Friday, June 04, 2010

the book "Travels"

I recently read the book "Travels" by Michael Crichton.

What a marvelous book!

The author is very self-aware about his psychological state. In one scene, he went camping, and became anxious about wild animals entering his camp. He couldn't sleep. Eventually he heard crashing sounds and was terrified. He looked outside to see a huge elephant. He panicked. Then he realized the worst has happened, and there's nothing he can do, and he went to bed and felt promptly asleep.

I found this a fascinating rendition of how the anticipation is usually worse than the outcome.

He also wrote candidly about his romantic relationships, how his second marriage ended during a hilltop conversation when the two of them spoke of their future plans and realized they were making individual plans, not plans as a couple. Then they talked about being hungry and wondering what's for dinner, and went down the hill to their camp.

He talked about another relationship coming to a close during a trip to Hawaii when his girlfriend was miserable, and he spent all his energy maintaining a cheerful mood no matter what she did.

It was much more satisfying than Jack Welch's autobiography, which describes the end of his 23-year marriage in a single sentence with no actual explanation.

Good writers create such amazing autobiographies!


John said...

Considering Jack Welch cheated on his wife and got a divorce, I'm not surprised Welch didn't dive into his marriage. Surprised you'd be interested in reading a business autobiography on Welch.

My favorite quote from his book:

"Where God parachutes us is a matter of luck. Nowhere is that more true than Wall Street. There are more mediocre people making more money on Wall Street than any other place on earth. Sure, there are some stars, and some earn every nickel they make. The crowd they carry along with them is something else."

Jack Welch, Jack: Straight from the Gut, p. 221.

More true today than when he wrote it!

writer said...

What originally motivated you to read Jack Welch's autobiography?

Anonymous said...

Yay! N, it's one of my top books also! Reading it took me to different plane of thought - Glad you liked it.

Niniane said...

re: writer. Someone recommended Jack Welch's autobiography when I was at Microsoft. I got to the part where he glosses over the end of his marriage, and became disillusioned with his lack of explanation / transparency, so I stopped reading it.

Gavin said...

I particularly liked the segment about the London hotel that remembers its guests' idiosyncrasies to the point that they put scotch tape on his dresser drawers because on his previous visit he was taping together a rewrite of "The Great Train Robbery"