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In Paris, a physicist dies after performing a laboratory experiment for a beautiful visitor.

In the jungles of Malaysia, a mysterious buyer purchases deadly cavitation technology, built to his specifications.

In Vancouver, a small research submarine is leased for use in the waters off New Guinea.

And in Tokyo, an intelligence agent tries to understand what it all means.

Thus begins Michael Crichton's exciting and provocative technothriller, State of Fear. Only Michael Crichton's unique ability to blend science fact and pulse-pounding fiction could bring such disparate elements to a heart-stopping conclusion.

This is Michael Crichton's most wide-ranging thriller. State of Fear takes the reader from the glaciers of Iceland to the volcanoes of Antarctica, from the Arizona desert to the deadly jungles of the Solomon Islands, from the streets of Paris to the beaches of Los Angeles. The novel races forward, taking the reader on a rollercoaster thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear. Gripping and thought-provoking, State of Fear is Michael Crichton at his very best.

Topics: Speculative Fiction, Suspenseful, Adventurous, Climate Change, The Environment, and Politics

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061752728
List price: $9.99
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I've only recently started finding and reading thrillers, and State of Fear is my first from Michael Crichton.

I wasn't disappointed.

The action is steady, and builds. But not in a once style tension, like a runner circling the track and slowly adding speed as the laps progress.

Rather, this was more like a crosscountry run over terrain not fully anticipated. And though the initial pace is wisely modulated down, the tension and apprehension of what is happening begin from the first chapters.

Slowly characters are added, and not necessarily in order of importance, at least in terms of status of the character.

Also, unlike some thrillers, more esp those I've seen on film, rather than read via a book, action and suspense aren't the end alls of the story. Depth is added via explanations disguised as discussions between characters. There might be a few of those dialogs that started to drag a bit, but rather that, than an unrelenting drive that simply wears the reader out in an effort to convey the "thrill."

There is considerable depth of discussion and, for me, it didn't begin to detract. It surprised me, that such a well regarded best seller would have such in-depth dialog about things to do about science, the environment, power. And one can skim or skip over those portions and not lose much in terms of the physical action of the plot. But if skipped or scanned, the reader might lose the full impact of how good this book really is as a whole.

I'm glad Micheal took the time to elaborate the themes and ideas and state of the research regarding the book's topics, the environment and the wielding of power.

The two are weaved together in a totally convincing manner to me.

There is a sadness, understanding more of our earth's history, the history of ideas among people, and grasping the magnitude of the forces of nature beyond our control.

But there's a satisfaction in understanding, even if just somewhat.

And like all good fiction, there's a release in how the story unfolds, exposing us to the characters' fears and desires. To our own predicament of being people on a small planet in a large universe. And how much detail of concern there is just within our own planet, happening with and without us.

Totally recommend this absorbing book.more
Cool book!more
I love the fact that Crichton challenges the reader to judge the science based on SCIENCE not media publicity!! Plus an exciting suspense/thriller...more
This book is terrible. It's righty anti-environment propaganda, for one thing, and Crichton should have known better; but for another thing, it's really badly written.

I like Crichton usually, but this is a very bad book.more
This book had made me reconsider my beliefs on climate change, but frankly, the story just wasn't that good.more
Michael Crichton would really like to let you know that there’s no such thing as global warming. Also, the media keeps you in a constant state of fear about whatever crisis or catastrophe is coming next. You’re more easily controllable that way. To that end, he has carefully crafted a science fiction thriller with handy real-life corollaries and a multitude of footnotes. He even includes a forward that seems to assert the truth of this entire tale. A more malleable mind might take him at his word and believe the work to be non-fiction. In fact, US Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who chaired the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, made State of Fear “required reading” for members of said committee. Because fiction novels should absolutely inform public policy. Crichton’s novel almost works as a thriller; a group of people race around the world trying to stop members of the EarthEnvironmental Liberation Front from creating “natural” disasters to coincide with a big Abrupt Climate Change Conference. Unfortunately, the leader of the group, John Kenner, keeps engaging people in conversations in which he points out how silly and wrong-headed their media-informed opinions are about climate change, wildlife management, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and more. He’s really quite a dick about it. Also, it’s difficult for suspense to build when every plane ride to the next disaster consists of this guy pontificating. With footnotes! Did I mention the footnotes? There are tons of them. A cursory Google search of the book will produce several different scientific organizations who have gone pretty much point-by-point through Crichton’s arguments and poked holes in all of them, but as Kenner would say, that’s because the scientists are in the pockets of the environmentalists. Which is just about as ridiculous as his denigration of the people who dismiss contradictory studies because they were funded by industry. Who even knows what the science is really saying anymore? Which scientists should one believe? That actually seems to be the conclusion drawn by the book, that science should be blind to funding. Which, theoretically, is a great idea. It’s just too bad Crichton has to bash most of the scientists on the planet in order to make that (arguably unrealistic) point.more
According to Chricton, there is no global warming happening. In fact, he makes a case for the opposite, global cooling. The premise of the book is that various eco-terror groups are making lots of money from spreading the fear of global warming and are even manufacturing disasters that look like natural disasters that can then be blamed on global warming. I’ll let the reader decide if this is fantasy or just fiction.Because I felt the overall tone is rather preachy and overly forceful, I’m downgrading this to just three stars. Actually, the writing was not that great either, but the action kept pulling me along.For a real mind twist, try reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain either before or after this. Robinson states an equally compelling view that the coming global warming is both more imminent and severe than we are being told.more
Lots of reviews on this one, so look to one of the others for a summary of the book.There were some things I loved about this book, and some I hated. I love that the author is willing to challenge the status quo of the dogma of environmental groups and the assumptions they make, to point out the inconsistencies and partiality of them. I think the world would be better if some of his recommendations were implemented; blind scientific research and such, and if people wouldn't swallow everything whole. If we would wait to implement policies until unbiased research was done on the issues, we might make fewer blunders. I also think that some of his observations apply to more than environmental groups. They apply to any group with an "issue" they are trying to push through, whether it be Republican, Christian, Democrat or Atheist, every group has an agenda and will skew the facts to try to fool people into voting/contributing towards their cause. People need to take responsibility to learn about issues before donating or voting, not just take the easy way out and go with the majority you are comfortable with. OK, those are the ideas which I appreciated being addressed in this book.Now for the things which I did not like. The author made the "bad" guys, in this case the environmental terrorists, into caricatures. He also made several of the protagonists so incredibly dumb I really wanted them to be eaten by cannibals, as one of them was, but not the one I was hoping for. Also, he beat the issue about the head until it was a bloody boring nuisance. Too much repetition.So, I'm still glad I listened to this, the reader was pretty good, for most of the parts (Why does everyone doing a Slavic accent sound like Dracula? I've heard true Slavic peoples speak and they don't sound like Dracula).more
The controversy about climate change as presented by Crichton brings in all of the right wing’s bogus scientific claims in an effort to refute the vast majority of the world's scientists. When it comes to scientific certainty about anything, of course, we can't be 100% sure. Crichton was likely in the chorus of industry nay sayers denying there was a problem with the ozone layer. What this reader can be certain about is that Crichton's book is poorly conceived diatribe against rational science and particularly against environmentalists who threaten to disrupt the profit flow to the fossil fuel industry. The nonsense he presents as science force fed to reader in the book is just ranting and pandering. He should have written an essay for a right wing publication instead. This is propaganda at its worst. Crichton presents the tiny minority view that global warming is at the very least uncertain to the extreme position of the coal industry lobby that it just isn't happening. Around this right wing science (and he does offer selective facts) he constructs a plot in which diabolical environmentalists financed by a thinly disguised George Soros character, attempt to wreak destruction and mayhem. The plot, characters and story are in the service of debunking global warming. Remember, this is the guy who contrived to make sexual harassment an attack of (attractive) liberated women on moral men. They made a movie of that one. Note: the strong arm female characters abound is this book as well. Hopefully this distortion of discredited science masquerading as a novel won't go on to become another bit of celluloid right wing propaganda. I got this book as part of a two for package - the other book was considerably better. Vote with your dollars to send this to the trash bin and buy another book.more
That was quite surprising. This is not a novel - this is a novel-length opinion column pretending to be a novel. It is very well written for what it is - it's very difficult to write hundreds of pages of opinion column good enough for me to read to the end - and this book does it. But still, it's not a novel. The plot is a silly excuse for the author to share his opinion of global warming, and I think your time will be better spent getting that information from a more objective source.more
With Global Warming at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and the media propagating this fear, Michael Crichton has captured this fear mongering and turned the tables after researching facts and creating characters determined to expose the truth about a fictional environmental activist group in his novel State of Fear. Crichton sets the reader on the path of an eco-terrorist group with plans construct dramatic actions that would appear as “Natural Disasters” to be used by the environmental activist groups to highlight the Global Warming effects on our world. However, with every terrorist group, this is an opposing force. In State of Fear, Crichton has collected a small but powerful group consisting of a wealthy philanthropist, George Morton, who was once a huge proponent of the environmental activist group before realizing what they were doing; Morton’s assistant Sarah Jones; Morton’s lawyer Peter Evens; and two international law enforcement agents posing as MIT researchers hot on the trail of eco-terrorists. After Morton’s fatal crash and multiple threats and robberies, this crew jets all around the world attempting to sabotage the eco-terrorist group’s activities and try to discover who is at the head of this group.As is typical with Crichton’s books, he has smoothly blended science and fiction in a way that doesn’t quite qualify as science-fiction, but tends more toward the action/suspense genre. Crichton received much criticism for this work. Some organizations stated that his research of their work was misused and thus misguided the audience…which is ironically what he was trying to impart organizations do throughout his novel. I am definitely a Michael Crichton fan, and this adventure lives up to his typical thrills. There are no giant dinosaurs chasing you though the jungle, no apes to crush your skull, and no theoretical time machines sending you back into the center of a medieval war. Instead, we are along for the ride to expose plots to manipulate the media, capitalizing on the State of Fear that the media can put society into. However, there are some very angry people determined to stop us.What a great ride. Michael Crichton will be missed.more
A Michael Crichton techno-thriller, about an investigator who enlists an unlikely and reluctant team to help him thwart a plan by environmental group leaders to enrich their coffers of donated money and government grants by causing environmental crises and blaming it on global warming. It's a typical fast-moving and action-packed Crichton plot, but he makes it clear through his characters that he sees global warming as a hoax. To his credit he does offer several sources for his contentions that the climate has not appreciably changed and the glaciers are not receding. I'm not a climatologist and I don't follow the research, but if it comes down to a choice between the contentions of most environmental scientists, and the groups and individuals who deny global warming (they seem to be largely neo-conservatives), I have to come down on the side of the scientists. At least I'm comfortable in their motivations, whereas the naysayers seem to be motivated by the costs and lifestyle changes it would take to put a dent in the problem.This book was published in 2004; I think Crichton might have modified his thinking on this had he lived. Aside from the politics, it is a decent fast summer read.more
This book wavers uneasily on the very edge of satire but the author never quite manages to take the plunge. His characters are ridiculous, but are apparently intended seriously. Other authors, e.g., Neal Stephenson, James Morrow, Bill Fitzhugh would have done a better job with the idea if they had thought it worth taking up.A trivial and sloppily plotted book with a few entertaining set pieces.more
This novel will probably have readers split. While the book, in my opinion, is a fun thriller that just happens to make you think about more important issues, I can see how others pay deem it as a preachy example of Crichton's opinions on global climate change. I think it is important to remember that this is a work of fiction. Crichton's views are, no doubt, controversial, but he has crafted another wildly entertaining book.more
An great book, filled with science and interesting debate. I wouldn't say Crichton swayed one way or another, but I am interested in learning more about all aspects of climate change. The book went quickly, but I was frustrated with continual preaching, and even though he defends himself at the end and says that's not what his intention was, it still felt that way. It was good to get back to a Crichton book and now I remember why he was my favorite author for years.more
An absolute fantastic book.... As Mic Crichton is one of the best science fiction writer of all time, this one is no surprise.... For a moment I was convinced Global warming isn't happening, LOL!!! But then I have decided to read more on this subject.The book is nicely paced with interesting arguments, though kind of predictable at the end, nevertheless a very nice book.more
This is a novel with climate change as the main subject. Part way through I had a peek at the appendix at the back which gave the author's own view on the matter. It wouldn't have had to read much further to work out what he thought as it was clear which side the good guys were on. I found the author's obvious opinion tended to overshadow the story, though it's a well written story. I've enjoyed his other books more.more
A book that makes you think about global warming.In State of Fear, Mr. Crichton introduces the reader to a very controversial subject: global warming. Mr. Crichton takes on the subject head on and if you are fan of Michael Crichton then you already know he does extensive research in order to educate the reader to the true facts of global warming. Throughout the whole book, the author keeps driving home the true facts about global warming with charts and studies the demonstrate that global warming is really not a problem. That our planet will not feel the slightest effect of any global warming for a very, very long time.In general, the story is about a group of environmentalists raising money to help study and stop global warming. A top lawyer for this group gets caught up in a crazy chase to stop a group of renegade environmentalists that are trying to create wild weather to show the world that global warming is a threat. This is what makes this a great read. Not only to we get a great thriller, but its a book that makes you think. Highly recommend.more
First of all a little background: I am a retired climate scientist. I was given the hardcover version of 'State of Fear' as a Christmas gift and devoured it quickly, and became nauseated almost as quickly. I gave the book away as soon as I finished it.State of Fear has moments of delightful entertainment. The suspense scene in the Antarctic crevasse was the highlight for me.But this book is really about Crichton crow-barring his way into something he has no useful expertise in, and *seriously* doing a disservice to science. It's been said many times before, but his unabashed cherry-picking of the facts in order to support his pre-conceived bias is shameful, and would be laughed off the stage in the arena of climate science.I am of the opinion that Crichton's book, set as a backdrop for the more recent "climate-gate" controversy (emails between scientists that appear to conspire to distort results) probably had a significant cultural influence, even among people who never read the book.Crichton used the bully pulpit given to him by adoring fans, and his reputation for imaginitive use of real science, to make the case that radical environmentalists were fear-mongering (creating an artificial 'State of Fear'). But in the process, he has engendered a disrespect for science and the scientific process that, had he lived long enough and grown wise enough, I'm sure he would have come to regret.more
Not really a fan of Michael Crichton, I started this fictionnon-fiction book with a "let's see" attitude and quickly got caught up in the suspense as well as the premise. Here is a book that will really make you think!Yes, we have all heard of global warming and the fear-mongering the media has been feeding us for years but, put together with believable characters and fast pace, the reader is left with a mouth-open OMG!Mr, Crichton delivers this time with a bang and to further knowledge on the subject of global warming and the insidious spell of fear, he has developed a bibliography that will really make you think.A must for everyone in these uncertain times!more
This is Crichton at his best. He has eliminated the problems he had early on about character flatness and his plot unfolds rather than forecasts. We care about these people and when one of them dies we do not want him to die. Well, don't worry. HE/SHE MAY NOT BE DEAD. To have an author use the non-fiction novel format and to have him footnote his facts is simplhy wonderful. it guarantees the reader learns something, even if he doesn't follow up the footnotes (he should, thoughl: consider it part of the novel). What we learn in STATE OF FEAR IS: the global warming theory is just that, a theory, and there are as many facts sshowing we ae heading for an ice age as a heat spell and, (2) th environmental concerns aint eartth day headquarters aqt campus center anymore. they arre giant, multi=bilkion dollar corporations with their own special interests in washington, and now may operate as corruptly as enron or big banks do..more
I always enjoy a Crichton novel but this one had me fuming. The topic of global warming is treated extensively and in a very didactic way by the main character, who doesn't come across to me as believable. I totally agree with the premise that our mainstream media and politicians voice a lot of concerns about topics like the environment without really understanding all the issues. However, this topic is always going to be open to interpretation, depending on what sources one reads. Dismissing the phenomenon of climate change as merely propaganda seems dangerous to me, even if one isn't totally convinced. Rather than take the word of a broadcast journalist, one needs to explore the data itself and formulate one's own opinion.more
A novel about a sinister group promoting climate change as an object of fear so that they can line their own pockets. I have always been of a similar mind, and found out only recently that this novel was about that very topic after watching a Charlie Rose interview of Crichton. Even knowing that this was to be a dramatized version of what's going on, I found it goes way over the top in the skullduggery department, laughably so at times. I almost gave up on it, but glad I didn't, because it redeems itself in the last fifth, where the author talks about humanity's constant need for a bogeyman of some sort.more
A favorite - thrilling - a great "fictional" story about how the new media feds us "crisis" and "sensationalism". Another I have read several times and plan to read again.more
State of Fear was Michael Crichton's take on the Global warming issue. This book points out his belief that there was/is to much politics in global warming legislation and the media, and not enough actual science backing up the claims. It was another decent thriller from him though it was far from his best. I found many of the questions he asked in the book very thought provoking and I am glad I read it. Even though too much thinking about the plot would let one see that actions were meant to showcase the ideology instead of make a really good story.more
This book could apply today to what is going on in world as relates to the furor over climate change. Although this is a novel, the author does the best job of anyone to date in explaining the processes involved in global warming and how proponents are so adept at throwing spears, but are practically incapable of catching one.more
Read all 75 reviews

Reviews

I've only recently started finding and reading thrillers, and State of Fear is my first from Michael Crichton.

I wasn't disappointed.

The action is steady, and builds. But not in a once style tension, like a runner circling the track and slowly adding speed as the laps progress.

Rather, this was more like a crosscountry run over terrain not fully anticipated. And though the initial pace is wisely modulated down, the tension and apprehension of what is happening begin from the first chapters.

Slowly characters are added, and not necessarily in order of importance, at least in terms of status of the character.

Also, unlike some thrillers, more esp those I've seen on film, rather than read via a book, action and suspense aren't the end alls of the story. Depth is added via explanations disguised as discussions between characters. There might be a few of those dialogs that started to drag a bit, but rather that, than an unrelenting drive that simply wears the reader out in an effort to convey the "thrill."

There is considerable depth of discussion and, for me, it didn't begin to detract. It surprised me, that such a well regarded best seller would have such in-depth dialog about things to do about science, the environment, power. And one can skim or skip over those portions and not lose much in terms of the physical action of the plot. But if skipped or scanned, the reader might lose the full impact of how good this book really is as a whole.

I'm glad Micheal took the time to elaborate the themes and ideas and state of the research regarding the book's topics, the environment and the wielding of power.

The two are weaved together in a totally convincing manner to me.

There is a sadness, understanding more of our earth's history, the history of ideas among people, and grasping the magnitude of the forces of nature beyond our control.

But there's a satisfaction in understanding, even if just somewhat.

And like all good fiction, there's a release in how the story unfolds, exposing us to the characters' fears and desires. To our own predicament of being people on a small planet in a large universe. And how much detail of concern there is just within our own planet, happening with and without us.

Totally recommend this absorbing book.more
Cool book!more
I love the fact that Crichton challenges the reader to judge the science based on SCIENCE not media publicity!! Plus an exciting suspense/thriller...more
This book is terrible. It's righty anti-environment propaganda, for one thing, and Crichton should have known better; but for another thing, it's really badly written.

I like Crichton usually, but this is a very bad book.more
This book had made me reconsider my beliefs on climate change, but frankly, the story just wasn't that good.more
Michael Crichton would really like to let you know that there’s no such thing as global warming. Also, the media keeps you in a constant state of fear about whatever crisis or catastrophe is coming next. You’re more easily controllable that way. To that end, he has carefully crafted a science fiction thriller with handy real-life corollaries and a multitude of footnotes. He even includes a forward that seems to assert the truth of this entire tale. A more malleable mind might take him at his word and believe the work to be non-fiction. In fact, US Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who chaired the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, made State of Fear “required reading” for members of said committee. Because fiction novels should absolutely inform public policy. Crichton’s novel almost works as a thriller; a group of people race around the world trying to stop members of the EarthEnvironmental Liberation Front from creating “natural” disasters to coincide with a big Abrupt Climate Change Conference. Unfortunately, the leader of the group, John Kenner, keeps engaging people in conversations in which he points out how silly and wrong-headed their media-informed opinions are about climate change, wildlife management, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and more. He’s really quite a dick about it. Also, it’s difficult for suspense to build when every plane ride to the next disaster consists of this guy pontificating. With footnotes! Did I mention the footnotes? There are tons of them. A cursory Google search of the book will produce several different scientific organizations who have gone pretty much point-by-point through Crichton’s arguments and poked holes in all of them, but as Kenner would say, that’s because the scientists are in the pockets of the environmentalists. Which is just about as ridiculous as his denigration of the people who dismiss contradictory studies because they were funded by industry. Who even knows what the science is really saying anymore? Which scientists should one believe? That actually seems to be the conclusion drawn by the book, that science should be blind to funding. Which, theoretically, is a great idea. It’s just too bad Crichton has to bash most of the scientists on the planet in order to make that (arguably unrealistic) point.more
According to Chricton, there is no global warming happening. In fact, he makes a case for the opposite, global cooling. The premise of the book is that various eco-terror groups are making lots of money from spreading the fear of global warming and are even manufacturing disasters that look like natural disasters that can then be blamed on global warming. I’ll let the reader decide if this is fantasy or just fiction.Because I felt the overall tone is rather preachy and overly forceful, I’m downgrading this to just three stars. Actually, the writing was not that great either, but the action kept pulling me along.For a real mind twist, try reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Forty Signs of Rain either before or after this. Robinson states an equally compelling view that the coming global warming is both more imminent and severe than we are being told.more
Lots of reviews on this one, so look to one of the others for a summary of the book.There were some things I loved about this book, and some I hated. I love that the author is willing to challenge the status quo of the dogma of environmental groups and the assumptions they make, to point out the inconsistencies and partiality of them. I think the world would be better if some of his recommendations were implemented; blind scientific research and such, and if people wouldn't swallow everything whole. If we would wait to implement policies until unbiased research was done on the issues, we might make fewer blunders. I also think that some of his observations apply to more than environmental groups. They apply to any group with an "issue" they are trying to push through, whether it be Republican, Christian, Democrat or Atheist, every group has an agenda and will skew the facts to try to fool people into voting/contributing towards their cause. People need to take responsibility to learn about issues before donating or voting, not just take the easy way out and go with the majority you are comfortable with. OK, those are the ideas which I appreciated being addressed in this book.Now for the things which I did not like. The author made the "bad" guys, in this case the environmental terrorists, into caricatures. He also made several of the protagonists so incredibly dumb I really wanted them to be eaten by cannibals, as one of them was, but not the one I was hoping for. Also, he beat the issue about the head until it was a bloody boring nuisance. Too much repetition.So, I'm still glad I listened to this, the reader was pretty good, for most of the parts (Why does everyone doing a Slavic accent sound like Dracula? I've heard true Slavic peoples speak and they don't sound like Dracula).more
The controversy about climate change as presented by Crichton brings in all of the right wing’s bogus scientific claims in an effort to refute the vast majority of the world's scientists. When it comes to scientific certainty about anything, of course, we can't be 100% sure. Crichton was likely in the chorus of industry nay sayers denying there was a problem with the ozone layer. What this reader can be certain about is that Crichton's book is poorly conceived diatribe against rational science and particularly against environmentalists who threaten to disrupt the profit flow to the fossil fuel industry. The nonsense he presents as science force fed to reader in the book is just ranting and pandering. He should have written an essay for a right wing publication instead. This is propaganda at its worst. Crichton presents the tiny minority view that global warming is at the very least uncertain to the extreme position of the coal industry lobby that it just isn't happening. Around this right wing science (and he does offer selective facts) he constructs a plot in which diabolical environmentalists financed by a thinly disguised George Soros character, attempt to wreak destruction and mayhem. The plot, characters and story are in the service of debunking global warming. Remember, this is the guy who contrived to make sexual harassment an attack of (attractive) liberated women on moral men. They made a movie of that one. Note: the strong arm female characters abound is this book as well. Hopefully this distortion of discredited science masquerading as a novel won't go on to become another bit of celluloid right wing propaganda. I got this book as part of a two for package - the other book was considerably better. Vote with your dollars to send this to the trash bin and buy another book.more
That was quite surprising. This is not a novel - this is a novel-length opinion column pretending to be a novel. It is very well written for what it is - it's very difficult to write hundreds of pages of opinion column good enough for me to read to the end - and this book does it. But still, it's not a novel. The plot is a silly excuse for the author to share his opinion of global warming, and I think your time will be better spent getting that information from a more objective source.more
With Global Warming at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and the media propagating this fear, Michael Crichton has captured this fear mongering and turned the tables after researching facts and creating characters determined to expose the truth about a fictional environmental activist group in his novel State of Fear. Crichton sets the reader on the path of an eco-terrorist group with plans construct dramatic actions that would appear as “Natural Disasters” to be used by the environmental activist groups to highlight the Global Warming effects on our world. However, with every terrorist group, this is an opposing force. In State of Fear, Crichton has collected a small but powerful group consisting of a wealthy philanthropist, George Morton, who was once a huge proponent of the environmental activist group before realizing what they were doing; Morton’s assistant Sarah Jones; Morton’s lawyer Peter Evens; and two international law enforcement agents posing as MIT researchers hot on the trail of eco-terrorists. After Morton’s fatal crash and multiple threats and robberies, this crew jets all around the world attempting to sabotage the eco-terrorist group’s activities and try to discover who is at the head of this group.As is typical with Crichton’s books, he has smoothly blended science and fiction in a way that doesn’t quite qualify as science-fiction, but tends more toward the action/suspense genre. Crichton received much criticism for this work. Some organizations stated that his research of their work was misused and thus misguided the audience…which is ironically what he was trying to impart organizations do throughout his novel. I am definitely a Michael Crichton fan, and this adventure lives up to his typical thrills. There are no giant dinosaurs chasing you though the jungle, no apes to crush your skull, and no theoretical time machines sending you back into the center of a medieval war. Instead, we are along for the ride to expose plots to manipulate the media, capitalizing on the State of Fear that the media can put society into. However, there are some very angry people determined to stop us.What a great ride. Michael Crichton will be missed.more
A Michael Crichton techno-thriller, about an investigator who enlists an unlikely and reluctant team to help him thwart a plan by environmental group leaders to enrich their coffers of donated money and government grants by causing environmental crises and blaming it on global warming. It's a typical fast-moving and action-packed Crichton plot, but he makes it clear through his characters that he sees global warming as a hoax. To his credit he does offer several sources for his contentions that the climate has not appreciably changed and the glaciers are not receding. I'm not a climatologist and I don't follow the research, but if it comes down to a choice between the contentions of most environmental scientists, and the groups and individuals who deny global warming (they seem to be largely neo-conservatives), I have to come down on the side of the scientists. At least I'm comfortable in their motivations, whereas the naysayers seem to be motivated by the costs and lifestyle changes it would take to put a dent in the problem.This book was published in 2004; I think Crichton might have modified his thinking on this had he lived. Aside from the politics, it is a decent fast summer read.more
This book wavers uneasily on the very edge of satire but the author never quite manages to take the plunge. His characters are ridiculous, but are apparently intended seriously. Other authors, e.g., Neal Stephenson, James Morrow, Bill Fitzhugh would have done a better job with the idea if they had thought it worth taking up.A trivial and sloppily plotted book with a few entertaining set pieces.more
This novel will probably have readers split. While the book, in my opinion, is a fun thriller that just happens to make you think about more important issues, I can see how others pay deem it as a preachy example of Crichton's opinions on global climate change. I think it is important to remember that this is a work of fiction. Crichton's views are, no doubt, controversial, but he has crafted another wildly entertaining book.more
An great book, filled with science and interesting debate. I wouldn't say Crichton swayed one way or another, but I am interested in learning more about all aspects of climate change. The book went quickly, but I was frustrated with continual preaching, and even though he defends himself at the end and says that's not what his intention was, it still felt that way. It was good to get back to a Crichton book and now I remember why he was my favorite author for years.more
An absolute fantastic book.... As Mic Crichton is one of the best science fiction writer of all time, this one is no surprise.... For a moment I was convinced Global warming isn't happening, LOL!!! But then I have decided to read more on this subject.The book is nicely paced with interesting arguments, though kind of predictable at the end, nevertheless a very nice book.more
This is a novel with climate change as the main subject. Part way through I had a peek at the appendix at the back which gave the author's own view on the matter. It wouldn't have had to read much further to work out what he thought as it was clear which side the good guys were on. I found the author's obvious opinion tended to overshadow the story, though it's a well written story. I've enjoyed his other books more.more
A book that makes you think about global warming.In State of Fear, Mr. Crichton introduces the reader to a very controversial subject: global warming. Mr. Crichton takes on the subject head on and if you are fan of Michael Crichton then you already know he does extensive research in order to educate the reader to the true facts of global warming. Throughout the whole book, the author keeps driving home the true facts about global warming with charts and studies the demonstrate that global warming is really not a problem. That our planet will not feel the slightest effect of any global warming for a very, very long time.In general, the story is about a group of environmentalists raising money to help study and stop global warming. A top lawyer for this group gets caught up in a crazy chase to stop a group of renegade environmentalists that are trying to create wild weather to show the world that global warming is a threat. This is what makes this a great read. Not only to we get a great thriller, but its a book that makes you think. Highly recommend.more
First of all a little background: I am a retired climate scientist. I was given the hardcover version of 'State of Fear' as a Christmas gift and devoured it quickly, and became nauseated almost as quickly. I gave the book away as soon as I finished it.State of Fear has moments of delightful entertainment. The suspense scene in the Antarctic crevasse was the highlight for me.But this book is really about Crichton crow-barring his way into something he has no useful expertise in, and *seriously* doing a disservice to science. It's been said many times before, but his unabashed cherry-picking of the facts in order to support his pre-conceived bias is shameful, and would be laughed off the stage in the arena of climate science.I am of the opinion that Crichton's book, set as a backdrop for the more recent "climate-gate" controversy (emails between scientists that appear to conspire to distort results) probably had a significant cultural influence, even among people who never read the book.Crichton used the bully pulpit given to him by adoring fans, and his reputation for imaginitive use of real science, to make the case that radical environmentalists were fear-mongering (creating an artificial 'State of Fear'). But in the process, he has engendered a disrespect for science and the scientific process that, had he lived long enough and grown wise enough, I'm sure he would have come to regret.more
Not really a fan of Michael Crichton, I started this fictionnon-fiction book with a "let's see" attitude and quickly got caught up in the suspense as well as the premise. Here is a book that will really make you think!Yes, we have all heard of global warming and the fear-mongering the media has been feeding us for years but, put together with believable characters and fast pace, the reader is left with a mouth-open OMG!Mr, Crichton delivers this time with a bang and to further knowledge on the subject of global warming and the insidious spell of fear, he has developed a bibliography that will really make you think.A must for everyone in these uncertain times!more
This is Crichton at his best. He has eliminated the problems he had early on about character flatness and his plot unfolds rather than forecasts. We care about these people and when one of them dies we do not want him to die. Well, don't worry. HE/SHE MAY NOT BE DEAD. To have an author use the non-fiction novel format and to have him footnote his facts is simplhy wonderful. it guarantees the reader learns something, even if he doesn't follow up the footnotes (he should, thoughl: consider it part of the novel). What we learn in STATE OF FEAR IS: the global warming theory is just that, a theory, and there are as many facts sshowing we ae heading for an ice age as a heat spell and, (2) th environmental concerns aint eartth day headquarters aqt campus center anymore. they arre giant, multi=bilkion dollar corporations with their own special interests in washington, and now may operate as corruptly as enron or big banks do..more
I always enjoy a Crichton novel but this one had me fuming. The topic of global warming is treated extensively and in a very didactic way by the main character, who doesn't come across to me as believable. I totally agree with the premise that our mainstream media and politicians voice a lot of concerns about topics like the environment without really understanding all the issues. However, this topic is always going to be open to interpretation, depending on what sources one reads. Dismissing the phenomenon of climate change as merely propaganda seems dangerous to me, even if one isn't totally convinced. Rather than take the word of a broadcast journalist, one needs to explore the data itself and formulate one's own opinion.more
A novel about a sinister group promoting climate change as an object of fear so that they can line their own pockets. I have always been of a similar mind, and found out only recently that this novel was about that very topic after watching a Charlie Rose interview of Crichton. Even knowing that this was to be a dramatized version of what's going on, I found it goes way over the top in the skullduggery department, laughably so at times. I almost gave up on it, but glad I didn't, because it redeems itself in the last fifth, where the author talks about humanity's constant need for a bogeyman of some sort.more
A favorite - thrilling - a great "fictional" story about how the new media feds us "crisis" and "sensationalism". Another I have read several times and plan to read again.more
State of Fear was Michael Crichton's take on the Global warming issue. This book points out his belief that there was/is to much politics in global warming legislation and the media, and not enough actual science backing up the claims. It was another decent thriller from him though it was far from his best. I found many of the questions he asked in the book very thought provoking and I am glad I read it. Even though too much thinking about the plot would let one see that actions were meant to showcase the ideology instead of make a really good story.more
This book could apply today to what is going on in world as relates to the furor over climate change. Although this is a novel, the author does the best job of anyone to date in explaining the processes involved in global warming and how proponents are so adept at throwing spears, but are practically incapable of catching one.more
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