Read: 13th January - 24th May 2016, book 2/52

After over 4 months I’ve finally finished my second book of the year, Next by Michael Crichton. Part of the reason it took so long was the books size, a hardback behemoth weighing in at almost 600 pages. This made it difficult to take around to lectures, on train journeys, and other places where reading would be opportune.

I’d heard good things about Kindles for these types of situations so when Amazon had a World Book Day promotion I jumped at the chance to get one. I went with the Kindle Paperwhite with 3G1 so that it can also replace my now bricked WikiReader2.

Straight away I’m absolutely loving it. Everywhere I go the kindle comes with me and as a result I’m reading so much more than I have been for years. To anyone who’s experienced similar problems I’d wholeheartedly recommend it.

Now onto the book itself. For those wondering where they’ve heard the name before, Michael Crichton is the guy behind Jurassic Park and a plethora of other dystopias. This one is no different taking place in a world where genetic modification has gone mainstream.3

Throughout the book I was constantly wondering whether the stuff discussed was possible (it’s sci-fi after all) and then at the end I was met with pages upon pages on references. Turns out Crichton is supremely qualified with both a bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology and a doctorate of medicine from Harvard Medical School.

The story was average to good with an ending which just sort of fizzled out, but what really impressed me was how well researched it was. If you have an interest in genetics, futurology, or science more generally I’d recommend giving it a go.

  1. I also paid a bit extra to remove adverts at the end of books. I’d not realised I valued the absence of ads enough to pay for it, but apparently so. 

  2. I absolutely love my WikiReader and was really sad when Openmoko dropped it. I’ll probably keep tinkering with it see if I can fix things but I’m fairly sure it’s a lost cause at this point. 

  3. As discussed in the authors notes, most all the scientific advances described in the books have either already happened or will likely happen in the coming decades.