensional. It does not make sense for the hapless lawyer, Evans, to be dragged through some very perilous events especially after having been nearly killed by the use of a small, highly poisonous octopus (creative and a nice tie in to extremist environmentalists). The women in the story are cliched movie star types -- fabulously beautiful, very athletic, very smart and can do pretty much anything very well. The character's personalities does not get developed which hurts the narrative and tenseness of story.
Plot: The plot is interesting but fairly straight forward as a thriller goes...typical screenplay type plot. The bad guys are quickly revealed which is unfortunate. However, the means of creating the potential environmental disasters are quite imaginative and some interesting technology involved. The facelessness of the villians is part of the reason for the blandness of plot -- does not help build up tension as well as having a nemesis in the story.
Logic / Backstory: This is the clearly the strongest part of the book. There is quite a bit of temperature data in the story and some good logical discussion on global warming / climate change. The issue of not using double blind research is clearly called out and pointed out why it is important. The biography is very well done and extensive. I would have liked to have had a bit more discussion on the effects of land use / urbanization on increasing localized temperatures in a city. Also, it did not mention anything about the increase solar output of the sun which has a much larger effect on the earth's temperature than anything humans could possible do.
The logic is well thought out and given in pieces for the reader to determine what works for them.
Action: The action is typical Crichton style action. There is not much new or different here. The amount of danger that some of the characters get into considering their complete lack of background is silly and annoying; the characters are clearly just along for the ride. It would have been better to just leave those characters out the scenes at the end.
Prose: The quality and style of writing is on par with modern screenplays. It is not great but not bad. The dialog is fairly straight-forward except for a few points going over technical data that is not easily worked into the format of an action novel. I think Crichton's extensive research is clear in the content but it seems to have left him a bit low on the creativity side when it came time to write the book.
Overall: 4 stars
Characters: 2 stars
Plot: 3 stars
Logic/backstory: 5 stars
Action: 3 stars
Prose: 3 stars...more info
started out pretty good,had great potential if not for that environmental teacher on every page.what i am saying, more story ,less envirofact , woiuld have made a bad book alot better....more info
- A good read. Entertaining, though somewhat contrived.
Unlike many of the reviewers here who review Crichton's book on the basis of the message about global warming, I will try to review his book, not the science or politics.
I have read many of the late author's books, and enjoy his light, yet informing methods weaving science into interesting stories about things like disease, airplanes, DNA manipulation (Jurassic Park) and the like.
It doesn't seem out of place to see Crichton write a book about a subject like global warming. In fact, many of his books take popular science (if you will) and weaves factual information into an interesting plot, if light. His stories (did - what a drag that is) always have lightly drawn characters serve the plot, not the other way around
Here it is no different. The standard for a book like this should be does it hold my attention to read through almost 600 pages (yes, 600 pages)? The answer is an unqualified YES. The book starts in with a good plot and keeps building until the end of the book. It holds your attention.
Many critics of this book seemed more concerned with the message of the book - surprise - Crichton brings a skeptical view to the idea of man-made global warming. However, Airframe punctured the idea of airplane disasters and the media. Jurassic Park discussed the triumph of science without ethics. Crichton tends to pierce prevailing attitudes about popular scientific beliefs. The reaction to this book raising some important points about global warming causing so many negative reviews is in itself ironic because this is the point of this book!
Anyway, I found the book interesting and perhaps the first novel I have read with footnotes.
The story itself moves along with characters that are not well developed, but serviceable. Some the plot does seem contrived to further the story, BUT, the story still moves along with crackle and and pace. This is not Tolstoy, and I do not know who would expect (from a Crichton novel) such plot development. However, I went through 600 pages in two days sitting on a beach - it meets my test to be sure.
A light but interesting read. If a light, entertaining novel makes you think as well - what else can you ask for?
To think Crichton has passed is sad. He was a great writer, and we will not have another chance to read more of his books.
Worth a few days of your time.
- Important work!
Important work! Whether Michael is ultimately proven right or wrong is not the important thing here.
The important thing is to remind ourself that: lest we lose sight, science is knowledge acquired from empirical and repeatable observation. Due to the complexity of climate as a phenomenon, climate science as we currently know it is not "science" per se.
That doesn't mean climate science is not important. I am all for going green even if there is no immediate need to go green.
But we should understand that in pseudo sciences like climatology, the possibility of a whole field being hijacked by politically motivated paradigms are even greater than more traditional sciences....more info
- Great Read, Excellent Facts, Environmentalists threatened his life over this book
This is a great book. It is a good read and unveils the hoax of Global Warming and the religion it has become. Crichton does an excellent job and keeps you interested all the way through. The facts he uses are well researched and will make you wonder what Al Gore and his friends are really up to.
If you like good fiction, based on real facts, and want a great read then get this book. You are in for a treat!...more info
- Reads like a religious tract
I don't have a problem with bad science in fiction, or the author's point of view. But, it's presented in a totally ham-fisted manner here. The book begins with extensive descriptions of environmentalists as evil and/or ignorant. So, I figure Crichton's weaving a plot twist, and it will turn out the environmentalists are being framed. But no, they're lying, evil, murderous scum from the beginning to the end. No twist.
And, he inserts several lengthy lectures as to how fighting pollution is more dangerous than allowing it unchecked. And the wonders of DDT and benzene. And how academia is corrupt while industry scientists are noble and pure. And how anyone who understands the issues comes around to the pro-industry view. And how mainstream environmentalists funnel millions of dollars to terrorists.
Again, I had no expectation that the author of Jurassic Park would make it scientifically accurate. I was expecting fiction. But, the shrill anti-environmentalism makes it advocacy, not entertainment.
===== Update ======
Today I read his comments at the end. In it, he claims that government scientists usually repeat the positions of the government that funds them. Coincidentally, this story is on the front page of today's Washington Post:
"Members of Vice President Cheney's staff censored congressional testimony by a top federal official on the health threats posed by global warming, a former Environmental Protection Agency official said today."
So, rather than repeating the party line, government scientists have instead risked their careers to tell the truth, namely that global warming is a real threat....more info
- Entertaining Educational
Because of my interest in the topic (the "world" of Anthropogenic Global Warming), I devoured the novel in two sittings. However, as a stand alone story outside of the real-world implications, the novel is good (not great).
As a "green leaning" citizen who has studied AGW in depth, created my own climate models (an Engineering Scientist), and so forth -- I found "State of Fear" scientifically credible (with a fantasy twist here and there to make a story). I think Crichton's fantasy AGW conspiracy captures the real-life conspiracy's ideology, concerns, psychologically-based public relations techniques, public denigration of critics, and lack of fully-credible scientific evidence.
A good read -- if one wants to get a feel for the politics of AGW while being entertained by a fantasy story....more info
- Nothing to Fear
State of Fear does an excellent job of explaining the methodology of the "fear-mongers." While it is primarily about the convoluted and unscientific fraud that is global warming (climate change), it also should be a wake-up call for all of us to think for ourselves and not let the presentation of every life challenge as something to fear. Whether it's your local TV newscast, the network news, or the Associated Press, which controls most of the content in America's newspapers, we are told we should fear everything from germs, to bird flu, to bad food, and cower and wait for help from someone. The business of fear is big business indeed. The goal is to keep us in a constant state of agitation awaiting the helping hand of some government wonk. As H.L.Mencken said, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." ...more info
The only reason I finished listening to it was because I was driving across Massachusetts and needed something to listen to.
The character of Kenner was one of the most unlikable protagonists ever presented in fiction...a arrogand know it all.
Why don't the bad guys just use guns instead of poisoning people with miniture octupuses...wayyyy to elaborate?
What do Tsunamis and earthquakes have to do with global warming?
The fate of Ted Bradly was just TOO vicious and the characters didn't evem show any remorse of sympathy.
What's the deal with Jen...is she a secret agent posing as a lawyer?
Why are so many loose ends left up in the air.
And the worse offense of all...it was just deadly DULL with all the repetative lecuturing whether you belive in global warming or not.
I had the abridged audio...I CANNOT imagine how boring the unabridged would be.
It doesn't seem this could be the same author of JURASSIC PARK....more info
- A Fast-Paced and Deep Read
State of Fear can be read on many different levels. In part, it's an edge-of-your-seat thriller with Evans - the main character - as a kind of everyman thrown into the mist of an international crisis.
Crichton slows the action at various points to effectively challenge many common conceptions about global warming and the environment in general. The peninsula of Antarctica is melting but the interior is cooling. Increasing temperatures in cities can be attributed to increased industrialization or urbanization. An upward trend in the number of hurricanes can not be statistically shown. Little is known about forest preservation and efforts at preservation at Yellowstone have had the opposite result.
Crichton goes beyond the issue of the environment to address two key issues. One is the media and establishment manipulation of the public through the creation of an ongoing crisis (or state of fear) of one kind or the other. Crichton also confronts the enduring myth of the noble savage - the idea that man removed from industrialized society is in a natural state of innocence from which goodwill and generosity will flow. Quite the contrary, our natural state is one of depravity and lawlessness, as Crichton shows. What Crichton does not suggest is that the ultimate remedy for our depraved state is spiritual (not technological) transformation. Or to paraphrase Pascal: our corrupt nature can only be redeemed in Christ.
Overall, State of Fear is both a fast-paced read and a deep and challenging look at issues of enduring significance. It encourages the reader to want to learn and read more about the issues discussed in the book.
- Middle of the road.
Like most of the author's most recent work this book is not exactly good and its not exactly bad it suffers from the same problems that dogged "Prey"
Crappy characters that was so unlikable that you don't care if they live or die
A vast threat that looms on the edge of the narration for the entire book and when it finally arrives your reaction can be summed up in two words "That's it?"
Overall-While parts of the book work fine as a social criticism the central theme being that we don't yet know enough about climate change to make an informed decision this book is not without merit. As a medium designed to tell a story and entertain people this book falls flat. Success has been good for Michael Crichton I wish I could say the same for his readers.
- Technically accurate - debunks man-made global warming
Crichton was great at word pictures. In an entertaining, action-packed way the story shows clearly the lunacy of the environmentalist religion called "Global Warming." Incredibly well researched. Read it! ...more info
- Coco the clowns guide to climate change
Hmm, I feel like an interrogator pulling on my thin leather gloves wondering which part of a particularly corpulent and repulsive individual to punch first.
Ok, as a scientific effort into repudiating climate change, this book makes the dinosaur cloning in Jurassic Park look believable.
This book provides a charter for all of those out there who want a "get out of jail free card" to wave so they can continue to lead lifestyles that feature conspicuous consumption and a lack of personal and moral accountability, with respect to our poor planet and the less fortunate individuals that inhabit the "poor bits", the "hot bits", the "not very nice bits" and the "prone to war and famine bits".
The science is selective and poor, and flies in the face of actual experts in the field (myself being one of them). The worrying thing is that people actually believe this stuff, and when I read he was asked to address Congressional Committees I was flabbergasted. I can only presume they were committees that were looking into cloning a mega-army of semi-intelligent dinosaurs, who ironically would probably be too intelligent to read this book.
Phew, thats better, and if this review gets published, I'll be a monkeys uncle (possibly one of the monkeys in "Next", his tirade into the world of genetic engineering, and considering where his dinosaurs come from, I mean, talking about biting the hand that feeds you!!!)
Edit - Ok Mr Amazon, send me some bananas!...more info
- Think for Yourself
Mr. Crichton's book presents a dissenting view of global climate change. His premise is well thought out, his facts are well-documented, and his fiction is, as always, masterfully crafted. Many people will dislike this book simply because it is a dissenting view. That is their right, but they are missing out on a fabulous thriller. Thank you, Mr. Crichton, for giving a different point of view, and letting us think about it for ourselves in the safe realm of fiction. Requiescam In Pacem....more info
- Classic Crichton with a twist
State of Fear is the classic Crichton novel--a fun, action-packed story wrapped around a little nugget of science. But in this case, there is a twist. The twist is that for Crichton, the science he wrote about is the pseudoscience of Global Warming, or, to be a little more exact, the study of the environment and its warming trend in relation to the activities of humankind.
Having heard Crichton speak about Global Warming before, I knew he was not a fan. What makes State of Fear a compelling read is that here he lays out his reasons why. For instance, Crichton believes that Global Warming is based on simple premises that have not, and are not being thoroughly tested. He also believes it is a front for social agendas with less palatable social goals. In Crichton's view, these agendas must rely on fear to gain acceptance, and they communicate fear using what appears to be undisputable science. Describing this as but another example of the politicization of science, Crichton clearly believes it is dangerous.
There are other reasons as well, and as Crichton sets them down again and again, he gets a little preachy. Kenner, for example, the main character he uses to espouse his views, is as unyielding as the Global Warming advocates he faces off with. The only difference is that Kenner is a "real scientist" whose resum¨¦ is so remarkable it could only be fictional. And Kenner is always there to fight theory with fact, after fact, after fact. Fortunately, the novelty and contrariness of these facts keeps the monotony at bay and keeps the reader engaged.
So does Crichton tells us the Global Warming is a myth? No, he merely challenges the reader to think critically and investigate the theories that so many promote as fact. In the process, he introduces us to a series of forgettable characters who are wrapped up in a globe trotting adventure to fight environmental terrorists. In the end it is fun, interesting, and probably needed.
- not so smart
I always thought Crichton was pretty smart. Then I read this book. At one point, the character he uses to argue against global warming, i.e., the cool, smart guy we are supposed to believe, uses the whole Y2K thing as an example of disaster-mongering, i.e., since that threat wasn't for real, he essentially argues, global warming probably isn't either.
Y'know what, Michael? I got into the whole Y2K debate once time a couple of years ago and did some research. Y2K was real. Or if it wasn't, the Pentagon sure took it seriously, and our government sure spent a heckuva lot of money preventing it. So ... because the worst predictions were prevented due to a huge influx of time, money and effort, is that supposed to mean the threat wasn't ever really real in the first place?
So I guess by this argument, if we spend a bunch of time, money and effort and somehow the worst of global warming scenarios don't happen, Michael (and no doubt lots of others) will just say that's because it was never real to start with.
Well, if that form of argument is valid, we might as well not stop there. If anything that is prevented from happening is therefore not real, then we might as well turn it around and say that anything that is no longer happening wasn't really ever real either. It certainly makes no less sense.
So, you know what else was never real, Michael? Smallpox. Where is it? Y'know? All that money was spent to wipe out Smallpox, but since nobody's dying from it these days it just follows that it was never really real in the first place, right?
And anything else that was ever prevented, or that isn't happening anymore, was never really real, either, e.g., the threat of all-out nuclear war, witch burning, etc.
Jeez, Michael, whatever one believes or wants to believe, one can nearly always find evidence to support it, but if you're going to take on a subject of this magnitude, at least do a modicum of research first....more info
- Global Warming: Reality, propaganda, or sophistry
Global Warming: Reality, propaganda, or sophistry
What is Global Warming and what is the reality of it? Is it real, or is it simply sophistry to placate the masses by giving them something to direct their fears toward? How does global warming, or "climate change", stack up against science and the scientific method? Are we doomed? What are the realities of this phenomenon known as Global Warming? Mr. Crichton does his best to delve into this thorny subject using science, fact, the scientific method, and extensive research to question this phenomenon known as Global Warming. If you are a Global Warming, now a Climate Change, advocate you will not like this book. If you are an opponent of Global Warming you will definitely like Mr. Crichton's massive work. If you are a seeker of truth you will find Mr. Crichton's State of Fear both interesting, refreshing and illuminating. What I found to be most intriguing was Mr. Crichton's arguments about WHY Global Warming TODAY. What is it about the human psyche that the human condition requires something or someone to be fearful of, or as Crichton says, why do we need to always be in a State of Fear. This is the central premise of this superb work, and global warming is the vehicle to arouse the reader's curiosity. Like most of Mr. Crichton's works I found State of Fear to be an outstanding vehicle of both scientific learning and curiosity.
The story is both superficially interesting, and intellectually stimulating. Mr. Crichton uses the Socratic Method to explore the questionable truths and realities of contemporary Global Warming, or the more current "Climate Change", phenomenon. He uses his characters to question the validity of global warming while advancing an interesting thesis of global warming eco-terrorism. If the truth is questionable then "help" the truth along through man-made initiated environmental disasters. One cannot help but be reminded of Lenin's famous "useful idiots" reference in this regard. Regardless of one's ideology concerning global warming, Mr. Crichton's overwhelming scientific information and documentation should at least give one pause as to its credibility. Consensus and faith do not science make; but rather the scientific method does.
Good tight plot weaving the various ideas and believes concerning nature, man's motivations, global warming, and the business of fear mongering. Fear mongering is big, big business and even bigger bucks and power. Ultimately though science always wins in the end as the buggy whip proved years ago. Global Warming too shall pass as another crisis, catastrophe, or doomsday concept takes its place. The human condition depends on a State of Fear to both motivate and devolve the human spirit to its baser instincts of which the charlatans reap the rewards: "That's right folks we got trouble, with a capitol "T", right here in River City!"
Mediocre character development but superb dialog. No gratuitous sex or language although there is some graphic violence. All in all an outstanding read in that it makes the reader think. Good use of data, graphs, and scientific information. Excellent bibliography. Of special note is the author's enumerated views on Global Warming in a special section at the end. Very good and insightful honest appraisal of Mr. Crichton's views on the subject. Love him or hate him Michael Crichton does an excellent job of challenging today's myopic views and beliefs concerning the phenomenon of Global Warming.
Very strong recommend, if for no other reason because this book makes one think about this extremely important subject. Excellent Socratic dialog and use of proven scientific data and historical facts. A must read for ideologues of both persuasions.
- If you don't like it try reassing your belief system.
This is a great book, read it with an open mind. However I must warn you that if you are one of the myriad of blind followers who gets your science information from MTV "News" or similiar sources (CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc.) you will probably be deeply distressed. Don't panic, it's just a book. Nevermind that Crichton references REAL data. Nevermind that editorial pages are not science, they are opinions.
I don't think this is his best book but it makes you think. And that's what I enjoyed.
If you read the book (which I highly recommend) you will understand why I say that most of the people giving low reviews are obvioulsy most well represented by the character Ted Bradley....more info
I think M. Crichton, at some point, must have become surrounded by & fed up with environmental activists, who are really the target of wrath in this novel. The environmental activist is the bad guy--an uninformed, self-absorbed Hollywood type--while the learned skeptic is the hero. The activists are causing environmental disasters just to get a point across; global warming is unproven & Crichton spends most of the novel in a preachy tirade against the environmentalists, culminating in a graphic "I told-you-so" elimination. No wonder Hollywood passed this one up for production. Indeed Crichton makes some compelling arguments, all backed by references to scientific research studies, but I expected a good, entertaining read, not a thesis. Plus I thought it was a bit one-sided & very condemning of conservationists. I think this is the first Crichton book I disliked. Sure, there are a few exciting action scenes, but they're pretty rare in an otherwise dense tirade against global warming. And how in the world did Sanjong make it? ...more info
- A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
I am a fan of Michael Crichton's work. That said, this story is not one of his best. If you're looking for a great tale to escape into, MC has published far greater examples. The purpose of this story (as well as Crichton's later novel, Next) is to convey a message. It's the spoonful of sugar that helps the reader swallow the hard truth that Crichton wishes to convey.
The book takes its title from the end of a Platonic-style dialogue in which a sociologist specializing in the "ecology of thought" concludes that societies are kept under control of elites in government through ever-evolving oppressive fear. When the Berlin Wall came down, marking the end of the Cold War fear, a new fear became necessary. Crichton's sociologist points out that during 1989 the words "crisis", "catastrophe", etc., particularly concerning natural phenomena, greatly multiplied in media usage.
The message of the book is that the public can easily be led to actions contrary to its own good through ignorance or lack of hard science. Most people accept the "fact" of global warming through anecdotal evidence, typically attained from television or radio news outlets who quote politicians or "scientists" who have published no data in peer-reviewed journals. Crichton challenges us to dig deeper and questions the "truth" which we are being given....more info
- Not Crichton's best
State of fear is not Crichton's best work. I found the "thriller" to be some what boring and lacking in suspence, and I struggled to finish the book. Crichton's message that global warming is a farce seems outdated and foolish. ...more info
- State of Fear
Very, very disappointing, Michael seams to be trying to both make a statement about his view of some environmentalists, and citing references about realities in a fiction Novel ??? We all understand that there is real science backing the general theme of his other novels, but this is 774 pages of ridiculous material that is non entertaining at all. I think he may be losing his step to over sensationalist Dan Brown. Anyhow, I did not think it merited the cost or the length. ...more info
- A very exciting novel
This book is a very good novel in which Michael Crichton does make you think about global warming...even thougth is a novel I found very interesting that it contained footnotes that are proved data refering to global warmig. Amaizing novel!...more info
- Very interesting!
Life has been pretty predictable for Attorney Peter Evans; his life set, his views set, everything in harmony with everyone around him. However, when his boss, Millionaire philanthropist George Morton, starts turning against the environmental movement that he has supported for year, things start to unravel fast! It seems that there is a strange conspiracy afoot - someone who wants to promote concern for the environment, and they are willing to break a lot of eggs to make this omelet, a LOT! Can Evans get to the bottom of what is going on? Indeed, can he even keep himself alive?
Overall, I found this to be a quite interesting book. As you would expect from Michael Crichton, the action is pretty intense, ranging from pole to pole, from the big city to the jungles of the tropics. So, you won't be disappointed there.
Now, it must be admitted that this book is something of a polemic. The characters spend a great deal of time debating various aspects of the earth and environmentalism. But, though the going did get a little slow at times, the author was clever enough to get the story rolling again and into more gripping scenes.
I think that what I found most fascinating about the book is that you eventually come to see that what is going on for Peter Evans is a loss of faith. I have heard environmentalism described as a religion for the irreligious, and this book certainly shows that. As such, it brings clear the true struggle that Peter Evans faces.
Oh, by the way, don't skip the appendix on the dangers of the politicization of science; it's truly a fascinating and eye-opening read.
So, let me just say that this is a very interesting book, one that I highly recommend to any and every thinking person. Agree or disagree with what some of the characters say, you will find it a challenging and mind-opening read....more info
- Blazingly fast read! Exhilarating book!
I was astounded at how fast I read through this book. This is one heck of a fast paced action packed thriller! Something I notice about Crichton is he seems able to appeal to a broad audience with his books. Many of the subject matters he writes about many people would find uninteresting, but Crichton has a way of making things interesting that, at face glance, might not seem so at first. I am not usually into novels of this type, but Crichton seems able to make ones of quality good enough to keep me coming back for more. This easily gets five stars from me....more info
- If I wanted to hear some idiot babble about the enviroment I'd go find a hippie
The book starts off fine. It grabs your attention and you figure things are going to get good. It never happens. Why? Because the 600 page book spends about 400 pages preaching about our views on the environment. The story never goes very deep, the charactors are never really developed, and portions of the plot are just plain ridiculous. The "twist" at the end is so obvious throughout the entire book that I assumed it was intentionally made obvious and that the real twist had to do with the why or the how of the situation, but that part was barely touched. Even the ending of the book wasn't a real ending. Some of the loose ends weren't tied up and the charactors' stories weren't really closed. Instead the final few pages were just a list of things that the author thinks is wrong with scientific research. Who did the main charactor end up with, if anyone? Don't know, wasn't mentioned in the conclusion. How did the lawyer kill someone so easily? Was she a government plant? Don't know, she was never even brought up at the end.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with the author's basic point. We know very little about the environment and we know very little about how to fix it. People who loudly vocalize strong opinions on the subject typically sound pretty foolish. But I wanted a book. It's a work of fiction. I wanted entertainment. I didn't want 10 pages of graphs listing temperature readinds and footnotes about where the graphs came from. If you want a one-sided rambling about global warming then you've come to the right place. If you want a good book you should move on...more info
- State of Garbage - ALL of Crichton Recent Books
25% of over 1,000 reviews for State of Fear are ONE STAR.
It took until page 495 before the author explained the term "State of Fear."
This piece of garbage is a 600 page rant about global warming. One section was 20 pages long of temperature variants in cities around the globe since the 1800s. In a novel - ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
The action scenes are inserted here and there, as if the author is concerned about his reputation and need to fit some in.
And there is no resolution about the five main characters in the book!
The hero/spy is a mysterious person and we never really discover anything about him.
The couple almost involved romantically never gets together or breaks up. He is an attorney. She is an athlete/expert shot/secretary (silly character).
Other characters are shot to death, almost, and all miraculously recover in a week or so.
The research students that must have written this book for the author were magnificent at their job. The LAST 50 PAGES OF THE BOOK IS SYNOPSIS OF THEIR WORK.
I recommend you take this book camping and burn it - so nobody else will accidently acquire it, thinking "ooh, it's Michael Crichton - must be a good novel."
On my part, I'll be visiting all my local libraries and bookstores to find the book and push it behind the shelves, where it won't insult my neighbors with its BORING, SLOW-MOVING SERMONS.
His following book, NEXT, is equally bad.
Time to retire Michael - nobody deserves to be subjected to your selfish ambition to steal money from fans and, now, ex-fans.
If you've run out of ideas, go enjoy the writing of writers who've kept up their skills (or at least hired ghostwriters with minimal skill)....more info
- Driven and well argued, a novel with an argument to make
I've read all of Crichton's novels except for this. The man died a few days ago and that prompted me to pick this off my shelf after a few years in waiting. It is his most controversial novel, casting serious doubts over the validity of scientific claims about global warming and the many claims of environmental groups.
It is one of Crichton's better novels. He uses multiple plot lines that coalesce quickly to resolve themselves into a pacey and driven narrative. There is less of a science lesson up front than Crichton often feeds us - this is broken down into chunks throughout the novel so that the thriller element takes its grip early.
Crichton's characters are usually fairly two-dimensional and this is no exception. Intelligent, educated, white, middle class with little depth and no family or emotional background - they seem to be miniaturised versions of him, there to articulate a position or argument. He shares that trait with English master John Wyndham a man whose novels I feel often have characteristics in common with Crichton's. Having said that, one or two of the minor characters work well: the eco-actor Ted Bradley, for instance. His primary characters are Peter Evans, a rather ill-informed lawyer who is the reader's eyes and ears and asks the stooge questions we are thinking - and John Kenner, who is a know-it-all `Zellaby' character (cf, The Midwich Cuckoos).
The premise is intriguing - eco-terrorism and climate interference. I wondered when somebody would get around to this as a serious subject. Nobody is better suited than Crichton to tackle big complex issues and turn them into racing thrillers.
Crichton is unashamedly critical of the conventional wisdom, and stacks his knowledgeable characters on the side of the anti-environmentalists spouting references while the idiots and hypocrites and terrorists are all environmentalists who spout fluffy junk. It's effective, if unfair. We should judge this as a novel and not as a treatise.
Lively settings, constantly evolving plot and information, tight writing, credible threats and well-managed material make this a very effective story. The lack of depth in the characters does not hold it back or truly matter, Crichton wants to challenge you, to stun you with the enormity of the conspiracy and to put his case through a compelling fiction. He does so expertly.
He has been gathered in before his personal harvest realised its vast potential.
- Enjoyed the book
I'm sure the environmental movement isn't going to like this book since it paints them in a negative light, however I enjoyed it. Sure it's fiction, but it's fiction with a plausible bent. Crichton weaves a story that keeps you interested right to the end. Much of the science is well researched and accurate, including the mining methodology that is the basis for the terrorists attempt to create a tsunami. Like all of Crichton's books, it is well written and engaging. If you're not a wackjob environmentalist, you will like it....more info
- Exciting fiction with a bibliography...
This exciting plot reminescent to Clive Cussler is backed up with an impressive bibliography to rival most research thesis. Definitely a must read for those not satisfied with being fed half-truths by the media because you can check out the documentation. Suggested follow-up reading is Dixie Lee Ray's "Trashing the Planet" and "Environmental Overkill". In the words of Paul Harvey "...and that's the other side of the story..."...more info
- Bad Science and Bad Writing
Are we still having this worn-out debate after all these years? My God, even when strong-armed by the Bush administration, his own science advisors had to tell him the truth that global warming is a fact. Thank goodness, the National Academy of Science could not be embarrassed into providing what the president wanted to hear!
Let's get on with the solutions.
Regarding the writing, I have somewhat enjoyed other Crichton novels, but the characters are so flat here one could cut them out with scissors. The "dumb" environmentalists are laughable as succumbing to "fear." I listened to the audiobook version, and the narrator made both scientists and their benefactors sound like buffoons. For a while, I thought that Mike Myers would show up to at least offer the reader some comic relief
If you want to look at a state of fear, just look last 7 ? years of the Bush Administration and that's not fiction....more info
- State of Boredom
I found this novel to be a bit slow. Though I know what Cricton wanted to say about global warming, and opened my eyes a bit about the facts behind them, and the supposed conspiracy behind it, I found myself glassy eyed at more than a few places in the book.
Could've been condensed in places and I found myself not caring too much about the characters. It's more of a non-fiction research book put into a fictional setting. The events around the characters seem forced and a lot of repetitive jargon is forced upon the reader.
What's not said, is the possible positive effects this supposed conspiracy might produce. For example the awareness of going green and using less resources, or our forced dependency and the development of alternative sources of energy and less dependency on fossil fuels. I'm sure there has to be a positive side to that.
What I did enjoy was his declaration that there is always a change in the environment no matter what we do. That everything, including the environment ebbs and flows. We're all subject to supply and demand, and that everything evens out eventually....more info
- Provocative and Enjoyable Reading
This is an excellent book which finally writes something to expose the hypocrisy involved in the environmental movement. I found it very provocative as I have always been skeptical of most of the environmental propaganda spewed. I loved the way he laid it out in a common sense manner where everyone can see that much of the environmental movement is just another political boondoggle. I do realize that the book is a work of fiction and is biased by Crichton, but I can't help it to think that there is a lot of truth to his statistics and perspective upon analysis.
Its true to Crichton form as being technically saavy and enjoyable for anyone who likes to know how a process works.
Plus it does have a very good cast of characters and an exciting plot.
- Good theme, bad novel
A few reviewers have commented positively about Michael Crichton's latest bestseller "State of Fear" not only as a source of information about the science (and junk science) of global warming, but also as a novel. On the latter point, I must disagree emphatically.
The novel does have the skeleton of a decent plot, but it is fleshed out so ineptly that at times it is difficult to discern. I have never read a novel more in need of editing. There are so many loose ends left untied at the end that upon finishing the book you feel as though your copy must be missing several pages of denouement. All of the romantic interests go nowhere--although perhaps for a good reason, since the main protagonist is hardly an inspiring, masculine hero.
In fact, nearly all of the characters are among the least interesting that Crichton has ever created. The few of them who are truly heroic are characterized so thinly that they are not really characters at all, but simply vehicles for Crichton to deliver scientific facts, and on occasion perform Bond-like feats of espionage when Crichton apparently remembers that there is a plot that he must resolve somehow.
Entire chapters (and even characters) could (and should) have been cut without adversely affecting the plot, theme, or characterization of the novel. Some chapters consisted of the protagonist dealing with characters (such as the humanitarian's wife) who had absolutely nothing to do with the plot, and who were entirely absent for the rest of the story.
While the theme of "State of Fear" is far superior to much of Crichton's earlier work, its implementation is vastly inferior. *As a novel,* I enjoyed "Jurassic Park" more than "State of Fear" (though I of course disagree with the ideas presented in the former).
My recommendation: don't make the mistake I did and waste your money purchasing "State of Fear." Instead, just go to the library and photocopy its bibliography....more info