Study Guide: The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton - BookNotes|
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THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN: PLOT SYNOPSIS / BOOK SUMMARY
In this first chapter, Crichton creates the atmosphere of suspense that
drives the novel. Many factors enhance the mystery surrounding this secret
military satellite. The stretch of deserted highway, the cold winter night,
the fact that the capsule is no being tracked to the center of Piedmont
when it should be twelve miles north of town, and especially the vulture-like
birds circling the town in the moonlight, all contribute to a sense of
Back at "Project Scoop" mission control center, Lieutenant
Edgar Comroe lethargically monitors the radio communications from Shawn
and Crane’s van, which is coded "Caper One". As the vehicle
enters Piedmont, Shawn reports that there are bodies strewn throughout
the town. Upon hearing this discovery Comroe instructs Caper One to leave
their radio open and proceed towards the capsule. Comroe then seals off
the control room to prevent any news from getting out. He hears Lieutenant
Shawn report seeing a man in white robes walking through the town and
checking over the bodies. Suddenly, the white-robed man stops and begins
coming towards the van. Horrified, the mission control team hears a high-pitched
scream followed by a crunching noise, and the radio transmission ends.
In the second chapter, Crichton heightens the tone of apprehension by changing
perspectives and telling the story from the point of view of mission control.
Since the reader knows only what mission control can hear over the radio,
we feel completely helplessness upon hearing the screams just before the
radio goes dead. Finally, Crichton leaves us with the new mystery of the
white-robed man who has somehow survived the epidemic, and who appears
to have killed Shawn and Crane.
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Strate, Shane. "TheBestNotes on The Andromeda Strain".
. 10 May 2008