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Arab Today, arab today

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One of the finest storytellers in the second half of the 20th century - the man who gave us Jurassic Park and ER - Crichton died suddenly in 2008 leaving behind this unfinished manuscript, which was completed by science writer Richard Preston. It has the Crichton hallmark on every page, including his apocalyptic vision of the dangers that modern science can bring. But this time it’s not dinosaurs that are being nurtured on a remote island, it is seven postgraduate students lured to the Hawaiian rain forest by a shadowy biotech company only find themselves shrunk to half inch high humans who must battle to survive, and take their revenge on the company’s president. The science is wonderful, but, sadly, the novel is a disaster. There are echoes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s masterful thriller The Lost World, but there you cared about Professor Challenger and his team, here the characters are cardboard and the villain is desperately formulaic. Crichton’s unique talent deserves a better epitaph.

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