Tuesday, July 26, 2011

04: Sphere

Ahhh all the flooring is now beautifully replaced! But oh, so difficult because *gasp* the wireless was unplugged and behind stuff and there was no internet access! HOW CAN I SURVIVE LIKE THAT?!

Luckily, it's back on now. Phew. I was starting to get the shakes!

I'll have to get pictures later because most of my books are in boxes. Heh. They just finished up the office today.

Michael Crichton
Published: 1987

Why?: In some ways, Sphere is similar to Crichton’s most famous work, Jurassic Park (a novel I also confess to enjoying): a group of scientists finds itself in an unusual situation. Sphere has a more likable cast, though, and I especially loved Norman, the psychiatrist. Norman has the feel of being a nice dude, an everyman. He’s not a dramatic or romantic leading man, but that’s where he appealed to me. There are also a good collection of strong female characters, given the science he offers for women surviving best in low pressure or dark situations. The story is plenty exciting and interesting, to boot, though cerebral. While this story is science fiction, and incorporates the science theory of the time as his other novels do, the feel of the novel is more that of a thriller. It delves into the human psyche in a fashion not unlike the Polish classic Solaris, but more successfully.

Gist: Years ago, psychiatrist Norman Johnson wrote a plan for dealing with the possibility of alien life on Earth. He never expected to actually be called to deal with the problem, much less deep underwater. Along with a team of scientists, he must explore a long-abandoned deep sea vessel of obviously alien origin.

Perfect For: 13+, SF fans, fans of the Abyss

Bonus Trivia:
Sphere was the eleventh work on Crichton's turned into a film (1998). They combined Norman with a skeevy off-screen professor in a way that turned me off to the movie. All in all, it is generally considered one of the worst adaptations of Crichton's work, along with Congo.

Genres: Fiction, Novel
Keywords: Science Fiction, Adventure, Drama

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