STATE OF FEAR
by Michael Crichton
State of Fear
is the story of a young lawyer trying to win a large environmental
lawsuit who suddenly finds himself searching for a lost millionaire.
The young lawyer, Peter Evans, teams up with John Kenner and Mr.
Kenner’s secretive bodyguard, Sanjong Thapa, to find an eccentric
millionaire called Morton who has mysteriously disappeared. The story
takes place throughout the world: from the bustling streets of
Hollywood, to the serene roads of the suburbs, to the seemingly
deserted expanses of Antarctica. While Peter, John and Sanjong are
searching for Morton, they find themselves in the midst of terrorists
planning a massive attack on the United States; the implications of
which could impact the entire world.
is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns
of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact” -- Mark Twain
Propaganda is a major theme in State of Fear.
The book explores how the media takes information and twists it to fit
its needs. In the book, John Kenner asks Peter Evans if he knows of any
examples of how global warming is affecting our world. Peter says that
he hears parts of Antarctica were breaking off the continent. Kenner
replies that although this is true, it is only happening in one small
peninsula of Antarctica. On the continent itself, the ice is actually
getting thicker, not thinner. This is an example of how the media
follows the age old assumption that ‘bad news is good news’.
State of Fear reminds me of the American classic, To Kill a Mockingbird,
by Harper Lee. One of the main characters, Atticus, takes upon himself
perhaps one of the toughest challenges of his era: he defends a black
person in a segregated town filled with bigotry. This is quite similar
to the following theme in State of Fear.
“Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss” -- George Orwell
important aspect of this book is that no one wishes to take on the
toughest challenges. The main characters decide that they must stand up
and be the ones to take such a challenge. They believe that current
environmental groups have outgrown their usefulness. The main
characters devise a plan to create the next generation of environmental
groups with radical new ideas. They would be more productive by using
private funding instead of government funding, thus avoiding getting
mixed up in politics. They also decide to give people the cold, hard
truth by saying what is really happening to the environment. An example
of how they would do this is by saying which new studies are accurate,
and which aren’t. The main characters take it upon themselves to take
up one of this world’s toughest problems: saving the environment.
State of Fear deserves
a perfect three out of three due to its intricate plot, detailed
characters, unique settings, and an edge-of-your-seat suspense. The
book is best suited for older young adults and adults since it is
violent and contains some sex scenes.