Friday, November 6, 2009

The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton

Book Details
The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton
Paperback, 352 pages
2007, Harper
ISBN: 006178267X

Harry has a problem. Ever since getting in a car accident, he's suffered from "thought seizures," violent fits in which he attacks other people. He used to be an artificial intelligence researcher, which may explain why he targets anyone who either works on machines or who acts like a machine--mechanics, gas-station attendants, prostitutes, exotic dancers. But there's hope: he can become part machine himself, undergoing "Stage 3," an experimental procedure implanting 40 electrodes deep in the pleasure centers of his brain. The surgery is successful, and blissful pulses of electricity short-circuit Harry's seizures. That is, until Harry figures out how to overload himself with the satisfying jolts and escapes on a murderous rampage. One of Crichton's earliest, playing ably on '70s fears of computers and mind control.

The Terminal Man was interesting, in its way. It's an older Michael Crichton book and isn't as polished or as intense as his later works. It's another of his books that I would recommend only to hardcore Crichton fans. I had some difficulty understanding Harry's actions, even though they were fully explained in the book. I'm not sure if this was more about me not comprehending the psychological/medical/technological aspects of the book or if the book wasn't basic enough for a lay-person.


Michael Crichton's website

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