Why, oh why do I hate Dan Brown? Partly for the aforementioned six characteristics, but mostly because of cliffhangers. If you've ever read a Dan Brown book, you'll realize that every single chapter, and sometimes paragraph, ends in a cliffhanger. It's a cheap tactic to keep people reading and frankly, it makes me nuts. If his writing alone was good enough, he wouldn't need to resort to such shoddy parlor tricks It makes me want to tell him to take his Deception Point and shove it up his Illuminati.
In repentance this week, I read Michael Crichton's novel "Next" that came out in 2006. His book "State of Fear" that came out in 2004 caused such a stir that I expected the kind of controversial writing in "Next." The book is about genetic engineering, companies patenting genes for their own monetary gain, the moral issues associated with transgenic animals and people, the sanctity of our bodies, and is loaded with all sorts of selfish and immoral characters. Instead of there being a main character, there are several people whose lives and actions intersect one with another and we get to discover this as we go along. It's pretty interesting reading and you find yourself rooting for Gerard, the transgenic African grey parrot and Dave, the humanzee. Yes, you read that right. At the end of the book, Crichton lists his sources and explains his research, much like "State of Fear". And like that previous novel, I put down "Next" wondering how much more was out there of which I am completely ignorant. I'm not so stupid to believe everything I read or hear from the media, but I know that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Now how does one go about finding the middle?
Since some of these characters completely lack any scruples, there can be some graphic sections of this book. Beware, oh delicate readers. But it was an exciting read and brought up issues to my mind I wouldn't have thought of otherwise. Now, back I go to folding laundry.