From Michael Crichton, the #1 bestselling author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain, comes an astounding, eye-opening look at the world of genetics:Next.
Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why a chimp fetus resembles a human being? And should that worry us? There’s a new genetic cure for drug addiction—is it worse than the disease?
Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems, and genetic ownership shatters our assumptions.
Due to a flight delay returning from vacation I was forced to buy a book at the airport. I now travel with an eReader with plenty of books due to this vacation. Next is the book I purchased. I am sure that it is the strangest book that I have ever read. Strange in a good way though. Michael Crichton wove a great tale that was completely mind boggling! This review originally posted on January 24, 2011
I would like to point out there is an enormous amount of scientific and genetic research jargon in this book. There is also a significant amount of legal, court case wordage on top of it all. Those facts do not make this book difficult to read or comprehend. I have absolutely no knowledge of either of these fields and was able to understand the book and enjoy it thoroughly. This is the most difficult review I have ever written. I honestly cannot put into words what this book is exactly about, or who I would put as the main characters. I did truly enjoy the book!
The plot is very thick. The reader is given pieces of numerous different lives. It was interesting to see where these individuals went and how so many different lives were connected. I was shocked to see just how far lawyers will go to get what they want. Much of this book revolves around individuals suing one another. The characters involved in the lawsuits are seen from various perspectives. A doctor selling bones of his deceased patients, the patients family wanting a body cremated as quickly as possible due to foul play in the deceased’s death, a family member suing because a non-family member was given a blood sample.All of that over just one corpse. The research facility BioGen has put claims to actually owning a living breathing man’s cells, cells that he is currently carrying around in his body. The company’s pursuit of that man for more cells and the harassment of his family and the lengths they would go to acquire more cells!
There are two talking apes! This is presented in a manner that does not seem far-fetched. It also makes complete sense and seems like something that is all too possible. Dave is one of the talking apes, although he would probably be best described a humanzee. One of the talking apes attends school and flings poo. Dave is a heartbreaking character. I was worried where his character would go by the end of the book.
The back of this book includes ten pages of bibliography and nine pages of an Author’s Note. I mentioned earlier that I had zero knowledge of anything having to do with genetics. Crichton has included plenty of books and websites if one were interested in learning more. The Author’s Note section is very interesting to read. I think Crichton has numerous valid points. This book really gets your mind going about where some of the research and the controversies presented by different individuals and companies could possibly lead to.