Literature / Next
is a 2006 novel, Michael Crichton
's final published novel in his lifetime. The plot intertwines several different stories. There are two main story arcs: that of a family trying to raise a transgenic Half-Human Hybrid
in secret and that of a family who're being hunted down for "illegal theft" of their cancer-resistant genes. Sub-plots include an incredibly intelligent parrot, a pedophile working security for a genetics firm who is promptly framed for rape and is convinced by his lawyer to use genetics to excuse his behavior, a delusional hippie, a foul-mouthed orangutan, and the media hype surrounding it, a baby rapist with a small penis (who just happens to have the same name as Crichton's real-life critic) and a pair of bounty hunters hunting down said family.
The book is entertaining and very informative, as Crichton is known for heavy amounts of research, but also basically Crichton yelling at the mainstream news for Failing Biology Forever
Not to be confused with the 2007 Nicolas Cage
movie of the same name.
Contains examples of the following tropes:
- Aborted Arc: The resolution as to whether bodybuilding heart attack victim John Weller was a Chimera (someone with two sets of DNA) and therefore whether or not Lisa was actually his daughter, never occurs in favor of implying that he was poisoned by his wife and an intern's twin mixing up samples while stealing leg bones.
- Author Tract: There's an actual appendix outlining Crichton's views on the subject of genetic engineering and the laws about it.
- Big Damn Heroes: Jack Watson, for trying to take down an Evil Corporation. Also Alex for pointing a sawed-off shotgun at her son's kidnapper.
- Batman Gambit: Jack Watson, a venture capitalist who had a compromised BioGen lab tech (his nephew) sabotage their research to drive down its stock price prior to purchasing it (so he could dismantle it), forcing Diehl into sending bounty hunters to kidnap a family to procure more samples of cancer-resistant genes (which he believed were his property), destroying his reputation. Also buys gene patent that nullified research from Duke University so he could tear it up.
- French Jerk: The talking orangutan curses in French and Dutch, greatly annoying a French tourist who tried to speak with it.