Michael Crichton passed away a few years ago in November 2008. I thought it would be nice to dedicate an entry here to record the books of his that I've read with a short description of the most poignant aspect of each one. These represent only the novels, as they contain so much more than what eventually gets to the theaters, but the links take you to the films.
(It's a short list for now...)
The Great Train Robbery - See decription above.
The Andromeda Strain - See link.
Jurassic Park - Although the main concept was cloning of ancient DNA, what many do not know is that the book weaves in a strong connection with chaos theory. This is only hinted at in the film via the mathemetician Ian Malcolm. There's even a fractal construction at the start of each chapter that is thrown in to symbolize the progression of complexity in the story.
Sphere - This is an odd little story that involves mysterious mental capacities encountered in a deep sea lab while studying a mysterious sunken spacecraft. Not one of his best works, I was surprised to see it later turned into a film with some big name stars in it. I think he was channeling Forbidden Planet a bit, making a connection between the deep sea and the depths of the human subconscious.