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Next (Harper Fiction)

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From Michael Crichton, the #1 bestselling author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, comes an astounding, eye-opening look at the world of genetics: Next.   Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why a chimp fetus resembles a hu From Michael Crichton, the #1 bestselling author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, comes an astounding, eye-opening look at the world of genetics: Next.   Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why a chimp fetus resembles a human being? And should that worry us? There’s a new genetic cure for drug addiction—is it worse than the disease?   Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and genetic ownership shatters our assumptions.


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From Michael Crichton, the #1 bestselling author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, comes an astounding, eye-opening look at the world of genetics: Next.   Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why a chimp fetus resembles a hu From Michael Crichton, the #1 bestselling author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, comes an astounding, eye-opening look at the world of genetics: Next.   Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why a chimp fetus resembles a human being? And should that worry us? There’s a new genetic cure for drug addiction—is it worse than the disease?   Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and genetic ownership shatters our assumptions.

30 review for Next (Harper Fiction)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alex Telander

    NEXT BY MICHAEL CRICHTON: I’m still trying to figure out how this manuscript landed in the hands of an editor and actually got the go ahead to be published in time for Christmas. I can’t help but think about all those dads that are going to be so disappointed on December 26th when they crack open the book and find a collection of plot lines with confusing characters and stories that seem to go nowhere. In Prey and State of Fear, Crichton did what he does best in providing a well researched book w NEXT BY MICHAEL CRICHTON: I’m still trying to figure out how this manuscript landed in the hands of an editor and actually got the go ahead to be published in time for Christmas. I can’t help but think about all those dads that are going to be so disappointed on December 26th when they crack open the book and find a collection of plot lines with confusing characters and stories that seem to go nowhere. In Prey and State of Fear, Crichton did what he does best in providing a well researched book with a riveting and thrilling plot, thought I felt the latter a little heavy handed with a viewpoint I didn’t necessarily agree with. Compared with Next, I seriously wonder what happened? The book seems barely half finished, even though if runs on for four hundred pages. There are around five to seven plot lines each with their own vague characters that the reader has to struggle to keep straight going on in their own seemingly inane direction. Near the end of the book a few of these plot lines cross over forcefully at the author’s hand, and then the book ends and the reader is left wondering where the rest of the book is. What happened to the basic rule of a story? Instead of a beginning, middle and an end, the reader gets a weak infrastructure of a beginning, with part of a middle which suddenly ends! Combined with this is the overarching philosophy of this novel (which I hope Crichton doesn’t subscribe to himself) where every person is one who sees life only for personal gain, to be rich, and feel constant pleasure. The women are always bombshells to be used and discarded, while the characters in general will stop at nothing to satisfy their pathetic personal whims. As for the learning portion of the novel – with Prey it was the risk of nanotechnology, with State of Fear global warming – Crichton is very heavy handed in the risks of gene therapy and engineering, running the gamut from talking (and by this I mean with extensive vocabularies) parrots and orangutans, to the risks of human cloning, to bounty hunters trying to kidnap and steal tissues from innocent people who simply happen to possess the same DNA as a family member who had his cells declared property of UCLA in a court of law. While Crichton is trying to make the blatant point of “Watch out, this is what can happen,” it comes off as over-the-top farce and tomfoolery. And if it wasn’t made clear for you, he ends the novel with his note about how patenting genes is bad, as well as a list of other matters involving gene therapy, followed by a bibliography, just to show he did the work, supposedly It is sad really, for I’d hoped Next would be the return to the great author who gave us truly brilliant novels like Jurassic Park, Sphere, and The Andromeda Strain, but Next can’t really be considered an actual book now, because of its failure in the rules of a novel on so many levels. If you liked this review, and would like to read more, go to BookBanter.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Oops! Finished this yesterday and forgot to review! I enjoyed this book even though it was a bit spastic. Basically, Michael Crichton learned everything he could about the state of gene research and politics and combined it into a series of fictional stories to make separate points. Some of the stories ended up crossing and some did not. If you read this, don't expect any cohesion, just appreciate the anecdotes within.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Next by Michael Crichton is a ridiculous, silly book. But I bet a lot of people said the same thing about Brave New World, Dune, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land, and 1984 when they came out. No, Next can not hold a candle to these science fiction classics, but it is the same kind of book, and it is poignant for its time. The fact is, Crichton writes satire, and the general perception of him does not accept this. Next is both silly and excellent. More importantly, I lear Next by Michael Crichton is a ridiculous, silly book. But I bet a lot of people said the same thing about Brave New World, Dune, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land, and 1984 when they came out. No, Next can not hold a candle to these science fiction classics, but it is the same kind of book, and it is poignant for its time. The fact is, Crichton writes satire, and the general perception of him does not accept this. Next is both silly and excellent. More importantly, I learned quite a bit from reading it. I did not know that genes can be patented, human tissues can be used in any way by whomever happens to end up with them, and that gene testing results can be hidden in such a way that deaths have been covered up because they were "trade secrets". Crichton shows the extreme possibilities of these insane laws. In Next, a man has a gene that could be a groundbreaking cure, but when the company that has the patent for it is sabotaged and loses all its samples it believes it is within its rights to hire bounty hunters to track down this man's daughter and grandson and surgically take some of their genes since they are the company's property. This is just one story that intersects the others in Next (Oh, by the way, there is a transgenic chimpanzee-human in the book). Will it happen? Probably not. But do we only produce children in test tubes like in Brave New World? Have we colonized the moon like in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress? And while surveillance gets scarier and scarier are we actually being watched all the time like in 1984? No. Satire, by definition, is trafficking in exaggeration to warn people about where we are going. Crichton might be mentioned more frequently in a list that includes John Grisham and Danielle Steel, then with the likes of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, but he is a satirical science fiction writer, and a pretty good one. His popularity and high quantity output is making people think he is for thirteen-year-old boys only. He is better than that. Give the man a chance. Start with Next.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gerald

    I'm giving the five stars not because of how it is written, but what it's about. Crichton was trained as a medical doctor before he was a novelist. And he died of cancer recently at a relatively young age. I am supposing he wrote this book after he was diagnosed. He knew there could be all kinds of ways of treating his disease that have not yet emerged from clinical trials. He was certainly angry at the medical establishment, at the research community, at Big Pharma, and at the government's poli I'm giving the five stars not because of how it is written, but what it's about. Crichton was trained as a medical doctor before he was a novelist. And he died of cancer recently at a relatively young age. I am supposing he wrote this book after he was diagnosed. He knew there could be all kinds of ways of treating his disease that have not yet emerged from clinical trials. He was certainly angry at the medical establishment, at the research community, at Big Pharma, and at the government's policies regarding intellectual property rights for genetic discoveries. Crichton's books often have bibliographies, but this one also has an appendix containing his recommendations on legislative reform in the area of genetic research. As to the book as literature, he interweaves multiple plots that converge here and there. It's a compelling drama of ideas, but it lacks the strong narrative thread. It won't make a good movie without sacrificing a lot of the interesting side issues. There's no single strong main character, no single ominous threat with ticking fuse. Oddly enough, my complaint about some of his more commercially successful books is that the plotting was too simplistic, too lean, as though designed for the movie script to simply fall out. I assumed he listened to CAA too much about how to structure his books because his agents cared not at all about them as literature, only about how much they would fetch for movie rights. The best Crichton book, by far, is "The Great Train Robbery." Not sci-fi at all, just meticulous research, loads of detail, and great storytelling.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rohit Enghakat

    Actually I liked this book. Don't know why majority readers thought this book was overrated. I was hooked from the word go. Well researched book, the author has taken pains to learn about genes and weave a story around it. The book was also interspersed with articles and essays on biotechnology related subjects. To make it short, the book is about genetic technology and experiments around it including the discovery of various genes with behavioural traits. There are three or four plots in the boo Actually I liked this book. Don't know why majority readers thought this book was overrated. I was hooked from the word go. Well researched book, the author has taken pains to learn about genes and weave a story around it. The book was also interspersed with articles and essays on biotechnology related subjects. To make it short, the book is about genetic technology and experiments around it including the discovery of various genes with behavioural traits. There are three or four plots in the book which are unconnected. There are greedy tycoons, unethical scientists and immoral health workers and abundant technical jargon thrown in to make the book interesting to the reader. Simply put a very engrossing book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scarlet

    1.5 Next is a very well-researched book. And that’s the only good thing I can say about it. The characters were too many and too unmemorable; I forgot nearly all of them as soon as they were mentioned. The stuff on stem-cells and genes and biotechnology was excruciatingly boring. The story was over-exaggerated, silly and unintentionally funny. A swearing chimpanzee and a transgenic ape who goes to school?? Are you kidding me?? I’m still trying to figure out why I read Next instead of Jurassic Park. 1.5 Next is a very well-researched book. And that’s the only good thing I can say about it. The characters were too many and too unmemorable; I forgot nearly all of them as soon as they were mentioned. The stuff on stem-cells and genes and biotechnology was excruciatingly boring. The story was over-exaggerated, silly and unintentionally funny. A swearing chimpanzee and a transgenic ape who goes to school?? Are you kidding me?? I’m still trying to figure out why I read Next instead of Jurassic Park...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Vellacott

    Occasionally, I pick up a book completely outside of my usual genre just to see what others are reading and what's actually out there. Plus, a local charity shop sells 3 books for £1! I'm obviously aware of this author due to Jurassic Park. Offensive content aside, (I'll come back to that), this was a page turner. I noticed that other reviewers found the numerous sub plots and multiple characters confusing. I was also worried about that at first, but I found that the key was to stay fully immerse Occasionally, I pick up a book completely outside of my usual genre just to see what others are reading and what's actually out there. Plus, a local charity shop sells 3 books for £1! I'm obviously aware of this author due to Jurassic Park. Offensive content aside, (I'll come back to that), this was a page turner. I noticed that other reviewers found the numerous sub plots and multiple characters confusing. I was also worried about that at first, but I found that the key was to stay fully immersed in the book, and to read it in as few sittings as possible. Although, when starting the chapter I didn't always remember the characters being referred to, it was quite easy to pick it up from the details. However, I wouldn't recommend reading this a chapter a day.... The book deals with the dangers of humans meddling in genetics from all different angles. We have a chimp who can talk, feel and reason and could virtually pass as a human child, but for his abundance of hair. A parrot that also talks and has high intelligence. An experimental gene that makes people mature quickly. A company that obtains a court ruling that it owns the DNA (genes) of a man who has an extraordinary immunity to cancer. A man whose bones have been stolen in the grave for research purposes... The author has created a world where genetics have gone haywire as things that wouldn't even have been thought about twenty years ago, are actually happening. People are playing God as they experiment with lives and the consequences are unknown...A scary prospect, even more so when the sources at the end of the book, in the author's note, document cases where some of these things have happened in the real world! As a Christian, I liked that the author highlighted the dangers of messing with these things. Although, he was speaking about it from a mother nature point of view. I agree that there are things that should not be tampered with. Some of his scenarios seemed far fetched or unlikely. However, we know from books like 1984 that we can never say never.... The language was seriously offensive throughout with a lot of strong swearing and blasphemy. There were sex scenes that I skipped over as they were explicit. There wasn't too much violence. I didn't like that every male character was sleeping around despite mostly being married, as if this was and is the norm. Nor the way the men were lusting after all the women all of the time and being loudly vocal about it. Perhaps, this is what happens in some segments of society but I'm sure it's not the case everywhere! At least, I hope not. So, what did I learn from my diversion into secular science fiction? That popular authors have to write R rated material to keep an audience entertained. That a lot of readers wouldn't bat on eyelid at the content as it's become commonplace.... I can't give this more than two stars...

  8. 5 out of 5

    StoryTellerShannon

    Fast paced story with a ton of subplots that plays like a popular soap opera of your choice. Topics range from legal battles over human tissue (including the right to have bounty hunters go after the descendants of said tissue), transgenic apes, one transgenic parrot (that talk tough if provoked), biotech espionage vs. competitors, gene patenting, and a lot of angry people. There's some scientific info woven into this tale as well but not too much yet I still learned about some new things like c Fast paced story with a ton of subplots that plays like a popular soap opera of your choice. Topics range from legal battles over human tissue (including the right to have bounty hunters go after the descendants of said tissue), transgenic apes, one transgenic parrot (that talk tough if provoked), biotech espionage vs. competitors, gene patenting, and a lot of angry people. There's some scientific info woven into this tale as well but not too much yet I still learned about some new things like chimeras and how close animals and such are closer to us than we want to admit. Tons of moralistic questions and ones that should concern us as we aren't terribly far from this possible future. Although the book is long the chapters are short with cliffhangers so it flows nicely. The ape kid is one of the best top four characters in this novel. CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B plus to A minus; STORY/PLOTTING: A; HOTNESS OF SAID TOPIC AND FUTURE DISCUSSION: A; NEW WORLD EXPOSURE: B plus; WHEN READ: October to January 2011 (review formatting change 8/23/2012); MY GRADE: B plus to A minus.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rick Monkey

    So I was, like, really broke towards the tail end of last month. But, you know, broke or not, I still needed something to read - I was just going to have to content myself with one of those trashy, $7.99 paperbacks. And, lemme tell ya, pickings are slim. So I got a Michael Crichton book. I'm very ashamed. More so because I actually, well, liked it. Crichton, I think, resonates so well with middle-of-the-road audiences because his takes on science and technology tend to play to the common man's fe So I was, like, really broke towards the tail end of last month. But, you know, broke or not, I still needed something to read - I was just going to have to content myself with one of those trashy, $7.99 paperbacks. And, lemme tell ya, pickings are slim. So I got a Michael Crichton book. I'm very ashamed. More so because I actually, well, liked it. Crichton, I think, resonates so well with middle-of-the-road audiences because his takes on science and technology tend to play to the common man's fear that it's all spiraling out of control. It feeds the idea that scientists are unscrupulous, insane dirtbags. Next really isn't that different. There's a lot of unscrupulous science going on here. And it's a very didactic book, a lot of exposition, a lot of information, and a clear bias. Just like most other Michael Crichton sci-fi thrillers. The difference here is that, well, he might actually be right. When you talk about things such as corporate ownership of portions of the genome, patenting of individual genes, ownership of cells being given to someone other than the person those cells came from - this is all stuff that's happening right now. And it's stuff that cannot, in any way, be good. And, yeah, there are some subplots about transgenic animals. They're fun - mostly because, hey, who doesn't love a talking animal - but they're not what this is about. The concern here isn't even necessarily about the science, it's about the greed that has warped the science. So, thematically, it's terribly compelling. In actual execution, well... few writers are as talented at the craft of forcing you to turn the page as Crichton, even if what's on the next page is kind of hackneyed. And that's the problem with the $7.99 mass-market paperback, isn't it? Even when you have interesting themes, they're really just the window dressing for chases, shootouts, mistaken identities, unbelievable coincidences and, yeah, talking monkeys.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ~Bellegirl91~

    RTC So I got this in a book haul and so excited to read this! it may not have many great reviews and here's what I say about those who say they don't like Crichton or give 1-2 star ratings and would think me weird..... I FREAKING LOVE AND MISS MICHAEL CRICHTON!! the ONLY reason I think sooooo many people gave/give up on him or rate so low is because of all his science talk. yeah, it's boring I get it and I DESPISE science but he still manages to put in a thriller and an actual story and set you up RTC So I got this in a book haul and so excited to read this! it may not have many great reviews and here's what I say about those who say they don't like Crichton or give 1-2 star ratings and would think me weird..... I FREAKING LOVE AND MISS MICHAEL CRICHTON!! the ONLY reason I think sooooo many people gave/give up on him or rate so low is because of all his science talk. yeah, it's boring I get it and I DESPISE science but he still manages to put in a thriller and an actual story and set you up for it in some places. so if you EVER EVER read him, DO NOT QUIT! besides Jurassic Park was classic, Timeline one of my favorite books and movies, and the last one I read was Prey and a good chunk was a set up and BOOOORING as heck BUT the second half was INCREDIBLE and in a good weird way, it was sooooo well written I seriously thought I'd have freaking nightmares from that book! so sad cancer took him in 2008 but glad and ecstatic that there's been other works he'd been working on YEARS back and were found recently so his books still live on past the grave. I don't think I've been more excited to read a Crichton book after reading up on the premise of this story!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Yates

    This was not necessarily a bad novel (I still rated it right around average!) but suffice it to say that it is the worst Crichton novel that I have read thus far. I think where Next fails is that Mr. Crichton tried to get too many storylines going in order to have them all running simultaneously in an effort to show a more grand scope to his issues of possible problems with genetic research. The main problem here is that many of the characters became washed out and meaningless. There is just so m This was not necessarily a bad novel (I still rated it right around average!) but suffice it to say that it is the worst Crichton novel that I have read thus far. I think where Next fails is that Mr. Crichton tried to get too many storylines going in order to have them all running simultaneously in an effort to show a more grand scope to his issues of possible problems with genetic research. The main problem here is that many of the characters became washed out and meaningless. There is just so much going on with so many different characters that I kept having to reset and figure out who was who and exactly what was going on with them. I think that he had the bones here to craft a really good storyline, but would have benefited tremendously from a heavy dose of self-editing and then expanding the tales of those characters that he felt most essential to keep. What came out of this book for me was confusing and subsequently, quite boring. Michael Crichton is one of my favorite authors in contemporary fiction however and I am not discouraged enough by one stinker to stop reading his novels.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    This was riveting! The book is about all of the possibilities of gene therapy and genetic engineering and it blends fact and fiction in clever ways that leave the reader with the unnerving sense that some of the fictional story lines are probably happening somewhere in the world right now. It also gives a strong sense of just how uncontrolled this field is and what ethical questions arise if a person allows a company to "purchase" their cell line...or a scientist decides to insert human genes in This was riveting! The book is about all of the possibilities of gene therapy and genetic engineering and it blends fact and fiction in clever ways that leave the reader with the unnerving sense that some of the fictional story lines are probably happening somewhere in the world right now. It also gives a strong sense of just how uncontrolled this field is and what ethical questions arise if a person allows a company to "purchase" their cell line...or a scientist decides to insert human genes into an animal fetus and create a "transgenic" animal...or someone claims to have isolated a particular gene that could cure a disease. The behind the scenes buying and selling of gene patents between universities and/or drug companies is downright scary. It doesn't take too much of a leap of imagination to visualize very muddy ethical lines between a scientific pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of the almighty dollar. I couldn't put it down!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sanjay Sanghoee

    Fantastic book. Immensely futuristic even as it shows you what is actually happening today. The fact that transgenic animals have been created for decades was an eye-opener. The book clearly has a viewpoint on genetic engineering and there is an author's note at the end which is a must-read. Highly recommend this to anyone who is looking an intelligent thriller, even though the book is also satire.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Santhosh

    The later few Crichton novels seem to have a higher vision and intent than to only entertain; they also seek to educate and encourage debate. To that end, Next throws light on areas such as the government's policies on intellectual property rights for genetic discoveries, the absurd practice of patenting entire genes (and all uses and interactions that genome may carry out with anything else - in all of mankind) and diseases, what exactly constitutes cell ownership, and the moral grey areas such The later few Crichton novels seem to have a higher vision and intent than to only entertain; they also seek to educate and encourage debate. To that end, Next throws light on areas such as the government's policies on intellectual property rights for genetic discoveries, the absurd practice of patenting entire genes (and all uses and interactions that genome may carry out with anything else - in all of mankind) and diseases, what exactly constitutes cell ownership, and the moral grey areas such as the ethics of genetic engineering, stem cell research and genetic therapy. For example, I never thought about the impact that publishing a deceased's genetic information would have on their relatives and descendants with respect to insurance companies using the said info. The one irksome aspect is the high number of characters that keep getting introduced with plot lines of their own, with some of them made to cross over forcefully at Crichton's hand, who sacrifices pace in the narrative head so that he may bring to light the many different facets of the subject. In one of the interviews included in the ebook version (note: the two interviews and an essay by Crichton are all excellent), Crichton weighs-in: I think there were two considerations. One was that I was unable to overlook the structure of the genome as we are now starting to understand it, and how individual genes interact with other genes, or may seem to be silent, or we don’t really know what they do, or sometimes there are repetitions that are not clear to us, and it struck me as an interesting idea to try to organize the novel in that way, even though it’s not what one ordinarily does. The second thing that was driving me was the notion that there are a great many stories of interest in this area, and they’re all quite different in terms of the legal and ethical problems that are raised in the field, so I wanted to do a number of different stories. The story, though it moves along quite nicely, doesn't really have a meaty enough middle to it (well, except for Gerard, the talking African grey parrot, who's a riot), and is more a device for the larger intent and theme that Crichton has in mind. So, as a novel, I wouldn't rate this one too high. But as a book, it's quite a good read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Midori

    Ôi cuối cùng cũng đọc xong ... Phew! Chuyện của một tương lai không xa lắm đâu, khi một mã gene hay mô, tế bào của ai đó được cấp quyền sở hữu cho một tổ chức, thương mại hoặc phi thương mại. Nghe thật phức tạp nhưng hãy cứ hiểu rằng thứ vốn thuộc về cơ thể bạn lại được chính quyền cấp phép sở hữu cho một tổ chức. Vậy là, nói một cách sỗ sàng, bạn đang sở hữu "trái phép" thứ cha sinh mẹ đẻ thuộc về bạn. Ngày ấy đang đến gần, công nghệ gene đang phát triển vượt bậc nhưng hệ thống pháp lý vẫn còn Ôi cuối cùng cũng đọc xong ... Phew! Chuyện của một tương lai không xa lắm đâu, khi một mã gene hay mô, tế bào của ai đó được cấp quyền sở hữu cho một tổ chức, thương mại hoặc phi thương mại. Nghe thật phức tạp nhưng hãy cứ hiểu rằng thứ vốn thuộc về cơ thể bạn lại được chính quyền cấp phép sở hữu cho một tổ chức. Vậy là, nói một cách sỗ sàng, bạn đang sở hữu "trái phép" thứ cha sinh mẹ đẻ thuộc về bạn. Ngày ấy đang đến gần, công nghệ gene đang phát triển vượt bậc nhưng hệ thống pháp lý vẫn còn chưa cập nhật tới, còn muôn vàn lỗ hổng để các doanh nghiệp có thể lách vào kiếm lợi nhuận. Lúc đầu đọc giới thiệu thật chẳng hiểu mô tê gì, cứ tưởng Next là một cuốn phản địa đàng (dystopian), nhưng hóa ra bối cảnh của truyện gần hơn mình tưởng rất nhiều. Michael Crichton viết Next khi đang điều trị căn bệnh ung thư. Có lẽ vì vậy mà đọc Next, độc giả dễ thấy sự tức giận của tác giả mỗi khi nhắc đến nỗi bất lực mỗi lúc chính quyền phải giải quyết các vụ việc về công nghệ gene. Điểm cộng: + Cung cấp khá nhiều thông tin về công nghệ biến đổi gene, tế bào gốc, ... Không học Sinh và bị choáng ngợp giữa cả đống thông tin mới + Mỗi chương khá ngắn, đọc không mệt mỏi. Chương nào cũng có mở kết trọn vẹn không chơi vơi + Ngoại đạo vẫn có thể đọc được vì văn phong đặc Mỹ, dụng từ thông dụng, sử dụng nhiều khẩu ngữ và văn nói. Điểm trừ: - Cứ vài chương tác giả lại đan xen một bài phát biểu chuyên môn và một vài bài báo học thuật từ một tạp chí chuyên ngành và báo nào đó. Không quen và khiến cho mình cảm giác cuốn sách giống như một bài tiểu luận chuyên khoa của tác giả với dày đặc phân tích chuyên môn về gene. - Truyện có quá nhiều nhân vật, mỗi chương lại là một tuyến nhân vật khác nhau và lần lượt chuyển tuyến ở những chương kế. Việc nhớ hết tên và tuyến chuyện thực sự mệt mỏi Cuối cuốn sách, tác giả rất cẩn thận tóm tắt lại các quan điểm của mình về các vấn đề và lỗ hổng pháp lý xung quanh biến đổi gene và sở hữu gene. Ngoài ra, tác giả cũng trích kèm danh sách các cuốn chuyên ngành và tài liệu ông đã tham khảo trong quá trình viết Next. Các bạn yêu thích hoặc theo ngành Sinh học chắc sẽ có hứng thú check qua. Kết lại, cuốn sách khá phù hợp với các bạn yêu thích công nghệ biến đổi gene. Dù vậy, mình vẫn chưa hiểu sao Next lại được dịch thành Thế giới nghịch, cũng không hiểu liên quan gì tới nội dung sách nữa 🙃

  16. 4 out of 5

    Thom Dunn

    I finished NEXT last night, having taken two months of bedside reading to move through it leisurely. I also read several of the reviews on this web site. I wonder if those who complain it "has no plot" actually finished the book. Crichton DOES pull together his disparate plot lines in the last few chapters. Its important to keep in mind, as one reviewer pointed out, that Crichton is a satirist. Here he mixes his serious material with raw comedy, going way over the top at times. It might have he I finished NEXT last night, having taken two months of bedside reading to move through it leisurely. I also read several of the reviews on this web site. I wonder if those who complain it "has no plot" actually finished the book. Crichton DOES pull together his disparate plot lines in the last few chapters. Its important to keep in mind, as one reviewer pointed out, that Crichton is a satirist. Here he mixes his serious material with raw comedy, going way over the top at times. It might have helped if Crichton(alas, the late Michael Crichton) had put his chapter on background research up front; then his purposes might have been better revealed and fewer readers dissapointed or--if my suspicion is true--scared off. This is a fun book. Grim fun, to be sure, but that's often true of SF humor. Much of it is a send-up of that profile of high-seriousness that drug companies bring to all they do, often lulling the public into an acceptance of highly questionable methods. Should we be pissed at Voltaire for taking his narrative "too far"? Crichton is not trying to paint an accurate picture here of how far things have come. Well, yes he is. But he's much more concerned, I feel, with what's coming NEXT, if this goes on.

  17. 4 out of 5

    bendyroad

    I had been boycotting Michael Crichton since his unhelpful muddying of the waters of the climate change "debate" in his next-to-last novel which included a personal message to his readers that he didn't believe the issues were really human related at all. Read the IPCC report, you ignoramus. However, I was stuck in an airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, having finished every novel in my bag and with the prospect of 12 hours of airplanes and airports ahead. The novel selection in the airport shop w I had been boycotting Michael Crichton since his unhelpful muddying of the waters of the climate change "debate" in his next-to-last novel which included a personal message to his readers that he didn't believe the issues were really human related at all. Read the IPCC report, you ignoramus. However, I was stuck in an airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, having finished every novel in my bag and with the prospect of 12 hours of airplanes and airports ahead. The novel selection in the airport shop was a single shelf of chick lit and Clive Cusslers. I was desperate. His newest hobbyhorse is genetics and the story, if you could call it that, is light window dressing for sociopolitical railery. He should have stuck to dinosaurs, not that the pseudoscientific scaffolding that Jurassic Park hung upon was any better, but at least we weren't subjected to his personal views to such an enfuriating degree. I don't disagree that genetics, gene therapy, and copywriting of particular genes are bringing up some worrying issues but I don't need them pointed out to me by some hack writer in the guise of a novel. Mr. Crichton is a conspiracy theorist and the conspiracy is made up of SCIENTISTS. Don't even get me started on his Astrobiology book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rashmi Banerjee

    I love the way that Michael Crichton takes seemingly non-related parallel story lines and brings them all together in the end. Being a scientist, the topic of this book was interesting to me and I liked the book. I could really do without the profanity in the book... the F-word being his word of choice. I must say that Crichton sure did exhaust it's usage... as verb, noun, adjective, and maybe even some new ways to use it. I had to laugh when on page 370, one of the characters, "shouted and swor I love the way that Michael Crichton takes seemingly non-related parallel story lines and brings them all together in the end. Being a scientist, the topic of this book was interesting to me and I liked the book. I could really do without the profanity in the book... the F-word being his word of choice. I must say that Crichton sure did exhaust it's usage... as verb, noun, adjective, and maybe even some new ways to use it. I had to laugh when on page 370, one of the characters, "shouted and swore." Any other place in the book, he just put it right out there. Even when the character was not directly talking or thinking, Crichton would use profanity as an adjective when describing what was going on. It took a 4-star book down to a 3-star for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Good: A fantastic premise, as always, from Crichton. Fact based, with completely terrifying implications, Next takes science today to that "next" step. If furthers things just a bit more, the ramifications of which give the readers a lot of troubling thoughts to consider. The Bad: Crichton lost me at the money. Apparently, if you mix human and monkey DNA, a monkey will be born with human vocal capabilities. A monkey that you can pass off as a child with a hairy birth defect and some impulse c The Good: A fantastic premise, as always, from Crichton. Fact based, with completely terrifying implications, Next takes science today to that "next" step. If furthers things just a bit more, the ramifications of which give the readers a lot of troubling thoughts to consider. The Bad: Crichton lost me at the money. Apparently, if you mix human and monkey DNA, a monkey will be born with human vocal capabilities. A monkey that you can pass off as a child with a hairy birth defect and some impulse control issues. The fact that this monkey was able to fool more than one person in this book was just ludicrous. I had a hard time taking anything seriously in the book after that.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kersten

    This is classic Michael Crichton. I love his stories and how he intermingle science within a fictional novel. The story deals with the ethics and stories associated with bio genetics. There is a long cast of characters and the author ties them together in the end (which is probably a little too far fetched). However, it is a great way (for me) to get lost in an amazing world that Michael has a way of putting together. I am sad that he has passed away and will no longer be able to gift the world This is classic Michael Crichton. I love his stories and how he intermingle science within a fictional novel. The story deals with the ethics and stories associated with bio genetics. There is a long cast of characters and the author ties them together in the end (which is probably a little too far fetched). However, it is a great way (for me) to get lost in an amazing world that Michael has a way of putting together. I am sad that he has passed away and will no longer be able to gift the world with his creativity.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Urges

    Reading this was like watching a badly written television series. Crichton tried way too hard to be sensational. Disappointing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tim Martin

    Michael Crichton revisited the world of genetic engineering in his novel _Next_. Steering away from recreating extinct organisms (namely dinosaurs, as in his _Jurassic Park_ novels), he looked at issues of genetic engineering as well as how the legal world and the culture relates to it, issues that are relevant today. Some parts are scary, though more in a sickening death-and-taxes-that-could-really-happen kind of way than an edge-of-your-seat-oh-my-goodness kind of way. Lots to dissect in this b Michael Crichton revisited the world of genetic engineering in his novel _Next_. Steering away from recreating extinct organisms (namely dinosaurs, as in his _Jurassic Park_ novels), he looked at issues of genetic engineering as well as how the legal world and the culture relates to it, issues that are relevant today. Some parts are scary, though more in a sickening death-and-taxes-that-could-really-happen kind of way than an edge-of-your-seat-oh-my-goodness kind of way. Lots to dissect in this book; let's look at the two main plots to begin with. One plot revolved around the saga of Henry Kendall, a genetic researcher who years ago mixed his own DNA into chimpanzee DNA. He thought the fetus - as most transgenic fetuses ended up being - would either die in the womb or otherwise die soon afterwards and he would have something for a research project. Owing to a series of events he lost track of the mother, the mother gave birth, and the transgenic animal - the humanzee - survived. Harry, who left the lab, assumed the animal had died but was given a heads up by a former colleague that his humanzee, dubbed Dave, was going to be euthanasized. Bad enough to put down an animal (that was after all the result of an illegal experiment), it got worse; Dave is sentient and can speak. Harry basically smuggled the animal out of the lab and did his best to keep him safe and then give him some kind of life. The other main plot revolved around a both chilling and perhaps insane saga. It seems a man by the name of Frank Burnett had cancer and underwent some experimental treatment. Frank recovered, but not thanks to the researchers. It turned out that Frank's own body could manufacture powerful cancer-fighting components, and those components were valuable. Without informing Frank what was going on, his doctor/genetic engineering entrepreneur Rick Diehl was obtaining numerous samples from Frank, developing a cell line in the lab for genetic research and later commercial purposes, and building an entire profitable company around this. This being the day and age it is Frank sues of course. Why can't he get a cut of the immense profits? Don't they at least need his permission? Incredibly, in court Frank, represented by his daughter Alison lost. The company, BioGen, it is ruled owned those cells. Any cells that Frank lost during the hospital are considered waste material and he lost ownership rights to him, and when Rick patented his findings from studying those cells, Frank lost any chance to ever make any profit from that cell line. Frank was about to give up and go home after losing the court case when an unscrupulous and shady character comes up with a proposal; what if BioGen were to "accidentally" lose all of those cell lines in their labs and off-site storage facilities? If Frank went into hiding, another, second company could come, extract cells from him and this time cut Frank in for a share of the profits. Well Frank of course agrees, but that is where it gets interesting. Faced with a devastating financial blow, Rick and BioGen need those cell lines. They get a court order for Frank to show up and give more samples - after all, BioGen "owns" Frank's cells - but he is a no show. However, they know that Frank has a daughter and a grandson, and they go after them, hoping to extract cells from them, viewing those cells as "stolen property." Easily the most action-packed of the plotlines, it was quite entertaining. Crichton does not limit his exploration of the world of genetic engineering, culture, and the law, to these two story lines and has several unrelated or marginally related subplots and one-shot chapters exploring various other issues, including issues relating to patenting entire species of wild animals, when hospitals make a profit from the body parts of deceased patients, and the rights of anonymous sperm donors in a world of DNA testing. Though generally interesting, they didn't always relate to what I viewed as the two main plots and one of these plot lines was better as an intellectual exercise and didn't do much as entertaining fiction. I found that the book ended a bit too neatly in some ways, as too many seemingly unrelated plotlines converged at the end, including one with a wise-cracking transgenic parrot by the name of Gerard. The writing though overall was good and I liked how he portrayed most of the characters. Unusually for a work of fiction, Crichton included a list of conclusions he reached from his research for the book. An appendix detailed five suggestions to avoid some of the insanity he had just portrayed, namely stop patenting genes (that one he went into at length), establish clear guidelines for the use of human tissue (particularly with regards to donor rights), pass laws to make sure data about genetic testing is made public (he stated that some researchers have tried to prevent data about patient deaths resulting from genetic therapy getting into the public media, claiming such information is a trade secret), avoid bans on research (he wrote that they can't be enforced anyway), and rescind the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act (legislation which ended up seriously blurring the line between academic research and private industry and producing too many scientists motivated by personal financial interests in their research and results). He also included an extensive bibliography with comments on each book or article.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Danni The Girl

    This book was recommended to me by my Dad, I'll always read anything he gives me. I read this a long time ago, I remember it being very scientific, so at times I did struggle to keep up and understand what was going on, but I remember it being brilliant. A guy working with a monkey trying to find a cure? I will definitely have to re read this but I remember it being good

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Science runs amok when introduced to the profit motive. This is a work of fiction, but firmly rooted in the possibilities of today. Genetic capitalization, that is the name of the game and Crichton spins multiples stories that all revolve around how the progress of science can be (and likely already is) used and abused for capital gains. In a world that has seen the proliferation of drug commercials, sky-rocketing drug costs, and morally ambiguous legal decisions regarding big pharma, much of wha Science runs amok when introduced to the profit motive. This is a work of fiction, but firmly rooted in the possibilities of today. Genetic capitalization, that is the name of the game and Crichton spins multiples stories that all revolve around how the progress of science can be (and likely already is) used and abused for capital gains. In a world that has seen the proliferation of drug commercials, sky-rocketing drug costs, and morally ambiguous legal decisions regarding big pharma, much of what lies between these pages is completely believable. Of coarse, Crichton has to wrap it all up in a thriller/adventure dressing, but that's okay, it's the 'spoon full of sugar' theory in literary action. The multiple story lines are okay, there is little to no real character development, but in the end is that what you expect from Crichton? I think not - I know I don't. It's a page turner that will make you think a bit, and that is kind of his shtick, and there is certainly much worse out there. It's solid and entertaining. The most engaging characters, Gerard and Dave, are not even human (though not completely non-human either), but they seem to have more depth than the rest of the cast all rolled together. The events will keep you reading; it's plot driven with a steady rat-a-tat drum line. Crichton is a mass seller, I understand that, and I am not about to criticize making STEM topics palatable or consumable for the masses, but there are times that his writing seems patronizing. Do people really not know the difference between apes and monkeys? Do we need to have the fact that there is a difference between the two repeated soooo many times? Please no more Gomer Pyle characters yelling about monkeys while face-to-face with an Orangutan. I mean, every character seemed to understand how genetic engineering would basically work, but the concept of ape not monkey was beyond them - Yarg.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Lind - Bookcetera Reviews

    This book was a very random purchase in Hoboken, NJ while waiting over two hours for the next train to upstate New York to visit a friend. I’d read a few books by Michael Crichton and this one was on sale for $7.00 (hard cover) so I grabbed it. Next delves into scientific advancement. What is wrong, right, and where the line between them is largely overlooked. Medical related, of course, the story follows individuals as they face the consequences of things like genetic engineering, DNA decoding, This book was a very random purchase in Hoboken, NJ while waiting over two hours for the next train to upstate New York to visit a friend. I’d read a few books by Michael Crichton and this one was on sale for $7.00 (hard cover) so I grabbed it. Next delves into scientific advancement. What is wrong, right, and where the line between them is largely overlooked. Medical related, of course, the story follows individuals as they face the consequences of things like genetic engineering, DNA decoding, genetic tampering, and one of the most insane things out there: gene patenting (side note, did you know 5% of the genes that make up who you are are patented and "owned" by companies?) Are all the things going on in the book true? Most likely not. Could they be? Of course. That is what kept the book interesting to me. In this book I didn't really grow attached to the characters in the pages due to a lack of real character development but I did care about what they were doing to help change (some for the better, some not) the world in which we live. Next is fast paced with lots of interesting tidbits of information in this sect of science, technology, and patent law. It makes the reality of cures, cloning, and judicial rulings in these matters rather scary. Not a read for everyone but if you like science and can stand an intersting book where you don't fall in love with the characters then I do recommend this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    It's not very often that I experience self-consciousness while reading a book. This book inspired that kind of feeling in me by its being so poorly crafted that I felt absolutely philistine. I'm not sure if Crichton just had a bad writing streak, or if my tastes in reading have moved on - but his most recent book, Next, was an astounding disappointment. Next focuses on the potential that present day and up and coming genetic technologies may have upon our society and way of life. A cautionary tal It's not very often that I experience self-consciousness while reading a book. This book inspired that kind of feeling in me by its being so poorly crafted that I felt absolutely philistine. I'm not sure if Crichton just had a bad writing streak, or if my tastes in reading have moved on - but his most recent book, Next, was an astounding disappointment. Next focuses on the potential that present day and up and coming genetic technologies may have upon our society and way of life. A cautionary tale not unlike many of Crichton's other novels, this book was designed to intimidate and bring forward the scarier possibilities that new genetic technologies pose. I was reminded of the multi-cultural movie "Babel" while reading this book, in that the author kept multiple and separate stories narrated in tandem, each story connected one way or another. Although I remain critical about the worth behind the content and some of the choices that were made to communicate the information in the book, that's not to say that I didn't encounter portions of the book that kept me interested and reading longer than I intended so that I could see around the next corner of the twisting plot. Even though this book didn't cater to my desire for mental stimulation, I certainly can't deny that the book did have some page-turning thriller value with a wide appeal range because of the mixed plot lines ranging from John Grisham-like legal intrigue to some science fiction action. For these reasons, I would suggest that anyone looking for a fast reading 400 page book, this one is it. Just don't expect to come out enlightened by Michael Crichton's musings this time around.

  27. 4 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    This could have been a thrilling book, really, but it definitely isn't! Crichton picked a very interesting topic (genetic engineering) but failed to make a coherent book out of it: a chaotic plot, uninteresting characters, disjointed storylines that are woven together towards the end of the book but don't make much sense, an ending that left characters and situations unresolved (not to mention the cuttings about the evolutionary fate of blondes?!)... "Completely brilliant", it says on the front This could have been a thrilling book, really, but it definitely isn't! Crichton picked a very interesting topic (genetic engineering) but failed to make a coherent book out of it: a chaotic plot, uninteresting characters, disjointed storylines that are woven together towards the end of the book but don't make much sense, an ending that left characters and situations unresolved (not to mention the cuttings about the evolutionary fate of blondes?!)... "Completely brilliant", it says on the front cover of this novel, which makes me wonder, did we read the same book??? This was definitely a thorough disappointment for me. Michael Crichton has written some great novels in the past, but "Next" isn't up to their standards.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

    I love the way that Michael Crichton takes seemingly non-related parallel story lines and brings them all together in the end. Being a scientist, the topic of this book was interesting to me and I liked the book. I could really do without the profanity in the book... the F-word being his word of choice. I must say that Crichton sure did exhaust it's usage... as verb, noun, adjective, and maybe even some new ways to use it. I had to laugh when on page 370, one of the characters, "shouted and swor I love the way that Michael Crichton takes seemingly non-related parallel story lines and brings them all together in the end. Being a scientist, the topic of this book was interesting to me and I liked the book. I could really do without the profanity in the book... the F-word being his word of choice. I must say that Crichton sure did exhaust it's usage... as verb, noun, adjective, and maybe even some new ways to use it. I had to laugh when on page 370, one of the characters, "shouted and swore." Any other place in the book, he just put it right out there. Even when the character was not directly talking or thinking, Crichton would use profanity as an adjective when describing what was going on. It took a 4-star book down to a 3-star for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kandice

    Anything monkey, gorilla... right up my alley.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Manuel I.

    I thought this read was good for several reasons. The character development was interesting in a simple way. The plot and story line were both comical and impressive for the fact that the story's premise is just as much feasible as it is exaggerated for the dramatic purpose and entertaining, intriguing effect! A bit disturbing when we consider the scientific, moral and ethical extremes that it portrays! All in all I would recommend it for those of us who enjoy S.F., action, scandal and drama. Th I thought this read was good for several reasons. The character development was interesting in a simple way. The plot and story line were both comical and impressive for the fact that the story's premise is just as much feasible as it is exaggerated for the dramatic purpose and entertaining, intriguing effect! A bit disturbing when we consider the scientific, moral and ethical extremes that it portrays! All in all I would recommend it for those of us who enjoy S.F., action, scandal and drama. The possibilities of actual occurrences as such, was also a bit disturbing. The fact that animals could be used and altered from their natural states, that genes could be not so much studied as manipulated and distorted. Gives the idea that the entire natural world hangs in the balance of being affected negatively by man and science. Interesting but dangerous ideas without proper knowledge and wisdom as our guides!

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