Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Michael Crichton  

Pen Name: John Lange, Jeffery Hudson, Michael Douglas when writing with his younger brother Douglas


Audience: Adult; Young Adult;

Born: October 23, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois

Died: November 5, 2008 in Los Angeles, California

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Illinois Connection

Crichton was born in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Michael Crichton was an award-winning author, film producer, film director, medical doctor and television producer. He is best known for his scientific themed suspense novels, films and television programs. The author of the groundbreaking novels ''The Andromeda Strain'', ''The Great Train Robbery'', ''Jurassic Park'', ''Prey'', and ''State of Fear'', among many others, his books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, have been translated into thirty-eight languages, and have been successfully adapted for fifteen feature films including: ''Westworld'', ''Coma'', ''Looker'', ''Runaway'' and ''Twister''. He was also the creator of the television hit, ''ER'' and the director of ''Westworld'', ''Coma'', ''The Great Train Robbery'' and ''Looker''. Crichton remains the only writer to have a number one book, movie, and TV show in the same year. He received an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Writer's Guild of America Award for the television series ''ER''.While Crichton was born in Chicago, he was raised in New York and lived the majority of his adult life in California. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University before tutoring at Cambridge University in anthropology and later registering at Harvard Medical School.

Published Works

    Written under the pen name: John Lange
  • Odds On, Signet, 1966 - written as John Lange
  • Scratch One: Fast Cards, Women, Double-Dealing, A Young American Finds that Speed Can Kill on the Bloddy Cote d' Azur, Signet, 1967 - written as John Lange
  • Easy Go, Signet, 1968 - written as John Lange
  • The Venom Business, World Publishing, 1969 - written as John Lange
  • Zero Cool, Bantam, 1969 - written as John Lange
  • Grave Descend, Signet, 1970 - written as John Lange
  • Drug of Choice, Signet, 1970 - written as John Lange
  • Binary, Knopf, 1972 - written as John Lange
  • The Last Tomb, Bantam, 1974 - written as John LangeWritten under the pen name: Jeffery Hudson
  • A Case of Need, Signet, 1966 - written as Jeffery Hudson (later rereleased as Crichton)Written with his brother, Douglas Crichton, under the pen name: Michael Douglas
  • Dealing or The Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues, Knopf, 1971 - written with his brother Douglas Crichton under the pen name of Michael DouglasWritten under the name: Michael Crichton
  • The Andromeda Strain, Knopf, 1969
  • Five Patients, Knopf 1970
  • The Terminal Man, Knopf, 1972
  • The Great American Train Robbery, Knopf, 1975
  • Eaters of the Dead, Knopf, 1976
  • Jasper Johns, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in association with the Whitney Museum of American Art, 1977
  • Congo, Knopf, 1980
  • Electriconic Life, Knopf, 1983
  • Sphere, Knopf, 1987
  • Travels, Knopf, 1988
  • Jurassic Park, Knopf, 1990
  • Rising Sun, Knopf, 1992
  • Disclosure, Knopf, 1993
  • The Lost World, Knopf, 1995
  • Airframe, Knopf, 1995
  • Timeline, Knopf, 1999
  • Prey, HarperCollins, 2002
  • State of Fear, HarperCollins, 2004
  • Next, HarperCollins, 2006
  • Pirate Latitudes, HarperCollins, 2009
  • Dragon Teeth, Harper, 2017

Selected Titles At Your Library

Odds on /
ISBN: 1783291184. OCLC Number:

. .

The plan: to rob the Reina, a super-luxury hotel off the coast of Spain. The crew: three seasoned criminals with the skills to pull off the heist of the century. The edge: every aspect of the scheme has been simulated on a computer, down to the last variable. The complication: three beautiful women with agendas of their own - and the sort of variables no computer can fathom ...

Scratch one /
ISBN: 1783291192. OCLC Number:

. .

"To prevent an arms shipment from reaching the Middle East a terrorist group has been carrying out targeted assassinations in Egypt ... Portugal ... Denmark ... France. In response, the United States sends one of its deadliest agents to take the killers down. But when the agent is delayed in transit, lawyer Roger Carr gets mistaken for him. Now, with some of the world's deadliest men after him, will he survive long enough to prove his identity?"--Publisher.

Easy go /
ISBN: 1783291206. OCLC Number:

. .

"Beneath the sands of the Egyptian desert lies treasure beyond imagining. And when a professor of archaeology finds clues to the location of a Pharaoh's lost tomb in ancient hieroglyphs, he hatches a plan to find the burial site--and plunder it. But can a five-man team of smugglers and thieves uncover what the centuries have hidden? And even if they find it, can they escape with it ... and with their lives?"--Publisher.

The venom business /
ISBN: 1783291222. OCLC Number:

. .

A herpetologist must use his special skills and knowledge to avert death and disaster.

Zero cool /
ISBN: 1783291214. OCLC Number:

. .

In 1967, American radiologist Peter Ross takes a vacation to the south of Spain, where he meets a beautiful woman on a beach and finds himself swept up in a gang war over a precious artifact.

Grave descend /
ISBN: 1783291249. OCLC Number:

. .

"Diver James McGregor is used to exploring sunken ships. But there's something strange about the wreck of the Grave Descend. No one aboard tells quite the same story about what happened. Then there's the mysterious cargo they were carrying ... In one of the most beautiful places on Earth, a sinister plot is about to unfold. And if McGregor's not careful, he may find himself in over his head."--Publisher.

Drug of choice /
ISBN: 1783291230. OCLC Number:

. .

When Dr. Roger Clark travels to the Caribbean to investigate Eden Island, a resort run by bioengineers, he uncovers frightening secrets about the place and the corporation underwriting it.

Binary /
ISBN: 1783291257. OCLC Number:

. .

A duel to the death between a mad millionaire who wants to destroy San Diego and the cool, tough government agent who must stop him.

A case of need /
ISBN: 0451210638. OCLC Number:

Signet,. New York :. [1969]

Murder? Botched surgery? Accidental malpractice? Someone violating the Hippocratic oath? No one knows exactly ... Only one doctor is willing to push his way through the hidden medical data and secrets to learn the truth.

Dealing, or, The Berkeley-to-Boston forty-brick lost-bag blues :
ISBN: 039442168X. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. 1971, ©1970.

The Andromeda strain /
ISBN: 006170315X. OCLC Number:

A.A. Knopf :. New York :. 1969.

A military satellite launched to collect organisms in the upper atmosphere comes down in Arizona. Within a few hours, almost everyone in a nearby town is dead. A team of scientists is assembled to investigate.

Five patients :
ISBN: 0345354648. OCLC Number:

Ballantine Books,. New York :. 1989, ©1970

Michael Crichton takes a look at venerable Massachusetts General, giving firsthand accounts of five true and poignant cases which reveal the near-miraculous proficiency--and sometimes alarming inefficiency--of a major city hospital. A dramatic, behind-the-scenes tale from the author of Sphere.

The terminal man /
ISBN: 0788744682. OCLC Number:

Recorded Books,. Prince Frederick, MD :. ℗1999, ©1972.

"Brilliant, neurotic computer specialist Harry Benson suffers from violent seizures. To the members of the Neuropsychiatric Research Unit of a Los Angeles hospital, he is the perfect human guinea pig. They are convinced that computer-controlled electrodes, when implanted in his brain, will soothe his violent impulses."--Container.

The great train robbery /
ISBN: 0804171289. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 1975.

In teeming Victorian London, where lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side, Edward Pierce charms the most prominent of the well-to-do as he cunningly orchestrates the crime of the century. Who would suspect that a gentleman of breeding could mastermind the daring theft of a fortune in gold? Who could predict the consequences of making the extraordinary robbery aboard the pride of England's industrial era, the mighty steam locomotive? Based on fact, as lively as legend, and studded with all the suspense and style of a modern fiction master, here is a classic caper novel set a decade before the age of dynamite--yet nonetheless explosive ...

Eaters of the dead :
ISBN: 0061782637. OCLC Number:

. .

It is 922 A.D. The refined Arab courtier Ibn Fadlan is accompanying a party of Viking warriors back to the north. Fadlan belatedly discovers that his job is to combat the terrors in the night that come to slaughter the Vikings--but just how he will do it, Fadlan has no idea.

Jasper Johns /
ISBN: 0874270243. OCLC Number:

. .

"This book pairs two major talents of our time, the painter/sculptor/printmaker Jasper Johns and the physician/novelist/filmmaker Michael Crichton."--Jacket.

Congo /
ISBN: 0061782556. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 1980.

On an expedition to return Amy, his talking gorilla, to her home in the Congo, Professor Peter Elliot is joined by others who hope to find a legendary diamond mine guarded by mutant gorillas.

Electronic life :
ISBN: 0394534069. OCLC Number:

Knopf,. New York :. 1983.

Sphere /
ISBN: 0061990558. OCLC Number:

Harpercollins,. New York :. 2011, ©1987.

In the middle of the South Pacific, a thousand feet below the surface of the water, a huge vessel is discovered resting on the ocean floor. Rushed to the scene is a group of American scientists who descend together into the depths of the sea to investigate this astonishing discovery. What they find defies their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanations. It is a spaceship.

Travels /
ISBN: 0804171270. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 1988.

Fueled by a powerful curiosity--and by a need to see and feel and hear, firsthand and close-up--Michael Crichton's travels have carried him into worlds diverse and compelling. This is a record of those travels--an exhilarating quest across the familiar and exotic frontiers of the outer world, a determined odyssey into the unfathomable, spiritual depths of the inner world. It is an adventure of risk and rejuvenation, terror and wonder, as exciting as Michael Crichton's many masterful and widely heralded works of fiction.

Jurassic Park :
ISBN: 0345538986. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 1990.

An American bioengineering research firm erects a theme park on a Caribbean island, complete with living dinosaurs, and invites a group of scientists to be its first terrified guests.

Rising sun /
ISBN: 0099233010. OCLC Number:

Arrow,. London :. 1992

Disclosure :
ISBN: 0345539001. OCLC Number:

Ballantine,. New York :. 2012, ©1993.

An up-and-coming executive at the computer firm DigiCom, Tom Sanders is a man whose corporate future is certain. But after a closed-door meeting with his new boss--a woman who is his former lover and has been promoted to the position he expected to have--Sanders finds himself caught in a nightmarish web of deceit in which he is branded the villain. As Sanders scrambles to defend himself, he uncovers an electronic trail into the company's secrets--and begins to grasp that a cynical and manipulative scheme has been devised to bring him down.

The lost world :
ISBN: 0345538994. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 1995.

On an island off Costa Rica there exists a hush-hush colony of giant animals which attracts the attention of two expeditions. The first one, including children, is led by a paleontologist, the other is made up of evil scientists who want to do experiments. The animals rout both without much concern for their motives.

Airframe /
ISBN: 0345526775. OCLC Number:

Alfred Knopf,. New York :. 1996.

An airliner porpoises over the Pacific--dives and rises--killing a number of passengers. Human or technical error? On the answer depend a big overseas sale to China and company jobs. Vice-president Casey Singleton battles TV hounds, intrigues and a hostile CEO as she tries to determine the cause.

Timeline /
ISBN: 0345468260. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. 1999.

A Yale history professor travels back in time to 15th century France and gets stuck, unable to return to the present. His colleagues organize a rescue and on landing in France become involved in the Hundred Years War.

Prey :
ISBN: 0061703087. OCLC Number:

Harper Collins Publishers,. New York :. 2002.

Deep in the remote Nevada desert, eight people are trapped inside of the Xymos Corporation by a rapidly evolving swarm of predatory molecules that have massed together to form a powerful and intelligent organism that is targeting its creators.

State of fear /
ISBN: 0061782661. OCLC Number:

HarperCollins,. London :. 2004.

An eco-thriller takes readers to such far-flung locales as Paris, Iceland, Antarctica, and the Solomon Islands.

Next :
ISBN: 0060873167. OCLC Number:

HarperCollins Publishers,. New York :. ©2006.

In a near-future world where biotechnology and genetic research has become big business, the discovery of several transgenic animals leads to a legal and ethical battle over the rights to genes that can be used for commercial purposes.

Pirate latitudes :
ISBN: 0061929379. OCLC Number:

. .

"Michael Crichton presents a story about pirates in the New World"--Provided by publisher.

Dragon teeth :
ISBN: 0062473352. OCLC Number:

. .

"The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America's western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country, it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop, two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils while surveilling, deceiving, and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars. Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the West to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition. But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions. With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William's newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West's most notorious characters."--


A Case of Need

- written as Jeffery Hudson

  • Edgar Allan Poe Award by Mystery Writers of America for Best Novel, 1969
  • Five Patients

  • Association of American Medical Writers Award, 1970
  • The Great Train Robbery

  • Edgar Award, 1980
  • State of Fear

  • Journalism Award, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 2006