Friday, November 07, 2008

A Farewell

I had another blog for today, but I decided to push it to another time when I read the news. There, amongst all the political whatnot, was an article that said author Michael Crichton had died. He was only sixty six and had been privately battling cancer. I had no idea.

I know we're all about the romance genre here, but we are first and foremost readers, and I couldn't let a successful author's passing go without mention. He'd sold over 150 million books. I can't even imagine.

I've actually read quite a few of his books. I read Jurassic Park and the Lost World before they were movies. I've seen the movie adaptations of Andromeda Strain and Disclosure. He wrote several screenplays, including the one for the film "Twister," which is one of my favorites. So many of his works were translated to screen. He got to work with Stephen Spielberg. I didn't realize until reading the tribute to him that he created the series ER. Its sad that the show actually outlived him.

He had a flair for blending compelling characters, moral dilemnas, technology and politics. He often took heat for his work from critics, but his appeal to his readers was undeniable. Although he was quite outspoken about his views and used his books to some extent to express himself, even his harshest political adversaries had to admit the books were riveting.

As a writer, I can only imagine achieving that level of success. I struggle every day just to get words on pages so an editor can read and reject them. The idea of having blockbuster films, Emmy winning television shows, Time Magazine covers, and amazing book sales under my belt is a far off pipe dream.

Do you have a favorite Michael Crichton book? Have you seen any of the films? I have to say that I always thought the book Jurassic Park was leaps and bounds better than the film. If you're unfamiliar with his work, you can at least appreciate and credit him with the career upswing of George Clooney. :)

SP

PS. On a happier note, next week is our 3rd Birthday Celebration! Join us as we party the week away. There will be prizes and cake and as always...cabana boys, so you don't want to miss it!

(Photo courtesy of Keith Meyers/The New York Times)

14 comments:

Jane said...

I can't believe I've never read any of his books. I have enjoyed the tv and movie adaptations of his work. One of my favorites is "Sphere."

Playground Monitor said...

I can't remember if I read Andromeda Strain, but I remember being mesmerized by the movie. Crichton has left an important literary legacy. I was sad too to learn of his death. I'm not a huge ER fan, but I've watched more than a few episodes. I missed Jurassic Park, though. I let the DH take the kids to see that -- I think. I've seen parts of Disclosure, and when I checked imdb.com, I saw he did the screenplay for Coma. The novel was written by Robin Cook, another doctor turned novelist.

M.V.Freeman said...

I have to admit, I was addicted for many years to his show E.R.

He will be missed.

Salute in Memory to a great story teller!

Angel said...

Though I've read several of his books and watched more than a few of the screen adaptations, I've been most fascinated to read about him as a person since his passing. I've read a couple of articles detailing his incredibly voracious interest in a wide variety of subjects and his belief that people should be presented with facts and allowed to make intelligent conclusions of their own. His careful presentation of research defending his books to press and naysayers is admirable, whether you agree with him or not. Most authors wouldn't bother to take the time.

Then there is just the sheer production. As SP said, I can't imagine wracking up that many hugely successful stories, screenplays, and television series. How satisfying that must have been.

He will truly be missed.

Angel

Angel said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that my husband was a little freaked out to learn of his death. He was at work, listening to Crichton's Prey on audio book, when he turned around and saw the news of the Today Show.

Angel

Problem Child said...

I've never read any of his books, but I've seen several of the movies. DG is a fan though.

If I could be only 1/8 as successful, I'd be happy.

Sherry Werth said...

I haven't read any of his books but I've seen several of the movies. The man and his works will be greatly missed.

Instigator said...

I read a couple of his books about 10 or 12 years ago. I enjoyed them quite a bit but they weren't really in a genre that kept my interest. I have loved some of his movies though - Congo is one of my favorites.

It's so sad to see anyone die this young but especially someone who contributed so much to the world. There's no telling what great stories we are missing because he's no longer here to share them with us.

Instigator

Anonymous said...

I'm like Jane, I've never read or watched any of his movies or seen ER. Sad, I know. But may he rest in peace.
robertsonreads
ps. have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend everyone

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I've never read his books, though the hubby has. And of course I've seen a few of the movies. He was a major talent, so versatile. Isn't it something that we now think 66 is young? It is, but a generation ago, not so much. He should've had another twenty or thirty years to tell stories!

Word verif: surill. Yep, it's surill that he's gone.

Barbara Vey said...

I also blogged about him yesterday. I first saw Andromeda Strain and loved it. After that, I read all his books and saw all the movies (books always better). Of course, ER was must see, at least the first couple of years.

Darling Geek said...

It should be said that the books are all orders of magnitudes better than the movies. It's amusing to see people list Sphere and Congo listed as favorite movies, since in both cases they butchered the books.

He go a little preachy in his last few books, which aren't as fair and balanced as he claims, but he was certainly a talented writer, his death was sudden, and I'm sorry that we won't see any more of his work.

Virginia said...

I am not sure if I have read any of his books over the years or not. I will have to say I am a big ER fan and I know this is the last season and I will miss the show.

Anonymous said...

Already, seems like you just celebrated #2. Happy Birthday.

Pat L.