Version: Abridged
Author: Michael Crichton
Narrator: Stephen Lang
Genres: Fiction & Literature
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: November 1999
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
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Michael Crichton's new novel opens on the threshold of the twenty-first century. It is a world of exploding advances on the frontiers of technology. Information moves instantly between two points, without wires or networks. Computers are built from single molecules. Any moment of the past can be actualized -- and a group of historians can enter, literally, life in fourteenth-century
feudal France.

Imagine the risks of such a journey.

Not since Jurassic Park has Michael Crichton given us such a magnificent adventure. Here, he combines a science of the future -- the emerging field of quantum technology -- with the complex realities of the medieval past. In a heart-stopping narrative, Timeline carries us into a realm of unexpected suspense and danger, overturning our most basic ideas of what is possible.

Reviews (8)

The Book that Started it All

Written by Christine Berkes on June 9th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

It's strange how long it took me to become a real Michael Crichton fan, considering how much I had enjoyed Congo, Sphere, The Great Train Robbery, etc. But Timeline was the book that started me actively seeking his works, instead of passively picking up what happened to be laying around. As with most of his stories, this one starts out slow, establishing a great deal of science and history while slapping a bit of character development at the reader (listener?). However, once the action starts it really gets rolling and I kept waiting to see how this mess was going to be fixed. It's a crazy mix of history, science, and politics with a very satisfying conclusion.

Not Bad

Written by Tammy Henson from Bartlesville, OK on April 4th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Short and sweet. Not sure I didn't see this in a movie or something similar. Predictable but entertaining. The old character dieing in the opening scene was absolutely pointless. Seems like Crichton could have expanded upon the story some but then again, it worked.

Good Book

Written by Michael on December 12th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The book is slow at the beginning but it does get better. The reader does a good job as well.

It was okay

Written by Anonymous on November 22nd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 2/5

It felt choppy and out of sorts, perhaps the abridgement was the problem.


Written by Mark Buford on September 1st, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very entertaining. I understand that Crichton can be agonizingly thorough with technological details. With this abridged version, however, just enough data is revealed to keep the listener informed and the story moving. Steven Lang does a wonderful job with the narration. Anyone who's seen "Gettysburg" or the film adaptation of "Death of a Salesman" already knows what a talented performer he is.


Written by Nicole from Sharon Springs, NY on August 17th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

As always, loved his book. It was great to see the movie afterward, but of course the book was much better! Love the physics theories he adds into his writings.

Creative Crichton

Written by Daniel Wainwright from Fresno, CA on January 3rd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Very enjoyable Crichton book. Very interesting story about historians traveling back in time. Not as technical as some of his other works (this is a good thing), but still delivers plenty of excitement and adventure. A very good read (listen).


Written by MANUEL AVILES from piscataway, NJ on November 9th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a truly excellent audio book. My first Crichton and I am hooked. The story is flawless, the characters are well writen, the tension goes right to the very end. I recommended highly.. One of the best I have read.

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.