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Westworld by Michael Crichton could be a bestseller right now, but where is the book?


HBO’s revival of Michael Crichton’s science fiction thriller Westworld is off to a flyer after an entertaining premiere on Sunday evening.  Entertainment Weekly reported that 3.3 million viewers watched the first episode where it becomes clear that all is not well in the Western-themed amusement park populated by robots.

But wait something is missing. Westworld is the biggest series to arrive on HBO since the launch of Game of Thrones in 2011, and yet there is no sign of an accompanying book.

The 1974 Pocket edition of Westworld

Hundreds of people visited AbeBooks.com on Sunday night and searched for “Westworld by Michael Crichton.” They were probably rather bewildered when it became clear that there was little for them to purchase.

[Edit – interest in Westworld by Michael Crichton continued on Monday when it was the top search term on AbeBooks.com.]

Crichton wrote the original script and directed the film, which was released in November 1973 with Yul Brynner in the lead role as a robot gunman. A companion book was published in 1974 by Bantam/Pocket Books but it’s utterly out-of-print. It contains the script, an introduction from Crichton, and photographs from the film.

AbeBooks has a single copy for sale right now for $179.99 from Wally’s Books in York, Ontario. That’s probably a little steep for ordinary readers but I expect it will sell soon enough. (You can also buy a copy of the 1973 film script for $550 that belonged to an actor who had a minor role in the movie.)

This 1974 edition of Westworld has been getting steadily scarcer. AbeBooks has sold 16 copies of this paperback since January 2015, including one for $200 that had been signed by Crichton. There’s only been a handful of copies available during 2016.

Michael Crichton died in 2008 but his books remain popular on the used book market thanks for the enduring appeal of Jurassic Park. The new HBO series apparently cost $100 million to produce and builds on the growing interest in Artificial Intelligence. It stars Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins and Thandie Newton. With all this interest, it seems odd that Westworld has not been novelized yet. Somebody could be selling a lot of books right now.

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