It was no secret that I was (..am) legit obsessed with Micheal Crichton’s Jurassic Park. I have a few friends that are well versed in Crichton (you know who you are!), so a number of his novels have been recommended to me. When The Andromeda Strain, one of the many that was recommended to me, went on sale on Audible, I decided to take the plunge.
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Published by Avon Books on October 28th 2003
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller
Narrator: David Morse
Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
The United States government is given a warning by the pre-eminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere. Two years later, seventeen satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to collect organisms and dust for study. One of them falls to earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona. Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont, a shocking discovery is made: the streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town's inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks.
mysterious disease, military research, and a bunch of biohazardry
Why I struggled with The Andromeda Strain:
1. Welllllll for one, I should have known better. I mean, not too long ago I posted about subjects that I love and hate to read about. “Medical stuff” fell under one of my “hate” categories, because a) it overlaps too much with my job, and I read to escape, and b) very often there are so many factual errors that I get distracted from the content. I start to only focus on everything that is wrong about the science.
2. This was not well suited as an audiobook for me. There were a number of scenes that were data from a computer, chat logs, or walkie-talking transmissions (…um, I feel like I’m forgetting the fancy word for a walkie-talkie???), and reading the usernames or specific data was tedious and often confusing.
3. I thought it was going to be more outbreak, less research. Wrong. It was definitely all about researching the Andromeda strain, and not following the outbreak of it. I mean, there is definitely outbreak stuff, but it’s not the focus.
What I enjoyed:
1. The disease itself was super fun! I love scary-AF diseases that have a mysterious transmission. I mean, biologic weapons are by far one of the scariest things since they’re actually plausible.
2. It’s got all the fun details of a Crichton book. You definitely feel like the story has been well thought through. Yeah, there are some medical inaccuracies, but if you’re not in the medical field you probably won’t notice them!
You should read this book if you love outbreak-type stories that revolve around the science of the disease (rather than the effects of the outbreak)!