Friday, March 15, 2013

Prey by Michael Crichton

By Michael Crichton

Jack has been a stay at home dad for the last few months, ever since he got fired for exposing inappropriate behavior at work in a superior.  He has three kids but don’t feel too sorry for him, he still has a housekeeper.  His wife, Julia, is working a lot at the company, Xymos, where she’s a vice-president and has begun acting strangely.  Is it just the stress, or something else? 

Julia comes home one night and the baby is soon sick, turning a bright red and screaming.  Jack takes the baby to the emergency room where they can’t find a cause but during an MRI the machine breaks down and the baby’s symptoms simply go away.  The next day the baby looks bruised but is completely happy.

Julia’s strange behavior continues, even staying out all night without calling home.  She accuses Jack of undermining her with the children and he fears they are headed for a divorce when she is in a car accident.

Just before the accident, Jack’s former place of work calls him to see if he will come back to work because they are having trouble with a program he created which they contracted to… Xymos.

Jack takes the job.  He needs the work and he needs to know what has been happening out at the fabrication plant, where Julia has been spending so much of her time.

Crichton is a well-known author, from his first bestseller, The Andromeda Strain, to his last novel, Micro, finished after Crichton’s death by Richard Preston.  Crichton was a well-known producer, director and screenwriter.  He held a degree in anthropology and a doctorate in medicine, and is best known for cautionary scientific tales. 

Crichton often focused on the exponential growth of technology, how things are changing faster and faster, and the lack of human understanding and caution in dealing with those evolving technologies. 

His writing is often classified as techno-thriller.  The books are simple story lines, fast paced and rely on quite a bit of scientific explanation to make them interesting. 

Prey was my first Crichton novel and I will definitely read and listen to more on CD.  I would recommend them to anyone who enjoys an interesting tale told at a fast pace, extrapolating from scientific facts and asking “what if?”

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