Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton RIP

It seems that every month or so, I find myself lamenting the passing of one or other of my favorite authors. This month is no different. On Tuesday, the death of Michael Crichton was overshadowed by the electoral goings on. Today, I'd like to take a moment to mark his passing and acknowledge his contributions, which were many ranging from The Andromeda Strain to the screenplay for The Great Train Robbery to the television series ER. When Crichton was "on," there was no one who could match his intelligent, well-plotted and suspenseful novels. What set his work apart was the real world basis on his stories. I found myself learning about the topic du jour- from dinosaurs to nanobots- while being entertained. Can't ask much more than that.

As a teacher, I found that many of my charges had never discovered the "fun" of reading. Either they had never been exposed to it or their natural appreciation had been deadened by the stuff we feed middle schoolers. I made it my mission to have them read approachable, interesting books over the summer. The choice of Jurassic Park was easy. It was a hit with them before it became a movie. As a matter of fact, I got a few years out of the title before they put it up on the big screen. That's how engrossing his novels were.

I extend my condolences to his family for their loss. And I rue the loss of an interesting, enlightening, and entertaining voice in fiction. He will be missed.

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