I was disturbed to hear on the headlines this Thursday (6-Nov-2008 IST) that writer Michael Crichton passed away on the night of 4th-Nov-2008 (PST) due to prolonged cancer.
An excerpt from his official site:
" Through his books, Michael Crichton served as an inspiration to students of all ages, challenged scientists in many fields, and illuminated the mysteries of the world in a way we could all understand.
He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he touched, but he leaves behind the greatest gifts of a thirst for knowledge, the desire to understand, and the wisdom to use our minds to better our world."
I have a huge inspiration and influence from his books and thoughts. He constantly reminds me that you've got to do what you want to do - he dropped out of Medical college to pursue writing. I cannot forget the beginning of my tenth standard when I first saw Jurassic Park and was so bugged, I bought the novel later. He is the reason for all my writing aspirations, what can I say more?
An English lecturer once said, if you want to learn English, read Michael Crichton's books. The hallmarks of his books include simplicity (anybody can read them without a dictionary), un-put-downable stories (checkout Twister), versatility, challenge all beliefs (he researched and found the safest mode of transport to be by flight), backed by extensive research/facts, and above all, pure joy/thrill to read.
I've collected most of his works, ~20 books and a DVD of "The Great Train Robbery" - I couldn't find the rest of the books. His core-competency is science-fiction with a medical background. Who can forget Jurassic Park, for bringing dinosaurs alive and letting the world know they ever existed. A deviation from science fiction came with Disclosure, a simple story of sexual harassment at office, told at a gripping pace. He went out of his domain to come up with Airframe, a must-read for all interested in avionics and office-politics. I can go on, perhaps it sounds cliche, but truly, his works speak for themselves.