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January 04, 2004

Prey

I picked up Prey for the holidays, and ended up reading it over the four-day weekend I allotted for New Year's Day. It's around 500 pages, but not exactly Wittgenstein.

I was somewhat disappointed in the book, as it sort of violated the implicit contract of a Chrichton techno-thriller (as distinct from some of his departures from the pot-boiler genres). He spends the first chunk of the book, up to page 117, developing his main character via domestic Mr. Mom minutiae, foreshadowing some of the plot elements to come, but mostly boring me to tears with details of the rube's family life. Cut to the chase, Michael! By page 130, we're finally starting the actual ride.

From there, the scientific handwaving that Chrichton is so good at sustained my interest and supressed my disbelief until the very end, when he more or less threw out the rather plausible evolutionary horror for a Frankenstein-monster ooga-booga grand finale. I suppose it will play better on the big screen (all M.C. techno-thrillers read like screen treatments anyway), but I felt let down by the shift from sorta-sci-fi to full-blown fantasy at the last.

Posted by dpwakefield at January 4, 2004 09:59 PM