Whatever crits he got about characterization meant squat to me. Gimme a cool plot and a fast pace, and I'm there. I can enjoy a plot-driven novel as much as a character-driven one (sometimes MORE). I simply don't tend to reread them. Character-driven novels wear better on repeat reads. Plot-driven ones are great for that immense thrill the first-go-round.
I read my first Crichton novel an embarrasingly long time ago--The Andromeda Strain. I liked the film way back when--gosh, I'm getting old. What a crush I had on Arthur Hill and James Olson (double crush)after watching that. I even enjoyed the overtly-PC newer tv version. I was rivetted by RISING SUN (liked the film quite a lot less so than the novel, but Sean Connery makes up for loads). I remember plowing at breakneck speed through JURASSIC PARK when it came out in paperback. It got me through the boring waits of jury duty. (The film was fun, but the book ruled.) I read DISCLOSURE over a long, long night of reading. (The film was okay.) And so on.
I even tuned in to a new show of the 90's called E.R. cause he was involved. (It's about to close shop this season. How appropos.)
Basically, the guy knew how to keep you turning pages. That's a skill I'd love to have. (And he was easy on the eyes, too. Good looking and tall.)
I'll miss the little frisson of excitement when a new Crichton-controversy-igniter of a book came out. (What? You don't remember the brouhaha over this one or that one?)
Bye, Mike. I hope in your last moments, your eyes and heart turned toward Heaven.