Sphere, the 1987 thriller, by ER writer Michael Crichton, certainly lived up to Newsweek's rave that it's a page turner.
Yep, I turned page after page and gobbled the book off in a Jiffy. But when I was done I had indigestion.
The nail biting suspense, the action, the juicy science fiction - like a Stephen Hawking lecture come alive -had me telling Angel Girl and the Little Gentleman "No I can't look now" until all 371 pages had been downed.
But afterwards I hissed my teeth- like I often do after I've stayed up late watching some crappy movie and must deal with the consequence the following day when I'm sluggish getting out of bed - and said "I could beat myself". Chruups.
I'm sorry, any novel about time travel is going to end up with all sorts of issues that can never be resolved. You can never sort them out and say yeah well that makes sense, not even in the context of the world created by the writer. And if mankind ever achieves time travel, we can't credit Crichton the way we did Verne - for Crichton has the benefit of all sorts of physicists and what not saying it is possible we just haven't figured out how to do it yet. Whereas Verne concocted a spacecraft and submarine out of his own imagination; truly avant-garde.
Then a couple of things that seemed to have significance just petered out to nothing, leaving me saying "huh?". For instance there is something that keeps gradually changing appearance, and I thought, surely this must have some bearing on the outcome of the novel, Crichton will tell me in a little while why this thing is changing and show me some connection with the action taking place. Wrong, that never happened.
Then the pschological conflict gets resolved in a way that New York Times says is "exactly the way [it] should be". Sure, it's the way it should be, but it's certainly not the way it would be; come on, which human being is going to come in possession of dizzying amounts of power and voluntarily give it up for the good of humanity? And here not one, not two, but three characters say, 'Gee, it's not good that I should have such an inordinate amount of power, let me destroy it'.
So after reading this novel, I wonder if Sphere isn't riding on the popularity of Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain and The Great Train Robbery.