Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton died of cancer today. Who even knew he had cancer? Poor guy. Not only did he die of cancer, but he died on the day of one of the most historic presidential elections in US history. It's too bad his death, and his work, won't get the attention that's deserved.

Crichton will forever be one of my favorite writers for Jurassic Park, an absolute work of genius and one of my top ten books of all time. He's also written a small handful of other great works, like The Great Train Robbery, Eaters of the Dead, The Andromeda Strain, and Rising Sun.

He's also written his fair share of garbage, such as Congo, Sphere, Prey, and pretty much everything else. But Michael Crichton's garbage is better than the life's work of most other writers. Even when his work was bad, full of ridiculous ideas, and filled to the brim with bad science (like Timeline, for example!), his books were still compulsively readable and incredibly entertaining.

He was certainly no Shakespeare, though his prose was as impeccably written as any of his peers, and his ideas ranged from the mind-blowingly innovative to the insultingly puerile and naive, he was still one of my favorite writers.

Everytime a famous person dies, there are so many obituaries written by people who claim to be saddened by the loss of a person the writer has never met, and this one is no different. I've never met Crichton, but I'm honestly sad to hear of his death. I'm not sad because I cared about him or knew anything about him personally. I'm sad because I'll never get to read, and thoroughly enjoy, another one of his books. If that sounds callous, don't worry. It's actually the greatest compliment any writer could ever receive.