What is it that’s so fascinating about Michael Crichton’s books? I didn’t know until recently, when I read my first Crichton – Micro. And now I can confidently say that he’s not just a master of far-fetched, never-imagined-before or near-impossible concepts (which, incidentally, he makes very plausible by using science), but also a master of visual writing.
He may not be a great writer’s writer, but the power that his words have of evoking a visual picture in one’s head is remarkable. And I think that’s a great ability to possess, because it means that the reader gets that much more involved in the story; there were many points in the book where I didn’t realize how long my jaw had dropped open and stayed that way, or when my heart started racing as the protagonists of the book got chased by creatures of the wild, and the loathing I felt for the villain of the story. It’s no wonder that at least eight of his twelve books have been made into movies.
Micro is the story of Nanigen, a company with a fascinating technology and a devastating secret. It all begins when the company’s VP, Eric Jansen, visits his brother at his university to recruit fresh talent. Peter Jansen is an expert in venoms and envenomation. His fellow scientists include an ethno botanist, arachnologist, entomologist/coleopterist, botanist, biochemist and a doctoral student. (An increase in Scientific Intelligence – a by-product of all Crichton books for the reader.) Together, they’re asked to take a trip to Nanigen’s headquarters in Hawaii, where they manufacture nano-robots that help them study the region’s rainforest and harness natural chemicals that can be used by pharmaceutical companies. Days before their departure to Hawaii, though, Peter receives a message from his brother asking him not to come. On his arrival, he learns that his brother’s dead. Determined to get to the truth of things, Peter traps the company’s CEO into a confession which leads to him and his friends being shrunk to mere inches and abandoned in the rainforest to be devoured by the micro world.
What follows is a graphic account of the students’ fight for survival against elements that wouldn’t bother them if they were normal size. The good news is, there are survivors. The bad news, there are things you’ll discover about ants and wasps and centipedes and mynahs (yes, them too) that will leave you horror-struck, and maybe worried for life.
Crichton paints a vivid picture of the micro world in the book, leaving you amazed and terrified in equal measures. As far as I’m concerned, though, it’s whetted my appetite for more of his books. I’m looking forward to reading the book that triggered my love for dinosaurs, the most.
This post was submitted by Nabila Tazyeen.