Airframe Essay, Research Paper


Michael Crichton

For unknown reasons, the almost flawless N-22 Norton aircraft suffers severe turbulence during TPA flight 545. As a result of three fatalities and fifty-six injuries, a spiral of investigations, terrible apprehensions, and horrible threats plague the Norton Aircraft Plant.

From the first page, the seemingly dull plot of Airframe grabs the reader s attention. With political trouble in the plant, a deadline for the investigation, and rumors of mutiny, the novel is filled with action along with a precise measurement of suspense. Crichton, one of my favorite authors, plans his novels superbly timing the chapters at the pinnacle of the action. By this method of writing, it was difficult to stop reading, which is the signature of an excellent book.

It is one of the most interesting and intriguing novels I have ever read. Like most other Michael Crichton novels, it is extremely technical, yet, also thoughtfully written. This combination of plot and description is what makes all of Crichton s novels so great. The technical description brings imagery and realism to the novel, while the plot s twists and turns help to create suspense. The way Crichton writes gives the reader very detailed and vivid scenes, as seen in this random quote: Mechanics in Melbourne noted that the fuel coupling was bent on the right wing, and the adjacent slats locking pin was slightly damaged. This was thought to have been caused by ground personnel in Java during the previous fuel stop. (pg. 149).

As well as the writing, the characters were also a major factor in this novel. Unlike characters in most other novels, these actually seemed like real people. Crichton develops his characters giving them each individual attributes, emotions, and personalities. Also unlike most other characters, they were not totally perfect, and on the other hand, they were not totally flawed. They were human, and that was what allowed the reader to identify with them. Although good character development is expected from a talented and professional writer, it still amazes me how real they seem and how well they interact.

The page that I chose to photocopy, is the beginning of the conclusion. It is the end of the investigation, and Casey Singleton, the protagonist of the novel, is about to uncover what really happened on TPA flight 545. Along with her, is Jennifer, a reporter for Newsline, on a task to unravel the secrets of the doomed flight. When all else fails, the two must ride the very plane that killed three people in an attempt to reenact the flight. They may land safely back on the runway, or they may crash in the untested plane. Whatever the outcome, the only sure thing is that they will finally know for sure what happened that night.

In conclusion, I feel that this is a terrific novel and is one of Crichton s best. It was a masterpiece of perfection and is surely one of the best books I have ever read. I would have to give it a 10/10. He also timed the novel so that it would come out in the midst of all the panic caused by the crash of TWA flight 800. This brilliant strategy and his outstanding writing style is what makes him one of the greatest writers of all time.

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Airframe By Michael Crichton
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