Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Great Train Robbery – Book Review


Author – Michael Crichton

A review of The Great Train Robbery

I didn’t know what to expect when I learned that Crichton wrote a book that appeared to be a western.  If you read the title, see the old style train cover art and his name dominating the rest of the front what else could it be?  I’m accustomed to his science driven stories, mostly, and was curious about a setting such as 1854 for him.  I found out later it was based on true events which finally pushed me to read it.  It’s a great book. 

                I’ll point a few things out; if you like learning about the 1800’s in any fashion then this book will give you enough taste to satisfy.  If you’re interested in London during that time even better.  I’ve come to enjoy reading books from that time as well as learning how life was back then.  There is something about no cellular phones, internet, automobiles or any other technological marvel in this day and age that is fun to read about.  I grew up in the era when computers reached up and grabbed us all then drew us close to its bosom so now I’m curious as to how it was prior.  Going back to the 1800’s will quench that desire.  I’m no fanatic of years long ago but Crichton sets the stage for that era well.

                A slick man with a plan and a few accomplices go to unimaginable lengths to rob a train.  I can say I wasn’t interest in the few beginning pages when I discovered it was in London.  I’m American why should I want to read how these great Englishman pulled a heist.  I want a shootout old west adventure right?  It didn’t take long for Crichton to knock that notion aside and get me hooked anyway.  The story of the robbery is mixed in beautifully with the history of times back then.  Following the main character around, who is always so smooth, is a joy to read.  The fact that London was young in its law enforcement at the time makes the chance of success even greater for the alleged criminals.  This really is one train ride you better not miss. 

                This is a simple read and can be enjoyed by any who enjoy a clever heist.  Remember its 1854 so quirky gadgets and computer passwords to a vault don’t exist so put our current era on the shelf when you grab this book from it.  If you set your mind to a time in the distant past you’ll have a pleasant memory to recall upon later in life.  All aboard for thievery at its finest!  These train puns are so addicting.