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Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Paperbacker

An unfinished Michael Crichton thriller comes out as a book

Written by Pallavi Pundir | Published: February 4, 2012 12:13:55 am

Book: Micro

Author: Michael Crichton

Publisher: Harper Collins

Price: Rs 299

The unbridled side of nature has characterised some of Michael Crichton’s bestselling books,like Jurassic Park,Congo and The Lost World. After he passed away in 2008,The New Yorker writer and former veterinarian Richard Preston,who was tasked with completing a thriller Crichton was working on,has now come out with Micro (Harper Collins,Rs 299). Impressively enough for Preston,even though he has completed two-thirds of the book,one can’t tell who wrote which part. Micro contains everything Crichton is known for: pacey and fearful plots,dense jungles and unwitting humans trying to fix the unimaginable when technology goes awry.

Micro explores the scenario of man-versus-machine in the lush but inhospitable rainforests of Hawaii. Von Drake is out to protect the mystery behind his creation — nano-sized intelligent robots — and will annihilate anyone who dares to reveal the same. Drake runs a microbiology company,Nanigen. There he invites seven Cambridge graduates for assistance. However,the students find themselves shrunk to less than an inch and exposed to killer robots and nature itself. They realise they must subdue Drake and his dangerous designs.

However,as Crichton would have it in most of his works,humans are of little importance. Instead,it is nature which plays the most important character as it enthralls and scares in equal measure — be it the mammoth creatures,the looming flora or the heightened smells of the micro world. Danny Minot,one of the students,after losing some of his friends to ants and mynahs,exclaims in fear,“It (nature) is nothing but monsters with insatiable appetites.” Micro engages,thrills,and will jolt your world like most Crichton classics do.

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