The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton


General FictionScience Fiction

The Andromeda strain The Andromeda StrainMichael Crichton; Ballantine Books 1993WorldCat

A satellite launched to search out space debris suddenly fails and falls to earth. It lands in a small town in Arizona. The citizens retrieve it, the town doctor opens it. Within hours almost everyone is dead, either instantaneous or through suicide from insanity following exposure. What has happened? The first government retrieval team died as soon as they got near the town.

A group of five scientists and doctors had been already selected and put on standbay in case of such of an event. Despite all odds, they found themselves suddenly called in to examine a probably extraterrestrial virus. As soon as they receive the message they walk out of their respective current lives and into seclusion to examine the new virus called “The Andromeda Strain.”

In some respects this book dates itself, usually in reference to computer use. Otherwise, it is engaging to read. The tension over the virus is all too possible. It is well developed. The steps taken to study the virus and protect both the scientists and the general opulace are intense and strict. Each scientists is warned when entering the top secret facility that if the virus accidently gets released, an atom bomb will immediately be detenated.

This is suspenseful and enjoyable. Crichton is a master of taking real science and twisting it in a small way to make it terrifying. If you’ve seen the movie (which I had), the book will not give you any surprises. The movie was faithful to the book. If you haven’t, you’ll get a sense of a deadly virus that could kill off 99% of the population.

After you’ve read this book, visit Book-a-Minute. They have an abridged version of this book that you can read in a minute or less. Great humor!

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