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By Simon on 10-18-15
An Opportunity Missed?
There's no doubt in my mind that the Andromeda Strain is a clever idea, particularly when it's date of origin is considered. The book sets up this idea very well with David Morse's almost dispassionate narration setting bleak opening scenes and hinting at tension that surely had to follow. The description of the Strain's impact on one small American town is a genuinely powerful scene.
At this point though the author seems to almost switch modes. As he introduces the team being set up to investigate the strain he detours into detailed bios of each of the men's achievements listing scientific papers they have written and how their careers have developed. This unfortunately then set the tone for the rest of the book where I feel Crichton seemed anxious to demonstrate his research or knowledge to the detriment of his story. To be fair I now feel I have a better grip on the pros and cons of optical versus electron microscopes than before but that's not what I read fiction for and with Morse's rather dry delivery it was hard going in parts.
To be fair to Morse there were a number of aspects of the book that would have worked very well in print at the time but were not at all suited to the audio format. An example of this would be the lengthy rendition of the communications between the mission control teams where each short sentence was preceded by a timestamp like "Sixteen hours, forty-six minutes and twenty three seconds". I imagine this worked well in print, the reader could skim-read the timestamps, but in audio poor David had to churn them out in seemingly endless monotone. Other examples included computer communications with long serial numbers and control statements. Possibly this is on occasion where a version edited for audio would be better than the original. It's something I'd rarely suggest but here I think it would make sense.
That said, it is a clever story, albeit with what I felt was a less than satisfactory ending. It does require patience and the lengthy scientific tangents means that the story never develops at a genuinely entertaining pace.
Well that's my opinion. On the other hand this was of course the novel that established Crichton and the rest as they say is history. I do think that it's probably better consumed as a novel rather than an audiobook but I also wonder if Crichton was ever tempted to revisit the Andromeda Strain as I think the story could have developed so much further.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful
By Cindy on 06-16-15
Monotonous voice, good story
I've read this story before and rally enjoyed it. But I'm afraid I did not get on with the narrators still, spoilt it for me. Far too monotonous.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Adrian on 07-09-15
Imaginative and clever
I have read this as a paperback and watched the movie numerous times and still love it. The audio book is tread well with great character.
Most sci-fi is just space cowboys and Indians with lumpy foreheads. Andromeda strain is the antidote: original and thoughtful. The first time I read it, I found parts a little far-fetched and the ending a bit of a cop-out. On each subsequent reading, I have taken in more subtleties and appreciated Crichton's writing even more. Simply put, this is the very finest sci fi I know.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
By londonbikerider on 01-13-16
Not for me
A classic I guess but took long to get going for me. I switched to double speed and enjoyed the last third of the book where it picks up with the analysis of the virus. Thought the narration was done well
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Rvt Derenzy-channer on 10-06-15
Dull as dishwater
What would have made The Andromeda Strain better?
A more eventful storyline would have made this better. I kept waiting for something to happen - it was very very descriptive about technical details and at times it felt like a technical handbook was being read out.
Has The Andromeda Strain put you off other books in this genre?
I haven't been put off the genre - but I am not sure I will listen to another Michael Crichton for a while.
What three words best describe David Morse’s voice?
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
I was disappointed - the premise of the book enticed me to buy it - but with 2 hours and 5 minutes left to go - I just couldn't persevere any longer - I have abandoned it.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
By Todd Magers on 05-22-16
Wonderful narration and story!!
At first I was a bit uncertain as to how David Morse's voice fit the work, but by the second chapter I was was completely enthralled! Excellent overall work and brilliant work on the dialogue for the character Mr. Jackson. And of course, a very engaging story....hard to believe this was copyrighted 1969!!! Could easily be today.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful