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The Terminal Man Book Summary and Study Guide

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❶Janet Ross the original dissenting medical doctor to track him down and cure him--if she can. You know all about that.

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During this highly specialized experimental surgery, electrodes will be place Harry Benson is prone to violent, uncontrollable seizures and is under police guard after attacking two people. During this highly specialized experimental surgery, electrodes will be place in the patient's brain, sending monitored, soothing pulses to its pleasure canyons. Though the operation is a success, there is an unforseen development.

Benson learns how to control the pulses and is increasing their frequency. He escapes -- a homicidal maniac loose in the city -- and nothing will stop his murderous rampages or impede his deadly agenda. Paperback , pages. Published November 5th by Avon first published March 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about The Terminal Man , please sign up. I'll take the former. How does Harry Benson die? Daniela This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [After an intense, tearful internal struggle, Ross finally shoots and kills Benson unintentionally hide spoiler ].

See 2 questions about The Terminal Man…. Lists with This Book. Dec 17, Anne rated it liked it Shelves: The Terminal Man is so far my least favorite of all Michael Crichton's novels. I'm almost finished reading all of his fiction books. But I couldn't rate it lower than three-stars, because this is Crichton , for pity's sake. He's one of my favorite authors. And I suppose the tremendous research and effort dedicated in this book is worth an additional star.

Okay, so this is about a man named Benson who frequently had violent seizures. People from the Neuropsychiatric Research Unit decided to apply some experimental methods to him that were never used in humans before, in an attempt to "cure" him.

Whenever Benson would have a seizure, the electrodes placed in his brain would at once pulse some sort of pleasurable sensation. Apparently Benson liked this feeling very much that he managed to increase the stimulation which would lead normally lead to seizures in order to feel that pleasurable response.

But it became too much for his brain to handle, and soon enough he was on the loose with a deadly intent on his mind. I'm glad my General Biology class came in pretty handy, so I wasn't lost in all those scientific terminologies regarding the nervous system.

One of the things I noticed here is that there isn't too much piling of information. I think that's a good thing, especially if you're the type of reader who'd get tired of the unceasing lectures and technical discussions.

The pace is very quick. Even the novel is quite short, and I finished it in about three hours or less. Unlike his other novels, there wasn't much history or background on the characters. And the point-of-view primarily centered on Dr. It's rather rare for him to use a woman as the main character. Though to be honest, one couldn't really pinpoint a single person who could effectively be considered as the protagonist.

Furthermore, it was very straightforward. I like that simplicity and economy of words and pages. However, because of that, the characters didn't develop very much. There was hardly any time for characterization. And I felt like I wasn't able to get to know the characters better. The writing could be better. But I understand that this was written much earlier. And having read Crichton's latter works, I can say that his writing style improved immensely.

Sadly, in this book, the descriptions were a bit bland. I'll cite an example when I get a hold of my copy. The suspense wasn't as intense as I expected.

I'm not complaining; I think it was still satisfying. But the thrill only arrived towards the end of the book, which was unlike Crichton's other novels as there was usually a continuous dose of thrill available all throughout. I could feel her fear - it was so palpable. Since then the suspense erupted. Wow , that was the first time I've ever come across his books wherein the ending was so abrupt and unexplained.

I flipped to the next page and was flabbergasted to find it empty. It gave me goosebumps, really. As usual, the painstaking research done is commendable. One look at the bibliography and you could already say that The Terminal Man was a very intelligently-crafted work. I felt so smart after reading it, as if a considerable amount of knowledge was entered into my brain.

Heh, mind control, indeed. Although this isn't really my favorite, I'd still recommend this. The main reason would probably be because the subject matter is controversial and leaned more on psychology and ethics than medical science. The implications of this research were massive, indeed. View all 5 comments. Jun 21, Jessica rated it it was ok.

View all 4 comments. Jan 12, Joe rated it liked it. Brief synopsis; neurologists implant a patient's brain with electrodes in an attempt to calm his violence-inducing seizures. As 'playing God' goes, the doctors involved fall a few steps short of Frankenstein or Jekyll, but they engage in quite a lot of back-slapping, words-of-caution-ignoring and unhatched-chicken-counting. Needless to say a garden-variety thriller breaks out.

What sets The Terminal Man apart is how thoroughly researched it is; we're talking 5 pages of bibliography and technical Brief synopsis; neurologists implant a patient's brain with electrodes in an attempt to calm his violence-inducing seizures. What sets The Terminal Man apart is how thoroughly researched it is; we're talking 5 pages of bibliography and technical references for a short novel. Perhaps Crichton just binged on Neurology articles because he was interested in the subject and figured he might as well write a novel about it.

The bulk of the story comes pre-op; detailing the science and personalities in play while the inevitable rampage ends up feeling rushed and perfunctory. It makes me wonder whether he could've cut the thriller elements entirely and just given us a story of complex people and their complex experiments. Medical dramas only work on TV I guess.

Sep 19, Jim rated it liked it Shelves: It also shows the fallacy of positive feedback as a form of control. It might be a bit dated now, though. If you have to hunt up a volume, try to find the first hardback. It had some good, if a bit gruesome, illustrations in it, as I recall.

Through the use of tools mankind has made unimaginable advances, and with the ever increasing advances in tools progress has come at increasing speed and complexity, but at what point are the advances untenable? At what point does the dependency on the tools become a weakness? At what point do we design our own destruction? This is a classic 'man orchestrates his own downfall' or 'man created monster' warning tale, but at the same time it is a quick paced thriller. This might be my favorite Cric Through the use of tools mankind has made unimaginable advances, and with the ever increasing advances in tools progress has come at increasing speed and complexity, but at what point are the advances untenable?

This might be my favorite Crichton so far - not that he is one of my favorite authors - but this book is short and while you can see that he has done his customary research, this book keeps the focus on a concise plot better than some others I have read by him I'm looking at you Next.

The reader can get a sense of the complicated nature of neuropsychiatry, and how little we understand the human brain or at least how little we understood it in while not feeling like they are reading a fear-monger's treatise on the subject. We get the background, but only enough so that we can see the implications on the specific story.

It is a story that will make you think, but also entertains. This story specifically centers around a man named Henry Benson whom has brain damage, and partially due to this damage he has episodes of uncontrollable rage and psychosis, this man is also brilliant in his own right. At a research facility we have doctors and biotechnology experts that are on the cutting edge of neuropschiatry and they believe that they can implant a computer that will correct some of Benson's damage, and hopefully alleviate the violent attacks.

Predictably, the excrement hits the air conditioning to borrow a quote from Kurt Vonnegut after the procedure has been completed. Overly eager and arrogant men can not control the impacts of their actions, nor the reactions of their test-subject. A chaotic and dangerous man is on the loose in L. The characters are not the most well rounded and developed, but neither are they completely two-dimensional.

For a quick and interesting thriller the level of characterization works well enough. For me this leans to the high-end of a three-star rating, it accomplishes what it sets out to do and is a fun, if somewhat dark, ride along the way. One of Crichton's earlier works The Terminal Man is not as polished or as engaging as his later Science Fiction or Medical Fiction, but the hint of greatness is definitely evident and despite the fact that the books is 41 years old this year the story is still a compelling read with a few unexpected twists and turns.

The Terminal Man is the story of, Harry Benson, a normal man who following a car accident develops a violent side which is triggered by a seizur The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton. The Terminal Man is the story of, Harry Benson, a normal man who following a car accident develops a violent side which is triggered by a seizure and a black out.

The technical medical term I looked it up is "psychomotor epilepsy. If you're a student of medical history you'll be familiar with the story of Phineas Gage and you'll note some similarities here. For everyone else this is a Jekyll and Hyde story without the magic potion. Without giving too much away the action of the story really gets going when you find out that due to a miscalculation and a psychological misreading of the patient the effect of the surgery is only delaying the eventual release of Benson's dark violent side.

He's a man with a ticking time bomb inside his head and anyone in his way when it goes off is in for a world of hurt. They made a movie version of this book in 74, but I haven't seen it. However I did see a very good Christopher Walken film called "The Happiness Cage" or "The Mind Snatchers" depending on which release you see that covers some of the same ground.

That movie came out in as well, so I wonder if the book influenced the movie or vice versa, or it's just another of those cases where an ideas time had come and several people ran with it. In any case, if you like Crichton this is a fast read and holds up well. It's not his best, but it won't put you to sleep and the science it describes is still relevant today as we're not really all that more informed about what all the different parts of the brain actually do.

It's still a brave frontier and there's a lot of room for research and growth. Apr 02, Jonathan rated it did not like it Recommends it for: I had high hopes for this book after reading Crichton's 'The Andromeda Strain. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Perhaps the book is dated in the sense that a man receiving brain implants and receiving shocks in order to stimulate the brain is no longer science-fiction and rather is a reality of today's medicine. Furthermore, the ideas of a war between man and machine are standard Hollywood staples nowadays.

The book sorely lacks characterization and some of the main character's motivations are completely unbelievable. These paper-thin characters are constantly comparing man to computers and are constantly day-dreaming about the ways in which man and machine are the same. Even if I try and place myself in the early 's when the book was published and pretend that the comparison of man to a computer is a new and exciting revelation I would still have a problem with the ham-fisted ways that Crichton goes about comparing man and machine.

Frequently characters refer to thinking as 'processing' and there are several other instances of these obvious comparisons. The paper-thin characters would be more forgiveable if the book had a strong-plot. I didn't start reading a Michael Crichton book expecting strong characterization; I was expecting a page turner with under-developed but mostly-believable larger than life characters.

It fell short in every way. The weak characters were not compensated with an exciting plot. I found myself bored almost the entire way through. Usually with page-turners the plot engages you so much that you are swept up by it and distracts you from the weak characterization, but the weak story just highlighted all of the books other faults. The plot itself is somewhat ridiculous and the story basically becomes a killer on the loose story. Don't worry I haven't revealed any more than the book jacket itself.

If you look at the book as a killer-thriller it is still boring and clumsily written. Due to the killer's medical condition it diffuses the killer's responsibility and therefore takes all of the emotion out of the book. It becomes a hackneyed morality play in which it could be argued that the doctors are more responsible for the murders than the murderer himself.

Without revealing any specifics, the book culminates in such an unbelievably contrived and easily foreseeable so foreseeable that the killer himself predicts the ending about 60 pages before it happens , that when it ends you find yourself turning the page and expecting another chapter to add some sort of originality or real meaning to the book.

The ending is so bad that you wish you could unread the last chapter and leave it as a 'bad book that may at-least have a fun ending. This was one of the worst books that I have ever read. It made me wonder if Crichton had to write this quickly to bank in on the success of The Andromeda Strain.

Anyhow, when I read 'The Andromeda Strain' I thought that I might buy a few more Crichton books to have for rainy days when I just want an easy, fun book. The Terminal Man has made me seriously question Crichton's ability. I will probably read Jurrasic Park someday as it is known as one of his better books, but I certainly won't think of Crichton as a reliable author. Don't read The Terminal Man.

There are so many good books in this world- more good reads than you can read in a lifetime. Don't waste your time on this one. Dec 02, Arun Divakar rated it it was ok. The important point to note was that these two books are as different as chalk and cheese. The premise is standard Crichton fare of science running amok and how we finally fix it.

Trouble begins and goes unnoticed. There you have it! Science, you are too naughty! A typical Crichton thriller; It's a casual airport novel which is fast-paced, has a lot of action, chases, coffee drinking, cigarette smoking and some violence. They can do all sorts of things…Number two is the autonomy of the computer.

They were like adding machines, you had to be there all the time, punching buttons, to make them work. But now things are different. Computers are becoming autonomous. You can build in all sorts of instructions about what to do next—and you can walk away and let the computer handle things…Trend number three is miniaturization.

You know all about that. A computer that took up a whole room in is now about the size of a carton of cigarettes. Crichton the futurist was right about the trends, and right to raise an alarm about why these things might be worrisome. The main future insight he gets wrong in this book is a prediction that to match the power of a human brain, computers would have to be biological—cell-based, not mechanical. Then again, maybe he was right. Bio-computers are on the cutting edge of computing research today.

Read this book if you like: Los Angeles Times called it "an entertaining and unsparing narrative, compressed and scientifically sound. The New Yorker called the novel "A fascinating, splendidly documented thriller. Life said it was "An absolutely riveting novel. John Barkham Reviews called it "A superb thriller The novel was criticised by the American Epilepsy Foundation who said it unfairly linked epilepsy with violence. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Michael Crichton’s The Terminal Man: The Terminal Man was about the neuropsychiatric section of a hospital doing a breakthrough surgery to help reverse the effects of psycho motor epilepsy. The patient’s name was Harry Benson.

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Mind control and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have long been a popular sci-fi themes, Michael Crichton was already famous for the apocalyptic virus-laden 'Andromeda Strain' (book and later film) when the grim near-future 'Terminal Man' was published in

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A full page ad for The Terminal Man that ran in the New York Times on May 9, In His Own Words When people said ‘boy, this [ The Andromeda Strain ] is really up . The Terminal Man is a book that Stephen King convinced me to read. I read King's short story called "The Woman In The Room." The story is in King's collection Night Shift and briefly mentions how, according to Crichton, putting wires in people's heads can be a very bad scene/5().

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The Terminal Man is one of the many novels by Michael Crichton. It's genre was Science Fiction. Contents. Plot Summary Edit. Harry Benson has been suffering from seizures that cause him to become a ruthless monster who will attack anyone and anything. Benson is suffering from these seizures because he has obtained brain damage, and the effects. Terminal Man is classic Michael Crichton work. It’s a brilliantly-paced story that reflects on the implications of scientific “progress” and warns of the dangers of hubris. It’s a brilliantly-paced story that reflects on the implications of scientific “progress” and warns of the dangers of hubris.