OK, I really shouldn’t be giving Crichton this much attention for writing a dumb book, but just two more items. First, I forgot to draw attention to a great article by Seth Borenstein (whom I heart) on scientists’ reactions to State of Fear. As usual, Borenstein doesn’t pussyfoot around.

Second, just one last observation about the book. It starts with a series of vignettes in which nefarious characters — a beautiful, raven-haired European woman, a broad-shouldered man in glasses, etc. — buy, steal, and occasionally kill for the equipment they need to engineer huge natural disasters. You’re reading this, wondering who these people are, how their stories will play out. But then… they don’t show up again after the first chapter! Seriously! They just vanish, never to be heard from again. It’s like Crichton started writing a complicated, intricate thriller, but after a chapter or two just couldn’t be bothered. Amazingly lazy. Just astonishing.

OK, I’m done.

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