When I was younger, I was an avid reader of Michael Crichton, who died yesterday after a battle with cancer. I remember reading Jurassic Park the summer that the movie was released and wondering what was up with all of the footnotes; I kept trying to figure out if this whole dinosaur theme park was based on a true story or something. Plus, I wondered why there were all those references to fractals and chaos theory. I just wanted to read about dinosaurs tearing shit up.
My interest in Crichton's books waned around the same time that Hollywood stopped making huge special-effects extravaganzas based on his books. His later books seemed notable mostly for their global-warming denialism and slanderous treatment of critics.
Still, when I was 13 or so, I tore through The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man, and The Great Train Robbery over the course of an 8-hour car ride. Whatever his flaws, Crichton knew how to keep pages turning.