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The Andromeda Strain

Narrated by: David Morse
Series: The Andromeda Strain, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

First published fifty years ago, The Andromeda Strain redefined the science fiction genre, and immediately established Michael Crichton as one of the brightest voices in contemporary literature worldwide.

"I love anything Michael Crichton writes." (Stephen King)

A military space probe, sent to collect extraterrestrial organisms from the upper atmosphere, is knocked out of orbit and falls to Earth. Twelve miles from the crash site, an inexplicable and deadly phenomenon terrorizes the residents of a sleepy desert town in Arizona, leaving only two survivors: an elderly addict and a newborn infant.

The United States government is forced to mobilize Project Wildfire, a top-secret emergency response protocol. Four of the nation’s most elite biophysicists are summoned to a clandestine underground laboratory located five stories beneath the desert and fitted with an automated atomic self-destruction mechanism for cases of irremediable contamination. Under conditions of total news blackout and the utmost urgency, the scientists race to understand and contain the crisis. But the Andromeda Strain proves different from anything they’ve ever seen - and what they don’t know could not only hurt them, but lead to unprecedented worldwide catastrophe.

©1969 Constant c Productions, Inc.; Copyright renewed 1996 by CrichtonSun LLC (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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ripper

what a ripper of a story, panic attack ensured with the spooky way of dying the defeating the bug.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent story!

Really well written and engaging story. Even though the novel is a bit dated, the science explored is still quite relatable to what’s in use today. Scary to think that an extraterrestrial virus could slip though the cracks in this way! Really good narrator! David, Australia

1 person found this helpful

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dull distracted unfinished and poorly executed

reaches for the stars but barely makes it out of the window. Not a single question answered. no purpose to any characters, ideas vomitted left and right and instantly forgotten. this was the most uninspiring and disappointing sci-fi book I've ever read. frustrating to the core!

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enjoyable

I really liked this one I appreciate the details ( alot) of details . and the narrator was excellent

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doesn't translate well

There are a lot of military telegrams/correspondence going on in the story. Long lists of numbers/letters that aren't pertinent to the story but have to be read out, of course. Really takes you out of any suspense the story manages to gather.
Having said that, David Morse does a bloody great job narrating.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Some great moments but anti climactic.

There's lots of potential in this story, but it felt like a lost opportunity to really explore the material properly. The inconsequential plot point detached from the principal theme takes over and becomes the climactic ending at the expense of a really intriguing subject matter.

Finished it feeling underwhelmed, like i'd watched an intelligent and rich character driven movie that's gets hijacked by the studio and the Hollywood Blockbuster ending is forced into it with a rushed conclusion.

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fizzler

there are some really cool ideas in here but it feels like the author found another project to do and finished the second half of the book in an afternoon and about 10 pages.. so much set up then it just fizzles

also not fan of narrator, to be fair he just read the book but damn that part with timestamps.. reminded me of Rick and Morty when Morty has that story read to him

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Meh

And had plenty of potential and it was well written, and David Morse did a good job with the audio, but the story went nowhere. Pretty much nothing the main characters did had anything to do with the story. I may have missed the point and it may have all been about the odd man, but even then

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-09-2018

Interesting but soooo slow

Narrated well. Started out fairly exciting but very anticlimactic after struggling through 6 hours of extreme detail with little action. Not an audio book to run to.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan Johnson
  • 31-07-2015

Best science + biology fiction book I have read

The author leaves just enough out of the plot to make this a follow along detective novel for biochemists and science fiction enthusiasts alike. Get ready to day dream all types of alien biological attacks for the next few days, because when microorganisms come from space, your mind can make anything believable. I wish this book was 2 times longer, I feel the author finished it in a rush!

51 people found this helpful

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  • Joshua Harris
  • 29-05-2015

45 years old..

...and still my favorite Crichton. It holds up very well because it's simply a great story. Excellently narrated as well.

65 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 26-11-2015

Clarkenesque

Horton Hears a Who
Based on thinking out of the box (not cliché in 1969), Crichton was a genius. His theories on possible aliens is not the expected. After he explains them you will be a believer. He is to biology, what Clarke was to rockets. I have always had a great interest in biology and the diversity it can have. I have a certain awe and wonder on the many different places life takes hold, on the many different strategies life comes up with. Life is everywhere, bottom of the ocean, deserts, and in the air, so why not in space?

I'M SURE IT'S A FLUKE
This book is not for everyone. I would not call it hard science, which is what I call books that have so much complex science they are hard for the average person to understand. The science is understandable, it is just the plethora of facts that are included. At times, I felt, surely he could have just gave us a summary of the facts instead of laboriously going over each and every detail. In the hardback some of these are in graphs and drawings. In the audible version they are monotonous. In one part we are read a TRANSCRIPT OF VOICE COMMUINICATIONS SCOOP MISSION CONTROL, in which we hear the hours, minutes and seconds before each verbal communication. These communications are often 2 or three seconds apart, yet we still get 0097, 03, 31, etc... There are some other faults, such as it is dated and the amount of times the geniuses miss obvious clues. The reader gets them immediately and we find ourselves screaming at the radio, it's the acid stupid, the acid. Also the statement is made that we have never had a biological crisis. I would think the Black Plague or the Influenza in 1918, would be consider biological crises.

WILDFIRE
Besides coming up with a great alien invasion, Crichton comes up with a great underground facility. The emergency secret group of scientists and doctors, who must answer the call immediately when something happens is also pretty cool. He used this again in Sphere.

The narrator is sufficient, not great. He has a gravely voice that he uses for a number of characters. This book is not about character development, so that lack of distinction does not play that heavily as it would in some other books.

If you are a fan of Arthur C. Clarke you will enjoy this book. If books with too much data, turns you off, then read one of Crichton's later books. When this was written, data, was important to Science Fiction books. The concepts and imagination of Crichton over ride some of the flaws in the writing style. Don't get me wrong, there are some very exciting action parts to the book, it is not all about the numbers. I give the book a B+.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-05-2015

Rush to finish

The book just seem like its in a hurry to finish. You get to the good parts of the book and there's only 20 minutes left.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-06-2015

Very good medical /scientific thriller!!!

The story was good, but the performance made it that much better. I would recommend this book to those who share the love for a good sci-fi book. Enjoy!

30 people found this helpful

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  • N. Davenport
  • 08-11-2017

I expected more from Crichton

I've read several of Michael Crichton's books, even some that weren't made into movies, so I was looking forward to this one in my field of medical research. From that perspective, I was disappointed. Very little character development, despite an obvious attempt to do so. Minimal suspense. An unsatisfying ending that contradicted the intended foreshadowing. For any other author, this would be a solid four stars (which is what I gave it), but if you like his later work, you may be let down.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 22-08-2017

Not bad, build up was better than end

Very wordy and detailed, which helps in some areas but makes getting through some sections a chore. I feel like some of the military protocols and messages could have been summarized more. The ending left me wanting, some probably found it fine but I felt like it was cliche and didn't tie in well to the rest of the story.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Molly
  • 30-06-2018

Are we sure this narrator is fully awake?

I can't make it through this book. The narrator sounds like he's half asleep and bored out of his mind.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Paper Poppet
  • 19-08-2018

Not Jurassic Park

Not my thing, way more heavy on the science side and little plot. It was okay but not anything I'll be reflecting on.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 18-10-2015

An Opportunity Missed?

There's no doubt in my mind that the Andromeda Strain is a clever idea, particularly when it's date of origin is considered. The book sets up this idea very well with David Morse's almost dispassionate narration setting bleak opening scenes and hinting at tension that surely had to follow. The description of the Strain's impact on one small American town is a genuinely powerful scene.

At this point though the author seems to almost switch modes. As he introduces the team being set up to investigate the strain he detours into detailed bios of each of the men's achievements listing scientific papers they have written and how their careers have developed. This unfortunately then set the tone for the rest of the book where I feel Crichton seemed anxious to demonstrate his research or knowledge to the detriment of his story. To be fair I now feel I have a better grip on the pros and cons of optical versus electron microscopes than before but that's not what I read fiction for and with Morse's rather dry delivery it was hard going in parts.

To be fair to Morse there were a number of aspects of the book that would have worked very well in print at the time but were not at all suited to the audio format. An example of this would be the lengthy rendition of the communications between the mission control teams where each short sentence was preceded by a timestamp like "Sixteen hours, forty-six minutes and twenty three seconds". I imagine this worked well in print, the reader could skim-read the timestamps, but in audio poor David had to churn them out in seemingly endless monotone. Other examples included computer communications with long serial numbers and control statements. Possibly this is on occasion where a version edited for audio would be better than the original. It's something I'd rarely suggest but here I think it would make sense.

That said, it is a clever story, albeit with what I felt was a less than satisfactory ending. It does require patience and the lengthy scientific tangents means that the story never develops at a genuinely entertaining pace.

Well that's my opinion. On the other hand this was of course the novel that established Crichton and the rest as they say is history. I do think that it's probably better consumed as a novel rather than an audiobook but I also wonder if Crichton was ever tempted to revisit the Andromeda Strain as I think the story could have developed so much further.

29 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Cindy
  • 16-06-2015

Monotonous voice, good story

I've read this story before and rally enjoyed it. But I'm afraid I did not get on with the narrators still, spoilt it for me. Far too monotonous.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adrian
  • 09-07-2015

Imaginative and clever

I have read this as a paperback and watched the movie numerous times and still love it. The audio book is tread well with great character.

Most sci-fi is just space cowboys and Indians with lumpy foreheads. Andromeda strain is the antidote: original and thoughtful. The first time I read it, I found parts a little far-fetched and the ending a bit of a cop-out. On each subsequent reading, I have taken in more subtleties and appreciated Crichton's writing even more. Simply put, this is the very finest sci fi I know.

7 people found this helpful

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  • londonbikerider
  • 13-01-2016

Not for me

A classic I guess but took long to get going for me. I switched to double speed and enjoyed the last third of the book where it picks up with the analysis of the virus. Thought the narration was done well

6 people found this helpful

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  • Rvt Derenzy-channer
  • 06-10-2015

Dull as dishwater

What would have made The Andromeda Strain better?

A more eventful storyline would have made this better. I kept waiting for something to happen - it was very very descriptive about technical details and at times it felt like a technical handbook was being read out.

Has The Andromeda Strain put you off other books in this genre?

I haven't been put off the genre - but I am not sure I will listen to another Michael Crichton for a while.

What three words best describe David Morse’s voice?

Monotone

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed - the premise of the book enticed me to buy it - but with 2 hours and 5 minutes left to go - I just couldn't persevere any longer - I have abandoned it.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Todd Magers
  • 22-05-2016

Wonderful narration and story!!

At first I was a bit uncertain as to how David Morse's voice fit the work, but by the second chapter I was was completely enthralled! Excellent overall work and brilliant work on the dialogue for the character Mr. Jackson. And of course, a very engaging story....hard to believe this was copyrighted 1969!!! Could easily be today.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 17-10-2016

*Comic book guy voice* Worst. Ending. Ever.

By far the most anti-climactic book I've ever heard. Excellent story up to the last chapter, but a complete flop in the end. David morse reads the book excellently.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ross
  • 24-11-2015

Had potential but writing style doesn't suit

What disappointed you about The Andromeda Strain?

The writing style is designed to suit the story, very militant and document/report style of writing, regularly braking into quoted short hand. I can see this working on paper but as an audio book it becomes annoying, disjointed and hard to follow.

Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Crichton again?

Yes

What aspect of David Morse’s performance might you have changed?

Vocal tone - to nasal in sound (probably down to the mic used)

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Andromeda Strain?

All short hand sections - however this would leave large plot holes

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • G
  • 08-10-2016

Fizzled out

This book starts off with a great idea and lots of interesting threads but for me the ending was a bit disappointing. I've found this is a common problem with apocalyptic sci-fi. There was enough material to make a book about twice as long and a more rounded story but unfortunately the author seemed in a rush to finish it and get it over with.
I thought the performance was ok but there are several sections in the book where a list or stilted dialogue has to be read and there's really nothing much a narrator can do to enliven these

4 people found this helpful

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  • Frankieboy
  • 13-10-2019

brilliant best science fiction

wound full story chilling and gripping never read a Crichton story before , this ones a good place to start. So so good