***** A Jurassic Park in miniature
In reading this posthumous book by Crichton I could not help but notice the parallelisms with “‘Jurassic Park”‘. In this book the size matters, too (à la Godzilla). Sure, the size is different, but not the proportions. If in “‘Jurassic Park”‘ they have been able to bring back to life the dinosaurs and then lose control on them, in “‘Micro”‘ a revolutionary technology is able to shrink humans so that insects and birds become proportionately larger and dangerous as dinosaurs. Again a sabotage leads a group of people to deal with the creature in comparison to which they are small and almost helpless. Here too, the group, as the story goes on, increasingly tends to become smaller, until only a few survive.
Although this book was completed by Richard Preston, Crichton’s hand is evident. This long and exciting adventure is addictive. The desire to return to read is very strong. But at the same time the adventure itself is an excuse to show us the charming and ruthless world of small animals, especially insects. Crichton teaches us a lot about them and with great care he imagines how life would be for a human if they were as small as an insect, how the force of gravity would act on their body, the enormous difficulties they would face in moving even for short distances, the terrible dangers they should face. Although the miniaturization technology is not really explained, and there are some aspects that even the characters fail to comprehend (how can miniaturised human cells have a biochemistry that enables the characters to take water and food?), Crichton, to make everything even more credible, quotes a study, which seems very real (but you never know with him: he manages to make us believe anything is real), about the effect of magnetism on the height of the people as the basis for the technology used in the novel. The assumption remains very imaginative, but the purpose of the story is to tell the science of micro-world and therefore it is not necessary that the premises are completely realistic.
I admit that I was annoyed at some point about the death of a character, and I was so taken by the story that I barely noticed a romantic and far from unpredictable development (which I liked very much) was about to come, but this is indeed a great book with an open ending which, unfortunately, will never have a sequel.