Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sphere by Michael Crichton

Book Details
Sphere by Michael Crichton
Paperback, 512 pages
1993, Pan Publishing
ISBN: 0330301276

As in Crichton's Andromeda Strain (Knopf, 1969), the focus of this science adventure tale is humankind's encounter with an alien life form. Within a space ship lying on the sea bottom is a mysterious sphere that promises each of the main characters some personal reward: military might, professional prestige, power, understanding. Trapped underwater with the sphere, the humans confront eerie and increasingly dangerous threats after communication with the alien object has been achieved. The story is exciting and loaded with scientific and psychological speculations that add interest at no cost to the action, including an intriguing sequence in which human and computer attempt to decode the alien communication. As the story races to an end, suspicions of evil-doing fall as many ways as in a detective novel.

Everything about Sphere was average. Its premise was interesting and it had the potential to be spectacular, but it failed to meet that potential. Without giving away too many keys details, all I can say is the thrilling surprise ending missed the mark. Decent alien science fiction, but nothing spectacular.


Michael Crichton's website


  1. I'm sad to hear you say that - I loved this book, and I loved the ending! To each his own, I suppose. :-)

  2. :) I remember reading this in my teenage years and being riveted. I wonder if it would be less so now that I have more years (and books) under my belt.

  3. I read Sphere a couple times when I was a teen, and consider it my favourite Crichton book. But like Katy, I wonder if I would enjoy it as much now that I'm older. I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it quite as much as I remember liking it.

  4. Great review- I won't be adding this to my reading list though ;] Only because you said it was all about the average! LOL

  5. I read this for school years ago, and I felt the same. But then again, I'm not too much of a science fiction fan. Great review :)