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Monday, January 14, 2008

NEXT by Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton’s books always make me think. I found this book very thought provoking and disturbing. His concerns about the legal ramifications of gene patents and body ownership seem valid and frankly frightening. He suggests that the legal system does not have the technical background to recognize some of the problems they are creating by allowing patents on diseases and genes.

The book was not an easy read. Crichton may be brilliant but the book was extremely disjointed. He introduced an amazing number of characters and eventually put them into some type of context. I think there was an excellent message in the book but I fear he will lose readers who can’t deal with the sudden and rapid change of characters and topics.

I would still suggest that you read the book. The hysteria over “frankenfood” the concerns over gene manipulation, the questions regarding cloning, all are going to be in the headlines for the years to come. He provides a lot of data in a very digestible format. He also provides incentive to jump on the web and find out more about the issues.

Not an easy read but entertaining and thought provoking.

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