Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sad Day in the Literary World

Michael Crichton, Author, Dead at 66. Nov. 4, 2008

One of may favorite authors, Michael Crichton, passed away yesterday after a private battle with cancer. He was a very prolific author, screen-writer, and producer. Almost all of his novels, million sellers each, were made into film.

Most people, including the article linked above, claim The Andromeda Strain as his first book. However, the first book was actually A Case of Need written under the pseudonym Jeffery Hudson while he was still in Medical School and published in 1968, winning the Edgar Award in 1969. It was one of his best novels in my opinion. It really covers the abortion issue very well from multiple angles.

He attended Harvard College as an undergraduate, graduating summa cum laude in 1964. Crichton was also initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He went on to become the Henry Russell Shaw Traveling Fellow from 1964 to 1965 and Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom in 1965. He graduated from Harvard Medical School, obtaining an M.D. in 1969, and did post-doctoral fellowship study at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, from 1969 to 1970. In 1988, he was Visiting Writer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [Wikipedia, Michael Crichton web entry, Nov. 5, 2008]

An interesting fact: Crichton was just under 7 ft. tall.


JMG said...

I never read any of his books. I understand that his medical training contributed greatly to his literary career.

Tony Arnold said...

Most are easy, exciting reads, the fun fiction break from serious reading. But he always picked interesting topics and researched them well. He then wrote them to attract the broad base readership.

If you read any of his books, read A Case of Need.

Similiar situation as Grisham's first book, A Time to Kill. Not similiar in topic, but the fact that both are more a work of very good literature and less about writing for the mainstream market sell.