You may or may not know who Michael Crichton is, but you are without a doubt familiar with his work. Crichton dominated the early 90’s box office with films like Jurassic Park, Twister, and The Andromeda Strain, but he is also the man behind the original Westworld and ER. In 1994, Crichton became the only person to land at the top spot on charts for television, film, and book sales. Think about that for a second, the three most popular forms of entertainment all topped by the same guy at the same time.
Sidenote: I’m a pretty big fan of the Crichton novels I’ve read, but my wife is OBSESSED with the show ER. She is currently on her fifth or sixth viewing of the series, and there are fifteen seasons. Also, Twister is one of those movies that if it happens to be on TV, things get ignored – chores, kids, you name it.
Below you will find my Top 4 Michael Crichton novels along with a spoiler-free, mini synopsis. Enjoy!
A tech firm led by a volatile, Bill Gatesian billionaire creates a time machine. A professor in the employ of the firm is studying a 14th century French village with his team of grad students. When he gets lost in 1357, it is up to his students to go back in time to rescue the beloved professor. Oh, did I mention that 14th century France is violent? This novel became a movie starring Paul Walker and Gerard Butler.
3. The Andromeda Strain
The government launches satellites to collect organisms and dust for study. One of the satellites crashes in a remote town, which leads to an outbreak of a deadly virus. A team of scientists enter a secure, high tech bunker in order to contain the (1950’s announcer voice) VIRUS FROM OUTER SPACE.
This novel became a TV miniseries starring Benjamin Bratt.
A alien spaceship shaped like a (you guessed it) sphere appears at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. A team of scientists is dispatched to a secret, deep-sea research facility to study, and attempt to make contact with the spaceship. Deadly shenanigans ensue.
This novel became the 1998 film starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel F. L. Jackson.
1. Jurassic Park
Not only are dinosaurs no longer extinct, they are going to be on display in a brand new theme park named Jurassic Park. A team of scientists is invited to tour the park in order to make sure everything is on the up and up. Chaos theory prevails.
This novel became the smash-hit blockbuster starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff erm Goldblum.
Eaters of the Dead
I am adding this to the list, not because I think it is in the upper echelon of Crichton’s novels, but because it’s fascinating. Eaters of the Dead is a fictional retelling of actual journal entries written by an Arab traveling through Northern Europe in the tenth century. During his journey, he meets a band of Viking warriors, and joins them as they suddenly return to Scandinavia and attempt to save the Viking clan from monsters in the mist.
This novel became the film The 13th Warrior starring Antonio Banderas.
There you have it, folks. Have you read any of Crichton’s work? What’s your favorite Crichtation (Crichton creation)? Let us know in the comments.