Read State of Fear by Michael Crichton Online


In Tokyo, in Los Angeles, in Antarctica, in the Solomon Islands . . . an intelligence agent races to put all the pieces together to prevent a global catastrophe....

Title : State of Fear
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061015731
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 672 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

State of Fear Reviews

  • Robert McDonald
    2019-02-09 21:59

    I never expected to read this book. But my mom left a copy of Michael Crichton’s book State of Fear at my house, and I found myself reading it. The book is an odd mix of fiction and pseudo-scientific argument. As a fiction piece, it’s actually okay. For reasons that are irrelevant to the plot, evil villains are trying to shear a big iceberg off into the ocean, create a flash flood in a canyon, and make a tidal wave hit LA. The good guys are of course trying to stop them, and manage to stop them just in time. Crichton’s a good writer, and this book is fun to read. For a Crichton book, though, it is one of his worst, and nowhere near as entertaining as Andromeda Strain. Mostly this is because his rhetorical goal for the novel continually gets in the way of the plot. The central argument of the book seems to be: “It’s not clear global warming is caused by people, and even if it is it’s not clear how bad it’ll be, therefore we should do nothing.” The evil villain of the book is a cabal of environmental groups determined to scare the populace to maintain funding for the military-industrial complex in the post- Cold War world. Global warming is thus fundamentally a hoax perpetrated by tens of thousands of people, in Crichton’s view. Even better, they all manage to keep the hoax secret. Apart from errors of fact, of which there are several, the book also makes several serious errors in its reasoning. First is the widespread use of anecdotal reasoning. For instance (and yes, I see the irony here), Crichton makes a big deal about how the warmest year on record in the US was 1934. Whether of not this is true depends on how you calculate average temperature, but it doesn’t really matter- 1934 was really warm. But, fifteen out of the 25 warmest yeats since records started being kept in 1895 have occurred after 1981. Globally, the trend toward warmness is even stronger. Particular anecdotes are irrelevant; in a large enough body of data or a large enough collection of papers you can find a factoid to support almost anything. Second is the intentional misrepresentation of scientific uncertainty by Crichton. For example, he talks about how global circulation models are uncertain about how increases in temperature will affect cloud cover and hence albedo. This is true, there is uncertainty on this point, but it doesn’t necessarily follow logically that everything about the model is wrong. When I estimate that a townhouse in Cambridge costs $350,000 to $500,000, I have some uncertainty in my estimate, but that does not imply the true value if zero. When the IPCC says the net radiative forcing of human activities on climate is +0.6 to +2.4 W/m2, there is some uncertainty in that estimate, but that does not imply the true value is zero. Finally, Crichton has misunderstood how science works. The process of peer review is a blind review of the facts cited in a paper, exactly the opposite of how Crichton portrays it. There is intense competition in science, with multiple groups analyzing the same data, exactly what Crichton calls for. Sadly, Crichton’s book of fiction was not peer reviewed, nor did he face any competition from competing scientific interpretations of the literature about global warming, which allowed this travesty of a rant to be published.-The Cosmopolitian Ecologist

  • Run Reason
    2019-02-18 21:06

    "The threat of global warming is essentially nonexistent. Even if it were a real phenomenon, it would probably result in a net benefit to most of the world." -p407 I just finished reading "State of Fear," Michael Crichton's (creator of ER and author of Jurassic Park, Timeline, and many others) latest novel. We discussed this a few months ago but I must say this book really is a delicious slap in the face for ill-informed environmentalists. If you have environmentalist leanings, or think that global warming is important, or even real, do yourself a favor and read this book. It is an entertaining way to lift yourself out of the haze of junk science and histrionic propaganda that is disseminated by the media in order to promote the environmentalist agenda. The book, like all Crichton novels, is thoroughly researched and the result is a sublime mix of science and technology on one hand and suspense, mystery and action driven plot on the other. Moreover, while the book is fiction, the research dicussed therein is real and thoroughly documented with real references. There is a lot to learn from this novel, in more ways than one, it is downright Randian.

  • Arah-Lynda
    2019-01-30 16:26

    3.5 starsI can’t believe that I am sitting here thinking about this review while Hurricane Sandy’s imminence is being trumpeted just outside my door.Makes you think…..The story itself is about global warming. It’s a cautionary tale really. On the one hand you have some radical environmentalists/ scientists who are not above manipulating the environment in order to support their fund raising goals. I mean people will dig deeper into their pockets if they have been personally impacted by global warming, right. Attempting at every turn to stay ahead of these ecological terrorists is a filthy rich, environmental philanthropist, his lawyer and Kenner, a professor of geo-environmental engineering at MIT and secret agent for an unnamed national security organization.And the chase is on; as we follow these groups around the world from the glaciers of Iceland and volcanoes of Antarctica, through the streets of Paris to a remote Pacific island crawling with cannibals.As I read this story I really thought that it was Crichton’s voice I heard whenever Kenner was speaking, which he does a lot, while sharing his own views on global warming. It can get a little preachy, but for me the story was solid enough to get past that.There is a chilling taste like people scene that quite effectively raised the hackles on the back of my neck. A cogent theme throughout is the role of politics and fund raising in shaping scientific research. Extremely well researched and hey I enjoyed it.

  • Nathan
    2019-02-18 19:14

    State of Fear is centered around a plot by eco-terrorists to bring world attention to global warming by, you guessed it, blowing up half the world. Yes, the nonsensical plot that makes up the spine of this book leaves the rest of this skeletal narrative in the hands of a man we've rarely seen: Michael Crichton, political philosopher. First of all, the book, released in 2004, asks you to believe that there is a "state of fear" being pushed on the public in order to "scare" them into belief of Global Warming so as to wreck the US economy and maintain elitist academia's stranglehold on the world. I.F.O.N.L.Y. The premise, that politicians, journalists and celebrities use fear tactics to control the population is as old as time itself. It is a practice that has been used in the history of every society on the face of the planet at some point, throughout human history. That Crichton presents this as a supposedly revolutionary idea is just the start of this novel's problems. What's more striking is that despite coming out in 2004, in an age where (until 2006) Republicans won election after election based on fear tactics (whether it's Fear of Gay Marriage or Fear of Terrorism), no mention is made anywhere in the novel of the modern state of fear we are all really, genuinely, disturbingly living in. It is telling that Crichton has good friends in the oil industry, won an award for "journalism" for this book from oil producers in the US (the first award of its type, created specifically for him), and that Crichton was one of a handful of people who got a private audience with George W. Bush to "advise" him on Global Warming. There's an old saying that people often accuse others of what they're most likely to do themselves. One has to wonder how much of Crichton's "state of fear" is really the result of his own work. (Beware those powerful, evil climatologists and academics!) I'd love to live in a country where the only real "fear" was a "fear" of liberal pacifists who were worried about the weather, rather than a country where I'm told daily to fear everything about the world, and told to fear my own gut instincts, and told that questioning my government was a form of aiding terrorism. If that's not a controlling state of fear, I don't know what is. That "state of fear" is mentioned nowhere in Crichton's love letter to his friends in the oil Industry and the White House. Crichton's State of Fear, instead, follows bumbling environmentalist Peter Evans, a basically good-hearted but naive, brainwashed liberal. Over the course of the story, he receives his "education" on the evils of the climate change lobby by John Kenner. Kenner is a rogue agent of some mysterious government detective agency, because it could only be, obviously, a shadowy CIA-like agency that would have the courage to stand up to the vicious tree huggers. The character of Kenner is about as filled out as a picture tube, and it is clear from the beginning that Kenner is actually Michael Crichton himself, or rather, a mouthpiece for Crichton's views. Nowhere in the novel is the action as heavy as the dialog, and Kenner takes up most of the space with his self-indulgent rants. Consequently half the novel reads more like a transcript of an O'Reilly Factor episode than a fiction novel. The characters are flat, lifeless and dull, and nothing in this book is as intelligent, quirky or interesting as the plot devices and concepts Crichton has come up with in his other works. Disappointing as a fan of his imaginative fiction, disappointing as someone smart enough to pick up on being lectured to (an even cursory examination of his "sources" reveals how dodgy they are, hence he clearly didn't intend the novel to be of interest to anyone with one year of college under their belt), and disappointing to anyone who thinks the agenda of a work of literature should be better hidden behind solid writing (though arguably that last group would include those evil academics).NC

  • Kiersten
    2019-02-14 21:17

    If you want to write an essay on your opinion of global warming, Mikey, do so. Don't disguise it as a novel when you've only got 10 pages of plot.

    2019-02-07 15:03

    This is propaganda written by an ultra-rich person. Utterly despicable. I just thought Crichton was mediocre until I read this. Now I think he's insidious. There're 2 basic thrusts: Global Warming is a myth & ecology activists are phenomenally stupid. I don't actually have much of an opinion about global warming one way or the other so I don't hate this novel so much b/c it's a threat to mass consciousness there. I hate it b/c it's so repulsively propagandistic (w/o any self-acknowledgement as such). The basic plot is what you'd expect: a thriller about 'good' vs 'evil'. The 'evil' people are the ELF, the Earth Liberation Front - whose name, of course, is directly slanderous of the actual ELF & Earth First!. One of the 'good' guys is John Kenner. Strangely enuf, ELF is just a bunch of dumb hippies who somehow manage to have one of the most diabolically clever plots to technologically create eco-disasters ever conceived of. How such bumbling idiots have such genius for invention & planning is never explained. Of course, in formula-writing-world, the 'evil' plot HAS to be diabolical so that the 'hero''s genius for defeating it can be exciting. Kenner, contrary to the dupes & imbeciles of the ecological activists, is a superhuman genius: you know, the guy who can recite an encyclopedic array of scientific 'facts' from memory & shoot machine guns while parachuting? The guy who makes 007 look like a kindergarten student? Highly intelligent but also w/ a perfectly honed killing machine body - one of these 'geniuses' that we know constitute the US ruling elites that justly run this world for the better of mankind? Right. Who on earth believes this crap anymore?! Apparently Crichton does & the extreme popularity of his bks might indicate that many people at least get off on such myths.

  • Dan
    2019-01-24 15:06

    Exciting book! I've read it 3 times now. After reading State of Fear you'll think everyone who believes in global warming is an idiot. Definitely read the author's message at the end, it's really interesting.

  • Margitte
    2019-01-28 22:09

    Reread Dec 01, 2014 Thought-provoking, controversial, action-packed, suspenseful, well-researched, outrageous, perhaps a science-fiction, as well as fictional science book? The plot:A lawyer represents a wealthy client who is donating large amount of money to various conservation causes and gets involved in the underworld of power, greed and social manipulation. The discovery of a set of GPS points leads to the action-packed adventures which becomes the main focus of the drama.Comments:"State of Fear" is a manuscript on the application of primary instincts onto politics, industry, media, conservation, you name it, highlighting the hypocritical aspects of it all. The author stresses the importance of blowing a concept out of proportion to attract attention on a planet over-run by 7 billion people. This book is indeed one of those efforts in itself. Pro-industry, anti-NGO's. I am not interested in the scientific data used in the book, which is the main focus of the anti-establishment opponents to the book. My personal opinion is that the author tries to expose the gross mismanagement of power, greed and disinformation with which ideas are sold to the people on the planet as absolute truths - by both sides of the scientific equation.From personal experience gained over 35 years in conservation circles, dealing with scientists, dreamers and schemers from the highest to the lowest order, as well as ordinary people living in the wilderness, I agree with most of the book! I was actually amazed and surprised by the information used in the book. I haven't met the author, don't know him from Adam, but could not believe the detailed 'insider' knowledge that he provided in the tale. Another issue in the book which I agree with from experience, is how the outcome of research is more often than not determined by who sponsored the research! A very good example is all the dietary conflicts with the research to prove both sides of the debate. Margarine and Butter. Remember? He is accused of being a 'hand-horse' to the high and mighty of the industrial bullies, which is the typical reaction of the similar big bullies in conservation. The pot is accusing the kettle of being black. Oh the delight of being human! :-))The end notes in the book explains the approach to the information by the author as well as an interesting, informative discussion of Eugenics. The latter is such a well-kept 'secret' in the world, current generations will obviously stagger in horror to learn more about it. This book's main purposes, in my humble opinion, is to shock and expose, encouraging equilibrium on the scale of sanity. Too many supporters feel offended and threatened to react sensibly. The book did not change my idea of conservation at all, since we have been involved in the practical, on-the-ground, real implementation of the concepts with wards and all for 30 years. But I am so happy to know that someone had the guts to rip the hornet's nest open. The author stresses the importance of conservation, which is an aspect of the book that is totally ignored by the opponents. He is not against the dream, he is against the implementation of the ambitious schemes on the natural world.There are several examples of conservation projects which went totally, horribly wrong, that I can add to his list, but for that I need to write a book myself and I am unable to do it as masterfully as the author. The point is, that any human interaction with nature have dire consequences, even in conservation. It is not the industrial sector alone who make the mistakes. And this is what this book is all about.One of the most important points in the book, for me, is that office-bound intellectuals, the dreamers and schemers of life, living in cities, should stop building simulated worlds in laboratories and wearing expensive-labelled outdoor 'uniforms'. They should rather go live in the wild, listen to the indigenous people who lived with the natural world and observed it through thousands of years. Unbowed, the autobiography of Wangari Maathai, is an excellent book to read in this regard.The book is typical of the latest trend in writing to, first, write the detailed non-fictional 'truths', supported by 'scientific evidence' - the message/idea that should be promoted, and then, second, winds an adventurous tale with a multiple number of characters into it. In this instance it was done masterfully, keeping the action fast and furious, dramatic and devastating. The book is more than 600 pages of relentless criticism on the modus operandi of the conservation world, even exposing the possibilities of terrorism, which is also a shocking fact in reality, which I can attest to. I dare to say that it was a much-needed effort to restore balance and thought, as previously mentioned. It left many 'Yay-Sayers' livid, and 'Nay-Sayers jubilant. The reactions to it is almost better than the book itself. Nobody wants to be caught and confronted red-handed, in their ignorant bliss, after all. The aggressive, angry reactions to the book is almost comical. (I am aware of looking for big trouble here, but I am a good sprinter, so watch this space ;-)Sometimes conservation has nothing to do with nature, sometimes it is about big money and big aspirations. This is the core message of this book. A secret that desperately needed to be aired in the open. PS. This is another reread for me.

  • Evan
    2019-01-25 20:58

    As a thriller, this books fails to achieve Cricthon's usual intensity. The plot is an obvious vehicle for the rhetoric, and full of predictable thriller-writer strategies. The premise--climate scientists with guns--never ceases to feel absurd. The characterizations are flatter than usual, and vicious where he means them to be merely satirical. There is cranky old man venom in the writing. In short, this book is a piece of propaganda and would never have been published were it not for Crichton's name brand staus.But his long-honed writerly reflexes kick in enough to make the book readable. The speeches are actually the most thrilling part of the book, and examine environmentalism from a critical perspective that is unorthodox, convincing, and fascinating. Despite being a bad piece of fiction, it did get me to look hard at some my beliefs and where I got them. Bad fiction, interesting propaganda.

  • Steve
    2019-01-28 15:26

    Michael Crichton continues to impress with both his story telling and with his researching capabilities. State of Fear, on its surface, is a novel about the global warming debate. But the issues it touches upon go deeper than just whether or not global warming is a phenomenon we should be concerned about.A particularly cogent theme of the book is the role of politics in shaping scientific research. In particular, Crichton delves into how global warming research is shaped by political agendas (both by opponents and proponents) in calculating, reporting and releasing results. A striking moment in the novel occurs when a leading environmental advocate is willing to fabricate scientific evidence for his cause.Perhaps one the more enjoyable themes is the hypocrisy of major environmental advocates who rely on faulty research while flying around on private jets and running up enormous energy bills.In his afterword, Crichton states that he believes global warming is a real concern. State of Fear is meant to push the reader to consider that his or her position on global warming may be based on faulty research and political ideology rather than scientific fact. And that, above all, is a real cause for concern.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-01-29 17:08

    If you've read many of my reviews you know it's not unusual for me to open a review with something like "This is an interesting book" or simply "Interesting". That applies here also.I looked through some of the other reviews of this book and I find that in many if not most cases the "number of stars in the rating" depends heavily on whether you agree with the stance of the main character (or one of the main characters, Kenner is the spokesman in most of the narratives but the protagonist is Evans). Anyway...where was I? Oh, Yeah. The book's story telling isn't bad and while I've read better by Crichton, I've also read worse. I did get involved with the plot and liked the characters fairly well (though Peter did gripe me a bit for a while. The thing is he was supposed to so I really can't complain). I found the objections raised by several other reviewers to be unfounded, the book is pretty good...and since I largely agree with it, I gave it a bump from 3.5 to 4 stars. The book itself deals with the global warming controversy. The main character is a lawyer (sorry attorney) working for a large environmental organization. During the course of the book buried (or scattered) amidst the book's plot are dialogs and discussions about said controversy. AND YES the book's point is that much that is assumed about global warming is just that, assumed. While it is the case that if an author wants to make a point and he's writing both sides of a conversation the cards are a bit stacked in his favor, here Crichton does a fairly credible job of offering objections. (though from the other reviews I've read some disagree with me.) I've run on many of the things said here and I've experience situations like the ones pictured in the book. It would have been easy for Crichton to have indulged in Straw Man arguing, mostly he avoids this. The picture of these debates (and the people who try to prove the unprovable and when they can't mostly refuse to acknowledge reality is real. I know some of them) sets the backdrop for a story of environmental terrorists who set out to engineer environmental disasters. From this they will establish credibility...and get money from donors. In retrospect I can see why reviewers in sympathy with said position might not care for the book. So, be aware and if you're basically a global warming zealot maybe you give this one a pass. If on the other hand you think the evidence for human caused global warming may have been somewhat overstated (like Nobel Prize winner Dr. Ivar Giaever who "quit" the America Physics Society over their stance that the evidence was "incontrovertible" with which he "strongly" disagreed) or if you consider yourself to still be undecided, maybe you try the book. Hey the story's pretty good. The arguments aren't bad (though I see some who disagree with me there...wonder why?) In other words, not a bad read and at times pretty good. There's a nice unusual murder weapon and some satisfying action to go with the debates. Enjoy...if it's your cup of tea.

  • Ann
    2019-02-14 15:16

    Holy crap. First of all, a good, solid Crichton novel. Second, you will never think about global warming or science in general the same way again... I don't know how much of the information about global warming presented in the book is true, but it sure does make you wonder about a lot of things. What the book is really about is the politicization of science and the manipulation (even if unintentional) of scientific information. And all of this is presented in the form of an exciting, well-told, well-developed story about a young lawyer caught in the middle of a conspiracy concocted by a non-profit environmental organization to draw attention (and thus money) to the issue of global warming. And we think only industry tries to pull the wool over our eyes... Although a work of fiction, it raises some very interesting, and important, questions. Don't miss Crichton's own comments at the end of the novel- especially about eugenics in the U.S.

  • Miquel Reina
    2019-02-07 20:18

    I'm a big fan of Michael Crichton novels and "State of Fear" isn't an exception. This is a book that you can read very easily because of it has a well written archetypal and blockbuster Hollywood style. If you want to read something entertaining and you love the thrillers that mix science, politics and conspiracy theories then this is your book! ;)Espanish version:Soy un gran fan de las novelas de Michael Crichton y "Estado de miedo" no es una excepción. Es un libro que se puede leer muy fácilmente debido a su estilo arquetípico y hollywodiense. Si quieres leer algo entretenido y te encantan los thillers que mezclan la ciencia, la política y las teorías de conspiración, entonces, éste es tu libro! ;)

  • Patrick Mcginley
    2019-02-17 20:11

    This is the worst book I have ever had the misfortune of wasting my time with. Not only are the politics deplorable (it's about a group of eco-terrorists who induce fake desasters to back up their false claims of global warming), it's also shoddily written. The characters are paper thin and idiotic, the hero is a dim-witted buffoon, and the plot consists of icreasingly boring action-scenes, interrupted by the preachings of an obnoxious Jack Bauer rip-off. The bad guys all drive Priuses and the good guys SUVs. And at the end Martin Sheen, or his lame-brained stand in, gets eaten by a horde of cannibals. Actually, it sounds quite funny when you think about it...Stay away!

  • Stephen
    2019-02-10 16:58

    2.0 stars. This book was somewhat of a disappointment for me as I have always been a Michael Crichton fan and the premise of the book (radical environmentalists as the bad guys) was intriguing. However, rather than letting the story or the various arguments make the case against "global warming", Crichton just beats the reader over the head with one-sided monologues. I was hoping for a more thoughful, and thus more powerful, expression of the premise. That said, it was an easy read and there were a few decent points. Okay, but not great.

  • Ruth E. R.
    2019-02-03 20:06

    Balanced perspective on the issues of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, politicized science, romanticized environmentalism, poorly informed decisions, and media bias.Exciting! Provocative. From the brilliant mind of Michael Crichton, M.D. Like all of his books, he describes scientific concepts, and the new directions they may take, in the context of a dramatic story.Extensively researched, contains footnotes and a bibliography, including his personal opinions, of books and resources that he read either before or during the writing of his novel. Unfortunately a lot of the sources are from more than ten years ago, and some of the statistics and data are hard to find. If you persevere in drawing your own conclusions via studying the science (as Crichton hopes), and if you determine to think beyond your usual biases, you will uncover the facts so you can leave behind the fantasy, just as he did. The data is not a secret; it is merely ignored.Crichton also defends his position in a personal message after the book's conclusion. His reasoning for his position and his hopes for the future are explained in detail. He outlines the scientifically relevant attention we need to give to the environment and real hazards, to remember the past and what we can learn from it, rather than succumb to wasteful computer-calculated regulations based on pseudo-science that give increasing power to elites while inciting poverty and death to human population.Prior to reading the novel I had arrived at a similar outlook as Crichton's, which is the skepticism that continues to grow as time reveals the errors of previous decades, but remains far from fashionable. He handled multiple points of view while taking a clear position, which may not be pleasant for many readers. As for me, I found it to be refreshing in every way! I highly recommend this book.[image error]

  • Jack
    2019-02-17 14:25

    OK, so, controversy concerning global warming aside, this is a pretty solid effort from Crichton. Particularly more engrossing than Timeline although probably not as believable as Prey. His readers seem to understand and expect that he will take rather liberal license with stretching the realm of scientific possibility in his stories, but the point is his skeptic characters' sure seem to believe it and that's good enough for me. The point is, storywise, I think this is pretty solid. I'm not sure exactly why Crichton is so adamantly anti-Global Warming but I'm not particularly opposed to a healthy dose of skepticism. And I agree that his analysis of the data is definitely where the debate needs to be, not this battle of special interests we are having right now. Still, those on the greener end of the scale like myself may be troubled by his conclusions.

  • Mike
    2019-02-13 22:13

    Do you enjoy seeing pompous, self-righteous jerks get their rightful comeuppance? Then you will like this book. Dr Crichton delivers his usual competent tour through a scientific realm, mixing a decent amount of action and suspense with actual facts. Global warming zealots are the target here and he hits the bull’s eye, judging from the reaction about this book. The book reads exceptionally fast for all the science and background explanation necessary. For the average person with a little common sense, this story is a great read that will leave you shaking your head as you ponder the far-left fanatics of the environmental movement.The story revolves around a lawyer and his rich client who donates money and dabbles in the environment advocacy arena. On the other side is the Earth Liberation Force and associated fellow travelers, like the front group “NERF” who seek to control the political agenda. The problem is the science is not working out for the global warmers. So the more radical elements decide to kind of push Mother Nature along with a few “natural” disasters, aided by technology. Some of the selected disasters are more believable than others. They are all timed to reinforce the outcome of a conference on global warming and a “call to action”.Things pick up at the beginning as a shadowy MIT professor and a friend come into the picture to warn the rich guy off because his money is going to support terrorist activity. The rest of the book is essentially discovering what the terror targets are and trying to stop the attacks. I thought the book was weak in a few areas. Many of the characters are caricatures, the wimpy lawyer, the drunken big-shot Hollywood actor (who has a delicious part), the strong silent government agent, the hyperactive, crazed global warming activists, the ditzy wife of rich LA guy, etc. Frankly, there needed to be more activity by some of the real official organizations charged with investigating and stopping terrorist activities and less freelancing by the hodgepodge team that comes together to stop the bad guys. It would still have made a great story and more realistic.Global warming advocates are on a religious crusade, faith in rapid heat rise and world collapse replacing the more conventional religious doctrines. This book does great service by giving facts and references to seek out more knowledge on the topic. The idea that the earth’s status was somehow at a perfect temperature state in the recent past and shouldn’t change seems pretty arrogant and childish. Crichton skewers the people behind the global warming hysteria. The actors with their 15,000 sq. ft. homes, SUV’s, private jets, vacation homes, etc want everyone else to live frugally but not them. As if to punctuate the buffoonery on the enviro side, an article by Andrew Ross Sorkin, published 20 Mar 08, details a gathering of business and political guys to discuss saving the world and getting rich. Google it: “At island retreat, Branson and friends seek to save a world 'on fire' “

  • Shannon
    2019-02-17 18:06

    I really enjoyed this book, despite being a tree-hugger and one of the main themes of the book being that it questioned the entire concept of global warming. It was a very compelling page-turner, and I think Crichton does an excellent job of conveying the message not that global warming is necessarily false or that there aren't things we could all be doing differently in our lives, but that every news headline (and every study too) should be taken with a grain of salt and the data behind it should be scrutinized more strongly by people in general as well as the media before it becomes dogma. I have also come to the decided conclusion after reading about these people's lives that I would not do well in any extreme situations personally...Antarctic ice shelves, Pacific jungles thick with cannibals & after Christmas shopping is extreme enough for me...

  • Lobstergirl
    2019-01-23 21:13

    The deck is stacked here. The lefty environmentalists are dimwitted TV actors who nearly rape women who don't desire their advances, or cynical ideologues, if not actual murderers. The climate change denialists are clear-thinking, evidence-admiring McGyvers. When the good guys are being followed by the bad guys, the bad guys are driving Priuses. The characters are puppets who recite talking points. They often refer to climate change (nonchange) graphs, which Crichton inserts in the text. They elucidate the points of books which Crichton includes in his bibliography. In defiance of the thriller genre, this book is not merely tendentious but deeply boring.

  • RavenclawReadingRoom
    2019-02-20 19:19

    Trigger warnings: violence, gore, cannibalism (seriously), car accident, murder. I think that's all, apart from offensive abuse of science. So this was technically a reread for me. Except that considering I read it the year it came out, I'd forgotten literally everything that happens in the story. And I probably should have known that it would end very badly when my brother saw me grab it off the bookshelf the other day and said "Ooooh, that book is gonna make you REALLY mad..." He was not wrong. Here's the thing: the adventure-y side of the story? Was not terrible. It was full of action and creepiness and tension. The characters were...pretty generic, but otherwise fine. And I did manage to make it the whole way through.HOWEVER. This book can basically be summed up as "CLIMATE CHANGE IS A LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE". Admittedly, it's 14 years old now, so it's all about global warming. But still. Characters constantly say "I can show you the research" or "I can give you the references" solely so that Crichton can add a footnote providing bibliographic information to some article or other. He claims in the author's note that he spent three years reading environmental and climate change articles and studies. The whole thing is basically "well meaning rich white people think climate change is real, lemme prove otherwise", and it's kind of exhausting. Like...after the first 200 pages? I GET IT, CRICHTON. YOU DON'T THINK CLIMATE CHANGE IS A THING. JFC. After the remaining 400 pages, I was ready to slam my head into a wall. Add in the fact that there were random bits of the story that were never explained ((view spoiler)[Who was the mysterious woman who was talking to George and got pissed off when Sarah turned up? What was the deal with the blue-ringed octopus?? How the hell did George end up in PNG? Why did I have to sit through seven trillion pages of temperature graphs just for the end result that Evans is like "Huh. That seems like pretty conclusive evidence"?? Why did this shit get published in the first place when it's so clearly biased? (hide spoiler)]In summary: You can fuck right off, Michael Crichton.

  • Rachel
    2019-01-23 18:24

    This book was intriguing to me. It is not what I would consider my normal genre, but the student I tutored last year did a report on Michael Crichton and this book was in a lot of the research we did. I had no idea Michael Chrichton was so multi-talented. Anyway, my husband had listened to this book on CD while driving, and really enjoyed it, so I picked it off the shelf. Once I started reading, I had trouble stopping for food, drink, bathroom breaks, or even sleep. (This is the reason I can only read in the summer.) State of Fear shows many viewpoints on global warming and the environmental movement. I got a little defensive at the beginning as the data and plotline seemed to go against environmentalists. However, as I read on, I struggled with how much of the book is fact and how much is fiction. The plot got a little over done for me in the end (like a John Wayne movie- every good guy dodging the bullets of machine guns and killing 10 of the bad guys singlehandedly without a weapon), but the book provoked some interesting discussions in my house. In the Author's Notes at the end:"I have more respect for people who change their views after acquiring new information than for those who cling to views they held thirty years ago. The world changes. Ideologues and zealots don't." I am not sure this book should be anyone's only source of information on this topic, but it might spark your interest enough to have you look elsewhere.

  • Tippy Jackson
    2019-02-19 19:18

    Alright, I've waited to review this book long enough. The fact is, I waited so long because I could never find enough hate filled words to accurately describe my opinion of this book. However I don't think I'll ever find them, so here it goes. A new goodreads friend asked me why I hate Michael Crichton. I decided I'll post my response here as my review:As for Crichton, well it's kind of a long story. I'll tell you, but I'll understand if you choose to skip it. You'll notice that Jurassic Park and Time Line are still some of my favorite books, but he really lost me with his "State of Fear." It's not just that he is a climate change denier, but more that he completely and totally misrepresents and LIES about science in the process, then claims that he is the only person without an agenda. And even though it is a work of fiction, he makes sure to emphasize that he is writing about the truth in an afterward.I'll give you a specific example. In State of Fear he calls out a lot of "real" research on climate change. One of the arguments he makes is that climate models are not even close to accurate and then he shows a graph from a peer reviewed publication from several years ago that modeled current climate and was grossly incorrect. Then he basically said "see, climate models are inaccurate." But, if you look at the publication he supposedly took it from, the author had 3 possible climate models-one that shows predicted climate if there was a dramatic decrease in carbon emissions, one, the most likely one, shows predicted climate if there was no change in carbon emissions and one that showed what the climate would look like if there was a dramatic increase in carbon emissions. The author stated that this model was incredibly unlikely. Still, this is the only graph Michael Crichton put in his book, claiming that the author exaggerated the effects of climate change. The most likely graph was actually incredibly accurate.Further, his entire shitty book is one straw man argument after another, with a ridiculous plot and characters. Every person in his book that believes climate change is happening is a caricature. He has a naive grad student, who learns better once someone explains to her the "truth," a hypocrite actor that preaches for environmental causes but rides in a private jet and has a huge house, a greedy lawyer and environmental groups that profit from the belief in climate change. The characters that don't believe in climate change are suave government agents in nice suits that basically go around and school everyone about how climate change is a farce.The "plot" is that the environmental groups (terrorists, of course) are going to blow things up (like a piece of Antarctica and glaciers) and create fake tsunamis and such in order to prove that climate change is real so that they can get protection and money from the government. That's right, they are going to destroy the environment and alter the weather so that they can get money and support to stop the destruction of the environment and a changing climate. ????What finally got me though was his claim that stopping DDT use ended up causing more cases of malaria and implied that Rachael Carson (he never said her name, but you knew who it was) was responsible for the death of thousands of children. This hit home because now he's in MY field. Climate science is not my area of expertise, but biology IS. As Rachael Carson points out in "Silent Spring" (I noticed it's in your to-read list-yay!) using DDT just selects for DDT resistant mosquitoes, who reproduce and have immunity against our pesticide. Plus, since the chemical kills other animals as well, it kills off the natural predators of the mosquitoes, and since prey items always reproduce faster than their predator counterparts, populations of mosquitoes actually greatly increased in areas where DDT was used after a period of 2-3 years. Rachael Carson cites REAL studies. Not to mention in "The Coming Plague" the author explains in detail the work of scientists in Bolivia, where using DDT killed off the birds of prey and many cats, causing an increase in rat populations that allowed the deadly spread of a hemorrhagic disease. This type of misinformation is what I'm constantly fighting against on a daily basis (through my job). I have heard many of Crichton's arguments repeated back to me and it drives me insane. I've even heard people talking about it on the bus. Look at the reviews for this book! How many people have been taken in and feel as if they're more informed because they've read it. It's disgusting. What worse is that everything he says has a hint of truth in it. It's believable. It makes sense, on the surface, that ending the use of a pesticide that kills mosquitoes would increase malaria. It's so easy to believe if you don't know more about it. Anyway, if you doubt anything I just said, just pick up the book. You'll be shocked at what you read. I don't know that you'll be able to stomach it long enough to finish it (I read over 600 pages of it, but stopped 70 pages before the end. I just couldn't go on; it was making me sick.)I don't know what happened to Crichton, but it was an incredible disappointment. I used to like his writing, too. But I can't forgive this pack of lies that has aided in ignorance on such a grand scale.End of Michael Crichton rant. On to a happier place with better books.

  • فهد الفهد
    2019-02-03 16:12

    اشتريت هذا الكتاب منذ يومين.لا أميل عادة إلى هذا النوع من الكتب، رغم أنها من أظهر أنواع الأدب الحديث، أي الأدب الذي صنع خصيصا ً لإمتاع القارئ، ولأنه كذلك فهذا الأدب يتميز بميزة مهمة، وهي أنه أدب سهل، سريع، يمكن أن يقرأ في أي مكان، وأي زمان، أي قارئ متعمق سيبتعد عن هذا النوع، فنحن نكره المباشرة، نكره السطحية والسرعة، نريد أدبا ً معقدا ً، ليس لأننا نعشق التعقيد، ولكن لأن الحياة معقدة، كل شيء يبدو بسيطا ً، هو نتاج ظروف وعوامل متداخلة، متشابكة تتوه فيها أعظم العقول، فلذا نحن نعشق الأدب الذي يأخذنا إلى تلكم المناطق المتداخلة.ولكننا نعرف جيدا ً، أن أدبا ً كهذا يحتاج إلى بال صافٍ، وإلى وقت، فلذا عندما نفقد الوقت، ونكون من النوع الذي لا يتوقف عن القراءة، من النوع الذي جعل القراءة جزءً كبيراً من حياته، بحيث أن مرور يومين من دون كتاب يعادل كارثة شخصية، عندها تأتي أهمية هذا النوع من الكتب، أنت تعرف أنها سهلة، أنها لن ترهقك، فلذا تشتريها، تضعها بجانب فراشك، وعندما تعود ليلا ً، مرهقا ً، قضمت منك الهموم أشياءً، وجمد البرد فيك أشياءً أخرى، عندها تريد ذلك الدفء الذي يرفق بأعضائك، تريد تلك الحروف السهلة التي تأخذك إلى وادي النوم، تتداخل الحروف بسرعة، وتسقط نائماً، وعندما تنهض في الصباح، لا تشعر بأي ندم، الكتاب ليس مهماً جداً بحيث تخشى أنه سيفقد قيمته مع كل هذه القراءة المتقطعة المتداخلة، كما أنه يعدك بأن يكون مشوقاً، فلذا ربما يفلح في تصفية بالك.مشكلة هذه الكتب أنها غير محظوظة، فصفاء البال والفراغ يأتيان سريعاً، فلذا تجد هذه الكتب نفسها نصف مقروءة عادة، وتخلي مكانها لكتب أكثر أهمية.------------- وبعد الانتهاء من قراءة الكتاب ---------------------حالة رعبكنت قد كتبت عندما حصلت على هذا الكتاب، أنني سأقرؤه بنصف بال، لأنني لا أمتلك وقتا ً ولا ذهنا ً صافيا ً، ولكن الأخوة مشكورين نصحوني بقراءة معمقة لأن الكتاب مختلف.والآن وأنا اختتم الكتاب، أجد بالفعل أنه لا يناسب المشغولين، فحجمه الكبير وموضوعه يحتاجان إلى صفاء أكثر، ولكنني أختلف مع الأخوة حول أهميته، أو حول اعتباره مرجعا ً، الكتاب يلعب أحد أدوار الرواية بامتياز، وهو دور إثارة الاهتمام حول موضوع معين، بحيث نندفع لقراءات جادة حول الموضوع، ولكنه للأسف يخفق في الجانب الآخر، ألا وهو إثارة الاهتمام بالقصة نفسها، فيما يلجأ المؤلف لإظهار الصراع العلمي والسياسي حول موضوع البيئة بشكل عام، والاحتباس الحراري بشكل أخص إلى الحوارات التي يجريها بين أبطالها، حيث يضمنها وجهات النظر المختلفة، ويناقش الأفكار والأطروحات من خلالها.الكتاب بشكل عام جيد، ولكن كان يمكنه أن يكون أجود، والأهم هو أنه يثير القارئ للبحث في قضايا، ربما لم يكن يعلم أنها مثار الجدل علميا ً، حيث حولتها الدعاية الكبيرة والقوية إلى قضايا شبه محسومة ومتفق عليها.

  • Carmine
    2019-02-19 19:59

    La merda Thrillerucolo da quattro soldi che offre inesattezze scientifiche - vergognosa la parte sul clima - nonché l'assortimento ammerigano di inseguimenti ai quattro angoli del globo e la classica bionda che aspetta nella dimora a gambe aperte (non una brutta idea, ma un po' di realismo non guasterebbe).Quando poi si va a parare nel complottismo massonico/informatico/mediatico le risate involontarie diventano naturali e si comprende, con amarezza, il rincoglionimento completo di un autore che aveva fatto della verosimiglianza scientifica il suo cavallo di battaglia (sempre rimanendo nell'ambito del commerciale duro e puro).Tutti gli argomenti vengono trattati in modo tristemente grossolano, con approccio vago e qualunquista per mischiare le carte in tavola; e l'aggiunta di grafici e tabelle a corroborare le ipotesi sull'ecoterrorismo danno una parvenza di credibilità non distante dal pomeriggio di tensione su Canale Cinque.

  • Ben
    2019-02-04 22:24

    State of Fear by Michael Crichton Beginning with the mysterious death of a wave analyst in France, this book has its moments of action all around the world; though, the main setting is Los Angeles, California in 2004. It also takes place in Antarctica, the Solomon Islands, Iceland, and several other places throughout the world, all the while chasing after the relentlessly evil plot of the eco-terrorist group ELF. The reason I really enjoyed this book was how you were just dropped in the middle of all the action, then you have to read on in the book to figure out what had just happened. But, this is the kind of book that keeps you guessing most of the time, but still gives you a few hints here and there. The main plot begins when George Morton, a millionaire philanthropist, and Peter Evans, a junior associate from the law firm of Hassle and Black, arrive in Iceland. Nickolas Drake CEO of NERF (National Environmental Resource Fund) has come to persuade a local glacial geologist to fudge, if not lie outright, on a paper soon to be published. George starts behaving oddly, to both Sarah (his assistant) and Evans; he goes out on seemingly random trips around the globe, alone. Until one night at the banquet in honor of George, he gets drunk and drives off. Evans and Sarah jump in Georges limousine and take off after him, they round a curve to find a crashed model 1972 365 GTS Daytona Spyder, the same make of Ferrari George was driving. The story contains a diverse variety of characters; take, for instance, Nick Drake. He is always very melodramatic about anything and everything when it comes to the environment. That is a great contrast to John Kenner; he is part of the government the NSIA, or the National Security Intelligence Agency, “A part of the government that stays under the radar”, or so Kenner says. I think the characters in the book are very believable, they have character flaws that most people have. This way I can see them as actual people instead of just characters in a book. They’re not the kind of characters that are too good or nice to be true, like little miss Polly Perfect. I really liked the facts that were in the book, it has the most footnotes of any fiction book I’ve ever read. The references can be tracked down easily and further reading about one subject or another can be easily found. This book has many strengths but in turn it has some pretty big weaknesses. One of these is the characters, they are so down to earth and seem like you could really get to know them. One such character like this is Peter Evans. He is a young man that has a lot of problems, just like any other person you would meet today. He has an absence of a relationship in his life that he can’t seem to over come, and is ignorant when it comes to the climate and the issue of global warming. According to John Kenner, Peter “is just too misinformed about the issue of global warming”. He doesn’t know much about it and what he has heard is from stand point of, more or less, eco-nazis. One character that goes against this is Nick Drake, he is an ex-litigator that turned into an eco-nut after he retired. He twists and contorts the information given from scientists to make it fit his purposes. Nick is just one of the not-so-original bad guys trying to “help make the world a better place”. One, if not the only, weakness in this work are its excessive dry spells in the midst of action. One instance is when Evans is forced to keep professor Hoffman company. Hoffman goes on about all that is bad in the world, about how fear is controlling everyone, and while some of it was interesting most of it was very dry. That happened in a few places, but it did help explain a few things so it may have been a good thing, it was just very dry. The theme of this book, I believe is that, things are not always what you are led to believe. Take the topics of global warming and climate change, they are found prevalently in the media and are almost screamed by some scientists. But, this book raises quite a few good points and provides a good view from the other side of the mirror. It’s not a book for people that think the world is going to end due to global warming for the simple reason that they will only gawk at it and deny all of the references and footnotes. In closing I would I would like to say that I loved the book, it was a good eye opener that there are more than enough data disproving global warming. It was just refreshing to see where other people stand on that issue in a way that hasn’t been ran into the ground thousands of times.Genre: Realistic Fiction/Eco-FictionPage count: 567

  • Miloš
    2019-02-04 20:11

    Even the subject is interesting, the book itself was really naive and easy to predict...That is why I put on only 3 stars...

  • Brian
    2019-02-20 17:26

    "So what [we:] need is to structure the information so that whatever kind of weather occurs, it always confirms your message. That's the virtue of shifting the focus to abrupt climate change. It enables [us:] to use everything that happens. There will always be floods, and freezing storms, and cyclones, and hurricanes. These events will always get airtime. And in every instance, [we:] can claim it is an example of global warming. So the message gets reinforced. The urgency is increased."This from a PR person in the book that works for a large and mainstream environmentalist group. But it could have been spoken by any of the ideologues of the movement as they switch from just global warming to climate change, and try to capitalize on every disaster as a reason for their existence.As I mentioned in one of my updates, this is my first try at a Michael Crichton book and I found it well-informed and fast-paced. The plot is plausible enough (at least until the end) and serves as a rebuttal to the claims of the power hungry environmentalist crowd. It is his case for skepticism on global warming in fictional form.A key graph:"Has it occurred to you how astonishing the culture of Western society really is? Industrialized nations provide their citizens with unprecedented safety, health, and comfort. Average life spans increased fifty percent in the last century. Yet modern people live in abject fear. They are afraid of strangers, of disease, of crime, of the environment. They are afraid of the homes they live in, the food they eat, the technology that surrounds them. They are in a particular panic over the things they can't even see--germs, chemicals, additives, pollutants. They are timid, nervous, fretful, and depressed. And even more amazingly, they are convinced that the environment of the entire plant is being destroyed around them. Remarkable!"

  • George
    2019-02-07 21:17

    I disliked this book intensely. Right from the beginning it was critical of enviornmental subjects such as global warming. I was involved with through such studies in the 1990s and into the new century, and many of his opinions were ill-founded: although I recognized that the problems he spoke of exist, they are hardly dominant in any of the enviromental fields.He claimed to be a defender of the scientific method regarding an approach to the crises apparent in the world, yet there were obvious gaps in his knowledge. In spite of this, I pushed through, hoping he would reverse his tone. He did not, although he did introduce other crises with which I agreed with his perspective, even though he was often just as poorly-informed on these subjects as he was on global warming.His ultimate "point" was that we live in a "state of fear" that is perpetuated by media (a least he didn't blame it on either the liberal or conservative media, but all of it), the nations of the world and the industrial-military complex (long time since I'd heard reference to THAT concept). His suggestion for fixing this issue is just to introduce a new "group" (I forgot the name) which is privately funded and scientifically base: as though this kind of idea hasn't built the current international difficulties. He completely ignores the real problem and sounds just like men have for decades. He at least glanced at some socio-political science texts when writing the book, but he needs to look more at the ideas behind social relations and dominance in any kind of market economy.At least the writing was good.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-15 16:58

    State of Fear, Michael Crichton State of Fear is, like many of Crichton's books, a fictional work that uses a mix of speculation and real world data, plus technological innovations as fundamental storyline devices.عنوان: حکومت ترس؛ نویسنده: مایکل کرایتون؛ مترجم: محمد عباس آبادی؛ تهران، البرز، 1392؛ در 731 ص؛ شابک: 9789644428210؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - قرن 21 مسقوط کوتاهی بود و احساس سرمای شدیدی به او دست داد. به زیر آب فرورفت و با حباب و آب سبزرنگ، و سپس سیاه‌رنگ، احاطه شد. حتی در آب هم نمی‌توانست تکان بخورد. باورش نمی‌شد چنین اتفاقی دارد برای او می‌افتد. باورش نمی‌شد که دارد این‌گونه می‌میرد. سپس کم‌ کم احساس کرد بدنش بالا می‌آید. دوباره آب سبز را دید، و سپس به پشت از سطح آب بیرون زد و بدنش آهسته چرخید. پل، آسمان آبی و ماریسا را که در پیاده‌ رو ایستاده بود، می‌دید. او سیگاری روشن کرد و به مارشال خیره شد. مثل مانکن‌ها یک دستش را روی‌ کمرش و یک پایش را جلو گذاشته بود. نفسش را بیرون داد و دود سیگار به هوا بلند شد. سپس مارشال دوباره به زیر آب فرورفت و سردی و سیاهی او را دربرگرفت. ساعت سه صبح چراغ‌های آزمایشگاه اوندولاتوار مؤسسه دریایی فرانسه در ویسی روشن شد. صفحه کنترل به کار افتاد. دستگاه موج‌ساز شروع به ساختن امواجی کرد که یکی پس از دیگری از تانکر پایین می‌رفتند و به ساحل مصنوعی برخورد می‌کردند. صفحه‌ ی نمایش‌ها تصاویری سه‌ بعدی و ستون‌هایی از اطلاعات را نشان می‌دادند. این اطلاعات به مکان نامعلومی در فرانسه مخابره می‌شدند...؛