Book Review: “Sphere” by Michael Crichton

Deep in the Pacific Ocean, a spaceship is discovered. A spaceship that is older than the Declaration of Independence. But how? And where did it come from?

A friend at work loaned me his copy of Sphere, and being in a bit of a reading funk, I gave it a go. I read it over Thanksgiving break and came away impressed! I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi but I really enjoyed this one.

Norman Johnson, the main protagonist, is a psychologist flown out to a top-secret location in the Pacific Ocean. He believes he’s there to speak to survivors of a plane crash but soon realizes the truth: the government has brought him to the site of a possible alien spaceship.

The reason given was that Norman had once written a report for the government on what to expect and how to proceed in case of alien contact, a report he never took seriously but for which he was paid handsomely. And so the team of experts he had proposed to be on site if aliens ever visited, which included himself, has been dutifully assembled.

I was never crazy about the validity of this. I know the government is the undeniable king of wasteful spending and longshot projects, but even this felt like a stretch. It felt forced on me in order to move the story along. But hey, I was enjoying the story so I kept reading.

The characters were expertly done. What at first felt like obnoxious personalities in some of the characters ended up being pivotal to the plot during the climactic scenes, which surprised me. The first sixty pages or so is mostly setting and character development, but going forward Crichton kicks the tension into high gear and never comes back down. I kept finding myself saying One more chapter, just one more chapter and then I’ll go to bed.

I won’t speak to the plot any further than I have already because a story like this is best enjoyed fresh. But, just like the last book I read, the ending was exactly how I had hoped it would be, and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend this one if you haven’t read it already!

After reading the book, I learned there was a movie made in 1997 with Dustin Hoffman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sharon Stone, so I watched that, too. I’ll give a review of the movie next week, so stay tuned!


6 thoughts on “Book Review: “Sphere” by Michael Crichton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s