Friday, December 30, 2011

Michael Crichton's A Case of Need


I took some time off recently to catch up on some reading. I was surprised to discover that there were a few books on my bookshelf that I had not yet read. After reading perhaps the 12th novel last night, I thought I could start a new section on my blog - book reviews. I thought I would start with Michael Crichton's A Case of Need since it's still fresh in my mind.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I read a Michael Crichton. I couldn't even be actually sure that I had  read one. But that couldn't be possible. I had to have. In any event, I was looking forward to this one. After all, Stephen King had even given this one his stamp of approval. I opened the novel, got comfortable and settled in.

I started with a table of contents which indicated that the book spanned one week in October. Quick, I thought and then moved on. The first page showed what I later learned to be the chart for the main patient in the novel. I noted that the book spanned a week in October, yet her chart was dated November 15 (no year given). I assumed that this perhaps happened in November of another year. However, I quickly learned the patient's chart was indeed created the day before the novel started. This irritated me. That is a huge typo. How could anyone let this slide? I later learned that this may have been Michael Crichton's first novel (he used a pseudonym then). However, I am sure this novel was read by editors and when it was reprinted under Crichton's name, why wasn't this checked and changed? There were several other typos in the novel and I think they would have bugged me less were it not for that glaring error in the beginning.

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable novel. Of course there were a few plot holes but not enough to make the novel less interesting. It is a medical thriller and so there is a lot of medical jargon. There are helpful footnotes if you do not understand them. I appreciated this because I know that I would probably pause to Google some of it. In some cases I definitely did.

Book summary: It's the 1960's and abortions are illegal. After a botched abortion, a young lady hemorrhages and dies. A known abortionist is immediately arrested. His best friend and fellow doctor does not believe  he is guilty and sets out to find the truth.

My Rating: At some point in the future I will come up with a rating system for the books I read. Perhaps I will use glasses? In this case, I would give A Case of Need 3.5 glasses on a 5 glasses scale.

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