The Terminal Man - Michael Crichton

***** Timeless wonder

It is surprising that this book was written over forty years ago. In the beginning I had not realised it at all. Of course, I saw that the story was set in the 70s, but I had not noticed it was actually written in that decade. This is significant because if you read such a dated technological thriller you expect, however, to perceive a certain naivety and a very different atmosphere from recent novels, because time changes in both the writing and the audience. The readers are now much better prepared and savvy than those of 1972, so the fact that a book of this type is able to astonish them is no doubt a sign that this is a great book.
However you can notice this is one of the first works of Crichton. Over time he has definitely improved in style, but even then, as I have seen in "Andromeda", you could see his genius.
The plot has to do with the treatment of mental illnesses through advanced techniques of manipulation of the brain by means of its connection to a computer, making precisely the man nothing more than a terminal. As usual in books of this author the science becomes the main protagonist. The characters take a back seat, but no matter, because the reader is captivated by everything else, although in fact it is a decades-old science fiction. The wonder of reading, however, is intact, as well as the feeling at the end of the novel that it is able to teach us something and it was not just a pastime.
The ending is perhaps not unexpected, as well as the general development of the plot, but proves to be a match for other great novels of the same genre written much more recently.
As always, before Crichton, I can only bow.


The Terminal Man on Amazon.com.