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Jurassic Park--the famous tale of an entrepreneur who clones dinosaurs who then run amok in what was supposed to be a theme park--is as good a thriller in book form as the movie version, and far more full of the fun, scary ideas that Crichton's books exist to popularize. Malcolm the malcontent scientist is even better than he was in the film. (You might also check out The Science of Jurassic Park and the Lost World.)
Sphere concerns an ancient spaceship on the ocean floor, black holes, and the perils of investigating all of the above. Not just sci-fi, Sphere reflects Crichton's keen interest in the unexplained powers of the human mind. The book also contains a profound lesson: when you're staring down a giant squid with an eyeball the size of a dinner plate, don't blink first.
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