I find it difficult to believe that today marks the three year anniversary of the passing of super-author Michael Crichton. The man’s work in books, television, and movies left an indelible mark on all three mediums.
Mr. Crichton penned so many awesome tales that this blog post would be insufficient to give them all a proper sounding. Instead I’d like to focus on two of my favorites.
This posthumously published novel of 17th century pirate adventure provides a ripping yarn with all of the requisite nautical trimmings. The year is 1665, and main protagonist Captain Charles Hunter throws in with the opportunistic Governor of Jamaica to hatch a plan to rob the seemingly impenetrable island treasure-hold of Matanceros. After assembling a colorful and dangerous crew, Hunter and his men endure many twists, turns, and reversals in pursuit of their prize. Filled with plenty of historically accurate action and just a dash of Hollywood flourish, Pirate Latitudes delivers on its promise of being great historical fiction. Mr. Crichton purportedly worked on this book since 1970, and it was discovered on his computer in its complete form after his passing in 2008.
The Eaters of the Dead
Cleverly disguised as a historical treatise drawn from the real-world writings of Arab traveler and scholar Ahmad ibn Fadlan, Eaters of the Dead caused only a minor stir when it was first published back in 1976, but it has stood the test of time, and even endured the Hollywood treatment with the release of the film adaptation, The 13th Warrior. This amazing little book offers a re-imagining of the Beowulf tale, and deftly mixes scholarship and fantastic elements. The aforementioned movie really isn’t so bad, and would certainly be worth borrowing if you like period-based action flicks.
When I think of Michael Crichton’s long and successful career, these are the two works that jump immediately to mind. Which Michael Crichton book, TV show, or movie tops your list?