Lit & The Arts State of Fear

Discussion in 'Literature & The Arts' started by DontTreadOnMe, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. DontTreadOnMe

    DontTreadOnMe Member

    I'm still waiting for my turn at the library for Michale Crichton's new book about global warming.

    Who here has read it and what do you think???
    I've seen a few posts on ATS about "State of Fear". It looks like Crichton believes global warming may not be reality??
  2. Bleys

    Bleys Phoenix Takes Flight Staff Member


    I'm just getting ready to read it now. Seth finished it a few weeks ago - I've been trying to get him to post his thoughts on the book since it had such a huge impact on him. He would put the book down from time to time and just be disgusted with - as he puts it - "the concerted effort to deceive for the sake of money by global warming community."

    Needless to say - it's a must read for me now.

  3. Aubiefan05

    Aubiefan05 Member

    I was really excited to see this thread, I just finished the book and was hoping to exchange some ideas with people on it. Last night I actually wrote a review of it for my science blog, here it is:

    I finished Michael Crichton’s State of Fear today, I had really been wanting to read it because of all the media attention it’s gotten, I like to form my own opinions about controversial things as opposed to having other people inform me of THEIR opinions.
    I’ve read quite a few Crichton books, I liked some and disliked others (I think Congo and Timeline are probably my faves, Sphere was a great concept but the actual book kind of fell flat, Jurassic Park and The Lost World would have been OK if they weren’t so full of factual errors). Overall I was pretty disappointed in State of Fear. Apart from any political/scientific issues (which is what has garnered so much attention for it), I just thought it was poorly written, I didn’t get “into” it. The last 100-150 pages were markedly better, but the other 400 were just flat, and I had a hard time figuring out who the protagonist was supposed to be. Overall it just didn’t seem like the quality of writing that should be expected from such a famous and prolific author.
    Crichton’s technique throughout the novel is to use dialogue between characters to present facts (and probably pseudofacts) and ideas related to global warming and the environment. This is an admirable strategy, but he employs it almost excessively. Also, his main protagonist is the one always having things explained to him, and it as a result the character comes off as pretty flaky, at times there will be several pages at time when his only contribution to the dialogue are various ways to express “Why?”, “How?” and “Really?”.
    As for the global warming issues, I think Crichton way overdid all the denials of the issue and tried too hard to make it sound like environmentalists have brainwashed the planet. I agree with him that a lot of the recent changes in climate are natural fluctuations (while I still think humans are partially responsible for a few aspects), and he did make some good points, but any time you argue completely for one side it damages your credibility, and he was just too hardline “global warming is a myth.”
    Any Crichton book is full of scientific theories explained for the lay person in creative ways, but this book definitely didn’t seem nearly as innovative, it was more like he needed an outlet to preach a sermon on his ideas and the importance of literary value was overshadowed. He would have done better to just write a nonfiction book about his opinion on the topic (he documented all the research he did for the novel, with footnotes, a bibliography, etc, he should have just published a real research report) than to try to piggyback political issues on a novel, but since he’s very famous and a guaranteed best seller it was probably the smartest thing to do considering the market.
    One thing I did think was important was his view on wildlife management. He pointed out that there is so much emphasis on heroic attempts to “preserve” the environment, when in reality environments are changing all the time. When people try so hard to keep an ecosystem static in attempts to “save” it, they inevitably just screw things up.
    So overall I didn’t have a very high opinion of the book, not because the ideas offended me (I agreed with some and not others) but because I just felt like it was a shoddy book, definitely not worth my $27 and the time it took to read it. I’d only recommend it to people who are interested in the controversial buzz about it and want to see for themselves what all the hype is about.