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Michael Crichton in Memorium

Updated on December 12, 2015
Dinosaur in Jurrasic Park
Dinosaur in Jurrasic Park | Source

Michael Crichton : October 23, 1942 -- November 5, 2008

This memorium to Michael Crichton, best selling author of numerous techno thrillers, gives an overview of Crichton's life and his work and includes a tribute by Steven Spielberg.

When Michael Crichton succumbed to cancer on November 4, 2008, the world of books and entertainment lost a man who was arguably the foremost writer of techno-thrillers and medical science mysteries that the world as ever known. Fans are greatly saddened to know that there will never be another Jurassic Park.

I have been a fan of this author for as long as I can remember. It's sad to know that this great contributor to American fiction has left us forever.

Jurassic World 2015

Twenty-two years after the Jurassic Park movie, we now have the 3D version, Jurassic World. Michael Crichton's work just keeps on inspiring filmmakers and audiences.

Micro: A Novel
Micro: A Novel

The book gets four stars from me, despite how others have rated it.


Micro by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston - Begun by Crichton; finished by Preston

Partially written during the last part of Michael Crichton's life; finished posthumously by Richard Preston.

I note that this book gets relatively poor reviews on Amazon, and that puzzles me. It may not be Crichton's best work, but it is certainly not bad. I think that Richard Preston did a fine job of finishing this novel that Crichton started.

Taking place in Hawaii, its the story of micro technology doing battle with seven brilliant graduate students. Ever wonder what your life would be like if you were one inch tall? Well, if you were located in a rain forest, you would see dangers at every turn -- ranging from insect invasions to dangers of falling leaves to threatening water puddles. And that's just for starters.

Crichton's Final Novel: Pirate Lattitude

Pirate Latitudes: A Novel
Pirate Latitudes: A Novel

Crichton's last book, published posthumously.


Why Did Crichton Switch Genres?

Michael Crichton's final book, published after his death, is an adventure set in Jamaica in 1665. According to the Amazon review, it sounds like an adventure story without the usual scientific theme.

It's said to be a rollicking good romp full of adventure, fascinating characters and suspense.

Why do you suppose the author abandoned science in his final book?

Michael Crichton: A Man of Many Talents

medical doctor, writer, scientist, filmmaker, director

Michael Crichton was born in Chicago. He studied medicine at Harvard Medical School, while simultaneously writing novels under a pen name. He received his medical degree in 1969. His first major bestseller, the wonderful The Andromeda Strain was published that same year. This was the first of Crichton's books to made into a Hollywood film.

The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery and Congo became similar successes. In 1973, Crichton wrote and directed the first major Hollywood movie to use computer generated images. The movie was Westworld and it starred Yul Brynner.

The famous Jurassic Park and its sequel, the Lost World, are perhaps the movies and books for which he is best known. They both became top-grossing films in the 90s.

Other popular novels of Crichton's include Rising Sun, Disclosure, Timeline, Prey, State of Fear and Next. In 1999, his novel Eaters of the Dead, written in 1976, was made into a film called The 13th Warrior.

During his career, Michael won several awards, including an Emmy for his contribution to the NBC popular hospital drama, ER.

The family released a statement to a publicist following his death. The statement reads, in part: "While the world knew him as a great storyteller that challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us -- and entertained us all while doing so -- his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, family and friends knew Michael Critchton as a devoted husband, loving father and generous friend who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders of our world through new eyes."

His many fans share their sense of loss.

A Tribute by Filmmaker Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg directed the movie version of Jurassic Park and its sequel, The Lost World.

The Vancouver Sun, on November 6, quoted movie director Steven Spielberg as saying;

"Michael's talent out-scaled even his own dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place."

© 2008 June Campbell

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      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I'd say he wanted to try something new, although his scientific abilities would certainly come through with anything he writes.

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Not sure why he "abandoned" science (science always plays a part -- even a *small* part -- in his novels in some way or another)... and the manuscript was just "found in his files" ... But I've enjoyed all of his stories--including the Jurassic Park series, Congo, Rising Sun, Great Train Robbery, Andromeda Strain, State of Fear, Next, and the rest. He'll be missed.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @BuildABetterMouse: I may be wrong, but I believe Pirates of the Caribbean was slated for publication at the time Crichton died. Thanks for visiting.

    • BuildABetterMouse profile image

      Steve and Annette 7 years ago

      Was it really his final book or was it a just a manuscript they found in his files, after he died?

      This is the first Crichton book I've read and it was fun enough - an easy summer read; like a Clive Cussler book.

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      lostinfiction 8 years ago

      This is a wonderful tribute page to Crichton! R.I.P. and kudos to you. Btw, I found another resource on him that you could add to this page - it's basically a listing (with quotes) of his top influences in writing (fave books, authors etc). You can read it at this page