Saturday, February 7, 2009
Letter to Michael Crichton - Travels
(I wrote three letters to Michael Crichton. After the first letter, he sent me a gracious note and an autographed photo. I didn't expect a response to the other letters as he was a very busy man.)
March 17, 2005
Dear Dr. Crichton,
This letter is not about State of Fear. I’m sure you’re hearing quite enough about it these days. But I have to say thank you for the annotated bibliography. I work at a bookstore in Illinois, and I was able to order some of the books for our store. State of Fear is selling well here.
Working in a bookstore is blissful, and one of the best things is being able to promote my favorite writers. When customers who have read The Da Vinci Code ask me for recommendations, I suggest Timeline. I’ve sold several copies of Timeline this way. One of the customers came back and bought State of Fear. I’ve also sold several copies of Travels.
Reading your books has always been a pleasure—reading Travels was a joy. First of all, because of the many places you have been. The travel writing section of the bookstore is one of my favorites, because I have not yet been able to travel as much as I would like. (Although my copy of Timeline did get to go to Spain and Morocco with a friend of mine.) I found the tales of your adventures fascinating and often very humorous. You are much funnier than I would have guessed from your fiction. I found myself laughing out loud several times while reading Travels.
But what impressed me most about the book is your passion for life and for ideas. I find that delightful. It’s a quality too few people have. I admire the way you challenge yourself, and bravely explore not only the outer world, but your own inner world as well. I love the candor with which you see yourself and the willingness to write honestly about it. I think Travels is a very courageous book. It’s clear from reading your other books that you possess great intelligence. Travels shows that you also possess wisdom. Those two things don’t go together nearly often enough.
I read Travels when it came out in 1988, and I read it again recently. I was surprised at how deeply I was affected by it this time. It was as though I had not read it before. But I was 25 when I first read the book, and I am 42 now. Perhaps a little maturity has brought some perspective.
I am planning on naming my next cat in your honor. Current cats are named Akira (after Kurosawa) and Asimov (after Isaac Asimov). I look forward to reading more of your writing. May your dreams come true.
Links and more info on Michael Crichton at: