Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Terminal Man

The Terminal Man is the 10th Michael Crichton novel I've read and has actually been on my self for many years.  I was hoping for a quick, technological based thriller and that's exactly what I got.  It's one of Crichton's early works, published in 1972. As in all of his earlier novels, he includes state-of-the-art technology, this time revolving around what computers can do in assisting brain-damaged patients. The technology is spot-on...for 1971. Reading about dime-sized microchips can jar today's reader right out of the story but for its day, this novel was cutting edge.

The novel itself was an interesting read, despite the tech time warp. In essence, it is a thriller, about a brain damaged patient who undergoes surgery to have electrodes implanted at key nodes to combat stimuli that would otherwise lead to violent behavior. It is interesting to note that the patient himself also suffers from a phobia of computers taking over the world. So when the electrodes fail to work properly, he feels he himself is becoming more computer-like. Crichton throws in some pop-philosophy as well, and since he has a medical background, his medical explanations sound plausible.  The ending was predictable of course; even the patient, after he escapes from the hospital, says there's only one way for this to end.

Overall, a nice quick read. If you can get past the dated technology, it's worth the time.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire