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I m actually only in the medical school chapters, but I love them enough to rate this book highly already I ve never been a huge fan of Crichton s fiction, but I always liked his prose and I m delighted to be reading this account of his life, philosophy, struggles, and revelations Thanks for recommending, AL Update 6 1 13 I loved the beginning of this book chronicling mediical school and I very much enjoyed most of his travel journals though I did find myself leaning toward bitterness when realizing how many exotic, expensive places he s had access to his whole life But near the end it got very new agey and I found it difficult to understand how an intelligent, scientific person could so easily give credence to things I myself do not believe are possible He did express a good deal of doubt and initial resistance, so that tempered my irritation somewhat But in the end he endorses and presents as real many things that just seem imaginary to me Either he s just done a great job of convincing himself and thus he sees what he wants to see or I m genuinely missing out on an entire plane of existence.Update 6 2 13 I was premature in delivering that review, as I was a couple chapters away from the end and jumped to conclusions Chricton actually did a great job closing up the book with a persuasive defense laid out logically and objectively of his transformation from an academic scientific traditional thinker to one who allows for and believes in at least the possibility of metaphysical and psychic phenomena I still fall on the skeptical side, but I loved his final speech never delivered addressing the CSICOP The author redeemed himself to me by acknowledging that his views may not be shared by the majority and he has no interest in converting anyone to believe in psychic powers I liked his assertion that reality is never fully known, and the idea that science is the pinnacle of reason and must always be the accepted explanation of any phenomenon is only what we ve been taught to believe in the Western world I enjoyed his review of the concept of theories and 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.I was also very impressed with his assessment of the continual shift away from direct experience via the ubiquity of electronic media and its constant assault on our senses and mind I m in full agreement about the resulting bewilderment and the alien pace of information processing forced upon most of us in this part of the world I continue to do all I can to stay free of such influences, and I sincerely hope to take his advice to heart and travel as much as possible in attempts to reset myself, promote lifelong self assessments, and directly experience the world. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Un libro INCRE BLE, real realmente bueno, el mejor que he le do durante el ltimo tiempo, aunque tiene un par de partes que me molestaron mucho la forma en que trata a algunos animales, y el exceso de presuntuosidad, UGH Pero mantengo las cinco estrellas finales porque al menos el tipo es honesto y tiene autocr tica, y se nota que viaja su propio viaje con entereza de esp ritu, y la mayor a de las veces con esas horribles excepciones me cay bien.Adem s, es tan interesante El se or cuenta desde sus a os de medicina en Harvard hasta sus incursiones en el new age, pasando por todo tipo de viajes, expediciones y experiencias curiosas Y no cuenta TODA su vida, sino que solo los pasajes que le parecen dignos de contar y compartir O sea que tampoco viene a dar la lata.Me gust mucho Es muy bueno Aunque dif cil de encontrar Yo pude leerlo, porque la mam de una amiga me lo hab a prestado hace VEINTE A OS, cuando yo era una colegiala y l era un cincuent n tincudo y hoy soy una mujer adulta y l est muerto le toc a los 66, de c ncer Es raro y un poco t trico de pensar Y tambi n motivador, a lo carpe diem.Y s , se lo devolver ahora a la mam de mi amiga Con un libro extra de regalo, para compensar la desaparici n La verdad es que se me hab a olvidado que lo ten a Y estoy un poco feliz de no haberlo le do entonces, porque creo que todav a era muy p ndex para entenderlo como lo entend ahora.En fin, muy recomendado.UPDATE Lo bajo a cuatro estrellas Es que igual no puedo darle los m ximos honores a alguien que maltrata animalitos, aunque haya sido para conocerlos mejor serpientes Y hay otras partes bastantes cuestionables en el libro tambi n. It is easy to fall in love with Crichton s writing It immediately grasps you as solid writing It is funny, easy, polished, gripping when it needs to be, authentic in both styles fiction and memoir and it stays with you long after the reading has ended There is not a single excess word in all his writing there is a purpose for every word, every phrase, and every chapter You just know you are in the presence of great writing.In the span of 353 page book, it is not until after the first 80 pages recounting the challenges of his medical days 1965 1969 that he begins to share his extensive travels These first 80 pages offer many clues into Crichton s shaping character and his priorities in pursuing his passions of writing and travel, despite the incurred cost and expended efforts on a career in medicine.Crichton s overall experience during medical school and especially his clinical rotations are disturbing, scary, gory, amusing and frequently daunting It is the daunting that eventually leads him to quit medical school the tough choices of bad or worse that a doctor has to make, the changes he observes in the doctors from human to robot for adaptation and survival in their environment, and the loose laws around malpractice which cost patients their lives or their limbs with hardly any punishment than a slap on the wrist of the responsible doctor these were the daunting observations that while tolerated and accepted at the time as the norm by his peers, Crichton was not able to live with So he quit medicine.His accounts of psychiatry are extremely funny Crichton considered entering psychiatry when he was turning away from general medicine, but his clinical rotations proved his assumptions true at least for him that psychiatry does not really help people There are two groups who dominate the client le in Crichton s view those who are severely disturbed and need help, for whom psychiatry does not make do much and certainly does not effect cures, and those who make up the self indulgent, absurdly wealthy crowd for whom psychiatry is a glorified form of treatment and he had no interest to help them.And this brings me to what Crichton does best in this book and something that I found outright hilarious He would form an opinion about a subject and act in accordance with that opinion, until someone suggests the opposite view, which, through long analytical monologues, disturbs him to the point that he switches to the opposite end of the opinion spectrum, and adjusts all his actions accordingly Perhaps, on significant issues this would seem like a person who does not believe in anything, and therefore falls for anything but these were all petty affairs, such as visiting a psychiatrist whom he finds to be a waste of time until his friend tells him that the guy probably would not make time to see him anyway leading Crichton to panic that perhaps his case is not interesting or important, and he makes an appointment right away The chapter dearest to my heart is on his experience with the Mountain Gorillas The dialogue between the scientist and Crichton before his journey up the mountains to see the gorillas I wouldn t study gorillas , Nicole said Why not , I asked They are men Gorillas are men Yes, of course.Gorillas are not animals, they are same as men The Gorilla story is chilling, sad, beautiful and As Crichton comes to see these gorillas close up, he drifted into a feeling of extraordinary enchantment Never in my life had I experienced anything like it To be so close to a wild creature of another species, and yet to feel no threat I never wanted to leave. 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. `Download Book ☜ 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