Michael Crichton’s Sordid Pulp Fiction Past

If you’re a fan of Michael Crichton, you may be aware that he was originally going to be a doctor, and he wrote novels and screenplays to pay his way through medical school. Once his writing took off, the rest is history. 

Yet Crichton’s career didn’t begin with The Andromeda Strain, which was adapted into a big budget epic for Universal in 1971. Crichton had also written some long forgotten movies from the early seventies like Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-brick Lost-Bad Blues. He also wrote a lot of pulp novels under a pseudonym, John Lange, which are now being re-released with the old school, hard boiled cover art. 

I found out about these lost Crichton, ah, classics being re-released when I got a spam e-mail from Amazon. At first I figured Odds On was a book Crichton was working on that was finished posthumously. Then when I saw the cover, I burst out laughing, because it was clearly written before Michael Crichton became a mega-author. Other titles include Drug of Choice, Grave Descend, The Venom Business, and Easy Go.

It’s doubtful any of these books could rival Crichton at his best, but we all have to start somewhere, and writing this kind of stuff to fund your way through med school is a hilarious story in itself. Books like this are just supposed to be pure fun, a fast, entertaining read, and we certainly hope they can provide just that after all this time.