I really like Michael Crichton's work; however, I was fairly disappointed by Next. This novel is set predominantly in CA. It centers around the biomedical science/genetics and molecular biology world. Cloning technology is a major theme. Genetic manipulations (or the impending possibility thereof) of animals and humans take place. The pharmaceutical research world is portrayed as a scandalous environment fraught with deception, fraud, thievery, greed etc.
My major dilikes include the following:
1. Talking animals (a young orangutan with human level intelligence and a bird that can actually engage in complex conversation with humans) are a bit far-fetched. These elements made the book seem almost comical at times and detracted from the issues that I believe Crichton wanted to hammer home.
2. No character grabbed my attention or invoked emotion. I mean a good fiction novel must have characters that I love or hate or both. Very bland characters that were not developed throughout the story pervade the pages. Perhaps too many characters.
3. Perspective is jaded to say the least. Scandal most certainly rears its ugly head in the pharmaceutical industry, but I think the book portrays a stereotypical view that is not reality in the majority of cases. Most biomedical scientists and physicians are good people. A minority are not.
I don't recommend this novel. I think an overall rating of 3.0 is actually quite generous.