TERMINAL MAN by Michael Crichton
Kirkus Star


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More exciting (is it possible?) than The Andromeda Strain -- anyway more personally angled, and with the same authenticating apparatus (is this science or fiction?), Crichton's new story is amped to another equally menacing aspect of self-destruct or what will, or what could, happen when the computer brain expropriates the biological site. Harry Benson, after an accident, becomes a psychomotor epileptic with dangerous seizures linked to his all too true vision of a clockwork orange world. He's the first man to undergo a stage three procedure -- namely the implantation of an atomic pacemaker which will monitor his brain and transmit shock to prevent an attack although it cannot possibly cure the attendant personality disorders. Crichton won't let you forget for a minute the live, or philosophical, implications of the new science of mind control. The operation is successful but the patient does not quite die. . . in fact he survives to escape and his increasingly violent impulses threaten everyone in sight, particularly Janet Ross, a young psychiatrist, who's not quite ready to give up on him or give him up to. . . . The audience hardly needs the positive reinforcement of the Book-of-the-Month Club. The Terminal Man is the ultimate option in catalytic entertainment, with a few more thoughtful doomsday riffs to remind you that it's just a little more than that.
Pub Date: May 1st, 1972
ISBN: 006178267X
Page count: 356pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1972


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