Book Review ~ Sphere by Michael Crichton

SphereMichael Crichton Sphere Book Review
By Michael Crichton
Published 1987

Back Cover:

A group of American scientists are rushed to a huge vessel that has been discovered resting on the ocean floor in the middle of the South Pacific. What they find defies their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation. It is a spaceship of phenomenal dimensions, apparently, undamaged by its fall from the sky. And, most startling, it appears to be at least three hundred years old….

“The suspense is real.”



My Review:

I love Michael Crichton books. Although for the life of me I can never remember how his name is spelled. Usually I just end up browsing around the C’s looking for cool covers until I find him. This book I actually picked up in a lending library at my local YMCA, looking for something to read during my post-run sauna time.

The concept is not entirely unique, but the ensemble cast and psychological exploration of the team is fascinating. As the main character is a psychologist, I expected some of that going in, but the twists and turns are really interesting. Definitely a science fiction thriller, so it’s fast paced and there’s quite a bit of violence and gore. It didn’t bother me, but I thought I should mention it.

From black holes to the power of the human imagination, Crichton explores the depth of possibility. The ending is a little disappointing as it utilizes the deus ex machina plot device. (Please click the link and read the definition if you don’t know that phrase. It really is interesting.) However, in this particular situation I give grace to Mr. Crichton as this was during the part of his writing career that (in my humble opinion) he was just starting to find his voice. Sphere was published just before Jurassic Park.

I’ve also just learned that this book was converted into a movie with Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone in it! But… it got terrible reviews. Probably because so much of the movie is INTERNAL dialogue and psychological exploration! Why don’t they ever think about what makes the book good before Hollywood goes off an makes a movie adaptation? Bah. Oh well.

Overall, I would recommend for those who like psychological exploration and science fiction thrillers.

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