The press is flooded today with tributes to Michael Crichton. Many marvel at the breadth of his accomplishments.
("He has written eight novels, four works of nonfiction – ranging in subject from Jasper Johns to 'electronic life' – and has directed the movies 'Westworld,' 'Coma' and 'The Great Train Robbery.' On top of all that, he graduated Harvard Medical School and, in 1969, was a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute in La Jolla,' " marveled an interviewer writing in the Los Angeles Times.)
That was 16 years ago in 1992 – when Crichton was only 49.
And of course some are critical. "Reviewers often complained that Crichton's characters were wooden, that his ear for dialogue was tin and that his science was suspect. Environmentalists raged against his skeptical views on climate change, first expressed in the 2004 novel "State of Fear" and subsequently in various public forums," notes the International Herald Tribune.
But some of the most memorable involve personal reminiscences. Many who interviewed Crichton in person noted his height (some say 6' 7", others insist he was 6' 9"), his good looks, and his shyness. But others note his deep interest in everything around him – including other people.