Review: Michael Crichton’s book Airframe

Crichton has a true best seller here that holds the attention all the way through the 400+ pages.

I like the fact that his protagonist is a gutsy lady who is working with a bunch of engineers in an aircraft plant. She knows how to hold her own and that takes a lot when you know how engineers manage their interpersonal relations and staff.

I like the portrayal of the television media for what many of them are; vampires for the latest blood and gore, willing to sacrifice the real explanation of a complex problem for the simple answer which brings off the instantaneous hype in 30 second bytes.

The story line is fleshed out with a few side trips to examine our heroine’s family life and extra curricular bedtime, but not so much that it detracts from a really great story about how we view airplane disasters, how little we as the general public really know about keeping a million pounds of steel in the air for 12 hours at a time and how blase’ we have become about safe comfortable aircraft travel.

The behind the scenes plant operations, the union actions and the administrative infighting for power are straight out of the jungle of human relations. I love the way Casey is finally able to turn the tables on the unscrupulous duo of Marder and Richman.  We’ll miss tha fact that Crichton is no longer with us and able to continue to stimulate our imaginations to such a high degree.

I didn’t put the book down for the last 200 pages despite the dishes piling up and the dog scratching at the door.  Read the first half in bits to absorb the data and then save the last half for when you have a real chance to break away and complete it in one marathon sitting!

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