Michael Crichton Fun Times!

Michael Crichton is an author I had heard a lot about but hadn’t ever really thought to read. Luckily for me, Crichton is my partner’s favourite author of all time, ever. I have therefore had the chance to read several Crichton’s with many more awaiting me!

Through my partner’s immense Michael Crichton knowledge, I was able to discover a series of books that Michael Crichton wrote under the pseudonym John Lange, in his early medical school days – back in the 1960s and early ’70s. These have just recently been republished by the publishing company Hard Case Crime. They publish new and old hard-boiled crime novels. To celebrate the re-release of Crichton’s John Lange novels, Stephen King wrote a short novel that was published under Hard Case Crime books, called Joyland.

Which brings me to the John Lange books I’ve read this year!

Review time!

Easy Go

Beneath the sands of the Egyptian desert lies treasure beyond imagining. And when a professor of archaeology finds clues to the location of a Pharaoh’s lost tomb in ancient hieroglyphs, he hatches a plan to find the burial site – and plunder it. 

But can a five-man team of smugglers and thieves uncover what the centuries have hidden? And even if they find it, can they escape with it…and with their lives? 

Easy Go was so fun! I am so glad I got to read this book. I have always loved books involving Ancient Egypt or the discovery of treasure in Egypt. I also recently found out that I like Michael Crichton – so this was the perfect combination!

This was a classic pulp fiction novel full of suspense, intrigue and adventure. There were several scenes that were just so exciting, but I had to do annoying things, like get off trains, or start work, and I had to pause reading. This was excruciating.

Crichton captured everything that intrigues and terrifies me about the concept of being on an archaeological dig in Egypt. The excitement of finding things that haven’t been touched or opened in literally, thousands of years, the fascination with Ancient Egypt and all that it encompasses, but Crichton does not glamourise this situation. He reminds us that diseases such as dysentery would abound, and that sleeping in the heat, with hundreds of flies around you is less than ideal. But that’s all part of the adventure, right?!

This story is written to have a distinct plot, so as to fall into the pulp fiction genre. There is an adventure, several intense moments where things may come crashing down, yet ultimately everything works out, then a climax to the adventure and a well-wrapped up conclusion. There is also of course, a bit of romance thrown in.

There is not a huge amount of character development, as the novel is quite short, and quite frankly, the story of the dig is what we’re here for, not really characterisation. There is however, an epic part at the end that I did not see coming at all. It was fantastic. I look forward to reading this book again in a few years :)



Grave Descend

James McGregor is a 39-year-old professional diver who, after suffering through numerous unsavory salvage jobs in New York and Miami, has relocated to sunny Jamaica. When a relatively straightforward and highly lucrative assignment — to explore a luxury yacht that has inexplicably sank off the coast of Jamaica — practically falls in his lap, McGregor readily accepts. But as he learns more about the mysterious sinking — and about the yacht’s enigmatic owner — he begins to realize that he’s being set up in an elaborate con that involves the Sicilian Mafia, exotic femme fatales, and hungry hammerhead sharks. 

This novel was a bit disappointing, especially after having read Easy Go and LOVING it.

Basically, this novel could have been amazing, but felt way too rushed. As these books had all been kind of churned out, I think I may have been lead into a false sense of security with Easy Go, because it was just SO good.

The main thing that annoyed me, was the main character. He is aware that strange things are happening to him, and he has several opportunities to not go along with the dodgy bad-guy plan, but doesn’t. Mostly, because he’s intrigued. WHAT A DUMB REASON. Ugh. Anyway, what I did enjoy was Crichton’s writing, which is always fun to read. He throws in fun facts about so many things, that I always feel like I’m learning, in the best possible way :) I also loved the setting for this novel, which was Jamaica. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in Jamaica, and with Crichton’s fun-facts, it was really cool to read about.

The climax of this was extremely rushed and confusing. My partner read it at the same time as me, and when I finished I had to ask him so many questions (which luckily, he could answer!), because I just did not understand what happened. Overall, if Crichton had had the chance, this book could have been amazing. It started out with such promise, but was just confusing and rushed towards the end.



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