Wednesday, November 5, 2008

R.I.P.

One of my favorite writers passed away today: Michael Crichton. Yes, he directed a few movies too. He wrote and directed "The Great Train Robbery" as well as co-writing the script for "Twister".

But it was his books I loved because he was able to mix science, his medical degree and a "what if?" mentality that made you think. Any man who can make me read a book containing quantum physics and not want to put it down is quite a writer. [That would be "Timeline"...a great book but a lousy movie, even if it did have Gerard Butler in it].

Crichton's first book was "The Andromeda Strain", which he wrote while still in Med School. Kids know him for "Jurassic Park" and American adults who love medical drama worshiped him for television's "E.R." Ironic that this will be the show's last season on television...as if author and his creation decided to depart the same year.

I was amazed to learn that Crichton made a REALLY big impression on folks, partly because he was 6'9"! He loved writing so much that his medical professors thought he was wasting their time. Hey, their stupidity was my entertainment. And for sticking to what he loved the most and taking me along for the ride, I thank him.

Only 66, Crichton died suddenly today of cancer. It's ironic that such a public man of science clung to his privacy to fight a battle within his own body. Had he survived, I'm guessing we'd have gotten another great story.

Ought to be an interesting funeral...it was noted that he was married 5 times and had one child...if you don't count his books. The funeral will be private but the world will miss this gifted giant of a man.

4 comments:

Susan said...

Thank you for posting this, I had no idea he was even sick. That's far too young to die.

When a writer dies, I can't help but wonder what he was working on, or what he was thinking about doing next, or what characters didn't survive to the page, along with the wonderful creative person we've lost.

shug said...

His death coincided with the announcement by Japanese scientists that they've cloned mice from frozen mouse cells, t6hus opening up the possibility of cloning mammoths etc etc. Very jurassik.

hope said...

I didn't know he was ill either, so it was a shock. I get e-mail news updates and when that one came through I just stared at it, as if it couldn't be correct.

Oh the irony... tonight's episode of "E.R." has them raising a beloved character from the dead ["killed" off with a brain tumor 6 years ago]in order to do a "flashback" episode that shows how he helped shape the future.

Shug, I'd guess Crichton would've been the first guy wanting to talk to those Japanese scientists. :)

Matthew S. Urdan said...

He was one of my favorite writers too.

Regarding your comments on MTMD...absolutely the two party system in this country is broken. Let's see what Obama will do. Hopefully he will try and make good on his promise of reaching across the aisle, but I doubt it. THis will be a rich area of commentary on Inside Government. And if you ever want to write a guest post, just let me know.

Cheers!