Michael Crichton, Author, Dylan Baker, Read by , read by Dylan Baker. Harper Audio $49.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-087309-7

Do you own your body's cells? If a doctor develops a cure for a disease using your cells in the process, are you entitled to a share of the profits? These are some of the questions Crichton explores in his latest science-as-boogeyman polemic. Baker does all he can to give life to the characters, but they are little more than tools to convey the plot, so the author leaves him little to work with. Baker subtly shifts the tone of his voice to distinguish between characters and deftly alters the cadence of his speech to keep the narrative flowing. Despite his best efforts, though, Baker cannot turn the nonfiction interludes between chapters into anything remotely interesting. As if these weren't distracting enough, the multiple subplots make it quite difficult to keep track of what's going on, or how one plot line relates to another. Reading a book that goes in this many directions would be difficult enough, but on audio it's almost impossible to follow. Baker's performance is excellent all around, but listeners hoping Crichton would return to Jurassic Park form will be left wanting. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover (reviewed online). (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 02/26/2007
Release date: 11/01/2006
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Mass Market Paperbound - 547 pages
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