Even after this death, Michael Crichton’s novels continue to resonate with readers. His works have trailblazed the techno-thriller genre, producing books with medical or scientific underpinnings that reflected his medical training and scientific background. To this day, numerous discussions have surfaced about the best Michael Crichton books.
With commercial success and critical acclaim, there is no doubt that Michael Crichton is one of the most popular authors of the last century. He trailblazed the techno-thriller genre, producing books with medical or scientific underpinnings that reflected his medical training and scientific background. Dubbed “The Hit Man” by Time Magazine in 1995, referring to his ‘golden touch,’ Crichton has sold over 200 million copies worldwide, many of which have been adapted to films. In fact, many people today do not realize just how many of their favorite movies and shows came from a Michael Crichton book.
Best Books by Michael Crichton
Since Crichton’s passing in 2008 at age 66, numerous discussions have surfaced about the best Michael Crichton books. Though personal preference and taste will always play a big part in such debates, the following books have received more critical acclaim and audience support than most of Crichton’s other works:
1. Jurassic Park (1990)
“Jurassic Park” is Crichton’s most celebrated novel, primarily because of the blockbuster movie that was adapted from the book’s content. The story follows an amusement park where dinosaurs, creatures extinct for eons, freely roam and now exist as attractions for the masses. Jurassic Park is the realization of humankind’s most thrilling fantasies until something goes wrong. The book gets a little slow, but it nonetheless represents Crichton’s best attempt at horror.
2. Rising Sun (1992)
This fast-paced novel revolves around the mystery surrounding the discovery of a murdered blonde on the American headquarters of Nakamoto Corporation. The investigation immediately becomes a headlong chase with twists and turns exposing the Japanese business development in Los Angeles in the early 1990s. Filled with sleazy journalists, politicians, and lawyers, the book explores Japan’s “Business is War” philosophy.
3. The Great Train Robbery (1975)
“The Great Train Robbery” looks at the notorious 1855 gold heist, with Edward Pierce charming the well-to-do crowd as he cunningly orchestrates the crime of the century. Boasting all those elements that make Victorian crime novels so fun (from pubs to railroads and venereal disease), this book is deemed as one of Michael Crichton’s most enjoyable.
4. Sphere (1987)
An unknown entity appears in the waters near Fiji and causes a panic amongst the world’s governments and, specifically, their militaries. “Sphere” follows a team of scientists who must overcome their fear to investigate the vessel. What they find defies their imaginations – a spaceship containing a terrifying and destructive force that must be controlled at all costs.
5. The Andromeda Strain (1969)
Crichton’s first novel under his real name, “The Andromeda Strain” is a compelling medical mystery revolving around Doctor Jeremy Stone’s attempt to save the world from an alien bacteria. In her efforts, Dr. Stone analyzes secret codes and uses advanced techniques to understand the infestation. “The Andromeda Strain” was quite relevant to the times when it was first published, drawing on public fears about super germs and nuclear weapons.
6. Prey (2002)
“Prey” is often compared to Michael Crichton’s book “The Andromeda Strain” because both revolve around organic enemies. Though, in this book the foe is a mechanical plague, specifically a rapidly adapting bio-swarm created by blending nanotechnology with genetic engineering. A team of scientists arise and prepare to face the swarm using an experimental and imaginative array of weapons.
7. Terminal Man (1972)
“Terminal Man” is as impressive an update of Jekyll and Hyde as one can expect to get. The book features a man whose struggle with sexual aggression and violence drives him to utilize scientific means to regain control of his mind and body. However, the electrode implants only drive him towards even more murderous rampages.
8. Disclosure (1994)
Sexually explicit in nature, “Disclosure” follows DigiCom, a technology company working to perfect virtual reality. Manager Meredith falsely accuses computer software executive Tom Sanders of sexual harassment for her own self-centered gains. As Sanders scrambles to defend himself, he uncovers an electronic trail into the company’s deepest, darkest secrets.
9. Eaters of the Dead (1976)
It is 922 AD – Nordic heroes arise and undertake a journey to do battle with humanoid creatures from ancient times with the power to take the shape of fantastical beasts. The book starts out slow but soon becomes saturated with tension when the shape-shifting foes emerge.
10. Pirate Latitudes (2009)
“Pirate Latitudes” is Crichton’s last completed novel, published a year after his death. The book takes a long and hard look at 17th-century conquest. It focuses on Captain Charles Hunter and his crew who are either pirates or explorers depending on your perspective. This pirate adventure doesn’t disappoint, bringing to life tentacle krakens and cannon battles.
Even after this death, Michael Crichton’s novels continue to resonate with readers. From “Congo” to “Airframe” and “State of Fear,” the author’s novels have impacted the entertainment arena in more ways than one, ultimately changing the way stories are written.