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At first when I started this I was like wtf He s talking about being in med school and I thought Oh no This is going to be boarding as hell This turned out to be a really great book This isn t your standard memoir Each part where Crichton tells about a trip he toke, it is written like a really great short story I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to everyone I was actually sad when I finished with it He published this right before publishing Jurassic Park I really wi At first when I started this I was like wtf He s talking about being in med school and I thought Oh no This is going to be boarding as hell This turned out to be a really great book This isn t your standard memoir Each part where Crichton tells about a trip he toke, it is written like a really great short story I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to everyone I was actually sad when I finished with it He published this right before publishing Jurassic Park I really wish he would have written a fallow up to this about the latter part of his life Book Audiobook Usually I avoid the most popular books, but because of a high recommendation I decided to read up on Michael Crichton, the author of books like Jurassic Park and Congo.The book begins with Michael, the medical student, figuring out how to use a chainsaw to cut the head of a cadaver in half First I thought that he was a de Vinci doing some research for a book However, he did attend medical school supported by his side job of writing books In the end he just didn t fit the philosophy and soci Usually I avoid the most popular books, but because of a high recommendation I decided to read up on Michael Crichton, the author of books like Jurassic Park and Congo.The book begins with Michael, the medical student, figuring out how to use a chainsaw to cut the head of a cadaver in half First I thought that he was a de Vinci doing some research for a book However, he did attend medical school supported by his side job of writing books In the end he just didn t fit the philosophy and society of being a doctor and began traveling.He traveled the world when he realized that his knowledge was largely centered only in Western American and European history What about Africa Asia South America Australia He climbed mountain ranges, scuba dived through sharks, and lived with mountain gorillas However, his real travels were in perceptions written with a candid and self effacing prose I especially love the chapter entitled They.The seeds were planted in the doubts of his medical school training How much of disease is because of mental attitude not how is the mental attitude an effect of a disease He would try psychics, healers, spend days talking to a cactus, and then goes traveling to an astral plane.This is a wonderful book Take a journey with him and you will go him places you never dreamed of I found it appalling that Michael Crichton so calmly depicts waiting outside a brothel in Asia while his host has sex with children I suppose we re supposed to think he s a good guy for not indulging himself, but the fact that he is having a conversation with someone while they wait, and never objecting or contacting authorities is shocking to me As Edmund Burke said, all that s necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing After reading this book, I don t know that I d even b I found it appalling that Michael Crichton so calmly depicts waiting outside a brothel in Asia while his host has sex with children I suppose we re supposed to think he s a good guy for not indulging himself, but the fact that he is having a conversation with someone while they wait, and never objecting or contacting authorities is shocking to me As Edmund Burke said, all that s necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing After reading this book, I don t know that I d even be able to think of Crichton as a good man.The rest of the stories are ok, but a lot of his travels are metaphysical, which is not what I was expecting Somehow, even ignoring the child sex slavery incident, he managed to portray himself as pretty much of a jerk I haven t read all of his books, but a few were on my list to get to latter After reading Travels, I think I ll just cross them off There are lots of good reasons not to like or to outright dislike Michael Crichton s Travels.He shares very directly his understanding about how women differ from men during the 1980s compared to his experiences in the 60s and 70s He studies things like psychic powers and auras and spoon bending He gets married again and again He might be at his most sympathetic while talking to a cactus The chapter on Sean Connery felt too much like name dropping though I liked Connery s advice always tel There are lots of good reasons not to like or to outright dislike Michael Crichton s Travels.He shares very directly his understanding about how women differ from men during the 1980s compared to his experiences in the 60s and 70s He studies things like psychic powers and auras and spoon bending He gets married again and again He might be at his most sympathetic while talking to a cactus The chapter on Sean Connery felt too much like name dropping though I liked Connery s advice always tell the truth That makes it their problem.At times, I felt like Crichton learned the same lessons over and over and over without realizing that he was dealing with the same problem throughout his life.The account ends with an essay criticizing the scientific community for its skepticism of psychic phenomena rather than the introspective conclusion I d been expecting throughout the book.Basically, it would be easy to dismiss the whole of this book using any one or two parts of it.The only exception might be his descriptions of med school, which are raw and vividly described I was impressed, and sometimes shocked, by these moments I was also struck by how many doctors he met who felt powerless to help people.But at all times in this memoir, I found myself thinking something like here s a Harvard trained physician speaking candidly about auras and psychic powers and what he thinks about just about everything And I also recalled the scene at the end of Pulp Fiction when Jules explains that a dog is dirty, but it has personality So it s not filthy This book has personality, so I m not inclined to dismiss it.And let s not forget this advice from David Brooks, which goes something like our character is defined by our attempts to wrestle with our personal flaws Brooks does not mention our victory lap after defeating or solving our flaws Our personal flaws, from what I can tell, are our personal flaws, and we should do our best to recognize and manage them perennially.Crichton could have self censored, and didn t It takes guts to do that, and sometimes that goes a long way the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time T.S EliotI believe that if you have truly travelled, you will no longer be the same person you started out as So for me, travel automatically also includes inner change, be it intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social or personal I m also slowly learning the significance of events that change you as a person things that may not necessarily be immediately significant but add up to make the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time T.S EliotI believe that if you have truly travelled, you will no longer be the same person you started out as So for me, travel automatically also includes inner change, be it intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social or personal I m also slowly learning the significance of events that change you as a person things that may not necessarily be immediately significant but add up to make you the person you are To that end, I loved this book because Crichton talks about his experiences and observations, how he looks at them retrospectively, how they have affected him over a period of time, what he learnt, his self discoveries, his self explorations, his open minded trysts with psychic phenomena and his clinical attempts at understanding them scientifically.Most critiques about the book seem to have had the wrong expectations from it It s not a travelogue, in spite of what the title may convey It s rather a memoir of sorts, with the first third of the book about his time as a medical student at Harvard from 1965 69 where he offers an astonishingly honest view of life as a medical student, and where he also starts thinking and questioning his philosophies and breadth of knowledge , a second third of the book about his travel experiences climbing Kilimanjaro, visiting Baltistan and Shangri La, scuba diving with sharks, visiting mountain gorillas, etc , and another third of the book about his experiences with the metaphysical meditations, talking to a cactus, bending spoons, spending time with psychics and healers, salt baths, auras, etc You can actually see Crichton s discerning and open minded approach to life further develop, as he questions, analyzes and deeply introspects along with you.Somewhere, especially in the parts on psychic phenomena, I felt it was actually me who was in there, and for a non fiction book, that is startlingly good If nothing else, I have to confess rethinking my outright dismissive attitudes to a few and their effects, because Crichton has already asked most of the questions I would have if I was personally attempting to verify those phenomena Crichton would, like any of us, have an opinion about a subject such as, say, auras , until someone suggests otherwise, which, through long analytical monologues, disturbs him to the point that he wants to confirm it either way His doubtful, analytical mind would then grapple with his personal experiences which seem to be proving otherwise, and his attempts at scientifically dissecting them, in order to understand, are a treat to read In the end, I was vigorously nodding my head at his thoughts on whether in science we are forming theories based upon data or are actually letting our pre conceived notions determine which data we let ourselves see.A fantastic book, it informed, entertained, challenged, and engaged me as a reader and as a person Travels is one of my favorite books I ve read it at least three times in my life It is Michael Crichton s autobiography detailing his life in medical school, but most of all his travels around the world Each chapter is a new adventure and Dr Crichton makes you feel as if you are right there with him I definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes to travel or just wants a fun, entertaining, read. |READ DOWNLOAD ♵ Travels ⚇ Medical student, writer, film director, modern day adventurer, Michael Crichton now gives his fans an extraordinarily candid and revealing account of his most enthralling and important journeys physical, emotional, and psychic during the past two decades in a book every bit as riveting as his bestselling novels Up date 15 11 17I don t know why I was being coy in this review Michael Crichton describes waiting for a mutual friend to come back from molesting a child, then listens to the man s description of what happened, without comment or criticism But Crichton does complain a page later when the locals started laughing about his height What a fucking asshole Is anyone surprised that Hollywood is still full of fucking assholes This was a profoundly unpleasant, self centered, non practicing doctor w Up date 15 11 17I don t know why I was being coy in this review Michael Crichton describes waiting for a mutual friend to come back from molesting a child, then listens to the man s description of what happened, without comment or criticism But Crichton does complain a page later when the locals started laughing about his height What a fucking asshole Is anyone surprised that Hollywood is still full of fucking assholes This was a profoundly unpleasant, self centered, non practicing doctor who paid a psychologist high rates to tell him he didn t like himself enough Only read the first 20 pages or so, but pay special attention to his strong complaints when people laugh at him for being tall, versus what happens 2 pages earlier Hollywood must have loved him After reading this book, I realized that I never want to meet Michael Crichton Ever. This book could be divided into three parts Crichton s time as a medical student at Harvard his travels and his foray into psychic stuff, so I ll divide my review up the same way Harvard Medical School I love this book so much, and I haven t even reached the part that I picked the book up for the travels, of course In this first part, Crichton describes his time as a medical student at Harvard and what lead him to quitting medicine just as he graduated to become a writer instead And This book could be divided into three parts Crichton s time as a medical student at Harvard his travels and his foray into psychic stuff, so I ll divide my review up the same way Harvard Medical School I love this book so much, and I haven t even reached the part that I picked the book up for the travels, of course In this first part, Crichton describes his time as a medical student at Harvard and what lead him to quitting medicine just as he graduated to become a writer instead And side note this is making me question my life choices all over again Between Crichton s disillusionment with medicine and a conversation with my brother I had yesterday about life in the hospital and how being a doctor isn t all that fulfilling, I m re thinking everything I ve wanted to do in my own life Ugh But back to the book It was so interesting to see how differently medicine was practiced nearly fifty years ago Travels It starts in LA where Crichton had moved to be in the movie business In the apartment complex he moved into, the manager listed MD after the title because he thought it addedprestige to the place, so every time there was a medical emergency, the doorman would end up calling Crichton, who wasn t licensed to practice medicine And a series of funny events ensued well, they were funny when they weren t sad Psychiatry In the next chapter, Crichton starts seeing a psychiatrist because his wife wants to get back together, but he doesn t She uses reverse psychology to get him to start seeing one when he doesn t want to by telling him, this doctor is so busy he probably won t be able to see you anyway He takes that as a challenge and immediately makes an appointment They start talking and he helps Crichton realize that he s rather insecure about his life despite all his successes He helps talk him through several of his next dating relationships as well But my favorite part is just that someone so successful as Crichton needed help and reached out too It s okay to be in therapy and it doesn t make you any less of a person.In Thailand, he discovers that despite how much he s traveled throughout his life, he isn t very culturally aware and actually hasn t seen most of the world outside of North America and Western Europe and he decides to change that This chapter may have also contained my least favorite part of the book when they go to visit a whore house I was so disgusted and sad he would have even stepped foot into that place in the first place.In Shangri la, he visits the people of Hunza where he claims that people live to be 140 years old on a diet of apricots and are immune to disease.Upon doing some research, it turns out that Shangri la is just a ficitional place mentioned in a 1933 novel by James Hilton As for the Hunza valley, it s a real mountainous valley in Pakistan This is the only scientific article I could find about the matter, and it turns out this claim is not exactly true This journal article also touches on the matter.And I won t summarize the rest of it because it s definitely worth a read Psychic stuff This is the part of the book that I could have done without, but he does make a good case for it at the end of the book in his postscript.In conclusion, I ve had this on my TBR for like 10 years now Not sure how I even first heard of it, but I m so so so glad I finally decided to pick it up 3 I wantbooks like this in my life Random ones you won t see any book bloggers or bookstagrammers talking about, ones that were published decades ago, ones without pretty covers, but ones that mean so much to me.Random stuff I learned During the Korean War, post tms on young men had shown that the American diet produced advanced arteriosclerosis by the age of 17 I demonstrated a great value to keeping a diary, and have kept one even since I reread Franklin s Autobiography, and noted that he kept a record of himself, as I did, for exactly the same reasons This most practical and observant of men had decided that careful record keeping was the only way to find out what he was really doing The creator of Sherlock Holmes was a Scottish physician, a lapsed Catholic, a vigorous athlete, and a Victorian gentleman Although he is most closely associated with the cool, deductive mind of his fictional detective, Conan Doyle showed an interest in spiritualism, mysticism, and metaphysics even in medical school His stories frequently contained a strong element of the supernatural in such works as The Hound of the Baskervilles there is a continuous tension between a supernatural and a mundane explanation for events Unaccustomed to direct experience, we can come to fear it We don t want to read a book or see a museum show until we ve read the reviews so that we know what to think We lose the confidence to perceive for ourselves We want to know the meaning of an experience before we have it.We become frightened of direct experience, and we will go to elaborate lengths to avoid it.I found I liked to travel, because it got me out of my routines and my familiar patterns Has anyone in this room had their tonsils and adenoids removed Has anyone had a radical mastectomy for breast cancer Has anyone been treated in an intensive care unit Has anyone had coronary bypass surgery Of course, many people had.I said, Then you re all knowledgeable about superstitions, because all these procedures are examples of superstitious behavior They are procedures carried out without scientific evidence that they produce any benefit This society spends billions of dollars a year on superstitious medicine, and that is a problem and an expense farimportant than astrology columns in daily newspapers, which are so vigorously attacked by the brainpower of CSICOP.And I added, Let s not be too quick to deny the power of superstition in our own lives Which of us, having suffered a heart attack, would refuse to be treated in an intensive care unit just because such units are of unproven value We d all take the ICU We all do.I then went on to mention the many cases of fraud in research science Isaac Newton may have fudged his data 4 certainly Gregor Mendel, father of Mendelian inheritance, did.5 The Italiano mathematician Lazzarini faked an experiment to determine the value of pi, and his result went unquestioned forthan half a century.6 British psychologist Sir Cyril Burt invented not only his data, but research assistants to gather it.7 Inrecent years, there were cases of fraud involving William T Summerlin of Sloan Kettering, Dr John Long of the Harvard Medical School, and Dr John Darsee of the Harvard Medical School There are, in fact, well studied subjects who appear to defy scientific explanation in particular the famous medium of the last century, Mrs Piper, who was championed by William James, professor of psychology at Harvard Mrs Piper was subjected to intense scrutiny for nearly a quarter of a century, but no skeptic was ever able to demonstrate fraud or trickery