Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Global Warming & Life Expectancy 

I finished reading Michael Crichton's "State of Fear" and Dean Koontz' "Life Expectancy" over the Christmas break. Crichton's book is hardly a story, it's more of a global warming list of footnotes and links with the barest of plots wrapped around it. I'm not much of a fan of the theory of global warming, whatever swings in climate are occuring now are drawfed by larger swings of the past in which Man had no part. To blame the warming of the atmosphere on Earth on Man while a giagantic ball of nuclear fusion burns just eight light minutes away seems ridiculous. (Or, since my children have had me watch "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" about a thousand times, "Ridikulus"). But even though I agree with Crichton about Global Warming, his story was sophomoric, more like a skeletal attempt at an Ian Fleming book that anything else. He should have taken more time and developed the characters and plotlines more fully. I could find little lifelike in the characters to take to heart.

Dean Koontz, on the other hand, writes a surprisingly funny, a genuinely funny, novel in "Life Expectancy." The characters use humor to overcome horrible events throughout their lives. It reminds me somewhat of the people I've met who spent time in England during WW II: as children, they were moved out of the city, away from the blitz, to the countryside... constant air raids, growing up losing friends, family, homes, shortages of everything... but full of humor over the little things. It is a book about coping, loving, trusting -- no matter what. Koontz, as I may have said before, is still growing as an author and his books always surprise.

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