I picked it up in an airport a month ago and was very glad I did. Honestly, as a literature it is an average at best, but the factual stuff is great.
I read the book for the information, but I thought that as literature it was well below the average for Chrichton, who is not that great a writer at best.
Some of his plot devices, like a tsunami to wipe out the CA coast being started by an induced underwater landslide somewhere in Micronesia, make no sense at all. Such a tsunami would cause enormous damage in adjacent areas, but would be largely dissipated by the time it had crossed the entire Pacific, which is, as Michael points out elsewhere, large.