I just finished up "The Andromeda Strain" by Michael Crichton, in preparation for the upcoming A&E miniseries on Memorial Day. While the trailer looks glorious, I have a bad habit of rushing out to get a book that I know will be translated into film.
Michael Crichton is one of my favorite authors and has me intriqued by the genre of medical thrillers. His writing contains a depth of technical information, charts, graphs, and imaginary concepts. I have read several of his books, namely "Congo," "Jurassic Park," "Next" and "The Lost World," and regardless of what anyone says that his flaws may be, I finish his books with rabid interest. His books have me thinking, rarely about the characters, but about the scientific questions that he poses. In "Next" there were questions about the future and nature of genetic advancement. In "Congo" he delves into interspecies breeding and historical myth. And well in "Jurassic Park" he deals with the cloning of extinct species. "The Andromeda Strain" is concerned with aliens, but not of the E.T. kind. He gives a very good argument for the probability that our first encounter with alien life will be with alien bacteria.
I am not a professional reviewer. I am not even an amateur one, but outside of a flat ending and forgetable characters, this book is a damn good read... and a classic, I'm told.