Michael Crichton’s novel Disclosure is not about disclosure. It’s about all kinds of deception.
Crichton sets his novel in the early 1990s in Seattle where DigiCom is developing a virtual reality device for information storage and retrieval. Tom Sanders, who has overseen the development of the Twinkle, hopes he’s up for promotion when DigiCom merges with educational publisher Conley-White, and Tom’s division is spun off into a separate company.
The day the merger is supposed to be announced, Tom learns the company is being restructured. Instead of being promoted, he will report to his ex-lover of a decade earlier, Meredith Johnson.
After a late-day meeting with Meredith, Tom finds himself accused of sexual harassment. He hires a lawyer and fights back, claiming that Meredith was the harasser.
Thus, Crichton sets up a story about sexual harassment with a male as the victim. For readers today, the edge is off that story.
What’s interesting today is what has not changed in those 30-plus years in employment law: societal attitudes about women’s roles, the number of women in executive positions, the world of high technology manufacturing. Crichton’s observation remains true today:
“We all live every day in virtual environments, defined by our ideas.”
Disclosure by Michael Crichton
Alfred A. Knopf ©1993. 397 p.
1994 bestseller #10; my grade: B+
©2020 Linda G. Aragoni