Cover image for State of fear : a novel
Title:
State of fear : a novel
Author:
Crichton, Michael, 1942-2008.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
xii, 603 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.7 21.0 84981.
ISBN:
9780066214139
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

John Michael Crichton, known as Michael Crichton, was born on October 28, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. He wrote novels while attending Harvard University and Harvard Medical School to help pay the tuition. One of these, The Andromeda Strain, which was published in 1969, became a bestseller. After graduating summa cum laude, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute in California before becoming a full-time writer and film director.

His carefully researched novels included Eaters of the Dead, The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery, Congo, Sphere, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World, Airframe, and Micro. He also wrote non-fiction works including Five Patients: The Hospital Explained, Jasper Johns, and Travels. In the late 1960s, he also wrote under the pen names Jeffrey Hudson and John Lange. He has received several awards including Writer of the Year in 1970 from the Association of American Medical Writers and two Edgar Awards in 1968 and in 1979.

Many of his novels have been made into highly successful films, six of which he directed. He was also the creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning television series ER. In addition to his writing and directorial success, his expertise in information science enabled him to run a software company and develop a computer game. He died of cancer on November 4, 2008 at the age of 66.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Crichton's novels often tackle cutting-edge technology and its implementation, but his latest addresses an issue that's been around for a bit longer: global warming. Millionaire George Morton is about to donate $10 million to the National Environmental Research Fund (NERF) when he suddenly decides against it. His lawyer, Peter Evans, is as surprised as anyone and is drawn into a web of intrigue after Morton's car careens off the road and Morton is presumed dead. Just before his death, Morton was in contact with Dr. John Kenner, a researcher at the Center for Risk Analysis, who opposes NERF's agenda and presents Evans with some startling evidence about global warming. With Evans and Morton's assistant, Sarah, in tow, Kenner travels to Antarctica, where he learns that a group of environmental extremists are planning several attacks of environmental terror to convince the world of impending ecological disaster. The thrills in Crichton's latest are interspersed with fascinating but occasionally dense ecological facts and data, but he backs his assertions about the unpredictability of climate change with copious research and footnotes. Perhaps his most serious and important book yet. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2005 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

If Crichton is right?if the scientific evidence for global warming is thin; if the environmental movement, ignoring science, has gone off track; if we live in what he in his Author?s Message calls a ?State of Fear,? a ?near-hysterical preoccupation with safety [that?s] at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism??then his extraordinary new thriller may in time be viewed as a landmark publication, both cautionary and prophetic. If he is wrong, then the novel will be remembered simply as another smart and robust, albeit preachy, addition to an astonishing writing career that has produced, among other works, Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and The Andromeda Strain. Crichton dramatizes his message by way of a frantic chase to prevent environmental terrorists from wreaking widespread destruction aimed at galvanizing the world against global warming. A team lead by MIT scientist/federal agent John Kenner crosses the globe to prevent the terrorists from calving a giant Antarctic iceberg; inducing terrible storms and flash floods in the US; and, using giant cavitators, causing a Pacific tidal wave. Behind the terrorists lurks the fantatical, fund-seeking chief of a mainstream environmental group; on Kenner?s team, most notably, is young attorney Peter Evans, aka everyman, whose typically liberal views on global warming chill as Kenner instructs him in the truth about the so-called crisis. The novel is dense with cliffhangers and chases and derring-do, while stuffed between these, mostly via Kenner?s dialogue, is a talky yet highly provocative survey of how Crichton thinks environmentalism has derailed. There are plenty of ready-to-film minor characters as well, from a karate-kicking beauty to a dimwitted, pro-environmentalist TV star who meets one of the nastiest fates in recent fiction. There?s a lot of message here, but fortunately Crichton knows how to write a thriller of cyclonic speed and intensity. Certainly one of the more unusual novels of the year for its high-level mix of education and entertainment, with a decidedly daring contrarian take, this take-no-prisoners consideration of environmentalism wrapped in extravagantly enjoyable pages is one of the most memorable novels of the year and is bound to be a #1 bestseller. Major ad/promo. BOMC Main Selection. Simultaneous HarperAudio and E-Book. (Dec. 7) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.


Library Journal Review

Crichton turns to a very controversial subject for his current work: "environmental protection." We are reminded constantly of the need to conserve energy, stop our wasteful ways, consider the effects of our actions on the future, protect the dwindling ecosystem, etc. But how valid are the arguments given in support of these statements? How do we know that the so-called environmental activists are not pursuing their own agendas? In State of Fear, Crichton addresses these issues head on; unfortunately, his concerns are buried in a mess of cardboard characters, chaotic plot lines, and dialog that stretches credulity. There are no "heroes" here, only over-the-top villains: a greedy lawyer, an avaricious environmentalist, a dim-bulb movie star, and a mysterious FBI agent, among others. George Wilson's narration induces sleep early on, with his monotonous delivery, overly theatrical characterizations, and inability to capitalize on the few times when the story really comes alive and begins to resemble classic Crichton. Library patrons will want this because of the author's reputation, but be prepared for some disappointment.-Joseph L. Carlson, Allan Hancock Coll., Lompoc, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

State of Fear PARIS NORD SUNDAY, MAY 2, 2004 12:00 P.M. In the darkness, he touched her arm and said, "Stay here." She did not move, just waited. The smell of salt water was strong. She heard the faint gurgle of water. Then the lights came on, reflecting off the surface of a large open tank, perhaps fifty meters long and twenty meters wide. It might have been an indoor swimming pool, except for all the electronic equipment that surrounded it. And the very strange device at the far end of the pool. Jonathan Marshall came back to her, grinning like an idiot. "Qu'estce que tu penses?" he said, though he knew his pronunciation was terrible. "What do you think?" "It is magnificent," the girl said. When she spoke English, her accent sounded exotic. In fact, everything about her was exotic, Jonathan thought. With her dark skin, high cheekbones, and black hair, she might have been a model. And she strutted like a model in her short skirt and spike heels. She was half Vietnamese, and her name was Marisa. "But no one else is here?" she said, looking around. "No, no," he said. "It's Sunday. No one is coming." Jonathan Marshall was twenty-four, a graduate student in physics from London, working for the summer at the ultra-modern Laboratoire Ondulatoire-the wave mechanics laboratory-of the French Marine Institute in Vissy, just north of Paris. But the suburb was mostly the residence of young families, and it had been a lonely summer for Marshall. Which was why he could not believe his good fortune at meeting this girl. This extraordinarily beautiful and sexy girl. "Show me what it does, this machine," Marisa said. Her eyes were shining. "Show me what it is you do." "My pleasure," Marshall said. He moved to the large control panel and began to switch on the pumps and sensors. The thirty panels of the wave machine at the far end of the tank clicked, one after another. He glanced back at her, and she smiled at him. "It is so complicated," she said. She came and stood beside him at the control panel. "Your research is recorded on cameras?" "Yes, we have cameras in the ceiling, and on the sides of the tank. They make a visual record of the waves that are generated. We also have pressure sensors in the tanks that record pressure parameters of the passing wave." "These cameras are on now?" "No, no," he said. "We don't need them; we're not doing an experiment." "Perhaps we are," she said, resting her hand on his shoulder. Her fingers were long and delicate. She had beautiful fingers. She watched for a minute, then said, "This room, everything is so expensive. You must have great security, no?" "Not really," he said. "Just cards to get in. And only one security camera." He gestured over his shoulder. "That one back in the corner." She turned to look. "And that is turned on?" she said. "Oh yes," he said. "That's always on." She slid her hand to caress his neck lightly. "So is someone watching us now?" "Afraid so." "Then we should behave." "Probably. Anyway, what about your boyfriend?" "Him." She gave a derisive snort. "I have had enough of him." Earlier that day, Marshall had gone from his small apartment to the café on rue Montaigne, the café he went to every morning, taking a journal article with him to read as usual. Then this girl had sat down at the next table, with her boyfriend. The couple had promptly fallen into an argument. In truth, Marshall felt that Marisa and the boyfriend didn't seem to belong together. He was American, a beefy, red-faced fellow built like a footballer, with longish hair and wire-frame glasses that did not suit his thick features. He looked like a pig trying to appear scholarly. His name was Jim, and he was angry with Marisa, apparently because she had spent the previous night away from him. "I don't know why you won't tell me where you were," he kept repeating. "It is none of your business, that's why." "But I thought we were going to have dinner together." "Jimmy, I told you we were not." "No, you told me you were. And I was waiting at the hotel for you. All night." "So? No one made you. You could go out. Enjoy yourself." "But I was waiting for you." "Jimmy, you do not own me." She was exasperated by him, sighing, throwing up her hands, or slapping her bare knees. Her legs were crossed, and the short skirt rode up high. "I do as I please." "That's clear." "Yes," she said, and at that moment she turned to Marshall and said, "What is that you are reading? It looks very complicated." At first Marshall was alarmed. She was clearly talking to him to taunt the boyfriend. He did not want to be drawn into the couple's dispute. "It's physics," he said briefly, and turned slightly away. He tried to ignore her beauty. "What kind of physics?" she persisted. "Wave mechanics. Ocean waves." "So, you are a student?" "Graduate student." "Ah. And clearly intelligent. You are English? Why are you in France?" And before he knew it, he was talking to her, and she introduced the boyfriend, who gave Marshall a smirk and a limp handshake. It was still very uncomfortable, but the girl behaved as if it were not. "So you work around here? What sort of work? A tank with a machine? Really, I can't imagine what you say. Will you show me?" And now they were here, in the wave mechanics laboratory. And Jimmy, the boyfriend, was sulking in the parking lot outside, smoking a cigarette. "What shall we do about Jimmy?" she said, standing beside Marshall while he worked at the control panel. "He can't smoke in here." "I will see that he does not. But I don't want to make him more angry. State of Fear . Copyright © by Michael Crichton. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from State of Fear by Michael Crichton All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.