Travels Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Travels.
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Travels Summary & Study Guide Description

Travels Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Travels by Michael Crichton.

Travels by Michael Crichton is a work of non-fiction, depicting the years 1965-1986 in the life of the physician turned writer and world traveler.

John Michael Crichton (1942 - 2008) was a Harvard Medical School Alumnus, American author, screenwriter, director, producer, and world traveler. Crichton is best known for writing novels in the areas of science and medical fiction as well as more mainstream thrillers. Crichton's books include: Airframe, The Andromeda Strain, Congo, Disclosure, Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Prey, Rising Sun, Sphere, Timeline, and Travels.

Crichton learned fairly early on that a life in medicine was not for him. Crichton struggled with the required detachment from patients and their conditions. As Crichton's education continued, the more the would-be author began to dislike the way many people handled themselves in the profession. Crichton turned his full focus on writing.

In general, the book is written in chronological order, beginning with "Medical Days (1965-1969)." This part details Crichton's early years as well as his experiences at Harvard Medical School. Crichton also details information about personal relationships, experiences in medical school as well as in various hospitals. It also discusses briefly Crichton's early days as a writer and the final decision to quit medicine.

Crichton's issues with medicine were many. The author did not agree that abortion should be illegal; that patients should not ask questions; that the terminally ill should not be forced to take treatments they did not want. In other words, Crichton did not want to become the kind of doctor that he himself would not consult.

Throughout medical school, Crichton had supported himself by writing thrillers. It became clearer than ever that Crichton was cut out to be a writer. The author wrote extensively. The thrillers paid for medical school. Crichton wrote about thinly veiled experiences at Harvard and won the Edgar for Best Mystery of the Year award. Crichton realized that everyone would find out what he had done. In the end, Crichton need not have worried since no one found out. However, Crichton's success as a writer caused other conflicts, such as an invitation to fly out to Hollywood regarding a movie deal while on rounds. Crichton decided to go.

Part 2, "Travels (1971-1986)" gives an in-depth look at Crichton's travel experiences throughout the world. These, too, are mostly chronological although there are some cases in which Crichton refers to previous experiences to illustrate a point or to give a more current experience deeper significance.

It was after Crichton moved to California that he began to get the traveling bug again. The book details Crichton's travels around the world, which typically included remote places and interesting cultures far removed from the life of a westerner living in California. The trips almost always involved diving and visiting ancient and mysterious structures.

Along with outward travels, Crichton also travels inward. The author departs from his former life as a scientist and begins to delve into his inner being, becoming intensely interested in various areas of metaphysics. The two areas of the author's life mesh in many ways to provide Crichton, and the reader, with an interesting journey.

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This section contains 520 words
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