If a business destination is within 4 hours driving time (i.e., Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, etc), I typically drive my car so I can avoid the trouble of flying. When I used to drive by myself years ago, I would typically listen to “books on cassette”. I would often listen to mysteries and novels from authors such as Grisham, Patterson, etc. These were not books that I would necessarily read at home, but these were stories that were great for keeping your interest during a long drive outside cell phone range.
Since I haven’t driven anywhere by myself in quite sometime, I haven’t had the opportunity to try out the new “books on CD” (I have a huge library of books on cassette that are now obsolete)… Yesterday, I drove to the Pittsburgh area and purchased Michael Crichton’s new novel, “Next“, abridged on CD for the drive.
If you’re not familiar with Crichton, he is a very accomplished author. He is probably most famous for his movie “Jurassic Park” and the television series “ER”. His stories have had an impact on my life… I recall going with my father and brother Ronn to the theatre to see the Crichton movie “Andromeda Strain” when I was very young. This story influenced my decision to focus my career on science and engineering.
Crichton is an interesting guy in that he often uses his novels as a way to promote his intellectual viewpoint. For example, Next focuses on the issues of the human genome and the emerging issues of medical research. Coincidently, he testified before congressional staffers in Washington in 2006 on the subject of “Genetic Research and Legislative Needs“.
Perhaps I’m getting jaded in my old age, but Next wasn’t anything special. I’d give it a B -.