I was by no means a fan of his writing. I found it stilted and flat. His stories were often meandering apologist tripe seemingly accusing science for all of man's ills. His characters were usually over-developed and uninteresting, something I hadn't thought possible until I struggled through one of his novels. On top of it all, he was a gimmicky writer and a traitor to his science fiction roots.
But, dammit! He got people to read. And for that and that alone, he earned my respect.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Crichton. You've earned your place in history.