The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton was my latest library audio book. It was only 3 disks long and I should’ve realized that it was an abridgement, but I didn’t until the end when it was announced. The plot can be summed up as follows: life which eats carbon and is fatal to humans, by clotting the lungs and/or making them go mad and harm themselves is quarantined by smart scientists. They need to figure out if we said nuke it, as the government wants to with every threat when it comes down to it. The scientists figure out that that would be bad because the life form feeds on carbon, if we blew it up that would release a ton of carbon. Bad plan!
But the scientists cannot communicate this to the powers that be because of a paper jam between the computer in their lab and the printer in the “high” office. That scared me. People with their finger on the button who don’t think to check for a paper jam when they don’t here from their top level scientists for 12 hours? I wasn’t surprised and I’m entirely sure that element of the book is fictional, even in a novel.
The most interesting concept in the book is that of the “odd man”. According to the book, the best decision maker is an unmarried man. I don’t know if this is true or what scientific studies it was based on if it is a fact. I’m going to research it later. I’ll let you know.
I rate this book a 6 out of 10; maybe it was because of the abridgement (I’m a detail girl) or because the ending sucked (which it did). Chris Noth of Law & Order and Sex & the City fame is an awesome narrator. The first one I’ve ever felt compelled to comment on. By the way, reading this book did make me want to read the unabridged version. I’ll blog and compare the two. But I won’t count it twice toward my 2010 book total. That just seems dishonest.