• The Andromeda Strain

  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: David Morse
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 26-05-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (477 ratings)

Summary

The United States government is given a warning by the preeminent biophysicists in the country: Current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated reentry to the atmosphere.
Two years later, 17 satellites are sent into the outer fringes of space to "collect organisms and dust for study". One of them falls to Earth, landing in a desolate area of Arizona.
Twelve miles from the landing site, in the town of Piedmont, a shocking discovery is made: The streets are littered with the dead bodies of the town's inhabitants, as if they dropped dead in their tracks.
The terror has begun....
©1969 Constant c Productions, Inc.; Copyright renewed 1996 by CrichtonSun LLC (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 18-10-15

An Opportunity Missed?

There's no doubt in my mind that the Andromeda Strain is a clever idea, particularly when it's date of origin is considered. The book sets up this idea very well with David Morse's almost dispassionate narration setting bleak opening scenes and hinting at tension that surely had to follow. The description of the Strain's impact on one small American town is a genuinely powerful scene.

At this point though the author seems to almost switch modes. As he introduces the team being set up to investigate the strain he detours into detailed bios of each of the men's achievements listing scientific papers they have written and how their careers have developed. This unfortunately then set the tone for the rest of the book where I feel Crichton seemed anxious to demonstrate his research or knowledge to the detriment of his story. To be fair I now feel I have a better grip on the pros and cons of optical versus electron microscopes than before but that's not what I read fiction for and with Morse's rather dry delivery it was hard going in parts.

To be fair to Morse there were a number of aspects of the book that would have worked very well in print at the time but were not at all suited to the audio format. An example of this would be the lengthy rendition of the communications between the mission control teams where each short sentence was preceded by a timestamp like "Sixteen hours, forty-six minutes and twenty three seconds". I imagine this worked well in print, the reader could skim-read the timestamps, but in audio poor David had to churn them out in seemingly endless monotone. Other examples included computer communications with long serial numbers and control statements. Possibly this is on occasion where a version edited for audio would be better than the original. It's something I'd rarely suggest but here I think it would make sense.

That said, it is a clever story, albeit with what I felt was a less than satisfactory ending. It does require patience and the lengthy scientific tangents means that the story never develops at a genuinely entertaining pace.

Well that's my opinion. On the other hand this was of course the novel that established Crichton and the rest as they say is history. I do think that it's probably better consumed as a novel rather than an audiobook but I also wonder if Crichton was ever tempted to revisit the Andromeda Strain as I think the story could have developed so much further.

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25 of 28 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Cindy on 16-06-15

Monotonous voice, good story

I've read this story before and rally enjoyed it. But I'm afraid I did not get on with the narrators still, spoilt it for me. Far too monotonous.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ryan Johnson on 31-07-15

Best science + biology fiction book I have read

The author leaves just enough out of the plot to make this a follow along detective novel for biochemists and science fiction enthusiasts alike. Get ready to day dream all types of alien biological attacks for the next few days, because when microorganisms come from space, your mind can make anything believable. I wish this book was 2 times longer, I feel the author finished it in a rush!

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39 of 43 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Joshua Harris on 29-05-15

45 years old..

...and still my favorite Crichton. It holds up very well because it's simply a great story. Excellently narrated as well.

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51 of 58 people found this review helpful

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