Odds On is Michael Crichton's first published novel. It was released in 1966 under the pseudonym of John Lange. It is a short 215-page paperback novel. Hard Case Crime will republish the novel under Crichton's name on November 19, 2013.
It describes an attempt of robbery in an isolated hotel on Costa Brava. The robbery is planned with the help of a Critical Path Analysis computer program, but unforeseen events get in the way.
Structure and Format:
As in many other Crichton novels the chapters are named by date as in a diary, rather than by number or other content. In this particular novel the chapters reflect the total timespan, the ticking clock, of the plot as a whole. The fifteen chapters begins with Saturday, June Fourteenth, and ending with Afternnon, June Twenty-Second. The timespan of the story is just a little more than a week, which is yet another similarity to Crichton's later novels.
Being his first book, it also contains some of Crichton's 'trademarks' for the first time. Among other things Crichton started his tradition of beginning his novels with quotes with this book:
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
- Benjamin Disraeli