For unknown reasons, the almost flawless N-22Norton aircraft suffers severe turbulence duringTPA flight 545. As a result of three fatalitiesand fifty-six injuries, a spiral ofinvestigations, terrible apprehensions, andhorrible threats plague the Norton Aircraft Plant.From the first page, the seemingly dull plot ofAirframe grabs the readers attention. Withpolitical trouble in the plant, a deadline for theinvestigation, and rumors of mutiny, the novel isfilled with action along with a precisemeasurement of suspense. Crichton, one of myfavorite authors, plans his novels superbly timingthe chapters at the pinnacle of the action. Bythis method of writing, it was difficult to stopreading, which is the signature of an excellentbook. It is one of the most interesting andintriguing novels I have ever read.Like mostother Michael Crichton novels, it is extremelytechnical, yet, also thoughtfully written.
Thiscombination of plot and description is what makesall of Crichtons novels so great. The technicaldescription brings imagery and realism to thenovel, while the plots twists and turns help tocreate suspense. The way Crichton writes gives thereader very detailed and vivid scenes, as seen inthis random quote: Mechanics in Melbourne notedthat the fuel coupling was bent on the right wing,and the adjacent slats locking pin was slightlydamaged. This was thought to have been caused byground personnel in Java during the previous fuelstop. (pg.
149). As well as the writing, thecharacters were also a major factor in this novel.Unlike characters in most other novels, theseactually seemed like real people. Crichtondevelops his characters giving them eachindividual attributes, emotions, andpersonalities. Also unlike most other characters,they were not totally perfect, and on the otherhand, they were not totally flawed. They werehuman, and that was what allowed the reader toidentify with them.
Although good characterdevelopment is expected from a talented andprofessional writer, it still amazes me how realthey seem and how well they interact.The pagethat I chose to photocopy, is the beginning of theconclusion. It is the end of the investigation,and Casey Singleton, the protagonist of the novel,is about to uncover what really happened on TPAflight 545. Along with her, is Jennifer, areporter for Newsline, on a task to unravel thesecrets of the doomed flight. When all else fails,the two must ride the very plane that killed threepeople in an attempt to reenact the flight. Theymay land safely back on the runway, or they maycrash in the untested plane. Whatever the outcome,the only sure thing is that they will finally knowfor sure what happened that night.
In conclusion,I feel that this is a terrific novel and is one ofCrichtons best. It was a masterpiece of perfectionand is surely one of the best books I have everread. I would have to give it a 10/10. He alsotimed the novel so that it would come out in themidst of all the panic caused by the crash of TWAflight 800. This brilliant strategy and hisoutstanding writing style is what makes him one ofthe greatest writers of all time.