Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: Michael Crichton
Narrator: George Wilson
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Mystery, Thriller & Horror
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published In: November 2002
# of Units: 11 CDs
Length: 11 hours
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In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles -- micro-robots -- has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.

It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour. Every attempt to destroy it has failed.
And we are the prey.

As fresh as today's headlines, Michael Crichton's most compelling novel yet tells the story of a mechanical plague and the desperate efforts of a handful of scientists to stop it. Drawing on up-to-the-minute scientific fact, "Prey takes us into the emerging realms of nanotechnology and artificial distributed intelligence-in a story of breathtaking suspense. "Prey is a novel you can't put down.
Because time is running out.

Reviews (23)

Good, not great

Written by Anonymous on August 4th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This book started of really slow but got going later on. If you could suffer through the first CD or two, then you probably ended up enjoying it. I work in the biotechnology field and that probably helped me find this book a little less technically overwhelming than some. Definitely not Crichton's best book, but certainly better than a few of his recent publications.


Written by LIFESAVER from San Carlos, CA on February 10th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The book was interesting initially, but became alittle difficult to follow towards the middle and end.


Written by Sabrina from Franklinton, NC on November 14th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

The storyline was a good one and the premise very unique, but the technobabble led the reader astray. It was not necessary and often deflected from the intrigue. Not Crichton's best work, but still worth listening to.

Returned in the blink of my eye

Written by Heber Utah from Heber City, UT on October 1st, 2008

  • Book Rating: 0/5

There were like 13 cd's I listened to the first one and that was it. I couldn't get past it, I was driving from salt lake city to boise idaho and i stopped in the first somewhat major city and dropped it in the mail. Just so boring and technical, you'd have too be a technical nerd to even understand this. It was like the author was trying to tell us just how smart he is and how dumb the average reader is.

all is good, but story is goofy

Written by Anonymous on July 7th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Michael Crichton can most certainly write an entertaining tale. Prey had the twists and suspense that keep one engaged. And the narration was right on target. However, the plot was so out there that I could almost, but never fully connect the dots. There were just too many leaps in Crichton's evolutionary logic. His characters and their reactions made great reading. Prey is like two separate novels existing together. One is full of wonderful, believable characters caught in quickly tangling events and the other book is a silly, "what is going on?" string of goofy somehow connected nanomania. However, if one wants to read a thriller but not think about it too hard, this is the book--go for it.

gripping and educational

Written by Jay Salinger on October 10th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was an enjoyable book. The premise and events were fairly believable. I learned a lot about nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. Plus it was a lot of fun to listen to.


Written by Kay on October 4th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Strange story line but a good read. Took some pretty good twists!


Written by ML on January 7th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Not Crichton's best. The artificial intelligence piece of the novel is lame and the nano-tech part has some cool angles to it, but he really goes off in the woods at some points. The worst is, it seemed he got X amount of pages in and then decided it was time to end the book. Everything wraps up nice and tight and in a short amount of time. If you like Crichton and want the sci-fi twist, pass on this book and pick up The Andromeda Strain.

Very Good

Written by Eric Forsell from harbor city, CA on August 28th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This books is great for the hardcore science fiction fan as it's filled with real technical concepts. There are so many possibilities the plot could take that I couldn't wait to find out what happens next. There is plenty of description of technical concepts: Genetic Programming(algorithms), Neural Nets and Nanotech.


Written by Ed Jacques on August 17th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Where do I begin with this book. One positive was the narrator. He did an admirable job just staying awake through some of the boring, over done, brain numbing, long winded descriptions of artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. While it may have been "up-to-the-minute" as the book description states, the attention put to describing the technical details was just not necessary. Unless this was documentary and I missed something. There was an interesting story hidden in this book. When it first started I was drawn into the main character and his relationship with his family and ties to the books plot. Then the technical blah, blah, blah, would almost bore me into an accident on the way to work. Then it would pick up again. So the rollercoaster ride went. In the end there was a good story being told so I was entertained but it could have been much, much, better. If I had been reading this book I would have never made it through to the end.

Author Details

Author Details

Crichton, Michael

Michael Crichton is a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER. His most recent novel, Next, about genetics and law, was published in December 2006.

Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He has taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT. Crichton's 2004 bestseller, State of Fear, acknowledged the world was growing warmer, but challenged extreme anthropogenic warming scenarios. He predicted future warming at 0.8 degrees C. (His conclusions have been widely misstated.)

Crichton's interest in computer modeling goes back forty years. His multiple-discriminant analysis of Egyptian crania, carried out on an IBM 7090 computer at Harvard, was published in the Papers of the Peabody Museum in 1966. His technical publications include a study of host factors in pituitary chromophobe adenoma, in Metabolism, and an essay on medical obfuscation in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Crichton's first bestseller, The Andromeda Strain, was published while he was still a medical student. He later worked full time on film and writing. Now one of the most popular writers in the world, his books have been translated into thirty-six languages, and thirteen have been made into films.

He's had a lifelong interest in computers. His feature film Westworld was the first to employ computer-generated special effects back in 1973. Crichton's pioneering use of computer programs for film production earned him a Technical Achievement Academy Award in 1995.

Crichton has won an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Writer's Guild of America Award for ER. In 2002, a newly discovered ankylosaur was named for him: Crichtonsaurus bohlini. He has a daughter, Taylor, and lives in Los Angeles. Crichton remarried in 2005.